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To Love RU – Collection 2 (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

February 7, 2010 by  



If you thought the first volume of “To Love RU” was crazy, volume 2 goes even further in hijinks, craziness, fan service and perverted humor!  A satisfying conclusion to the crazy, sci-fi harem anime series!

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

DVD TITLE: To Love RU – Collection 2

DURATION: Episode 14-26 (325 Minutes)

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

COMPANY: Sentai Filmworks

RATED: Unrated (Contains Violence & Brief Nudity)

Release Date: February 16, 2010

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

As if being accidentally engaged to a demon-like alien princess while attending high school and still making points with the girl he really likes wasn’t enough to keep Rito on the edge of insanity, he’s now stuck with an more dangerous challenge: living up to the expectations of Lala’s devil-like father, King Deviluke!

If that’s not bad enough, the girl Run (aka, sometimes, the guy Ren) decides to make her move on Rito, the school is overflowing with even more not-so-well disguised ghosts and aliens (some of whom need an education on how to emphasize their feminine side), somebody lets word slip that Lala is actually an alien princess, and to cap it all off there’s a trip to the waterpark – plus the obligatory hot springs episode! Love isn’t a battlefield… it’s the War of the Worlds!

Contains episodes 14-26.

If you thought the first volume of “To Love RU” was crazy, volume 2 goes even further in hijinks, craziness and pervertedness!  An awesome conclusion to the sci-fi harem anime series!

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 and now a second volume with the final 13 episodes of the series.

“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.  A teenage boy who has always loved his classmate Haruna Sairenji.  But somehow due to unusual circumstances, by trying to save a girl named Lala (who happens to be an alien princess) and now Lala believes that Rito is in love with her and because Rito has proposed to her in Deviluke tradition (grabbing the woman’s breast and telling her that he loves her), they are now officially engaged.

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?  Rito has been trying to find ways to have the marriage dissolved but finds himself getting deeper and deeper in trouble that even Lala’s father, King Deviluke expects him to marry or else Earth will be destroyed.

Now Rito finds himself caring for both Haruna and Lala but what is this young teenager going to do?

“To Love RU” features the following main characters:

Rito Yuuki – A teenager who is deeply in love with Haruna Sairenji.  Not a popular guy at his high school and quite shy until he meets Lala.  After saving Lala and squeezing her breasts, now he is officially engaged to her.  Now Rito wants nothing but to get out of this engagement but finds himself caring for both Haruna and Lala.  Hangs out with his buddy Saruyama.

Lala Satalin Deviluke – The Princess of Deviluke who ran away from home (left her planet) because she did not want to marry any of the men that her father has chosen for her to marry but when she sees Rito fighting and defending her, she falls in love with him and after he grabs her breast, by Deviluke customs, she becomes engaged to him and moves in with him.  She is complete oblivious to the fact that Rito cares about Haruna.  Lala tends to not know about Earth’s customs and gets herself in trouble when she takes off her clothes off.  She also is an inventor but her inventions tend to not work the way she wants at times.

Haruna Sairenji – Rito’s classmate who cares about Rito but keeps her emotions to herself due to Rito’s engagement with Lala.  She cares for him and knows that he cares for her.

Golden Darkness – An assassin hired by one of Lala’s suitors to kill Rito but somehow doesn’t feel like doing it for now.

Peke – Lala’s robot who can change to a weapon or the clothes that she wears.  He tends to be the voice of reason when Lala is confused.

Ryoko Mikado – The school doctor of Sainan High School who also worked for a black market extraterrestrial organization.  She uses her medical skills to help the students at the school but also aliens.  Likes to wear slinky clothing and sometimes no clothing at all.

Gid Lucion Deviluke – The King of Deviluke and emperor of the Universe.  He has the look of a young kid due to using up enormous power which has shrunken him.  But still a very powerful person in the galaxy who insists that Rito prove to him why he deserves to marry Lala or else his planet will get destroyed.

Zastin – Lala’s bodyguard and swordsman.  Lives at Rito’s place and tries to get him accustomed to Deviluke customs and traditions.

Kenichi Saruyama – Rito’s best friend who is a pervert.  Never can get a girlfriend but with his friendship to Rito, he’s having a ball with meeting his new female friends.

Yui Kotegawa – An uptight student who doesn’t like things that are unacceptable behavior and thinks Rito and Lala’s behavior towards each other is unacceptable.  Starts to have a liking towards Rito despite making him feel bad.

Risa and Mio – Risa Momioka and Mio Sawada are Haruna’s and Lala’s friends.  Risa has a tendency of groping other girls.

Mikan Yuuki – The younger sister of Rito.  She knows he got himself in deep trouble and that he cares for both Haruna and Lala and thus, tries to help him at times.

Saki Tenjouin – The popular girl at school who dislikes Lala because she is suddenly getting all the attention at school.  Her friends Rin and Aya are loyal to her and do her dirty work.

Ren/Run Elsie Jewelria – A childhood friend of Lala who changes from male to female when he/she sneezes.  As Ren, he wants to marry Lala.  As Run, she is secretly in love with Rito.

“To Love RU – Collection 2” features the final 13 episodes on two DVD’s. Here is an episode listing featuring spoiler-less summaries of each episode:

DISC 3:

  • EPISODE 14 – A Secret Between the Two of Us – Rito knows that Lala’s father is serious and that he has to prove to himself that he’s right for Lala for the sake of protecting the planet but he also finds himself getting closer to Haruna.
  • EPISODE 15 – Princess of the Jungle – Zastin accidentally reveals Lala’s secret that she is an alien.  Meanwhile, Rito, Haruna and Lala are taken back to prehistoric times by the number one hunter in the universe.
  • EPISODE 16 – Run’s Suprise Confession – Run likes Rito and tries to get his attention.  But when he gets upset with her, she decides t become a pop idol.
  • EPISODE 17 – The Ghost in the Old School Building – Rito, Lala, Risa, Mio and Haruna meet a ghost in the old school building.
  • EPISODE 18 – Saruyama, the Gift – A wolf tries to kill Lala but can’t because she’s pregnant.  Saruyama is left to tend to the pregnant alien wolf who then falls for Saruyama and wants him to be her cub’s father.  So, Lala comes up with an idea for Saruyama to be a present from Earth.
  • EPISODE 19 – Hell’s Hot Springs – Alien Girls and Colorful Exposed Bodies – Rito, Saruyama along with Lala, Haruna, Risa, Mio, Darkness and Ms. Mikado go to the hot springs in Hell.

Disc 4:

  • EPISODE 20 – Explosive Heat! Magical Girl Kyouko – An episode of Lala’s favorite anime series “Magical Girl Kyouko”.
  • EPISODE 21 – A Chronicle of Bloodshed at Yuuki Inn – Ms. Mikado asks a favor from Rito and Lala and that is to make a place hospitable for extra terrestrials to stay in.
  • EPISODE 22 – A Frightening School Festival – It’s time for the Culture Day Festival and the students prepare for it.  Meanwhile, Darkness feels she needs to make herself useful on Earth by getting a job.
  • EPISODE 23 – Saruyama’s Tales of the Inner Chambers – Saruyama envy’s how the girls are starting to look at Rito.  But Saruyama begins to have a dream of being surrounded by these young women.
  • EPISODE 24 – With Shyness – Lala is suffering from a cold and the effects are changing her personality which Rito and the others must put up with until Ms. Mikado is able to obtain her medicine.
  • EPISODE 25 – Earth’s Final Night – King Deviluke announces to Earth that the fate of their planet depends on Rito’s performance in proving why he is suitable as Lala’s fiance.
  • EPISODE 26 – La La – Rito’s friends decide to help him in winning the competition and saving the planet from destruction.

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 2” features the 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 mangaka Rumiko Takahashi’s “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.  Also, similar to another Rumiko Takahashi anime series (Ranma 1/2), the character of Ren/Run able to change genders is quite interesting and makes me wonder if series creator Kentaro Yabuki was paying homage to Takahashi’s works.

But this second volume definitely amps up the hijinks, the craziness, fan service and the perverted humor of the series.  In the second half, the other characters are featured more and are integrated into the overall storyline.  So, in some ways the episodes are stand-alone but what fun these episodes are by its crazy episodes.  From Run trying to become a pop idol, or an alien wolf falling for Saruyama or both Rito and Saruyama at the hot springs.  Crazy, perverted episodes and contains quite a bit of nudity this time around.

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.

As mentioned, there are some similarities to “Urusei Yatsura” but instead of dragging it out to over a hundred episodes, the anime series does conclude in an interesting note that works well for this series.

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

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