Cinema, tv - Cartoons
Love Hina



Keitaro Urashima (֍u ̫, Urashima Keitar?) is a 20-year old second-year ronin and landlord of the Hinata Inn, an all girls' dormitory, which initially incurs the wrath of all the residents. His experiences and relationships with the girls are drive the story as he tries desperately to enter the prestigious Tokyo University in order to fulfill a promise he made to his first love 15 years ago. Despite his faults and bad luck with women, he has a kind heart, good will, and strong character that wins over the people around him. He falls in love with Naru despite being clobbered by her continuously throughout the series. His search for his promise girl, his studies and hardship while trying to get into Tokyo U, and relationship with Naru are all central to the Love Hina story.



At the start of the story Naru is a 17-year old student and resident of Hinata Inn. She came to live there when she was just in junior high[4]. Naru is characterized by her signature hair antenna (which is only shared by one other character in the series, Mutsumi), short and hot temper, immense strength and agility despite her size, and physically aggressive nature when it comes to Keitaro. Because of such Naru is described as being "one fuse short of a cannon". This side of her is usually reserved for Keitaro. The other residents of Hinata Inn, of whom she's protective, care for Naru like a sister. She's reliable, kind, caring, and responsible. They all cheer on and support her during her studies. As the story progresses, the girls become envious of Naru, because of her beauty [5] and most importantly because of her relationship with Keitaro. Some are driven to the point where they start to dress and act like her [6]. Despite attempts to break them apart, in the end the girls see Naru as a role model to follow and be like in the future[7][8].


Naru beating up KeitaroOf all the girls in the Hinata House, she is victimized the most by Keitaro's clumsiness which often results in her being naked or exposed in some fashion, touched or grabbed inappropriately, or lying in very suggestive positions. This is further tempered by the fact that his room is directly underneath hers, a hole in the ceiling connects the two making for easy access, and they study together most of the time. Once, she beat Keitaro up because she entered his room while he was changing and later explained that hitting him had become an involuntary reaction. These situations along with her quick retribution thereafter is a recurring element in the series. Her attacks become increasingly more volatile as the story progresses. Despite her reactions towards him, Naru finds her day to feel highly off-center without any of Keitaro's unintentional perversions [9]. She develops strong feelings for Keitaro, though initially has great difficulty in coming to terms with such. Naru's conflicting emotions causes her to become extremely jealous of his closeness with the other girls while at the same time stay in a state of denial and emotional unsteadiness. Because of her aggressive yet caring personality, Naru is a best known example of the tsundere character archetype.

Naru owns a Liddo-kun doll that Mutsumi gave her when she was young. She is also given a turtle, Tama-chan, and a kiss as a sign of forgiveness and thanks for helping her get back home after the entrance exams[10].

Her character follows along with the beautiful-nerd disposition with the exception that she is actually very spontaneous and sometimes spastic. Like Keitaro, she strove to get into Tokyo University because of a promise she had made to someone in the past. She is very intelligent, having placed Tops in the nation on the college practice entrance exams at the same cram school that Keitaro was enrolled in. However, this was not always so as was shown that several years prior to the beginning of the story Naru was like Keitaro, having horrible grades and little hope of passing. She was able to overcome this by constantly studying under the guidance of Seta Noriyasu, whom she had a crush on at the time. However, this resulted in a decline in her social activities [11] as well as damaging her eyesight. When not using contacts she has to wear glasses with thick lenses [12]. Despite her dedication to her studies she failed to pass the Tokyo University entrance exam the first time but was able to pass the second time around. One of her goals is to become a teacher [13].

Towards the end of the series she finally confesses her love for Keitaro. In the anime she does this several times in the Specials[14][15] yet it all cultivates to one moment when she screams it out and kisses Keitaro passionately[16].



also known as Kitsune, which means "fox" in Japanese, is a 19-year old freelance writer (who never seems to write anything). She is frequently drunk and seems to enjoy teasing Keitaro at every opportunity. Kitsune is also a boarder at the Hinata Inn, in room 205.

Her nickname comes from a combination of her first and last names, and the fact that she hardly ever fully opens both eyes at the same time (mostly when she is surprised). As a result, she has a perpetually fox-like, vulpine expression. She's a practical joker and troublemaker; her mission in life seems to be to ensure that things never get too dull or those around her too complacent.

Kitsune is more flirtatious, especially with Keitaro, than any of the other residents. She is also the bustiest in the household, second only to Mutsumi Otohime, and is unafraid of using her charms to get what she wants, whatever it might be. Her relationship with Keitaro eventually develops into a "little brother/big sister" connection (though Keitaro is actually older than her).

She is Naru's best friend, went to the same school as Naru, and developed a crush on Seta just like Naru did. Later on in the series, she goes to great lengths to make sure Naru doesn't realise Seta has returned, making certain he remains single. Since she knows so much about Naru's past, she can provide salient details about it to Keitaro. Unfortunately, Kitsune is something of a yellow journalist, and Keitaro all too often totally misinterprets what she is saying, or assumes the worst.

She also is a bit greedy, as it is seen in a flashback sequence when she tells Keitaro about how much Naru's innocence ended up dismissing possible boyfriends; Kitsune was shown to encourage her to date a rich boy just because of his wealth. Also, when the girls are traveling to Molmol to try and bring Keitaro back to Hinata Inn, the only thing she thinks of is the inheritance that will be left to him and the girl that he chooses whenever Hina returns, even though, later on, Kitsune lets him stay with Naru.

She eventually takes over the Hinata Tea House when Haruka leaves.

She has an accent of Southern American English in the English dubbed version. This is because the character has a Kansai-ben accent in the original Japanese version. The accents have similar connotations of rural life and a more laid back attitude.

As the author points in the last volume, her name is derived from the name of the mangaka Mitsune Ayasaka


is a 14-year old foreign transfer student. She is also a boarder at the Hinata Inn, in room 301.

She is from the fictional kingdom of Molmol, supposedly located near the International Date Line, and is the princess of said country. Both the anime and manga depict her character design as having strong South Asian or Middle Eastern influences and both specify that she is not Indian (contrary to Keitaro's initial beliefs; at the beginning of the series, he called her "Hindu Girl"). The dot on her forehead seems to have something to do with the 3-eyed symbol of Molmol, though it resembles (indeed, is almost indentical to) a bindi dot. She is seemingly a barefooter and is very rarely caught with any kind of footwear on. She is often dressed in nothing else except her heavily altered school uniform (shortened blouse with short sleeves and an even shorter skirt) in almost every anime episode and manga chapter, or some otherwise scant costume. To top her personality, she is above all extremely hyperactive, usually hugging (or, in Keitaro's case, kicking) someone, trying to eat something, especially bananas and/or Tama-chan, or inventing some potentially dangerous new device. Her longest-running project is a series of increasingly powerful versions of Mecha Tama-chans, her personal line of robotic combat turtles modelled


is a 13-year old (originally 12 in the manga) schoolgirl who, after a bad start in which Keitaro lied about being in Tokyo University and his later failed attempts to make it up to her, develops a crush on Keitaro (or Senpai a Japanese term for senior as she calls him). Shinobu is also a boarder at the Hinata Inn, in room 201.

In the anime, she is first introduced as a grieving girl who has run away from home due to domestic turmoil; however, in the manga, she is already at the Hinata Inn when Keitaro arrives and her parents are still together.

She is quite skilled in both cooking and household chores her family once owned a restaurant in town prior to their divorce (the divorce does not actually occur in the manga, merely a feud). Quiet and shy, she is overly caring of other's feelings and this contributes to her own emotional frailty. She is the first girl to fall for Keitaro. In both the anime and manga, she thinks highly of Keitaro and will often be at the verge of tears when she thinks that he is in trouble or likes someone else. Towards the end of both the manga and the anime, it becomes unclear whether she wishes for Keitaro to be with Naru or herself. Apparently, she just wants him to be happy and it seems like she is always trying to persuade herself that it shouldn't be really important for her with whom he eventually will gain his happiness (whether it will be Naru or Shinobu herself). Such kind of permanent struggle with herself makes Shinobu's role dramatically saturated, so much so that it can be considered more tragic than that of Mutsumi (and, probably, the most tragic one of all). Some thoughts of possible resemblance of the stated roles (Shinobu's and Mutsumi's) can be reinforced by the fact that in Love Hina Again, episode 3, it was Shinobu who deliberately lost to Naru a game of rock-paper-scissors with Keitaro as the prize, while in the manga, it was Mutsumi who lost her game to Naru in a similar way (when they were in Hinata Inn being children). By the time Keitaro and Naru get married, Shinobu is depicted as having gained great confidence in herself, and has assumed the Naru's old role as the "unwitting sex-bomb" of Hinata Inn.

Shinobu's closest friend may be Su, although she is not above bashing Kaolla for her mean jokes at times. (In the anime, Kaolla got bashed over the head by Shinobu's hot water flask when the former was playfully imitating a telco officer claiming that the number to the Hinata Inn was no longer in use during Keitaro's call.)

One possible reason Shinobu has a crush on Keitaro is they actually have somewhat similar personalities, particularly in the manga where she bears the brunt of much embarrassing humor.

Up until the last issues of the manga, she is the only girl, aside from Kanako, that never beat Keitaro up for anything in issue 13, though, she smacks him with a frying pan, so she could hold him captive aboard one of Molmol's Air Force ships that was under the command of Su and Kitsune, which had Naru kidnapped (Keitaro was aboard to try and rescue her). In the manga's tenth volume, Shinobu does go on a date with Keitaro, after she wishes that if she gets the highest grade on an exam he will go on a date with her. Shinobu ends up getting very low grades, but Keitaro goes on a date with her anyway. Shinobu gets drunk after drinking the wine that Keitaro has. While drunk, Shinobu kicked Keitaro in the legs (his foot was broken at the time) in a very Su-like manner. At the end of the date Shinobu kisses Keitaro and tells him that she really likes him and that she will do her best to fulfill her dreams.

Also in volume 9, Shinobu ends up trying to be like Naru. She grows her hair out, dresse like Naru originally did when studying, and even put wire in her hair to give her "antennas" like Naru's. Also, when Shinobu and Keitaro are studying, Naru interrupts them in a similar way as how Shinobu interrupts Naru and Keitaro when they are studying.

At the end of the manga, Shinobu is in her second year of Todai, and has developed Naru-esque violent tendencies. This is seen by the first appearance of Ema, that mirrors Keitaro's arrival to Hinata Inn (she was hidden in the bath springs when Shinobu comes to take a bath).

In the manga, she was rated the #2 most popular girl by the readers.


Motoko Aoyama (ŽR fq, Aoyama Motoko?) is a 15-year old school girl who is extremely serious, athletic, and into kendo. Motoko is also a boarder at the Hinata Inn, in room 302.

She has difficulty dealing with other people, especially males; she finds men to be a distraction that keep her from being able to concentrate fully on her studies and kendo practice. She also dislikes men because her sister left the dojo to marry. Her relationship with Keitaro initially resembles Naru's relationship with him; he all too often finds himself on the receiving end of various attacks as a result of his frequent mishaps. She eventually mellows out as she becomes used to him and eventually finds herself developing feelings for him, along with a habit of writing trashy romance tales involving the two of them. In fact, she is the first of the girls (aside from Naru and Mutsumi) to confess her feelings to Keitaro, though it takes quite a long time for her to do so (it happens right before the whole crew travels to Molmol). Sometimes, she takes her mishaps with so much dramaticism that she gets to the point of threatening to commit seppuku with a knife, and has to be restrained by anyone nearby.

As time passes, she fails the Tokyo University entrance exam herself and becomes a ronin as Keitaro had been. The irony of her situation and its similarities to his was not lost on her. She eventually passes the test, and becomes a law student at Todai. This is ironic because in the first volume and first episode of the anime, the girls misunderstand Keitaro to be studying law at Tokyo University when he said that he wanted to major in law.

Motoko has an older sister, Tsuruko, who gave up the life of the sword to marry. Tsuruko is far stronger at kendo than Motoko, and Motoko both greatly admires and fears her. However, Tsuruko believes that Motoko has more potential than herself, and that Motoko lost her drive to improve when Tsuruko married. Motoko is also the next in line to inherit the dojo the Aoyama family has in Kyoto as she is not married. It is notable that Tsuruko is actually Motoko's biological sister. They are nearly the only characters in the series who are actually blood-related as siblings (the second siblings couple is presented by Kaolla and Amalla Su).

Motoko is probably one of the most fully developed characters in either the series; the calm, almost serene Motoko who appears at the end of volume 14 of the manga release is quite a different person than the hostile, repressed individual Keitaro encountered at the start.

Motoko has only two serious fears in the world: Tsuruko, and for some unknown reason, turtles (even though Tsuruko correlates it to her intense dislike for men); it's been debated that Motoko's nightmare in volume 9 is, in fact, a memory resurfacing as a result of Tsuruko's entrance onto the scene, though it was unknown to her until she met Tsuruko at the Hinata Inn.

The character of Motoko seems to have been influenced somewhat by the InuYasha series (author Ken Akamatsu has admitted to being a big fan). Her appearance is strikingly similar to Kikyo from that series, and many of her sword attacks are almost exactly the same as those used by Inuyasha himself.

At the end of the manga, she is a third year student in the law faculty of Todai (University of Tokyo), as well as an author who writes trashy romance novels, a habit she developed in the manga's thirteenth volume, from fantasizing about Keitaro.

Motoko's kendo style, the Shinmei-Ryu, would later be revisited in Ken Akamatsu's later manga, Negima.



Mutsumi Otohime (Ҋ Ĥ, Otohime Mutsumi?) is a very gentle, very frail, anemic, clumsy, and soft-spoken 20 year old girl. Despite her poor physical health, she is very resilient and is able to quickly recover from any injury. She has a very sweet and generous personality, often sacrificing her own happiness for others. She lives on or near the island of Okinawa and has an affinity for watermelons and turtles. She met Keitaro and Naru while taking some time off for a brief vacation after flunking her entrance exam to Todai for the third time in a row, just like Keitaro. Additionally, Mutsumi is reputed to have the largest bust size out of all the girls.

Due to frequent near-death experiences, her outlook on life is somewhat disconnected with reality, a point reinforced by her almost surreal optimism. She has a number of unusual qualities such as being able to speak "turtlese" which she uses to communicate with her turtles and a guessing method she uses for exams which involves the sides of a pencil. Despite her eccentricities she is extremely intelligent, scoring full marks in the practice exams C yet still failing to get into Tokyo University due to simple mistakes such as forgetting to write her name on the test paper.

Her surname, Otohime, comes from the legend of Urashima Tar, where Otohime is the beautiful daughter of the Sea King and the eventual wife of Urashima. Otohime first appears in the legend as a beautiful five colored sea turtle, providing the basis for Mutsumi's association with supernatural turtles. Her character design was supposedly modelled on Aeris of Final Fantasy fame. In the opening chapter of manga volume 14, Mutsumi dons an outfit closely resembling that of Aeris.

When she was younger and living in Hinata, Mutsumi claims to have played matchmaker for Naru and Keitaro after it became clear that she wanted to go to Tokyo University with him. Although she loved Keitaro, she let him go for Naru's sake by deliberately losing a game of rock-paper-scissors to decide which of them would become Keitaro's wife, which is mirrored by Shinobu in the Love Hina Again OVA. She then made a promise with Naru that both she and her would later go to Tokyo University, so that Naru would remember the promise made to Keitaro. Before leaving Hinata, she gave Naru her Liddo-kun doll in memory of their friendship. This story is given credence by later discoveries, particularly in volume 14 of the manga, though there is never a definitive answer as to who Keitaro's "promise girl" is. Like Keitaro and Naru, she finally passes the Todai entrance exam. She studies there, later entering graduate school. At the end of the manga she helps out in organizing Keitaro and Naru's wedding by bringing a plethora of watermelons.

Tokyopop sometimes misspells her name as "Mitsumi" or "Matsumi".



Haruka Urashima (֍u Ϥ뤫, Urashima Haruka?) is Keitaro Urashima's "aunt". In volume 1 of Love Hina she was originally called Keitaro's Haruka-oba-san ("Aunty Haruka"), as Ken Akamatsu needed someone in a position of authority to vouch for Keitaro. As noted by the series' anime screenwriter Sh Aikawa (as Kurou Hazuki) as he was writing Love Hina: The Novel, Haruka also called Keitaro's grandmother Hinata-oba-san ("Grandmother Hinata"); as such, Hazuki and Akamatsu (who illustrated the novel) retconned the family tree to fit the anomaly.

Haruka Urashima is the only child of Hinata Urashima's eldest daughter, Yoko Urashima; her second daughter was Keitaro's mother (apparently the Urashima women keep their family name). Yoko worked under her mother at the Hinata Inn during her school years, especially at the inn's annex for the long-term residents. She was appreciated as bearing the closest likeness to Hinata, the beauty of Hinata City, as well becoming the first crush of at least one young man. Unfortunately, she died soon after giving birth to her husband's only child, Haruka, who also bears a strong likeness to both her mother and grandmother. Hinata then adopted her granddaughter. Therefore, Haruka is Keitaro's legal aunt in addition to being his actual cousin. It was as a teenager that, while working at the inn, she was first called "Aunty Haruka" by her baby cousin Keitaro C the same time that Keitaro first met both Mutsumi and Naru. It is hinted in the novel that Keitaro first made the error as a result of mistaking Haruka with Yoko-oba-san, whose ghost haunts the annex. As a result, Haruka smacks Keitaro around every time he calls her "aunty" (as oba also translates as "middle-aged woman") but takes no further offense at the reference. In the manga, Haruka takes umbrage at being called "aunt" or "auntie" but generally takes no direct physical action to discourage it.

Haruka is the rybo ("house-mother") of the Joshi Seny Ry Hinata-s ("Women's Only Dormitory, Hinata House") and runs the Waf Chab Hinata ("Traditional Japanese Tea Room"). Haruka is constantly seen smoking a cigarette. Like Naru, she has a fiery temper (and great physical prowess to match), which she hides under a calm, detached exterior. Once a fellow student and love interest of Seta, she became fed up with his obsession for archeology, his tendency to get into trouble, and his apparent obliviousness to her feelings and left him.

Haruka's past with Seta is shrouded in mystery at the start of the manga, playing second fiddle to Naru's crush on Seta and Keitaro's interactions with the professor. It is much later in the series, after Seta comes back from the Parakalese ruins to propose to her (vol 9), that the rest of Hinata Inn finds out about it. After she rejects him, Naru and Keitaro eventually discover Seta and Haruka's shared history. During a trip to a hotel, Naru and Keitaro confront Haruka about her relationship. Sara, overhearing the conversation, pulls out pictures she pilfered from Haruka's room which proved that they were indeed a couple in the past.

Having traveled the world with Seta and Sara's mom, Haruka's skills in martial arts rival Seta's and can even surpass his when she is angry. She is also very skilled with firearms, which shows when she shoots Kaolla's missiles at Seta's head after being teased by him.

Haruka finally gets married at the end of volume 13 of the manga, within the Todai ruins in Kaolla Su's kingdom of Molmol. She is also instrumental in the sex comedy involving Keitaro and Naru late in volume 13 and early in volume 14, as she suggests that sex may need be involved in maintaining Keitaro and Naru's fledgling relationship. She stays in Molmol and helps Seta continue the excavation, but makes an appearance at the end of volume 14.

Haruka's seiy (Megumi Hayashibara) sings the main intro song, "Sakura Saku" ("Cherry Blossoms Blooming"), and in episode 18, the other girls join in, West-End/Broadway musical style. Haruka's involvement in singing the intro theme was referred to by Seta before the group song starts as "You used to sing it a lot." The musical-style "Sakura Saku" track is included in the Love Hina soundtrack as "Sakura Saku (Lullaby Version)", with Yji Ueda (Keitaro) singing the first line instead of Haruka.

On the soundtrack, there are several other tracks that include all of the girls singing together. "Sakura Saku" is only one of these. Affectionately known as the Hinata Girls, the group has Megumi as a guest vocalist C for example, during some of the Love Hina Live concerts. This grouping bears resemblance to Megumi's other anime group, DoCo.



Sarah McDougal (サラ・マクドゥガル, Sara Makudugaru?), Seta's adopted daughter, is a nine year old American from California. She initially delights in making Keitaro's life miserable, however, like most of the girls in the story, she eventually warms to him, even if she still calls him a dork.

Sarah is left for a time in the care of the Hinata Inn residents by Seta, as he feels that travelling the world with him on expeditions would be too disruptive to her childhood. There, she develops a close friendship with Su, most likely because of their shared disdain for the general order of things. (Also, it cannot be ignored that they are the only non-Japanese main characters in Love Hina, and that degree of comfort and commonality, most likely drew them closer. In the anime version, Sarah even comments on how "Kaolla and I are not Japanese!" during a meal, when Motoko forces them all sans Naru who is in a field trip to Kyoto to have a samurai-like diet). Sara eventually does return to travelling with Seta after his marriage to Haruka.

Sarah has an uncle in California. Her mother, now deceased, formerly worked with Seta and Haruka on an archaeological dig and competed for Seta's romantic attention.

Sara possesses no unusual talents or skills, save for a certain gift for Jeet Kune Do learned from Seta, though she is adept at bashing Keitaro on the head with priceless artifacts often pulled out of nowhere. She has a panda shaped birthmark on her buttocks, which she avoids showing at all costs. She is also possibly related to Cynthia McDougal from Ken Akamatsu's previous manga series A.I. Love You.

Most information about Sara can be found in manga volumes 4 and 13


Kanako Urashima (֍u , Urashima Kanako?) is Keitaro's adopted younger sister. She travelled with her grandmother for some years, and returned to Japan to fullfil her promise to her brother, and to change the girls' dormitory back into an inn. She assumes control of the Hinata Inn and immediately changes it to her desire. The residents are given the option of leaving or staying and working for her.

Kanako never came to see Keitaro as a brother after her adoption; she has loved him since they were children. When they promised to run a hotel together when they grew up, she always assumed it would be as husband and wife.

She soon recognizes that all of the girls in Hinata Inn have some sort of affection for her brother after she tests them in a variety of ways. She tries to drive them away by being as mean and cruel as she could to them, in much the same way that they themselves had once attempted to drive Keitaro away. At first it seemed to be working, as one by one everyone but Naru left the new Hinata Inn, but the others ultimately returned.

Kanako is a mistress of disguise and is able to impersonate anyone, which she uses to try to get control over the Hinata Inn. In order to ensure a perfect impersonation, she also uses a technique called "bone-fitting", in which she would adjust her articulations in order to look taller or shorter (to the appropriate and creepy sound of clicking bones).

She also has feelings for Keitaro, reacting in much the same way as Naru does when she sees him kissing someone else (in this case 'Keitaro' was Mutsumi in one of Kanako's disguises, but it was real enough for Kanako) C even though she is the only one who Keitaro actually raises his hand against.

She first appears in book 11 in the manga, and in the Love Hina Again OVA. Her appearance is often accompanied by the sound of a bell carried on the tail of her unusual cat Kuro (which some of the Hinata Inn residents call "witch cat" for its abilities to fly and talk).

There are slight differences in timing of events between the anime and manga, and some anime-only characters were added by Ken Akamatsu, so the two adaptations are generally reconcilable with each other. Naru's stepsister, for example, appears in the anime, but never in the manga except in its epilogue; however, she is referenced to earlier in the manga



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