Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A+
- Packaging Rating: B-
- Menus Rating: C
- Extras Rating: B
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Bandai Entertainment
- MSRP: 29.98
- Running time: 75
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Love Hina
Love Hina Christmas Movie
By Derek LaPierre
March 01, 2004
Release Date: November 19, 2002
Just when you thought the series was over, along comes a very nice OVA to put under the tree.
I listened to the Japanese track for my review. Clear, crisp audio is a good way to describe the sound quality. There were no dropouts of any kind and all the dialogue was easy to hear.
The transfer quality of this disc is great. With both the special and episode 25 being OVA releases, the vibrancy and detail of the animation is a step up from the TV transfers. There was no colour bleeding or pixelation noticeable by me. One of the best transfers I've seen.
The packaging this time has a lot of similarities to the TV discs. The back is the everywhere description all spruced up with Christmas stuff. The front is a cast shot of all the tenants of Hinata-Sou in Christmas outfits. The insert is a nice poster/ calendar that is reversible. The inside picture is a nice shot of everyone on New Year's in yukata.
I am glad they used a different menu. The main menu is a shot of the cover with blinking Christmas lights. All the menus are fast and done in Christmas spirtit, except the extras menu. It's a shot of Keitaro standing outside a store window and some swanky hotel is playing. It's kind of creepy for a Christmas DVD.
An entire episode as an extra seems a little odd I think, but hey, it's a good extra. The only other extra is the textless ending of the Christmas special, which is much easier to watch than the credits one. I personally think a character gallery of everyone in their Christmas outfits and yukata would have been nice.
Content: (contains spoilers)
Christmas; a time of celebration, joy, laughter, friendship, and true love. The Love Hina Christmas special is an extra long episode. It's one of your average Christmas Specials, but it made me feel all warm and fuzzy in the end. In summary, it is a blend of Naru and Keitaro misunderstanding each other and Kitsune and the gang unwittingly messing things up. It all starts when Sara and Su snoop for presents and find a letter in Naru's room that says "love" in it. Keitaro finds out and gets all giddy and falls off the roof, spraining his leg. Naru goes home to study for the Christmas Eve practice exams. Keitaro tries to find Naru on Christmas Eve to tell her how he feels because of a rumor that if you confess love on that special day then you'll be together forever. Of course, because of his injured leg he hobbles around the streets looking for her. Five minutes before midnight, Naru tells Keitaro that she..... No, it's better to watch it for yourself and find out.
I really enjoyed this special. Like I said, I felt all warm and fuzzy inside. It seems that everyone has figured out that Naru likes Keitaro, so they all try to bring them together. Naru even shows that she likes Keitaro, but if you ask her well, she'll still make some excuse.
This is definitely a must have for every Love Hina fan. It's the series at its best. It doesn't have too many comedic situations, but Christmas is a time of romance!
Episode 25 is the funniest of the series. It was a straight to video release, which means the staff got away with what couldn't be shown on TV. First of all being many, many underwear shots. The second is a lot more skin, including Motoko's butt. Finally, blood whenever Keitaro gets pummeled. This is a Motoko episode and she's learned a thing or two since the beginning of the series. When her sister comes visiting to bring her back to lead the Shinmei School, she tries to convince her that she's marrying Keitaro so she doesn't have to return yet.
In true Love Hina style, Motoko's sister (Strangely, they don't mention her name) finds out and banishes her from the school. Motoko then decides to become a normal student, and she takes normal to the extreme. Eventually she decides, from Keitaro's good advice, to reclaim her position in the Shinmei School.
This is a nice bonus to add to the disc, the whole DVD being great quality. Definitely one to buy.
Samsung 27" TV, Zenith DVD2001C