To LOVE-Ru

To LOVE-Ru

To LOVE-Ru anime cover art featuring Lala Satalin Deviluke, Haruna Sairenji, and Rito Yuuki
To LOVE-Ru Cover Art

Overview

To LOVE-Ru is an ecchi, harem, comedy series which comes in both censored and uncensored varieties. The particular version I watched was the uncensored one, but honestly it’s not like there’s any significant difference between the two other than some conveniently (or inconveniently) placed flashes of light.

For the most part, if you’ve seen one ecchi, harem, comedy series, you’ve seen them all. However, I found the first half of season one (the season this review is looking at) to be a cut above the competition due to its use of comedy.

Comedy isn’t uncommon in ecchi, harem series, but To LOVE-Ru’s comedy was often in the form of the characters being surprisingly accepting of the crazy situations in which they found themselves, as well as simply the absurd situations themselves.

And no, I don’t simply mean your standard ecchi, harem series absurd situations. I mean situations like an alien knight being defeated by a space squid and space lobster while trying to fight off a space octopus in a classroom. These scenes in which nothing makes sense were, in my opinion, the best parts of the series.

Unfortunately, while the latter half of the series continued to have comedy centered around the characters’ reactions to the situations in which they found themselves, the situations themselves became more generic.

Obviously an ecchi, harem series is going to have all the obligatory episodes such as the beach, hot spring, pool, etc., but I don’t need episodes in which the protagonists go to an undiscovered part of the world with dinosaurs, King Kong, and an Amazoness tribe.

While that sort of episode may not necessarily be generic for this genre, although the Amazoness tribe kind of is, it’s very generic for TV series in general.

Okay, but what if you’re not watching To LOVE-Ru for the comedy? What if you’re watching it for the ecchi scenes?

From what I can tell, the later seasons of the series are much more ecchi, especially the uncensored versions, but unfortunately for you, this first season doesn’t really have much to offer in that department. I’d say that there are a decent amount of “scenes with ecchi,” but virtually no “ecchi scenes” if that makes sense.

Characters

The protagonist of the series is Rito Yuuki, your typical high school student who just so happens to accidentally get engaged to an alien princess who teleports into his bath. However, despite becoming engaged to Lala, Rito is actually in love with one of his classmates, Haruna.

I get it, Haruna is a pretty good choice, but is she really better than Lala?

Since Rito is just your average Earthling high schooler, there isn’t really anything particularly special about him. This causes Lala’s father, King Deviluke, to not approve of him, and demand he first become the “greatest man in the universe” before he can have Lala’s hand in marriage. Over the course of the second half of the season, this is Rito’s primary goal.

The female lead of the series is Lala Satalin Deviluke, the first princess of the Deviluke royal family. She initially came to Earth after running away from home and using one of her many gadgets to teleport herself to a random location, which happened to be Rito’s bath.

Speaking of her gadgets, they often explode, remove her own clothing, or remove everyone’s clothing upon use. They aren’t meant to do any of those things, but you can expect that something’s going to go wrong when she pulls one of them out of her back pocket.

Overall, Lala is a carefree girl who likes to have fun with her friends on Earth. Oh, and as a an alien from the planet Deviluke, she has a tail.

Lala Satalin Deviluke in a hot spring from the anime To LOVE-Ru
Lala in a hot spring

The other female lead is Haruna Sairenji, the girl from Rito’s class whom he has a crush on. We learn that Haruna also has a crush on Rito, but the two of them are too shy to actually tell each other how they feel. Rito thinks Haruna is out of his league, and Haruna thinks Rito loves Lala.

Next we have Golden Darkness, an alien who was sent to Earth to assassinate Rito. She’s able to turn any part of her body into a weapon, and typically either turns her forearms into blades or her hair into fists. Even after her mission to assassinate Rito is voided, she still keeps up appearances by threatening him.

There are more members of the harem, but they aren’t as important as those three, so now let’s move on to two of the male supporting characters, Zastin and Kenichi Saruyama.

Zastin is the leader of the Deviluke royal guard and serves as Lala’s advisor and bodyguard. He wears armor which resembles that of Ainz from Overlord, and wields a glowing, green sword. Although he’s a competent warrior, he’s not the smartest guy around.

Finally, Saruyama is Rito’s best friend from school. He serves as Rito’s foil character when it comes to interacting with the various girls in the series. While Rito is easily embarrassed and doesn’t want to see the girls in provocative situations, Saruyama embraces his good fortune.

Conclusion

As I mentioned, if you’re looking for a good ecchi series, from my understanding the latter seasons of To LOVE-Ru will give you what you want, but this season falls short in that regard. However, if you’re looking for a slightly above average ecchi, harem, comedy series, then this is definitely for you.

The art and animation aren’t always the best, but if you’re familiar with this genre then you should already know to expect that. In the end, To LOVE-Ru is a fairly solid 6/10. The first half of the season was better than the second, and so this score is an average across the whole thing.

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