The seasons might have changed, but things remain the same. Keitaro, Naru and Mutsumi valiantly continue their efforts to achieve acceptance in the exclusive Toudai. Despite their efforts, they find it hard to resist the atmosphere that Christmas breeds, and that is an atmosphere for love. Setting their scholastic aspirations aside, Keitaro and Naru attempt to keep a time-honored tradition of confessing one’s love during the holiday season.
summary by Kain
Highs: Concentrates more on the progressing love story; same qualities as the television series
Lows: All that running around and little was accomplished
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Words to live by, and the Love Hina Christmas Special does just that, for better and for worse. Mostly for the better.
After finishing Love Hina, I knew the next, logical step would be to close the chapter of this story with either an OVA or a movie. A few things were revealed and some relationships made some headway, but nothing really dramatic came out of it all. I was hoping for some closure, but I guess that is why the next two OVA series, the Spring Special and Love Hina Again, were created. Feeling like the middle child in the family doesn’t make it any less entertaining.
One of the more welcome changes was the fact that Keitaro and Naru are finally allowed to express their feelings for each other a little more openly. Yes, she still thinks he has ecchi tendencies and doubts his ability to get accepted into Toudai, but one walks away with the idea that some bridges that really needed to be burned finally are. Another bonus is the concentration on Shinobu’s crush on Keitaro; her character and plight were oft relegated to the back burner during Love Hina, which truly was a shame. It’s good to see the spotlight get taken off the more prominent characters for a change.
After everything was said and done, I didn’t find much at fault with this OVA, just as I had with its television counterpart. All this does is make me wait even more in anticipation for the continuing escapades of the residents of Hinata Sou.
Highs: Heartwarming Christmas love story with characters we know and love
Lows: Jumpy plot; jam-packed with irrelevant events
Although Love Hina does a commendable job of balancing comedy and romance, I always found myself much more intrigued by the romance aspect of the series than the occasionally out-of-place, slapstick humor. Fortunately for all of us who feel this way, Love Hina: Christmas Special concentrates on developing the relationships between the show’s characters. Unfortunately, there are some plot issues that prevent this good anime from being a great one.
Maybe it’s the Christmas theme, or maybe it’s because we have been waiting for so long to see the relationship between Keitaro and Naru finally take a step in some direction, but for whatever reason it may be, the ending was particularly emotional. That is not to say I am satisfied with the amount of character development in this anime, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. My biggest complaint is the plot, which is far too jumpy and is constantly shifting the focus from character to character. Considering the short length, less time should have been spent making sure every character makes a cameo appearance and more ensuring that Naru’s emotions are properly conveyed. On the technical side, things are looking and sounding as good as ever. No surprise here, but once again Horie Yui (Narusegawa Naru) and the rest of the all-star seiyuu cast give a terrific performance that is on-par with the series. The soundtrack is similar to the television series’ but with a Christmas twist and fits the mood very well.
With romance in the hot seat and humor more or less out of the picture, this OVA was tailor-made for those who would have preferred the series without Keitaro being punched into the sky every episode. Albeit the actual amount of plot development is barely adequate for an anime such as this one, it is great for Love Hina standards and cannot be missed by fans of the television series.