The Love Hina Christmas Special


Date Aired
December 15th, 2011
Running Time
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The Love Hina Christmas Special is the 17th episode of Anime Abandon, starring Bennett the Sage. The review was originally posted to That Guy With The Glasses on December 15th, 2011, and was later released to YouTube on December 13th, 2012.

In this episode, Sage reminisces on one of his most hated franchises: Love Hina. Arguably the best-known franchise he’s covered so far, Sage lays into this travesty against Christmas as a gift to all the good little fans this past year!

Episode TranscriptEdit

(After the Anime Abandon opening, we fade in on a scowling Sage in a Santa Claus hat. This looks like it’s going to be a flogging the likes of which we haven’t seen before.)

Sage: When I was 13, one of my uncles got me a Best Buy gift certificate for Christmas. And I used it to buy an armful of anime DVDs. Among these…(holds up the subject) was the Love Hina Movie Collection.

(We cut to pages from the Love Hina manga, panning shots done in the Ken Burns style.)

Sage (VO): Like most fans in the early 2000’s, I got caught up in the Love Hina manga. If you were spared this atrocity way back when, allow me to quickly summarize the entire 14-volume series…in a paragraph.

It’s about this pussy named Keitaro who’s a goddamn spineless wimp who has the hots for this total bitch named Naru, who is either punching the living shit out of him for inadvertently copping a feel, or for some other forced lecherous moment, or being a wishy-washy little brat who can’t get her shit together! Apparently when they were little kids, Keitaro promised Naru that they would go to Tokyo U together, and live happily ever after. He comes into ownership of a hotel-turned-girl’s dormitory, which houses a number of otaku wank material made flesh. And the entire story revolves around him not getting into Tokyo U and getting the shit beaten out of him.

At first, I did not care about any of the characters, but at the time, it was the only thing I could get my hands on that could pass for porn.

Sage: Again, (points to self) 13 and desperate. There was never any nakedness shown, there was always, like, a strand of hair blocking the bare breasts, but I was in no position to complain.

(Cut back to the Ken Burns manga pages)

Sage (VO): After about four months of collecting the manga, I eventually found myself actually reading what the characters were saying instead of just pretending I could see the girls’ nips. It took a while, but the series eventually kind of grew on me. I don’t know why. I think I was just going through your typical teenage troubles, and it just seemed like an outlet.

(Cut back to Sage, who looks again at the movie collection and growls with disgust.)

Sage: And they say hindsight is 20/20. But nevertheless, I bought the box set because I thought that the anime would be a little bit more raunchier than the manga…because I was a stupid, stupid kid. Not that a raunchier version of Love Hina doesn’t exist, mind you.

(Cut to what is assumed to be an H-game of Love Hina. Naru takes off her shirt to expose her breasts, but is blocked by Censor Kaiser.)

Naru: Oh, I never experienced this before, all this touching is getting me excited!

(Cut back to Sage, who isn’t surprised, but maybe feels a little dirty.)

Sage: Yup, that is for real. No, you can’t have a copy.

(Cut to footage of the movie)

Sage (VO): Unlike with the manga, there was no way I could delude myself into enjoying this annoying waste of space. If I was apprehensive about the characters in the manga at first, imagine how I felt when I first heard those characters’ obnoxious voices.

(Cut to a fish-eye lens shot of Keitaro, Mutsumi and Naru studying. There’s hysterical giggling outside their room. There’s so much chatter, and they talk over each other, and they all sound so similar, I can’t make out what they’re saying. Any help is appreciated.)

Sage: If you imagine blind, murderous rage, you’re on the right track! Now, luckily for me, Love Hina Again and the Spring Special were brought to America in 2003, so they missed my cutoff date, and I don’t gotta review them! (Sage happily tosses the two DVD’s off-camera) But…unluckily for me, the Christmas Special was brought over to America in December 2002. Joy to the world.

Sage (VO): We open this Yuletide log with a flashback of our hero Keitaro playing in the sand with Mutsumi and one of the most anger-inducing characters I can recall, Naru.

All three (singing): Come on, let’s go! Come on, let’s play! Let’s all go on a holiday! We can dance! We can sing! We can do most anything! Yeah!

(Cut to a murderous-looking Sage)

Sage: I don’t know what’s worse: the mindless, misogynistic violence like with the shows I’ve reviewed up until now, or the idiotic, saccharine sweet pap. I HATE CUTE!!

(Cut back to the film)

Mutsumi: You know, they say if two people who love each other go to Tokyo U together, they’ll live happily ever after!

Keitaro: Huh?

Naru: Tokyo U?

Mutsumi: Tokyo U?

Keitaro: Tokyo U?

(Cut to Sage nodding and smiling)

Sage: Tokyo U.

(His smile twists back into a sneer. Cut back to the film.)

Sage (VO): We flash forward to the present day, where it seems that the same three have dozed off while studying. And apparently all having the exact same dream.

(Inception BWAAAHHH plays, startling Sage as we cut to him. He looks around for the source.)

Sage: Really? An Inception reference? Aren’t we dating ourselves a little here? …Who am I talking to?

Sage (VO): It seems that a rumor is going around that says if you confess your love on Christmas Eve, your wish will come true, or some such shit like that. It’s a paper-thin plot device that’s used to drive what is to be laughably called our story. This was originally a TV special that aired back in 2000, so you shouldn’t expect an actual film-like narrative.

Sage: Then again, this is Love Hina. And you shouldn’t expect anything other than teeth-gnashing annoyance.

(Cut back to the younger girls dancing in their Christmas costumes. We return to Sage, and he is once again repulsed.)

Sage (gagging while speaking): CUT ‘EM!! CUT ‘EM!! CUT ‘EM!! CUT ‘EM!!!

(We return to the show)

Sage (VO): I say this tentatively, but if I had a favorite character, it was Kitsune, the hard-drinking lush that was always making passes at Keitaro. And it’s because of this that I died a little inside when I first heard the voice the dub decided best fit her character.

Motoko: Kitsune, if you weren’t drinking so much, you could help.

Kitsune (in a Texan accent): Cheers, sugar! You’re doin’ great! Huh? Hey! Where you two goin’, isn’t Naru goin’ with you?

(Cut back to Sage, who gives a tired, disbelieving shake of the head.)

Sage: I…I get the fact that dubs sometimes use southern accents for characters that come from Kansai, because it’s the equivalent of a hick accent in Japan…but Kitsune is not from Kansai: she’s from Hokkaido. That’s the northern province. There is no part of Japan that is further away from Kansai than Hokkaido!

(Sage then looks around, possibly ashamed that he knows this.)

Sage: I don’t know what’s sadder: the complete buttfuck on the part of the dub, or the fact that I know all this shit!

(Cut to the film.)

Sage (VO): Even if I didn’t know anything about Kitsune, that doesn’t help the fact that her voice just does not belong here. At all. Plus, she sounds like she just inhaled a tank of helium, it’s grating to listen to. In an age where dubs started to get the hang of…well…not sucking bricks, this is just dumbfounding. Of course, this isn’t the worst the show gets, but this is easily the one sticking point that legitimately pisses me off the most.

(Cut back to the younger girls dancing in their Christmas costumes. We return to Sage, disgusted as usual.)

Sage: I stand by what I said.

(Cut to the film, where for some reason we see Keitaro in a Santa suit and his two friends are dressed up as reindeer.)

Sage (VO): We cut to Kitsune and Naru going Christmas shopping, when they spot Keitaro with his two friends advertising a bakery. Seeing one of their friends in this situation would cause any normal person to just…shrug it off, maybe make a few snide remarks over their ridiculous costumes. But Naru is capable of only two different reactions: getting pissed off, and getting really pissed off.

Kitsune: I didn’t know y’all were workin’ at the cake shop! (Laughs) How sweet!

Naru: That takes nerve.

Keitaro: Well, it’s just ‘cause I needed to earn some extra Christmas cash. It’s only until Christmas Eve…(Naru walks away) Naru! Bye…

Kitsune: Well…

Kimaki: Man, that was pretty cold! Ouch!

Masayuki: Looks like she’s totally given up on you.

Keitaro: Yeah, I kinda get that feeling, too…

(The scene just peters out with Naru walking away. Cut to Sage.)

Sage: I didn’t cut anything out! She sees them shilling cakes, she says “that takes nerve,” and she walks away like a pouty little shit. I have no idea why she’s pissed at him! Maybe some guy dressed as Santa Claus took a dump in her toy chest and this is just misplaced anger. Dude, Keitaro. I know that crazy girls are supposed to be dynamite in the sack, but you’ve gotta learn to cut your losses!

(Cut to the film.)

Sage (VO): Realizing the plot is running on fumes at only the ten-minute mark, we see the hyperactive and annoying duo of Su and Sara rummaging through people’s rooms, looking for presents.

(Su rummages through a box and finds a present with a letter.)

Su: Oh, look! There’s a letter on top!

Sara: Who’s it for? Not that loser!

Su: Probably.

Sara: Ahh!!

Sara & Su: Love?!

(Quick cut to the hot spring)

Shinobu: I don’t believe it, it can’t be!

Motoko: Did it really say “L-O…”

Kitsune: “L-O-V-E,” love?

Su: Yep! That’s what I saw but I didn’t get to read it all—

Sage (VO, smashing in): WHY?!

(Cut to an incredulous Sage)

Sage: Why couldn’t you read a fucking letter? Did Godzilla spontaneously erupt from the ground and you had to run for your lives? Did you have a sudden attack of the Hershey squirts and you couldn’t be bothered to bring the letter with you to the bathroom for reading material?

(Cut to the film.)

Sage (VO): So…I want to make sure we get this right: the two girls—finding a hidden present in Naru’s room—sees a letter intended for the receiver of the gift, and the both of them—ignoring every other word on that letter—hones in on the utterance of love, and figures that this gift was meant to tell Keitaro she loves him.

(Cut to Sage.)

Sage: And it’s because of this stupidity that the special has a plot! Yeah! An entire special, built around a fucking misunderstanding, with plot holes you can drive a truck through! You know…if Jesus knew this was going to be the way we celebrated his birthday, I’d bet dollars to donuts that he would’ve wished he was never born!

(Cut back to the film)

Sage (VO): So Shinobu, the wilting flower male fantasy, winds up telling Keitaro that Naru plans to tell him she loves him. He accepts the misinformation like he just won a blowjob robot that runs on dreams.

Keitaro: Hahahooo!! Haha!! I see it now! She’ll announce her love on Christmas Eve! Hey, that’s not the macho thing to do, I can’t just wait around for her! All right, then I’ll just have to go first!

Guy: Hey!! What are you doing up there Keitaro?

Keitaro: What do you mean? (He realizes he’s on the roof and falls off, apparently headfirst.)

(Cut to Sage)

Sage: I want to believe that Keitaro here just fell to his death. (Beat) Then again, I also want to believe in blowjob robots that run on dreams.

(Cut to the film.)

Sage (VO): So apparently, Keitaro sprained his ankle because of the fall, which completely baffles me. How the fuck do you fall headfirst from 20 feet up and only come out with a sprained ankle? Uhh…goddammit.

Keitaro: What is going on? She’s acting like she doesn’t know what I’m talking about.

Oh, it’s nothing.

I thought she was gonna say she loved me? But she’s probably mad now because of the sprain and having to take care of a miserable mess like me.

Naru: Well maybe, it will better in time for the exam! See you later.

Keitaro: See you later?! What is that supposed to mean?

(Cut to Sage, who continues to look incredibly agitated.)

Sage: It means she will see you later. (Short pause) Idiot.

(Cut to the film.)

Keitaro: Oh no, are you going away, Naru? Does that mean you’re giving up on me? Please don’t go!

(Cut back to Sage)

Sage: Oh, for fuck’s sake, Keitaro. Sack up and tell her you wanna bust a nut in her cleavage already! Honestly, what’s the worst thing she can do? Call you an unfuckable pig and completely ruin your self-esteem…

(Sage starts to sound like he’s reminiscing)

…Thus sending you into a shame spiral that makes you not want to have any kind of connection with any female, up until your laughably short tenure at college, and you spend your lonely desperate nights buying shitty romcom anime and freeze framing PG-13 scenes and trying to crank one out, before

(OK, now this is getting sad and relatable. Sage starts speaking softly, almost monotone)

…Crying yourself softly to sleep with only a pillow there to make believe that there’s someone out there that…trusts and loves you enough to…want to spend their nights with you…Yeah, um…why don’t you—why don’t you keep that to yourself.

(Cut to the film.)

Sage (VO): Well, Keitaro doesn’t take my sage advice…

(Quick cut back to Sage)

Sage: Hehehe, get it?

(And back to the film.)

Sage (VO): As he blurts out that he loves her, causing Naru to flake out and run. It’s only after the Christmas Eve practice exam does Keitaro see her again, who quickly him and makes off for Tokyo, with Keitaro and the rest of the girls following her.

Kitsune: Grrr! I can’t believe Keitaro is springin’ for a fancy place like that for even Naru!

Shinobu: Oh—oh…Keitaro…(the closing shot is set on a building, and we cut back to Sage)

Sage: I’m sorry, sweetie, but that’s not Keitaro. That’s a building.

(Cut back to the film)

Sage (VO): Well, surprise, surprise, it turns out that the gift and the alleged love letter wasn’t meant for Keitaro, but was meant for Naru’s old mentor Seta, who is blissfully unaware of everything going on. And of course, this whole exchange is witnessed by Keitaro, who somehow is able to beat Naru to the elevators even though he’s hobbling on a crutch. Shinobu meets Keitaro in the lobby and they decide to pool their collective loneliness together, and Naru just walks by because…uhh…I dunno, maybe she’s under the idiotic impression that they’re an item now?

Mutsumi: Oh, hey there, Naru.

Naru: Huh?

Mutsumi: So, did you just confess your love to Keitaro?

Naru: What is this? Why does everyone keep chasing me around?!

Mutsumi: Aren’t you gonna Keitaro that you love him on this special Christmas Eve? Hmm?

Naru: No, I’m not!

Mutsumi: Oh, really? I thought you were. Well! Then maybe I will instead!

Naru: Mm? But Mutsumi, why?

Mutsumi: Oh? Is there something wrong with that?

Naru: No! Of course not! It’s just that…well…you weren’t the little girl that Keitaro made his promise to, so…

Mutsumi: Yeah! Just like you weren’t either!

Naru: Ah…

Sage: Oh! You bitch!

(Cut back to the film)

Sage (VO): So, for the rest of the special, each of the characters scatter around Tokyo trying to find each other, so if you thought the plot was unfocused and meandering before, wait until you have to sit through it in five parts. Motoko, the traditional and reserved swordsman whose presence in the overall Love Hina story always puzzled me, manages to catch Naru and gives her the present Keitaro took that bakery job for.

(Motoko feels a hand on her backside and immediately is not impressed.)

Motoko: A groper.

(Motoko karate chops the groper right on his head, splitting his glasses in two and causing a stir on the subway train. She looks around puzzled and maybe feeling a little guilty.)

Sage: OK…not sure what that has to do with anything, but…that happened.

(Cut to a different scene)

Sage (VO): The stupidity of that whole misread love letter finally comes full circle when Kitsune finds Keitaro and Shinobu together at an amusement park. It turns out that the letter was supposed to tell Seta that Naru has moved on from her childhood crush of him, and to thank him for tutoring her. Imagine: this entire fucking plotline could’ve been avoided if Su and Sara had took the two minutes to read the entire letter. Keitaro, now invigorated with resolve, goes after Naru, not knowing where the fuck she is…leaving Shinobu and Kitsune without any money or means to get back home.

Sage: Wow. Douche.

(Cut back to the film)

Sage (VO): We follow a series of montages as the separated girls whine about being stranded in Tokyo on Christmas Eve night, and how they can’t give up because they want Keitaro to be happy with Naru, and blah, blah, blah.

Voice: Shinobu?

Shinobu: Huh?

Voice: What’s up? And what are you doing here?

Shinobu: Akamatsu!

(Cut to a puzzled, but mostly weary Sage)

Sage: Akamatsu? As in…Ken Akamatsu? The creator of the fucking Love Hina manga?!

(Cut to a signing ceremony with Akamatsu)

Sage (VO): Eeeeyup. The show pulls a Koshi Rikdo and has the author of Love Hina rammed into the anime! Apparently, Ken here is having the girls hawk his…manga?! So, does that mean, like, Love Hina exists here as a manga and the anime too? How does that work?!

Sage: Did somebody in the studio owe Ken a favor? I mean, if this were their idea of trying to repay their debt, I would’ve elected to have their kneecaps broken.

(Cut back to the film)

Sage (VO): Thankfully, we don’t linger on Ken for very long, as his rape face is the stuff of scream-yourself-awake nightmares, as we cut to Keitaro lost and confused trying to make his way to Shibuya, where Naru said she’d meet him. He collapses from exhaustion and wakes up in a love hotel with Mutsumi waiting for him. Normally, I would compel Keitaro to just forget about that bitch Naru and fit Mutsumi here for a pearl necklace with her epic boobage. But…

Sage: Mutsumi is…ehh…borderline retarded.

(Cut to the film)

Sage (VO): I mean, she doesn’t need to ride the short bus to school, but goddamn if she’s not a space cadet.

Mutsumi: Now don’t move! Stay right there, your clothes aren’t dry yet. You don’t wanna catch cold, do you?

Keitaro: Yes I do—I mean no, I can’t stay! Look, uh…

Sage: Dammit, conscience! Why can’t you let me enjoy my boner in peace?

(Cut back to the film)

Sage (VO): Keitaro manages to avoid getting a one-way ticket to hell and desperately tries to make his way to Shibuya, with every other character making their way as well.

Sage: And I remind you: the whole reason why all of this is happening is because there was a rumor that confessing your love on Christmas Eve will make your wish come true. And Dark Heart will become a real boy, and Mufasa was really just sleepy after falling off the cliff and—OK, I skimmed the plot, but you get the idea.

(Cut back to the movie)

Sage (VO): Keitaro collapses again because, well, they wanted to ratchet up the drama and tension in an inherently drama and tension-free plot, but sees Naru being telecasted all over the district.

Presenter: Christmas greetings, everyone! I’m here with an average girl on the street who is all alone! There’s nothing wrong with spending Christmas Eve alone, is there? Oh, you look familiar, have we seen you before? Must be a coincidence! So tell us how it feels to be a modern girl all alone on Christmas Eve in the middle of the big city!

Sage (mocking the presenter and miming a mic): And can you leave out the part about your 20 cats, you spinster in the making?

Sage (VO): Yeah, so Naru talks through the broadcast about Keitaro, she says she’s sorry about running away, and how she wants to go to Tokyo U with him, he finds his way to where she’s being interviewed, and all the rest of the girls regroup. And Naru punches Keitaro into the sky for inadvertently seeing her in the hot spring. (Aggravated) The End.

Sage: All right, I know I’ve covered WAY worse on this show in terms of quality and content, but…Love Hina angers me more than any other show I’ve talked about here on Anime Abandon. I hate the terrible characters. I HATE the cutesy bullshit. And I hate the fact that this reminds me of my romantically frustrated opposed to…my romantically frustrated adulthood. (Looks at the DVD) Fuck you, Love Hina. Fuck you with a rusty railroad spike.

(Sage slams the DVD on the floor, looking off into the distance.)

Sage: But…the Love Hina box set wasn’t the only thing I bought on that fateful trip to Best Buy. I did get another DVD. And it just so happens to be one of my favorite films of all time.

(Sage holds up next episode’s subject: Jin-Roh)

Sage: ‘Til next time…and Merry Christmas.

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