Last time I did one of these it seemed to go over fairly well. Like last time, I’m going to look at something I liked and something I didn’t for this. And there will be spoilers, of course these are both comedic works, or trying to be in Love Hina’s case, so that might not matter to you. You may agree or disagree with me on these, but in my opinion these are some improvements that could be made to these series and they aren’t going to be in any particular order either. Let’s start with the bad one.
1. The Harem Aspect: to put it simply, the harem element is really forced. Most of these girls have no narrative reason to be interested in Keitaro. You could cut it down to a love triangle with him, Naru and Otohime and nothing of value would be lost. I know, shocking that a harem series would have contrived attractions to the main protagonist. Maybe next I’ll talk about how it would be better if the characters had personalities.
2. The Characters should have personalities: Honestly, this is part of the problem with pushing the harem aspect so much. Neither the girls nor Keitaro ever develop personalities beyond the banal since the series is more interested in watching Keitaro run around like an idiot and be physically abused by the girls for no good reason. If they’d left the bulk of the girls out of the love nonagon then they could have done something with the character personalities instead.
3. Stop with the Incest: The truly sad part is that even with all of these girls as potential love interests, the incest element didn’t need to be there. Kaolla Su didn’t need to have her significantly older brother try to marry her nor did the solution to that problem need to be him marrying his other sister. Sarah didn’t need to have a crush on her adoptive father and, if we’re including Love Hina Again, Kanako didn’t need to be Keitaro’s sister. She could have been a childhood friend who’d made a promise with him and gone overseas. The only difference would be that Keitaro would have to have another reason for turning her down besides the sibling thing and that would have required him to have at least some personality beyond the boring cliche.
4. Abuse is not Romantic or funny: I shouldn’t have to say that, but Love Hina seems to be under the impression that it’s hilarious when a woman beats a man and that a woman who beats a man must just really love him and it just serves to make the humour and romance both much worse than they had to be.
5. The Bathing Scenes do Nothing: Love Hina includes a lot of scenes of the girls taking baths and there’s really no reason for it, except the obvious cheap tactic to appeal to the straight male gaze. At most these scenes will result in a comedic abuse moment or yet another conversation about how Naru totally doesn’t like Keitaro, Ladies and if you fall for that Naru also has some pristine swampland to sell you.
Steel Angel Kurumi 2:
1. Karinka: Karinka is the third steel angel in the series. She’s not a bad character, but she really doesn’t do that much. She shows up about halfway into the series, fights with Kurumi, develops a crush on Nako and then shows up in the climax. The series really could have done more with her.
2. The yuri use of sister: I’m not going to complain about a yuri anime having one girl refer to the girl she likes as “onee-sama” or sister as it translates to, even though I find it very odd. My problem with it here is that they don’t do a good job of telling you that that’s what they’re doing when Saki refers to Kurumi like that. Instead, they kind of assume you saw the crappy first series and know it from there.
3. The fan-service: This was my big complaint when I reviewed this series. There are a bunch of scenes with the characters starkers or largely starkers, including several where Uruka gets put in some ridiculous bikini/battle bikini. The series could have used the time wasted on fan-service for better things, like giving Karinka more of a presence.
4. Less Exaggeration: Yeah, this was a slight problem with the acting for the series. There were so many exaggerated comedic lines that it got a bit grating after a while.
5. Sever the connection with the first series: Honestly, the connection between this series and the first one is pretty tenuous as is. There are just some minor allusions. That being said, it really doesn’t need that connection. They could have easily done the same thing they’ve done with Kaon & Himiko vs Chikane & Himeko (yes these are the same writers who did that), had similar characters in a completely different setting. he trouble with keeping the connection is that it makes people like me who hated the first series hesitant to try this one and it probably pisses off fans of the first to have a sequel that basically invalidates any satisfaction that they got from the original’s romance.