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Friday, December 19, 2008

Love Hina (ラブひな Rabu Hina)



Cover of volume 1 of the Japanese version of Love Hina


Love Hina (ラブ ひな, Rabu Hina) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Ken Akamatsu. It was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine from October 21, 1998 through October 31, 2001 and was published in 14 tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. The series details the daily life of Keitaro Urashima as he attempts to find the girl he made a childhood promise to and enter Tokyo University. The manga is licensed for an English language release in North America and the United Kingdom by Tokyopop and in Singapore by Chuang Yi.

A twenty-four episode anime adaptation of the anime series, produced by Xebec, aired in Japan from April 19, 2000 to September 27, 2000. It was followed by a bonus DVD episode, two television specials, and a three episode original video animation (OVA) entitled Love Hina Again. The anime series, special, and OVA were licensed for release in North America by Bandai Entertainment. In July 2007, the license was acquired by Funimation Entertainment, who will be re-releasing the series and movies using Bandai's original English language dubbing and subtitles.

Two novelizations of Love Hina, written by two anime series screenwriters, were also released in Japan. Both novels have been released in North America by Tokyopop.


PLOT

The story is a shōnen comedy that takes place in the Kanagawa Prefecture, and centers on Keitaro Urashima, in his attempts to fulfill a childhood promise that he made with a girl to enter Tokyo University together. However, he has forgotten the name of the girl and hopes to be accepted into Tokyo university in order to find her. Although he has already failed the entrance exam twice, He becomes manager of the family owned Hinata House (日向荘, Hinata Sō, also known as Hinata Apartments) which is now an all girls dorm, and must balance his new responsibilities with his attempts to pass the university entrance exam and find the girl he made the promise with.

Being an all girls dorm, there is initially some strong objection to Keitaro becoming the manager and he is disliked initially by most of the residents, however he eventually wins their respect and eventual affection. However, Keitaro is often involved in misunderstandings and is often physically and mentally punished for comedic effect. Keitaro's primary (and usually exclusive) interest is in Naru Narusegawa, though all the other girls have different sorts of affections for him (including close friend, a playmate, and non-threatening crush object). Keitaro and Naru's relationship is complicated by their own mistakes and misunderstandings, the other residents and daily events.


CHARACTERS

NB : Where ages are quoted these are the ages at the time the character appears in the story – the story moves through a year fairly quickly so ages change quickly. Some characters are the same age in both the anime and manga, and some are a year older in the anime.

~ Keitaro Urashima (浦島 景太郎, Urashima Keitarō) is a 19-year-old cram-school student trying to get into Tokyo University in order to fulfill a childhood promise he made to a girl 15 years ago. After being kicked out of home by his parents for failing his second attempt to pass the entrance exam, his grandmother grants him ownership of Hinata Inn. He becomes study partners with Naru Narusegawa and must balance his studies as well as the running of the Inn and dealing with the other residents. Keitaro is clumsy and is initially disliked by many of the residents, but is able to improve his relationship with each of them. In the anime, Keitaro was voiced by Yūji Ueda in the Japanese version and Derek Stephen Prince in the English version.

~ Naru Narusegawa (成瀬川 なる, Narusegawa Naru) is a 17-year-old resident of the Hinata Inn, and like Keitaro, is studying to enter Tokyo University. Although she initially dislikes Keitaro, she becomes his study partner so they can both be accepted. Naru was first in the country on the practice exams, however she fails her first real exam. In the anime, Naru was voiced by Yui Horie in the Japanese version and Dorothy Elias-Fahn in the English version.

~ Mutsumi Otohime (乙姫 むつみ, Otohime Mutsumi) is a 21-year-old student who lives in Okinawa. Like Keitaro, she has failed the Tokyo University entrance exams on several occasions. Mutsumi has a love of watermelons and turtles and is clumsy, frail, and often faints suddenly. Mutsumi meets Naru and Keitaro during their trip to Kyoto, and gives them as a present before they leave. Later, she travels to Tokyo and joins them as a study partner. In the anime, Mutsumi was voiced by Satsuki Yukino in the Japanese version and Julie Ann Taylor in the English version.

~ Shinobu Maehara (前原 しのぶ, Maehara Shinobu) is a 12-year old middle school student who is very shy. She loves to clean and cook and takes care of most of the chores around the Hinata Inn. Despite a bad and embarrassing first start with Keitaro, she develops a crush on him, calling him "sempai" as a sign of her admiration and respect. Unlike the other girls of the Hinata Inn, Shinobu is not prone to hitting Keitarō; instead, she gets emotional and cries, which makes Keitarō feel guilty. In the anime, Shinobu was voiced by Masayo Kurata in the Japanese version and Bridget Hoffman in the English version.

~ Motoko Aoyama (青山 素子, Aoyama Motoko) is a 15-year-old high school girl who is descended from a family of Kendo experts. Motoko is very serious and takes an instant dislike to Keitaro, often attacking him with a wooden sword or katana. She is at first uncomfortable with her femininity, partially because her sister left her sword for a husband, partially because of her height: she is the tallest person in the house, 4 cm taller than Keitaro. Motoko also has an irrational fear of turtles. In the anime, Motoko is voiced by Yū Asakawa in the Japanese version and Mona Marshall in the English version.

~ Kaolla Su (カオラ スゥ, Kaora Sū) is a 13-year-old foreign transfer student, and princess of her home island. Su is hyperactive and often treats Keitaro as a plaything. Although she is young, she has an in-depth knowledge of creating gadgets and weapons. Su has an older sister and an older brother, and during a red moon transforms into an adult version of herself. In the anime, Su is voiced Reiko Takagi in the Japanese version and Wendee Lee in the English version.

~ Mitsune Konno (紺野 みつね, Konno Mitsune), also known as Kitsune (キツネ, Kitsune), is a 19-year-old freelancer who speaks with a Kansei dialect, and is often known by her nickname "Kitsune" (literally "fox"). Mitsune was a school friend of Naru's and often interferes in Naru's and Keitaro's relationship. She is often drunk, bets on horse races, and enjoys teasing Keitaro. In the anime, Mitsune was voiced by Junko Noda in the Japanese version and by Barbara Goodson in the English version.


PRODUCTION

Production on the manga began at least six months before the start of serialization. Parts of Hinata Inn and other locations used were inspired by real life locations.

Initial character designs went through several revisions before being settled upon, with several characters undergoing complete redesigns and name changes. For example, the character Naru was named Midori, and she was supposed to fall through a hole in the floor naked, bump her head on Keitaro and lose her memory. This scenario was changed to happen to Mutsumi. Naru's name was changed many times before the author settled on Naru Narusegawa, and her final design is similar to Saati Namba from A.I. Love You. Kitsune's money-grubbing nature and her older, jaded, and more mature personality were originally slated to be used for Kaolla Su. Shinobu Maehara's nature was settled on from the beginning of the series, however her physical appearance and age was extensively redesigned as the series concept was shaped. In her early design, Shinobu had a similar appearance to Forty Namba from A.I. Love You.

During the run of the manga, a library of set backgrounds, called "banked images", were used to make production easier.


MEDIA

~ Manga
The 118 individual chapters of Love Hina were originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine, premiering in the October 21, 1998 issue and running weekly until its conclusion in the October 31, 2001 issue. The chapters were collected and published in 14 tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. The manga was also later released in a partially colored format known as "Iro Hina version" (literally "Color Hina version") at an increased price.

The series is licensed for an English language release in North America and the United Kingdom by Tokyopop, which released the 14 volumes between May 7, 2002 and September 16, 2003. It is also licensed for an English language release in Singapore by Chuang Yi and for regional language releases in France and Québec by Pika Édition, in Spain by Glénat, in Singapore by Chuang Yi, in Brazil by Editora JBC, in Mexico by Grupo Editorial Vid, in Poland by Waneko, in Greece by Compupress, in Germany in German, and in Sweden and Norway by Egmont Manga & Anime.

Kodansha had also published a bilingual (English and Japanese) edition under the Kodansha Bilingual Comics label. English texts were translated by Giles Murray. Eight volumes were produced under the bilingual format.The bilingual version ceased publishing in 2001.

~ Anime
The TV series ran for 24 episodes from April 19, 2000 to September 27, 2000 on TV Tokyo. After the TV run finished, a bonus 25th episode was released on DVD. In Japan, "Love Hina Final Selection" was relased, containing a summary of the series and "Love Live Hina", a live concert including all of the female seiyū who participated in the successful run of the series. Due to the success of the series several specials were made for Christmas and Spring, and eventually the final three part OVA series called Love Hina Again. The TV series, movies and OVA were all directed by Yoshiaki Iwasaki and animated by Xebec with character designs by Makoto Uno and Meiju Maeda (for Love Hina Again) and scripts mainly written by Sho Aikawa.

The anime was later used as the source for a Films comic, Love Hina Anime Comic, which told the anime story in comic form using stills from the show as the comic panels. The TV series and the Christmas and Spring specials were included. Like the manga, the film comic also contains production info.

~ OVA
Love Hina Again (ラブひなAgain, Rabu Hina Agēn) is a three episode OVA that takes place after Love Hina: Spring Special.

Keitaro Urashima has been accepted into the University of Tokyo and his adopted sister, Kanako Urashima, becomes the new manager of Hinata Inn. The denizens are not pleased with Kanako's rather intrusive and sneaky methods and wish for Keitaro's return. When he does reappear, however, Kanako reveals that he had made a promise with her to go to the annex so that they can be together forever. Though Keitaro thinks of her only as a sister, she does not see him as a brother; her goal is to win his love. (In anime, fictional adopted sister relationships are dramatic or humor fodder and generally not treated as incest.) Naru and Keitaro are nearly torn apart by her efforts, but manage to win out in the end by destroying the cursed Hinata annex, following which Naru finally declares her true feelings for Keitaro in front of the other girls.

~ Light Novel
Two novels have been written by the anime screenwriters and illustrated by Ken Akamatsu as side stories of the main series. Love Hina: Mystery Guests at Hinata Hotel (ラブひな―混浴厳禁‐ひなた旅館へようこそ!, Love Hina: Mystery Guests at Hinata Hotel?), written by Shō Aikawa under the pen name "Kurō Hazuki", was published in Japan in a bilingual edition (English and Japanese) by Kodansha in February 2002. On April 11, 2006, Tokyopop published an English translation in North America under the title Love Hina: The Novel, Volume 1. The second novel, Love Hina: Secrets at Hinata Hotel (ラブひな―混浴厳禁 ひなた荘のヒミツ, Love Hina: Secrets at Hinata Hotel?), by Hiroyuki Kawasaki, was released in Japan in Japanese in May 2001 and in a bilingual edition on December 2001. It was released in English in North America as Love Hina: The Novel, Volume 2 on August 8, 2006.

~ Reference Books
Two reference books for the manga series have been released for fans of the series: Love Hina 0 and Love Hina Mugendai (also known as "infinity" or "∞"). 0 contains character profiles, interviews and production info as well as other supproting materials for the first seven volumes of the manga and Mugendai contains character profiles, a timeline, artwork interviews and production info. A large section is dedicated to early production sketches and handwritten development notes.

Two reference books have also been released for the anime series, Ani-Hina Ver.1 and Ani-Hina Ver.2. Each book contains character profiles, episode summaries, production sketches and details as well as interviews and infomation on the seiyū (voice actors); each covers half of the anime series.

~ Video Games
The series has seen several video games released across several platforms. The Game Boy Color received "Love Hina Pocket" on August 8, 2000, and "Love Hina Party" on January 26, 2001. The Game Boy Advance received "Love Hina Advance" on September 07, 2001. The Dreamcast received "Love Hina: Totsuzen no Engeji Happening" on September 28, 2000 and "Love Hina: Smile Again" on March 29, 2001. The Playstation received "Love Hina 1: Ai wa Kotoba no Naka ni" on September 28, 2000 and "Love Hina 2: Kotoba wa Konayuki no Yō ni" on November 30, 2000. The Playstation 2 received "Love Hina: Gojasu Chiratto Happening" on March 22, 2003.

~ Albums
There have been several Love Hina soundtracks released. "Love Hina Original Sound File" was released on September 21, 2000 and contains all of the background music for the series as well as many vocal songs. "Love Hina — Winter Special Soundtrack" was released on January 24, 2001 and was followed by "Love Hina — Spring Special Soundtrack" on June 6, 2001. "Love Hina Again Soundtrack" was released on April 3, 2002. There were also several other albums. Two collections of vocal songs were released, Love Hina - Hinata Girls Song Best released on March 16, 2001 and Love Hina - Hinata Girls Song Best 2 released on October 3, 2001.


RECEPTION

Love Hina won the Kodansha Manga Award for best shōnen title in 2001. It was selected as the "Best Manga, USA Release" at both the 2002 and 2004 Anime Expo conventions. In 2003, the title was among the top ten graphic novels on Nielsen BookScan's list and one of the the first graphic novels to ever appear in the general trade paperback list.

The series was well received by critics. Tony Chen, of Anime News Network (ANN), found it to be a funny series, though inappropriate for readers under 16 due to the number of jokes involving sexual innuendo. He praised the beautiful artwork, feeling the "sexy and cute" female designs were perfect for the series and that Keitaro's design fit his dorky personality. Chen found Naru's regularly catching Keitaro making a mistake and calling him a pervert redundant and annoying.

ANN's Bamboo Dong praised the anime adaptation for being very intriguing and mixing "drama, romance, and slapstick comedy in a pleasing combination". She found the music "incredibly cute" and felt it was used in a way which contributed to many of the dramatic effects in the anime. In The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917, Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy felt the female characters were a "standard rack of female anime archetypes" and that the series as a whole was a "culmination of a decade of geek-centered anime". Chris Beveridge, of AnimeOnDVD.com, noted the first anime DVD volume was "really well put together", but also felt the manga did not translate into a anime series particularly well. He praised the Christmas special, noting that it was "several notches above the TV series" but found that while the Spring Special had amusing moments, it was rushed with bad plotting.

The Love Hina Again OVA received more mixed reviews, with ANN's Zac Berthschy feeling it reversed part of the plot of the main anime series and never reached the same entertainment level as the television series. The character of Kanako, Keitaro's sister, was heavily criticized for being "one of the most annoying characters ever created even though she would have been better for Keitaro than Naru." Beveridge praised the fun and comedy as well as the fan service, but also noted that ones enjoyment would depend on whether they still cared for the characters.

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Hina

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Ferdy Hendrawan [Administrator of this Blog]

Seorang self-employed lulusan Teknik Elektro Universitas Brawijaya yang kini mendalami dunia trading market dan juga dunia per-Blogger-an. Kunjungi juga blog saya yang baru di Fair_De's Corner


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3 comments:

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  3. @kellybrook & femdon slave stories
    Mohon maaf, komentar Anda berdua dihapus karena merupakan tindakan promosi (dan topik terlarang) yang tidak ada hubungannya dengan postingan di atas..

    Thx..

    ReplyDelete

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