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To LOVE-Ru Series Review
This review will be covering the To LOVE-Ru series in its entirety.
To LOVE-Ru is often considered the best modern ecchi out there, and that’s really no surprise. It was the first anime that introduced the majority to what the ecchi genre was capable of, stepping far out of the known boundaries. You could show someone scenes from this series, and they would have no trouble considering it porn. That’s what To Love-Ru has become, it’s just porn, and if someone ever tries to convince you that this series is actually good, they’re lying out of their genitals.
To Love-Ru is not good, in fact, it’s awful. Where this series really fails is in understanding what people want to see in the ecchi genre. I’m not going to pretend I’m an anti-ecchi crusader, that’s just ridiculous. I’m human, and I have sexual desires as well, but you have to understand what works and what doesn’t, and the creators of this series really don’t get anything. To Love-Ru Darkness is my biggest concern, as it tries to create a serious story in this world where nothing serious was supposed to ever happen. Darkness has so many moments where it expects you to take it seriously, and this is absolutely ridiculous in relation to what’s been happening for the past couple of seasons. This is a show where 11 year old girls are sexualized, where animals try to have sex with little girls, where every encounter has the shitty main character falling over and grabbing the other characters inappropriately, where they sexualize teenagers getting their breasts sucked on by a baby, and where every female acts and thinks like a dog in heat. This is the epitome of a despicable show, it’s everything to avoid in the anime industry, and I am so fucking surprised no one has successfully destroyed this show in a national witch hunt.
At first, To LOVE-Ru didn’t seem that bad. It starts off being about some busty alien girl accidentally teleporting into a high school boys bathtub, and all of the semi-sexual situations that arose from that. You can still argue that the writing was awful and the characters were unbearable, but I can’t recall anything morally wrong happening at the time. The ecchi wasn’t even that extreme, in fact, in the original To LOVE-Ru, they barely (perhaps never) even showed a pair of tits. These weren’t very crazy situations, either. It was actually a pretty mild series, and there was not much to care about at the time.
It really makes you wonder what happened that made the series go from a more mild ecchi series, into the series we have today, where we see one of the female characters getting her entire body naked body licked by her dog. It’s pretty crazy, huh?
When To LOVE-Ru stopped being published by Shounen Jump and switched over to Jump SQ, the writer, Saki Hasemi realized that he could do whatever the fuck he wanted. Instead of limiting himself to something we call “morality,” he decided to go all out, turning the series into what might as well be hentai. It really makes you wonder, why the hell isn’t he just making hentai? Him and Kentarou, the artist, should just fucking write hentai. It would save us a lotta time, because then we could cut the shitty story out of the equation and get straight to why To LOVE-Ru exists, to appease the horny teenagers. Yes, that’s my biggest problem. To LOVE-Ru stopped being about mindless fun, and turned into the incredibly edgy series, To LOVE-Ru Darkness. It starts trying to tell a dark story, and that story is among the worst I’ve ever fucking seen.
This doesn’t change that To LOVE-Ru was always terribly written, boring, and just an absolute chore to watch. It doesn’t work because the original claimed to be an ecchi while in reality, it didn’t have any. I don’t think anyone wanted to watch this show for its actual quality, and instead of focusing on the ecchi, it focuses on the characters, the story, and its poor sense of humor. This makes it tough to watch, and this problem could have easily been fixed if they made it a bit more “steamy,” if you catch my drift. Imagine starting a new season of High School DxD where they don’t show tits anymore, it’s barely sexual, and their definition of “ecchi” is incredibly mild. No one would like it, in fact, it would go down in history as an absolute piece of shit. This is what the original To LOVE-Ru was, and it was not fun.
Even if To LOVE-Ru did decide to have more ecchi, it doesn’t change how unoriginal the series is. Most of the already present ecchi comes from our protagonist, Rito, tripping over himself and falling onto some girl, “coincidentally” grabbing an inappropriate part of their body. The girls then proceed to react in one of two ways, either they go “oh, do you wanna touch me more?” or go “what the hell are you doing,” and proceeds to attack. It doesn’t help that each character is a walking pair of tits, with little to no brains. Especially the main girl, Lala, who is genuinely unbearable. Sure, she’s good looking, there’s really no denying that, but she is so goddamn retarded, I swear she has some kind of mental deficiency. Everything that comes out of her mouth sounds like the stuff you’d hear out of some barely functioning A.I. who can’t even manage to have a basic conversation with you. Lala has no personality whatsoever, she just walks around making inventions that “accidentally” get her caught up in some sexual situation, and her denseness doesn’t help. She has the brain capacity of a toddler, and that’s shown by how little she is able to adapt and react to everything around her. She’ll be like “HEY RITO, TRY THIS!” and then Rito gets turned into a fucking girl or something and she’s like “OH WOOPS, I GAVE YOU THE WRONG ONE TEEHEE!”
What also bothers me about To LOVE-Ru is that each gag is drawn out for way too long. They try and cram in as much filler as possible in an attempt at reaching twenty minutes, and it fucking sucks. A lot of anime adopt multiple chapters per episode, with the intention of getting a lot of content over with quicker, but a twenty minute episode of To LOVE-Ru is a single twenty page chapter. That is unbelievable, this is pretty much how you guarantee that your anime is going to have shitty pacing.
Motto To LOVE-Ru
Motto To LOVE-Ru never fixes how stupid the characters are, how awful the story is, and how everyone acts like a dog in heat, but it does a lot of other things right.
First of all, this series is significantly more “steamy” than the previous season, which is a relief. Where Motto manages to learn from previous mistakes is how the creators try and show “more” than they did before. In the original, you’d be pretty surprised if you even saw a pair of tits once, but with Motto, seeing them is something you’ll have to get used to. This is a great start for the series, as it’s finally realizing that the only selling point is the ecchi.
However, this isn’t entirely the case, Motto also manages to improve its comedy tenfold. This series was actually kinda funny, it was never laugh out loud or clever, but there was this overarching mood with a playful, and lighthearted feeling that was easy to get around. Additionally, instead of the original where one episode was one chapter, each episode of Motto was three chapters. It only spent seven sweet minutes for each gag. This made everything very easily digestible, as the pacing didn’t feel as slow as before.
This series was actually shaping up kind of well. It still had shitty characters with no brains, but it was at least entertaining. It also managed to appease with its “steaminess,” and I was excited to see how much further the series could go.
To LOVE-Ru Darkness
Darkness was why I started watching To LOVE-Ru. It was hard not to be interested with all of the gifs and images I had seen all over the place. It looked like the epitome of “steaminess,” so when I had finally reached this series, I was pretty excited to finally see it.
Well, I wasn’t far off with what I got. Whenever something “steamy” was happening, it was really fucking “steamy.” This “steaminess” is unmatched by any other ecchi I’ve seen, and that’s the highest of praise in the “steaminess” department. However, that’s all this series gets right, as Darkness is absolutely unbearable in any other sense.
Darkness decides to get as dramatic as possible, on such a high convoluted note of bullshit that it’s actually hilarious. Does anyone actually think we care about these characters? About their backstories? About who they are? Do you really expect us to take a serious appreciation to these one dimensional bird for brained pieces of shit just by giving each and every one of them some edgy, complex backstory?
There’s a scene in Darkness S2 where a character is possessed by some demon sword, and goes to attack all of the main cast. This is a very serious sequence, and they decide to have the sword miss one of the girls by such a small margin that it cuts open her shirt, exposing her tits to everyone, so while she’s fighting, her tits are bouncing around. What the hell are we supposed to take from this? Is this supposed to be serious? Is this supposed to be funny? It fails so miserably on both fronts that it cannot be classified as either. To LOVE-Ru’s story used to exist for the sake of the ecchi, now the only reason the ecchi is there is to accompany their story, and it is perhaps the worst possible outcome for the series. You’ll be watching the creators try to write serious dialogue from a perspective we’re supposed to care about, but it’s impossible to actually take seriously when they’re still trying to cram in those ecchi sequences. I miss the lighthearted To LOVE-Ru that wasn’t trying to hard to be dark. It’s not even the good kind of edge, either. It’s like the Shadow the Hedgehog of edge, where it’s has reached such a significant level of edge that it’s laughable.
What also bothers me about Darkness is that Rito saves the girls in the most nonsensical ways possible. There’s no explanation for why Rito is able to do what he can, he just sort of does it and we’re expected to be compelled by his fantastic abilities. There’s a scene in the same episode that was mentioned earlier where Rito goes into the possessed girls conscience, destroys what’s entangling her, and manages to escape unscathed. It’s funnier when you hear how the side characters go on about how it could be “incredibly dangerous” and how he “could die.” The show doesn’t explain how he does it, he just uses brute force. This kind of thing is unbearable, and it doesn’t help that Rito’s personality is shitty, too. Do you know how annoying it is to see thirty girls cram around such a fundamentally godawful character? All I can say is that it’s incredibly obnoxious, and I can’t stand to watch this series anymore.
To LOVE-Ru provides a nice layer of steaminess, but everything else it does is unbearable. The characters are brainless dogs in heat, the series is full of awful edge, and the writing is incredibly cringe-worthy. If Darkness were lighthearted while still keeping the wild ecchi, it might’ve had the chance to be likable. However, thanks to the overwhelming attempt at creating a dark story, the series falls flat in nearly every regard.
I give the To LOVE-Ru series a 1 out of 10
What do you think of To LOVE-Ru
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