Anime Special Review: Love Hina: Spring Movie

Love Hina: Spring Movie is a television special released for the Love Hina anime franchise in Japan.

Love Hina: Spring Movie
English Publisher: Bandai Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: March 18, 2003

This special sees Keitaro, Naru, and Mutsumi taking the entrance exam for Tokyo University, and this is Keitaro’s fourth attempt at it. When he nods off during the test, Keitaro is convinced that he failed again, and he ends up taking a job on a South Pacific Island known as Pararkelse. When Naru finds out about this, she leaves to try to bring Keitaro back. In the end, the other boarders at Hinata House go to get him back as well. Keitaro encounters a girl named Nyamo who is searching for her missing grandfather.

I have to admit that when I watched this, it has been a while since I had last seen Love Hina. However, during the first twenty minutes or so, my memory was being jogged by what I was seeing on the screen. Maybe because it’s been so long since I last saw Love Hina, but I have to say the first ten minutes or so of this 50 minute special felt a little choppy.

But, this special did contain the humor that I remembered from the anime series, and I found myself laughing out loud at some of the absurdity of it. Some of the humor was also a little weird at times, such as the mechanical turtle that some of the characters ride to get to the island, but it was still enjoyable.

My biggest complaint with this special, though, is the fact that there really isn’t a definitive ending. It’s a little frustrating, since there’s an obstacle that’s mentioned right at the end of the story, but the audience never gets to see whether or not these two characters overcome this obstacle. In addition, we never get to find out a resolution to Nyamo’s storyline. Also, there’s still no resolution to the overall storyline of the franchise. I just thought there were a few too many loose ends to truly make this special as enjoyable as it could have been. For the viewer, you follow the story for about 50 minutes, but there’s no real payoff for having spent this time watching the special.

In the end, this is a special I would recommend to die-hard Love Hina fans who want to watch everything that was produced for the anime franchise. However, I’m not sure I can really recommend this to more casual fans of the franchise. Yes, there is some progression for Keitaro and Naru, but that’s about the only thing this special is worth watching for.

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