To Love Ru
Lala’s father comes to Earth to evaluate his soon-to-be son-in-law, and finds him lacking. Thus, in order to prove his worthiness, Rito is tasked with finding some way to become the ‘greatest in the universe,’ although what exactly he’s supposed to be greatest at is entirely up to him.
In the first episode of Urusei Yatsura, a show I compared ToLoveRu to in my review of part one, an alien race called the ‘Oni,’ (Oni being a traditional evil creature in Japan, often translated as ogre or devil) come to Earth with an intention to invade. But the Oni offer Earth a way out. If one Earth representative, chosen at random, can beat the Oni princess, Lum (which is spelled in Japanese, LaMu), in a game of tag, the planet will be spared. Ataru, the chosen man wins, but due to a misunderstanding, Lum thinks that Ataru wants to marry her, and so she stays with him from then on, dragging him into endless, wacky adventures.
In the first episode of ToLoveRu, LaLa, the princess of an alien race called the Deviluke (get it? Devil = Oni), due to a misunderstanding, thought that Rito wanted to marry her, and thus lived with him from then on, dragging him into endless, wacky adventures.
You may think that that all these similarities are just a coincidence, but then the last episode of ToLoveRu comes along. King Deviluke, tired of waiting for Rito to prove himself, threatens to invade the Earth. But he gives the people of Earth a way out; if Rito, their chosen representative, can make it through an obstacle course and reach the Deviluke mother-ship, the planet will be spared.
So, To Love Ru is a shameless rip-off of Urusei Yatsura, but does that make it bad? Not necessarily. And old story, told well, can be just as entertaining. And ToLoveRu is told fairly well. This second collection is an improvement over the first. The story-lines are more fanciful and varied, even if they are based on set-ups that we’ve seen a million times before, the alien hotel and underground hot springs are particularly fun. The fan service is still present and plentiful, but it doesn’t seem like the primary focus of the show anymore.
The characters are all nice, innocent, and kind, in that vapid, fan-centric anime sort-of-way; where even the ‘mean girl’ is secretly very sweet. It’s a major contrast with Urusei Yatsura, whose protagonist is downright vile.
Anyways, To Love Ru is an okay series. I bought each collection for under $5 last Black Friday, and at that price, I don’t feel cheated. There’s nothing remotely notable about it, but it’s pleasant enough.
The anamorphic widescreen video looks fine, but gets a little choppy in fast motion scenes. Audio is Japanese only, with removable English subtitles. There are no actual extras.