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To Love RU – Collection 1 (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

December 8, 2009 by  



Hilarious, perverted but all out fun!  For the most part, “To Love RU” is definitely one of the most fun anime series I have seen released in 2009.  If you are looking for a comedy series with action and fan service, “To Love RU” is definitely an anime series worth checking out!

 

Image courtesy of © Kentaro Yabuki-Saki Hasemi/SHUEISHA, Toloveru Project.  All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: To Love RU – Collection 1

DURATION: Episode 1-13 (325 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen, Japanese 2.0, English subtitles

COMPANY: Sentai Filmworks

RATED: Unrated (Contains Violence & Brief Nudity)

Release Date: May 22, 2007

Originally created by Kentaro Yabuki, Saki Hasemi

Directed by Takao Kato

Series Composition by Akatsuki Yamatoya

Music by Tsuyoshi Watanabe

Art Director: Keito Watanabe

Sound Director: Masafumi Mima

Director of Photography: Yuki Endo

Anime Production by Xebec

Featuring the following voice talent:

Akeno Watanabe as Rito Yuki

Haruka tomatsu as Lala Satalin Deviluke

Fuyuka Oura as Ren Elsie Jewelria

Hidetoshi Nakamura as Gid Lucione Deviluke

Kana Hanazawa as Mikan Yuki

Mamiko Noto as Oshizu

Mikako Takahashi as Akio Sairenji

Misato Fukuen as Golden Darkness

Satomi Arai as Peke

Sayuri Yahagi as Haruna Sairenji

Takehito Koyasu as Zastin

One should always understand other people’s customs before making commitments. Unfortunately, Rito Yuki had no idea the planet Develuke even existed when their Princess Lala teleported naked into his bathtub, let alone that touching a girl’s breasts is how they propose marriage! Given that he was IN the tub when she appeared, and slippery soap suds being what they are, Rito’s now engaged to a beautiful girl with a pointed tail. Worse, various aliens are showing up on missions of varying hostile intent; the girl that Rito REALLY loves is still completely unaware of his feelings; and all of the new customs he’s got to learn seem to involve touching a girl’s chest! (Okay, maybe he’ll get used to that last one, but he’s still in high school and a bit intimidated.) Can a nice boy from Japan become the next King of Galaxy A or will he just end up feeling like a boob? Keep abreast of further developments in To Love Ru!

In 2006, the series “To Love Ru” (which in Japanese  “Toraburu” can be read as in English “Trouble”) is a manga series by Saki Hasemi (“Moetan”, “Pinky:st”) and Kentaro Yabuki (“Black Cat”, “Yamato Gensouki”) was created and is currently featured in Weekly Shonen Jump.  In the spring of 2008, Studio I.G. subsidiary Xebec, Inc. (known for working on “Love Hina” and “Martian Successor Nadesico”) released a 26-episode anime series which was followed by video game releases for the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP.

The anime series has been released in the US courtesy of Sentai Filmworks in Dec. 2009 with a first collection which features the first 13 episodes.  “To Love RU” is directed by Takao Kato (“Buson Renkin”, “Compiler”, “Rockman. EXE Beast”) and features a screenplay by Akatsuki Yamatoya (“Blue Dragon”, “Digimon Frontier”, “Inuyasha”, “Fullmetal Alchemist”).  Character designs are by Yuichi Ouka (who worked on “Over Drive”, “Gurren Lagann”, and “R.O.D. – The TV-“) and music is by Tsuyoshi Watanabe (“This Ugly Yet Beautiful World”, “Moetan”).

“To Love RU” is about a teenager named Rito Yuki.  Extremely shy and doesn’t have many friends, he has always been in love with his classmate Haruna Sairenji but hasn’t had the guts to tell her how he feels.  Each time he tries, something bad happens.  But while taking a bath, he has a dream of Sairenji and feels that he has the guts to finally tell her how he feels.

While Rito is dreaming, immediately a naked well-endowed girl ends up in the bathtub with him.  While Rito is dreaming of Sairenji, he ends up grabbing the breasts of the girl in the bathtub and telling her “I love you”.  Is he dreaming or is it for real?  Rito doesn’t know what is going on.  But while he goes to his bedroom, he realizes the girl is for real and learns that her name is Lala Satalin Deviluke.  A girl from the Planet Deviluke and that she is an alien.

Joined by her robot creation Peke (who can change to her clothing or become a weapon), she tells Rito that she is being chased and that she has escaped from them and has ended up on Earth.  Immediately, two men show up in Rito’s bedroom and tries to take Lala back, in which Rito manages to save her and both escape from the rooftops.  Meanwhile, Sairenji sees Rito and Lala running and wonders what is going on.

Meanwhile, a man in armor named Zastin comes to take her back but Rito tries to protect her.  Lala uses a special weapon and manages to save herself and Rito but accidentally hurting him.

The following day, Rito can’t believe how much trouble Lala has become but Rito is still determined to tell Sairenji how much he loves her no matter what.  So, when Rito sees her while on his way to school, he is about to confess his love for her (with his eyes closed) and makes his confession, to find out when he opens his eyes that he has confessed his love to Lala and not Sairenji.

Now, Lala believes that Rito is in love with her and because Rito has proposed to her in Devilluke tradition (grabbing the woman’s breast and telling her that he loves her), they are now officially engaged.

Zastin then reveals that he is her protector and that Lala is the princess of Devilluke and both are now engaged to be married.  Now Lala has made her residence at Rito’s home and expects Rito to be her husband.  But Rito is in love with Sairenji, not Lala…what is a powerless, teenage boy going to do?

“To Love RU – Collection 1” features 13 episodes on two DVD’s.  Here is an episode listing featuring spoiler-less summaries of each episode:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 1 – The Girl Who Fell From the Sky – Rito and Lala meet for the first time. Meanwhile, Rito wants to confess his love for Sairenji.
  • EPISODE 2 – A Broken Engagement!? – While Rito thinks that he has his freedom at school, Lala decides to become a transfer student to become closer with Rito.
  • EPISODE 3 – Love Triangle – Rito, his sister Mikan, Lala and Sairenji go to the aquarium together.
  • EPISODE 4 – A Love Apron from Outer Space – Rito tries to think of a way to not be engaged and thus after tasting Lala’s cooking tells her that he will never marry a person who can’t cook.  What will Lala do and is Rito free?
  • EPISODE 5 – The Queen’s Challenge – The richest girl in school Saki Tenjoin is used to guys gawking at her.  But when she finds out that all the guys have their eyes on Lala, she challenges Lala in a beauty contest.
  • EPISODE 6 – The Alien Assassin – A shapeshifting alien has come to Earth to propose to Lala but when he finds out that Rito has, the alien kidnaps Sairenji.

Disc 2:

  • EPISODE 7 – All Men Should Be Like This – Ren Elsie Jewelria, a childhood friend of Lala comes to Earth to prove to her that he is the one for her to marry but he has one major flaw.
  • EPISODE 8 – The Prefect of Spotless Integrity – A new student named Kotegawa Yui is tired of the pervertedness at school and wants to clean it up.
  • EPISODE 9 – From a Shining Star, With Love – A man in a rocket suit is coming for Lala and tries to attack her.
  • EPISODE 10 – A Space Entertainer – The president of the Lala fanclub wants her to make an idol CD.
  • EPISODE 11 – Golden Darkness – An assassin named Golden Darkness has been hired to attack Rito.
  • EPISODE 12 – A Frightening Field Day! – The perverted principal has a sports festival in which he makes girls do things.  Meanwhile, Rito keeps touching Haruna accidentally in perverted ways.
  • EPISODE 13 – The Greatest Man in the Universe – Lala’s father is planning to visit Earth and find out if Rito is worthy of being a husband to Lala.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“To Love RU” is presented in 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen.  For a television series, the series features a lot of colors and artistic backgrounds feature a good amount of backgrounds from school settings, shopping/city settings, Rito’s home, etc.  Typically for a TV series from a smaller studio, I don’t expect to see so many backgrounds or an over utilization of artwork but XEBEC did a wonderful job in the animation and Yuichi Oka with the character designs.  I don’t know how close his designs are actually to Kentaro Yabuki and Saki Hasemi’s original manga but overall, character design and art backgrounds are well done.

Audio is featured in Japanese 2.0 with English subtitles.  Voice acting by the seiyuu are well done as Akeno Watanabe (Taruru of “Sgt. Frog”, Jo of “Burst Angel”, Chachamaru Kamakuri of “Negima”) does the voice of Rito.  Haruka Tomatsu (Mileina of “Gundam 00”, Misao of “Asura Cryin’ 2”) does the voice of Lala and Sayuri Yahagi (Chisato of “Sola”, Hanaka of “Buso Renkin”) as Haruna.  Anime is front channel driven but if you have a receiver that allows for stereo on all channels, that was my listening preference.

There is no English dub track in this DVD release of “To Love RU”.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“To Love RU- Collection 1” features Clean Opening and Closing Animation themes and Sentai Filmworks trailers.

I have never heard of “To Love RU” before but after watching the first half of the series, I can tell you that I’m hooked.  Each episode, I found myself laughing because of the crazy antics of the show.  In some ways, it is reminiscent of “Urusei Yatsura” as a character ends up engaged to an alien.  But in this case, Rito is nothing like Ataru (nor is he perverted).  But “To Love RU” has its fair share of crazy antics, fan service and yes… nudity.  Unlike Lum, Lala doesn’t know how Rito feels inside, even though family and friends know that he’s gotten himself into a mess.

For Lala, she’s not at all to familiar with Earth customs and likes to be in the buff and its those crazy antics that keep you laughing as Rito and his sister try to keep her clothed, you have a high school principal who is very perverted and then you have Rito’s classmates who never seen him as anything else but a quiet guy, now being a guy that everyone seems to be spiteful of because he is engaged to a cute alien (but also knowing he likes Haruna).

Whereas a series like “Urusei Yatsura” was further explored through many episodes, films and OVA’s, it will be interesting to see how “To Love RU” goes in the second half.  Will Rito get married to Lala?  Will he find a way to break off his engagement in order to be with the girl he really likes?

As for the DVD release, I wished there were more special features than the clean opening and closing themes and I’m sure there are fans who wish there was an English dub included.  But overall, “To Love RU” is a hilarious anime series that I just couldn’t stop watching because each episode was very enjoyable.  Each episode always had something odd and crazy that the characters are subjected to and for the most part, each episode is so crazy and so far out there, that you can’t resist finding out what each episode has in store for them.

If you are looking for a series with comedy, action and fan service, “To Love RU” is the anime series you definitely want to watch!  Recommended!

 






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