Monday, May 8, 2017
To Love-Ru and To Love-Ru Darkness Anime Full Series Review
Adapted from the Romantic comedy Manga serialized in Shōnen Jump with the troubled history due to the disintegration of artist Kentaro Yabuki's first marriage. To Love-Ru chronicles the story of Rito Yūki and his unrequited love for shy girl next door Haruna Sairenji and his quickly growing unwanted harem including his unwanted fiancé space alien and crown princess of the planet Deviluke Lala Satalin Deviluke and a number of other girls who are won over by Rito's decent and kind nature which does not stop him from being punished severely for getting caught in accidently perverted situations. In short the first two seasons are pretty much boiler plate Harem Comedy with a blandly nice but indecisive lead and a gaggle of girls for the lead to get caught in shenanigans with. Yet the fan service in the series is so over the top that I honestly couldn't stop laughing at how ridiculous it is yet behind all the prat falls and panty shots. It's still a series with a good heart and really improves writing wise in Darkness with a bigger focus on Yami the withdrawn Assassin who grows to feel emotions and value friendship and a darkening tone as well in between the same zany episode premise. While Darkness does crank the fan service up to nearly Pornographic levels comparable to Seiji Matsuyama's infamous Eiken. contrasted with the "Frisker" elements of the series are some really good character writing with Yami's whole arc showing a softening to the taciturn former murder machine that feels subtle for a series that has it's male lead fall into the crotch of or accidently grope one of the female leads. To Love-Ru captures in sense a feel for how series in 2008 looked as opposed to Darkness which wrapped in 2015 with what would become a heavier reliance on CGI giving the series a more washed out look in Darkness and the characters and over all more plasticized look. Actual direction though improves while To Love-Ru is very often shot like a sitcom Darkness has to have an camera eye with focus on action often feeling more like a kungfu movie. In conclusion the series capture both a time capsule for Anime as a medium and the progress of a story that has a very warm heart behind it's seemingly libidinous nature. For a fan of Harem Anime this is a must watch series as it is very much a crystallization of it's best elements with out any of the faults of an cipher like male lead or girls that have no stake in loving the lead except for the reason that he is the main character. As a final note if you watch it on Crunchyroll both seasons of Darkness are censored and the last two episodes are not included. Also the OVA's are not available legally so read a Wiki to fill in the holes in who certain characters are. A classic of it's genre To Love-Ru and To Love Ru-Darkness feel earnest when need to and frisky when the mood strikes it. Never hateful but also a little kinder than you would expect it to be.