Love Hina as it joins the series of MMF titles discussed is in my opinion a read alike to Rumiko Takahashi’s Maison Ikkoku, but with the complexity of Ranma ½ thrown in. Keitaro Urashima is second to third year running Ronin who is trying to get into Todai (Tokyo Daigaku) aka Tokyo University. He becomes the manager of the all-female Hinata Inn. An inn where there a majority of the inhabitants ultimately thinks the worse of Keitaro, yet through episodes and time, Keitaro grows into living at Hinata. Just don’t mind all the breasts, panty shots that he founds himself in situations with.
I don’t necessary want to sum up the book’s content, but this entry is more like my personal waxing about my memories with this title. When Love Hina was released in the late 1990’s, I was in junior high to high school. I was around the same age group as Shinobu, though for a time my favorite character for this series was Haruka, since she is the most normal less emotional female in Love Hina. Getting the chance to read this re-released omnibus is a bittersweet memory for me. I am writing this post with a realization that this was my first complete exposure to the harem genre, of course at that time I didn’t realize that was the case, but ultimately it is a genre, whose target audiences are teenage guys.
Love Hina mentions purikura. Now unless you aren’t around a huge population of Asians, or you ever get to visit Japan, then ultimately you would should get exposed to sticker pictures machines. If you look at an American counter part, those photo booths are a similarity. Growing up in New York City, I do recall having some limited experiences at the not so great purikura machines. Though my memories of purikura was more cemented when I took pictures with friends in Japan. While purikura has not maintained its popularity in the United States, it is still present in Japanese arcades. They are fun activities to cement brief moments of time. 7-10 minutes to customize the images afterward though. ^_^
Kodansha USA has been releasing graphic novels, and other than Sailor Moon, to re-release Love Hina is a market move to see if the popularity of its titles success is still present. I always appreciate omnibus styles, though there are ups and downs to such an edition. For one it is pricey for another it is a shelf saver. For one sale you get three books bound into one edition. The American market reads manga years after its popularity in its native land. So to reintroduce a manga that was initially translated by the defunct Tokyopop, and a limited Kodansha bilingual release reflects the timeless of this title for a teenager. With its anime already released on DVD. Would this manga enjoyed a revival success?
If you want to read an archive of other entries in this MMF series, check out this link here.