This week I’m talking about the sequel OVA to Love Hina, Love Hina Again. But first,let’s go over what happened previously in Love Hina. Blandon is a loser who consistently fails his university entrance exams. He fled his parents’ house where they wanted him to get a job and make something of himself to be the building manager of his grandmother’s girl dorms. Where he was abused by virtually every dull and insipid inhabitant of the building. Being a masochist with a poor idea of what a healthy relationship looks like, he fell for the girl who beat him most often, Narusegawa. After stammering around with the blindingly obvious, Blandon, Narusegawa and Otohime learned the partial truth about their past together at the Hina building but only after having it spelled out for them. And somewhere along the line a twenty five year old wanted to marry his thirteen year old sister but settled for his other sister who was basically his own age. So let’s look at the sequel and see if the romance actually improves. It wouldn’t be hard to do better than the first series, but I’m guessing it probably doesn’t and that this is going to be painful.
We open with Blandon, Naru and Otohime on the Tokyo U campus, because they all managed to pass the entrance exam. And it only took Blandon and Otohime three tries. Blandon gets his leg broken by his main love interest. Her abusive ways are even worse when we see actual consequences beyond him flying into the distance and coming back without a scratch. Especially since they still treat it as not a big deal. With his leg broken, Blandon misses a bunch of classes. Which makes no sense. A broken leg may hurt and make it harder to get around, but this is set in Japan. They have reliable public transit. It’s not like he can’t reach his lectures and do his course work. It might make sense if they were treating the abuse situation even semi-realistically and he was afraid of being around Narusegawa, but that isn’t the case. It’s played up as him having to skip the classes because he couldn’t possibly take the bus or something with a busted leg. Except that he could, easily, and he’s just being a dumbass. While he recovers, he misses so much of his classes that he decides to postpone starting until next semester and he goes off with Seta to do archaeological digs. While he’s gone, his younger sister, Kanako, shows up at the Hinata apartments and tries to drive the other girls away so that she can have him for herself. Yes, that means exactly what it sounds like. But it’s okay because they aren’t blood related. They’ve just been raised as siblings since they were really little kids. I’m sure that’s not an insulting attitude towards people who were adopted at all. When Blandon returns his sister goes after him with gusto and Naru finds herself having to confront her true feelings so that she can continue to be sociopathic towards him.
So, this series features the same problem with incest that the first had, except that it’s even worse in this one since the Blandon, Naru & Kanako love triangle is the major conflict which results in it being more prevalent of an element. The romance is still highly abusive and we’re still supposed to support the most abusive girl. The first series’ one redeeming factor was that roughly 30% of the comedy worked. In this series, they took that number down to zero. The narrative arc itself is really stupid and predictable, with the ending we all knew was going to happen when we’d gotten a few episodes into the first series.
Our cast is just as banal and one-dimensional as they were in the initial series. The only new additions are Kanako and her flying cat. Shockingly, she’s an archetype with no real personality. She’s pretty much defined by her brother complex. Her cat is more of a prop than a character. It can talk, but never has anything useful or interesting to say. Its few lines are basically used to exposit about how much she’s into her brother. Because they still assume that the audience needs everything spelled out for them. The characters are still obnoxiously thick and slow on the uptake. On the positive side, this series is much shorter so they can’t have them flail about nearly as much as they did in the first series.
The artwork is improved a little bit with the characters looking more detailed and the backgrounds being a bit better. Of course, they still have a real problem with fan-service. They have a short montage scene of Kanako trying to seduce her brother by putting herself in compromising positions behind every door he opens. We also get an up-skirt shot of one of the junior high girls, because class is something for other people.
The sound remains the strong suit of the series. We’ve got the same group of talented actors giving a more mediocre performance than you’re probably used to, but still one that lets you hear that they are skilled. They’re joined by Kuwatani Natsuko as Kanako and her performance is on par with the others. You can tell that she’s good at what she does, in spite of her not having anything to work with. The music is pretty decent. Although it’s certainly not as strong as it was in the first series.
Love Hina Again does throw in some “lesbians are hot” scenes. There’s one involving Motoko, an alleyway and blatant molestation and another involving Kitsune on the couch and blatant molestation. Kaolla Su also cuddles up to Shinobu for one scene.
Love Hina Again is actually worse than the first series. It features higher levels of incest, no funny jokes, more unlikeable characters, weaker music and slightly improved art. In every aspect that really matters, it fails miserably. My final rating is going to be a 1.5/10. Next week I’ll look at Ginga Ojou-sama Densetsu Yuna: Kanashimi no Siren.