This week on Shoujo Saturday I’m covering the first Romance Comedy Manga series that I ever read. It’s Love Hina by Ken Akamatsu.
Plot Synopsis: The story is a shōnen comedy that takes place in the Kanagawa Prefecture, and centers on Keitaro Urashima and 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 he made the promise to and hopes to be accepted into Tokyo University in order to find her. Having failed the entrance exam twice and with his parents no longer willing to support him, he goes to stay at his grandmother’s hotel, only to find that it has been converted into a female-only apartment. The tenants are about to kick him out when his aunt appears and announces that his grandmother has given him the title to the apartments. Much to their dismay Keitaro becomes the new manager of the family-owned girls’ dorm Hinata House (日向荘 Hinata Sō, also known as Hinata Apartments) and must now balance his new responsibilities in addition to studying for the university entrance exam.
Plot: The plot is fairly decent, but the focus on Rom-com elements does overshadow most of the early chapters. It does get better in terms of sticking to the plot, but I won’t say that this is even as good as Nisekoi in terms of plot progression. It isn’t a terrible plot however, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as my best friend did when we were first reading it.
Characters: Keitaro is pretty clumsy, which leads to most of the Rom-com schticks, but the rest of the cast of characters are all very interesting. I do enjoy all of them, but Naru is probably my favorite, because she doesn’t put up with Keitaro’s antics at all.
Artwork: This is a shōnen series, so it’s got the distinct outlines and not so big eyes for the characters. It also has quite a bit of fanservice, something that turned me and many others off. That isn’t to say the art is bad, it’s not at all, it just isn’t for everyone.
Overall: A decent entry series for those who have never read Rom-com series before, but not a must read.
For those who like: Romance, Romance-Comedy, Drama, Great Cast of Characters, Decent Plot.
Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or an over abundance of fanservice.