Love Hina Vol. #1 W/Box (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, May 11, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2002
I've got to agree that is definitely one of the funniest anime I've ever seen. I was laughing the whole time. I'm glad Bandai got this one state side fast because it is an excellent series.
The Japanese language track was very good. There were noises and music from all of my speakers, which was more than I expected. It would have gotten an A, if only they had done a decent job on the English language track. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Don't listen to the English language track. Some of the voice actors aren't that bad, but they gave Kitsune a southern accent. It made me cringe every time I heard it. The Japanese voice actors, especially Kietaro, really added to the comedy, but the English voice actors didn't so anything like that. They made the show less funny. On top of that the English track is audibly softer than the Japanese track for some reason, which is annoying if at any point you try to switch between them.
Bandai did an excellent job with this transfer. I was a little worried because I was really looking forward to this series and I didn't want them to screw it up. The animation itself is exceptional. The colors were vibrant and alive and everything is incredibly crisp and clear. On top of that the animation itself is beautiful. When I first saw this show, what caught my eye was the animation. Bandai gets a thumbs up for the transfer on this one.
The new title was a bad move for Bandai. I can see where they got the idea from the original title, but frankly, I don't think they did a good job making the new title. I would have much rather had them keep the original title, or at least make the new title closer to the Japanese title. The packaging itself isn't bad. It has Kietaro in the foreground with a scared expression on his face and Narusegawa behind him, looking very angry. It's a very good representation of the show. The cover is reversible, but the reverse is just the same as the front, but it's done landscape and it wraps all the way around the package. I would have preferred a reversible cover like the one Pioneer did for Gatekeepers. The back gives a description of the DVD and some pictures. It does a pretty good job keeping with the cutesy feel of the show. The keepsake itself was clear with a little blue tint, which was nice because it matches the cover and series box better. The disc is a closer vi!
ew of Narusagewa from the cover of the DVD. There's an insert in the case is "Kietaro's Guide to Narusagewa" which is pretty funny.
The series box is also very nice. It's done in the same colors as the DVD cover. One side has a shot of each character and the other looks like they're taking a group photo where Kaolla and the turtle have jumped in front of the camera. It's very cute. The top has a picture of the turtle and the spine has a small group photo. It's a nice case, and with the first DVD in it, looks good.
The opening menu has a picture of the Hinata Inn in the background, from the title sequence in the opening, and the Love Hina logo in front. The menu itself is on top of a big heart, and the logo and menu dance, kind of, every once in a while. The other menus are on Kietaro's notebook, his desk, and one has a picture of Japan with the turtle in the front. Over all, they look pretty good and they access fast.
There wasn't too much here: Credits, Trailers, a photo gallery, and Kietaro's Sketchbook. The photo gallery only covered Kietaro and Narusagewa, which, I'm guessing, is because they are going to put more on the other discs. Kietaro's sketchbook was good for a laugh too. The best extra was the collector's box. I know that technically it's part of the packaging, but since almost no other companies have done it so far, I consider it an extra. I am overjoyed that they have finally started releasing the boxes at the beginning, because I would hate to have to wait to get the whole series once they release it with the box. Sure, you can get the box from Right Stuf in some cases, but it's a whole lot nicer this way and you don't have to wait. I've heard that other companies are going to follow this trend, like Media Blasters with Berserk, and that's a very good thing and I hope other companies catch on.
Kietaro Urashima is 20 years old and is trying to get into Tokyo University because of a promise he made to a girl when he was very young, just before she moved away. Supposedly if two people who love each other go to Tokyo University together they will be happy forever, so it has become his goal in life to go there and meet her again.
Unfortunately for Kietaro, he's a bit of a failure at getting into the university: twice to be exact. The only way he can try again is if he can find a place to stay in Tokyo. His grandmother owns an all girls inn in Tokyo and is quitting, which works out well for Kietaro, since the inn now needs a new manager or it will have to shut down. He gets to stay and attempts to get into Tokyo University again, and while he is there he finds out that one of the residents may be the girl from his past whom he made the promise to.
Because this is the first disc in the series it basically introduces the characters and starts the series. The first episode covers Kietaro's decision to become the manager, since for some reason he's not supposed to be manger unless he's already a Tokyo University student. There's also the question of whether the current occupants of Hinata Inn will accept him. This is an especially large problem after the first episode because there's an incident with him and an all girls open air bath, where they decide he's a pervert and a panty thief. The next two episodes introduce another two charaters: Shinobu and Motoko. Shinobu's family owns a restaurant in town. She is being forced to leave because her parents are divorcing and she desides to stay at Hinata Inn instead. Motoko, on the other hand, already lives in Hinata Inn; she just isn't introduced until the second episode. The last episode is where the series starts to pick up and the main theme of the series is introduce!
d. Kietaro thinks that Narusaguwa is the girl he made the promise to 15 years ago and falls in love with her. Some of the later episodes are a lot funnier and as such, some of the later DVD's will probably be a lot better, but you've got to start somewhere. Even so, it's still a very good set of episodes. The entire series is very cute and very funny.
All of the characters are very lovable. There's a decent amount of slapstick humor in Love Hina. Kietaro gets beat on quite a lot. There's also a decent amount of perverted humor, which is very funny. If you like funny, cute shows, Love Hina is right up your alley: check it out. And keep your eyes open for the Love Hina Again OVAs!
Magnavox 21" TV, Sony DVD-NS300 DVD Player, Sony STR-D865 Receiver, four Pioneer Speakers and sub-woofer
Mania Grade: A+
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: A+
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: A
Extras Rating: A+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Love Hina