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Love Hina Vol. 1 by Ken Akamatsu (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

May 7, 2002 by  



lovehina-1

Ken Akamatsu’s hit manga series “Love Hina” arrives in the U.S. and what an enjoyable harem manga series, this one has turned out to be! “Love Hina” vol. 1 is recommended!

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© 1999 Ken Akamatsu. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Love Hina Vol. 1 (ラブ ひな)

SERIES BEGAN IN: 1999

WRITTEN & ILLUSTRATED BY: Ken Akamatsu (赤松 健)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Weekly Shonen Jump

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Tokyo Pop

RATED: OT for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: May 7, 2002

When Keitaro Urashima fails his entrance exams to get into Tokyo University for the second time, he’s officially an unemployed and uneducated slacker. To make things worse, his parents have kicked him out of his house.

Fortunately, his grandmother owns the fabulous Hinata Lodge and has agreed to take Keitaro in as caretaker. What he doesn’t know is that the lodge is actually a girl’s dorm and he’s the only guy around! Most guys would kill to live with five sexy ladies, but if Keitaro’s not careful, this job will kill him.

For mangaka Ken Akamatsu, having done well as an illustrator and winning the Weekly Shonen Magazine award twice while in college.

While Akamatsu has had hit manga series such as “A.I. Love You”, it was not until 1998 in which his manga series “Love Hina” was serialized in “Weekly Shonen Magazine” that would sell millions of copies and earning Akamatsu with the “Kodansha Manga Award” for shonen in 2001.

The manga series received an anime adaptation in 2000 and  also a three OVA release.

And now, the manga series for “Love Hina” will be released in the U.S. courtesy of Tokyo Pop.

The series begins with a flashback of Keitaro Urashima as a child, making a promise to a girl at a sand lot that if you love each other, you will go to Tokyo University and sure enough, they make a promise that they will go to Tokyo University together.

Fastforward 15 years later and Keitaro is single and also a ronin (a student who could not pass the college entrance exams) who had flunked the Tokyo University entrance exams twice.  So, his parents had kicked him out and now he has gone to stay with his grandmother who owns the Hinata House, so he can study in peace for his next Tokyo U. entrance exam.

While staying at his grandmother’s place, he goes to use the hot spring in the back.  But while inside, a naked young woman comes to sit in the hot spring with him.  Thinking that Keitaro is a girl, when she gets closer to him, she accidentally feels him and wonders what is the hard thing she had felt.  When she puts her glasses on, she screams that a peeping tom and pervert is there.

As Keitaro tries to escape and go back into the house, he encounters five young women inside the Hinata House who tell him that the house is a leased apartment complex for women and is a girls dormitory.

Shocked by this, his Aunt Haruka shows up and explains to everyone that he is the grandson of the person who owns Hinata House and none of those living inside want him there.  But when he lies to everyone and tells them he’s attending the prestigious Tokyo University, everyone welcomes him to the house.

But eventually the girls find his ID and learn that he was lying and not a Tokyo U. student but attends a cram school.  Feeling they were lied to, they want Keitaro out of the house.  But to everyone’s chagrin, a fax comes in and his Aunt Haruka announces that his grandmother has transferred ownership of the Hinata House to Keitaro.

So, now Keitaro has a reason for staying at the house and as he feels he can use the place to study, the ladies inside the house makes sure he behaves like the owner and keeps the place cleaned.  But each time he tries to be nice to the others, he ends up doing something perverted to them.

With those worried about living with Keitaro, others are starting to find out that for some reason, there is something about him that they like.

But can these young ladies of the Hinata House and Keitaro live in the same house together?

Find out in “Love Hina” Vol. 1!

“Love Hina” is a fascinating and entertaining manga series that has the making of an enjoyable harem series.

The story of a young man trying to fulfill his dream that he made to a girl when he was younger that he would attend Tokyo University, so he can be with her.  The only problem is that he’s failed the entrance exam twice and now must study and try to pass the next exam in order to get in.

But as he moves into the Hinata House, he must live with five young women who think he’s a pervert.  And each time Keitaro tries to help any of them, he ends up doing something that portrays him as a pervert.

But his goal is to pass the entrance exam while doing his ownership duties of the Hinata House, but with the other ladies feeling a bit uncomfortable of him being there, will he eventually win their respect?

The interesting thing about the series so far is how Keitaro is just a normal guy but everything he does is perceived as being lecherous.
But also the characters inside the Hinata House.While Keitaro is the primary protagonist, the secondary protagonist is Naru Narusegawa.  She is very intelligent and has placed top in the nation in the college practice entrance exams at her cram school, but at the house, as much as she tries to help Keitaro, he does something and ends up seeing her naked or gets caught up in compromising positions because of his clumsiness.  And she shows that she has a fiery temper if he crosses that line.Other characters include Mitsune “Kitsune” Konno, a 19-year-old freelance writer who is often drunk and teases Keitaro quite often; Kaolla Su, a 14-year-old transfer student from the island of Molmol and is often tan; Motoko Aoyama is a 15-year-old girl who is practicing kendo and a member of the Shinmei-ryu sword school and Shinobu Maehara, a 13-year-old girl who is shy.So, far the first volume establishes Keitaro and Naru and there is quite a bit of fan service and the crazy storylines that one is used to seeing in harem series.  Especially the banal character of innocent guy who is inexperienced and clumsy and ends up seeing the ladies naked or getting caught with them and a long list of misunderstandings.But I do like the concept of the series so far and  I look forward in reading volume 2!

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