Love Hina by Ken Akamatsu

Love Hina is a Japanese shounen manga series that was written and illustrated by Ken Akamatsu. It was originally published in 1998 by Kodansha and adapted into an anime in 2000. This 13-volume manga can be described as a comedy slice-of-life series.

Synopsis: The main character, Keitaro Urashima is determined to get into the prestigious Tokyo U university because of a childhood promise he made. But since he keeps on failing the dreaded entrance exams, he decides to quit the city and take up residence with his grandma in the village hotel she owns, the Hinata House. Upon arrival, he finds that his grandma has gone off on a world tour and the hotel converted into a girls dorm. But since Keitaro can’t go back to his parents and thus admit defeat, he ends up living with this wild group of riotous girls.

Love Hina is a turbulently plot focused comedy with plenty of slapstick moments not for wanting in its ridiculous hilarity. Despite the comedic backbone of the manga, it handles the abundance of characters with well-manifested characterisation. Foremost of all, Keitaro, who is clumsy, pitiable and has the worst luck in the world. In and amongst the girls, the secondary main character, Naru Narusegawa is your average teenage girl with a capricious nature and unrivalled intelligence. As well as these two main characters, the writing of this manga also does well to discuss the other idiosyncrasies of the other girls in the Hinata House.

Love Hina was first published in the Weekly Shounen Magazine, 1998

Most of the comedy in this manga stems from the girls prolific and wanton abuse of the gullible Keitaro, who always manages to find himself in sticky situations and thus on the receiving end of the girls’ taunts and threats. It almost seems as though this manga is the manifestation of the main character or the creator’s subconscious need to be abused, because of some deep rooted childhood trauma involving their mothers. Also, I found the out-of-place harem factor to be irreconcilable for its absurdity.

All those criticisms aside, this manga is entertaining in terms of all the slapstick humour, which is mainly what you would read a series like Love Hina for. However, I would’ve enjoyed it more if the characters acted with a bit more logic instead of acting in non-sensical ways that only served to further emphasise the comedic element.

Overall, I rate Love Hina.. ⭐️⭐️

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