Love Hina Manga Special (for the Negima! Chapter 300 Celebration)

ラブひな
Love Hina Manga Special

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Shinobu, Motoko, Kitsune, and Su are in the outdoor bath (onsen) when Kitsune decides to tell how in the 80’s in Japan, a relationship went from A to B to C to D. With “A” being kissing and “B” being groping, Kitsune doesn’t get to fully expound on “C” as Shinobu, chased by Su, flees. Motoko isn’t to happy with Kitsune’s actions as Shinobu reflects on Kitsune’s words and how her senpai are always talking about “A’s” and “B’s.”

Meanwhile, Keitaro comes home with a “C” on his latest mock exam and wishing he could get a B. He’s greeted by Shinobu who asks him if he’s reaches “A” before. Keitaro thinks she’s talking about grades and says that he’s had about twenty “C’s.” Shinobu asks if this was with Naru-senpai and is a bit relieved when she hears that Naru is usually “A’s.” However, when Keitaro mentions that Naru once scored a “B,” Shinobu flees and encounters Naru, calling her disgusting.

Naru is ticked because she’s sure Keitaro has done something as Keitaro comes running in to catch Shinobu. He runs into Naru and accidentally lip-mashes with her (A), accidentally grabs Naru’s breast (B), gets smashed (C?), and then takes a beating from Motoko (“D”eath). After the misunderstandings are cleared up, Naru tells Keitaro to hurry and get an “A” on the trial exams and implies that he’ll get to “A” with her. This causes quite the stir amongst the other residents.

Love Hina Manga Special
Thoughts/Review:

Reading this special omake chapter, I am reminded that I need to finish rereading Love Hina for the old blog. ^_^

On the disappointing front, there was no Mutsumi love here. However, since this little chapter come from around volume 5 in the manga, Mutsumi had not yet returned to the story so it is understandable. There’s no Sarah, Seta, nor Haruka either but with six pages, that’s also understandable.

I had hoped that the new Love Hina story would either take place during the time before Naru and Keitaro got married but after they were at university OR it would take place after they were married and the others came by for a visit. Alas, that was not the case but in the end, that’s OK.

For the good, the core characters are all here (Keitaro, Naru, Shinobu, Motoko, Kitsune, Su, and even Tama-chan) and the standard occurrences happen — Kitsune starts trouble, Shinobu misunderstands, Naru gets ticked because she misunderstands, Keitaro stumbles into her which includes a breast grab, Naru punches Keitaro into the sky, and Motoko comes in for the kill. *lol* I think this may be a first for a disclaimer on Motoko’s attacking Keitaro though.

Oh, and lest I forget, there’s the ever-famous Hinata-sou onsen for the girls to bathe in. ^_^;

The new element was the accidental kiss between Keitaro and Naru. Timeline-wise, this would mark the second kiss between Naru and Keitaro. The first happened when they were stranded on the barrier island with Sarah, and that happened just a little prior to this omake. It is possible that this story takes place after the kissing story in the manga.

While the characters are all easily recognizable, one can see how Akamatsu-sensei’s character designs have changed somewhat since Love Hina was last published (and certainly since the volume 5 was published). When Love Hina was first published, Naru often resembled Sati (30) at times. She doesn’t now, though I suspect that if Akamatsu-sensei did an A.I. Love You omake today, Sati and the others would have an even more radical feel to the change in character designs while still being recognizable. At that point, Sati and Naru would probably have some semblances again.

While short, I have to say that I loved going back to the world of Love Hina, even if for only a short spell. Akamatsu-sensei shows himself to be a master of his craft in the placement of this story as well as the content to achieve the maximum number of fan desires, even if he couldn’t do them all.

I wonder if Del Rey would be able to license this? I did ask them about this and they won’t know until late 2011 or early 2012 on how the licensing of this Love Hina chapter will work out. If they do get to license it, I sure hope they do it in full color, even if some sort of limited edition release of volume 33, which will contain the 300th chapter of Negima!

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8 Responses to “Love Hina Manga Special (for the Negima! Chapter 300 Celebration)”

  1. “On the disappointing front, there was no Mutsumi love here.” Hum…

    No Kanako… No party! xD

  2. Ransom says:

    I loved seeing those guys after such a long time. Without doubt Love Hina is the best harem manga ever. The rest of them just strugle to be as awesome as LH. There a very few that can actually reach the same level (Although none that I remember right now :D)

  3. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Jesús — I never liked Kanako that much so no love from me for her either. *lol*

    @Ransom — I rather enjoyed Ai Yori Aoshi, though it did get a might too nudity happy for my tastes (it is a seinen, harem title). ^_^;

  4. arimareiji says:

    @ANB: Disgusting? :-\ I thought she just called her ecchi… Eh, well.
    Either way, I love Shinobu – but double-standard much? Keitaro gets 20 C’s, and Naru’s ecchi for getting one B…

    On the Mutsumi front, I couldn’t agree more. But I’m prejudiced, ’cause I still think Mutsumi was the real promise girl and lied about it so Naru and Keitaro could be happy.

    @Ransom: Neh… my vote would be for Negima. I know, I know, it’s actually a semi-official fighting manga, but until Negi stops being a literal magnet for half-/naked girls who are in love with him, it’s a harem in my book. Probably still will be even when he finally hooks up with Shin- er, I mean Nodoka. (^_~)

  5. It was nice seeing the LH gang again. It has been seven years this month since the manga’s run in America concluded. The new chapter was short but sweet, and had everything that made Love Hina what it was. It was also nice seeing how much Akamatsu-sensei’s artwork has improved over the years. And O_O at Motoko and Kitsune. Like everyone else, I missed seeing Mutsumi, though at this particular point in the story (August 1999) she was back home in Okinawa.

    @ANB — I liked Kanako. :p Also, AYA is great (both the anime and manga). I wouldn’t call it a true harem series though, since Kaoru and Aoi are a couple from the get-go and are trying to keep it secret. Maybe “quasi-harem” would be a better descriptor?

    @arimareiji — Looks like I’m not the only one who doesn’t consider Keitaro/Naru their OTP. I’m partial to Kei/Motoko myself, though Kei/Mutsumi is nice too. Naru was way too tsun-tsun, veering right into domestic abuse of Keitaro. Sure, it was always played for laughs (and Kei is a classic Iron Buttmonkey), but there are limits to what’s acceptable. He took so much abuse and never complained. Naru never once apologized. Even Motoko apologized for her mistreatment of Kei. And of course Mutsumi was always a sweet dojikko girl, so that already puts her ahead of Naru in my book. I don’t think Naru’s a bad person per se and she genuinely loves Keitaro, but the girl’s got some major anger management issues.

  6. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @arimareiji — I didn’t verify against the original Japanese and just went with what AQS said. ^_^;;;

    @Shadow — Certainly, there was no doubt as to whom Kaoru would end up with but he did live in a house full of babes who all fell in love with him to one degree or other. ^_^ Technically, a harem but I know what you mean. ^_^

  7. arimareiji says:

    @Shadow: Ditto on Naru – there’s tsuntsun, and then there’s behavior that would be a massive DudeNotFunny if a guy were doing it. I’ve heard the quandary Akamatsu-sensei got himself into described as “For romantic tension, you need to 1) give the main love interest a flaw and 2) create a second love interest without that flaw to make the audience wonder whether the second love interest would be better after all. Trouble is, Naru’s temper and violence get played up so much that the audience stops wondering.”

    And to me, the ultimate proof of that is the presence of a healthy Keitaro/Motoko fandom. Naru makes Motoko look gentle by comparison? Motoko, who tries on several occasions to kill Keitaro? Sensei, you really overdid it.

    (Don’t get me wrong, I agree that by the end that comparison is indeed true. Motoko grows as a character, while Naru never really does.)

    @ANB: Sorry for unintentionally inferring that the scanlators’ word choice was your fault – I knew it wasn’t, I was just startled that was the word chosen. Then when I went and read the scanlation myself, I was really startled that a group like AQS would have made that word choice.

    I was curious and thought it’d be a long time before it got translated, so I peeked at the raw when it came out. What Shinobu actually said was “Naru-senpai no ecchiiiii!” – なる先輩のえっち〜〜〜〜っ!

  8. […] mentioned in my Love Hina Manga Special review on how Akamatsu-sensei’s character designs have progressed. That certainly comes through here […]

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