Love Hina MMF | Addendum 10.18.11

Two final reviews to serve as a nice dessert for the Manga Moveable Feast.


You thought we were done, didn’t you? So did we! But two more reviews trickled in for the Manga Moveable Feast that we just had to share. Consider them a dessert for that hearty main course you enjoyed so much over the previous week and a half.
Up first, Derek Brown of Burning Lizard Studios checks in with a review of the series. Despite calling it “complete and utter chaos,” he’s overall quite pleased with Love Hina in general and the omnibus format in particular.
“There are two things I like in manga, comedy and a straightforward romance. Love Hina provides a mixture that is just about right. While the comedy can be forced at times, and the same old joke gets recycled far too often, the romance makes it a series worth considering for fans of the genre. There is no doubt as to who the romantic couple is, and while that may not be for some, for others it provides a love story that doesn’t ask the reader to suspend their disbelief that the two could ever not be together.”
And finally, Ed Sizemore of Manga Worth Reading brings things to a close with an insightful essay titled “Love Hina: A Mirror to the Past.” Like a lot of people, Sizemore discovered Love Hina early in his anime/manga fandom and “it was love at first sight.” But after a decade as a voracious manga reader, as he revisited the series through Kodansha’s first omnibus, he found that the series just didn’t hold up.
“On page 142 of the omnibus, Akamatsu tells us it took 20 submissions and 2 editorial meetings to finally get Love Hina accepted. That’s not really hard to believe. The set up for the series feels like it was composed by a committee seeking to engineer a hit manga by including all the female stereotypes fanboys love. You have everything from the older, slightly sluttly woman (Kitsune) to the shy, unsure, younger sister (Shinobu). The main love interest is the secretly sexy librarian type. Take off those Coke-bottle glasses and frumpy clothes and you unwrapped a Playboy playmate.”
I found Sizemore’s takedown of the series to be an especially thoughtful and interesting alternate take, especially since he and I, despite widely different opinions of the series as a whole, came to basically the same conclusion. As Sizemore put it, “Akamatsu’s skill crafting likable characters that transcend their stereotypes is the real secret to his success.” I couldn’t agree more.
Thanks again to everyone who contributed to the Love Hina discussion, and I hope you enjoyed everything you read. Be sure to tune in on Monday, October 24th, for the next MMF, where Lori Henderson of Manga Xanadu hosts a feast dedicated to our favorite horror manga. | Jason Green
Click here for the complete link archive for the Love Hina Manga Moveable Feast.

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