OP Sequence

OP: 「楽園PROJECT」 (Rakuen PROJECT) by Ray

「Continue~コンティニュー~」 (Continue~ Konteinyu~)
“Continue~ Continue~”

So the premise behind this latest adaptation of the To LOVE-Ru series is this: princess Momo Belia Deviluke (Toyosaki Aki) is trying to form a harem for main character Yuuki Rito (Watanabe Akeno), while meanwhile Konjiki no Yami (Fukuen Misato) is beset by mysterious forces that are trying to get her to finally get around to assassinating Rito like she’s supposed to. Sorry, that’s all the summary you’re going to get from me; the episode actually did a good job of reminding us what went on at the end of the original To LOVE-Ru’s run (accidental confession, Rito loves two girls, a lot of other girls love him too, etc), but let’s be honest – that was a reminder for existing fans, not a primer for new ones. If this is your first time with this series, then there’s probably no better place to get into it (other than the very beginning, of course), but it doesn’t look like Xebec is going to help you get up to speed.

But enough of that, I need to actually talk about the episode! In short, I was quite pleased. This was a very faithful adaptation of the manga, and I think that for a show so clearly aimed at existing fans, that’s a wise move. But that aside, the manga material gone over here ended up fitting into the episode quite well, and it felt neither rushed nor too spread out. Oh, don’t get me wrong, some things were changed a bit, but all the same events happened and often in exactly the same ways as the manga. It’s a wise move…but it certainly complicates things for me. I mean, if most people who are planning to watch this are fans of the series and probably manga readers, what is there for me to talk about? You all already know it! Hmmm…

Oh, yeah, there is that one thing – the censorship. In the season preview I called out the manga on being “a harem show so ecchi it borders on hentai. Borders hard.”, and I stand by that (though there is a plot here, and it’s pretty good! Just wanted to reiterate that). Unfortunately, all the nibbly bits were hidden behind that damnable censor steam, taking away all the fun! If I had any qualms about the episode, this was it. It’s fine if shows are made with blatant fanservice (on up to nudity) in mind if that’s their thing, but when we get shackled with such obtrusive censorship it really snaps you out of the story and destroys the suspension of disbelief. Why oh why isn’t this airing on AT-X?? (For those that don’t know, AT-X is a paid subscription channel that can pretty much show as much nudity as it wants. See: High School DxD) So frustrating!

Other than that…ahhhh, this is why I don’t like to cover adaptations of things I’ve already read, it’s so hard to know what to talk about! If you don’t mind, I’ll riff on the production a little more and then toss the rest of my thoughts willy-nilly into the “Random thoughts” section below. Oh, you don’t mind? Thanks, I appreciate it.

Now, on the production let me just say that I’m impressed. This easily could have been a haphazard, phone-it-in adaptation that depended on fanservice to sell BD/DVDs while keeping costs down by not doing anything more than is strictly necessary. However, it looks like Xebec is taking this seriously and is putting forth all due effort to make this show look good. Take the animation: in some ways it was pretty minimal (lots of panned shots, scenes with little movement, etc), but the artwork is pretty good, the character designs are pleasant, and whenever they needed to poor on the animation they resisted being cheap and did it well. The fight scene in particular was a pleasant surprise, because though it didn’t last long, the character’s motions were fluid and well done. I think of it like Space Bros – the animation might not be the best you’ve ever seen, but they never let it get in the way of the story.

All-in-all, early signs are promising for fans of the series. If Xebec can keep churning out a faithful adaptation then I think they’ll have success, especially once people can buy the BDs/DVDs to take care of that one problem. I won’t be covering this, but I will be tuning in, and I look forward to plenty of schoolgirl Yami, Momo being Momo, Rito stumbling into girls, and ecchi antics with the whole gang. Should be a blast!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A faithful adaptation of a good manga…but damn, that censorship! Oh well, the plot is already starting in earnest. Bring it! #ToLoveRu

Random thoughts:

  • Who says this show is all fanservice for guys? Behold – manservice!
  • Misleading pictures are fun.
  • Seriously, there’s nothing more depressing than making full-lengths that are half censor steam. Why hello, BD/DVD bait…
  • More girls with eyepatches?
  • Poor Nana (Itou Kanae). FOREVER ALONE!
  • Momo is watching you.
  • I really do like Momo and Yami as the female protagonists. Lala and Haruna are fine, but anything that lets me hear Toyosaki Aki being sultry is a massive improvement in my eyes. Swiftly approved!
  • Even in her fantasies, Momo isn’t the one right next to Rito. FOREVER. ALONE!
  • Yummy, marshmallows.
  • Remember those misleading pictures? I could do this all day.
  • I could enjoy this series based solely on Momo’s faces. I think my favorite was her “da fuq you just say bitch?” face she gave to Yami near the end. That said, Rito got in some solid ones too.
  • That was a nice plot hook at the end, with Yami turning around – and then the episode ends. Lemme tell you, if I didn’t already know what was coming next I’d be annoyed! Fortunately, the plot is actually pretty strong, so I look forward to it getting up to speed. Some fun things again!
  • You hate ecchi things, Yami-chan? You’re in the wrong series then!
  • The OP and ED playing back-to-back at the end was odd. Not sure I see what the point was. As for the sequences, the OP was generic to me. It reminded me of an old Shakugan no Shana song, like it was something Kawada Mami or KOTOKO would churn out in a weekend. Not bad, but I guess I’m just tired of that sort of thing. As for the ED…well, I appreciate that they tried to do something a little different, I really do. That doesn’t mean I’m going to like the result, though. The ED fell flat for me, thought I did enjoy Momo going all Madoka-style. Maru~!
  • A quick reminder: an OVA came out a few weeks back, so if you haven’t gotten a chance to check that out then I recommend you do. There are a few amusing little stories there, and all of the fanservice this episode should have had. It’s a good time.
  • Mea (Iguchi Yuka) is watching you too.
  • Seriously, all day!

Full-length images: 01, 04, 11, 14, 17, 20, 24, 26, 29, 34, 35.


ED Sequence

ED: 「ファールプレーにくらり/サクラメイキュウ」 (Foul Play ni Kurari / Sakura Meikyuu) by 分島花音 (Wakeshima Kanon)



      1. So what’s with indoor sunlight/white-out censorship? I don’t get how highschool DxD shows nips, but some shows like this covers all up. What’s up with that? The only reason I can think of would be in a pathetic attempt to lure horny teenagers into buying uncensored DVDs. God damn it, kids, just watch the damn good old American porns intead of buying uncensored anime DVDs!!

        Anyway, Stilts, if you liked this show, you’d love “Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae”, That one has blatant incest and another Rei/Yui voice acting job by Chihara Minori (…yet another foreign blondie blue-eye girl trope)!!

      1. I’m told that this will be airing on AT-X on 9th October, but my source is some random guy at a fansubbing site so I can’t tell if it’s true, anyway here is the schedule he posted:

        TOKYO MX : October 5th @ 01.00 JST (Friday)
        BS11 : October 7th @ 00.30 JST (Sunday)
        SUN-TV (サンテレビ) : October 8th @ 00.35 JST (Monday)
        AT-X : October 9th @ 23.00 JST (Tuesday)

        If we are lucky we’ll get almost uncensored episodes for teh hnngggg

      2. Update: betrayal! it turned out AT-X is censored too. The quality of the picture is not the best either, time wasted waiting for it … I think I can wait for BDs indulging in the manga in the meantime 🙂

    1. wait, you saw the previews and the summaries… and still expected romance?

      sorry man but if you’re looking for romance you’re in the wrong place. this is the place for naked people peppered with good plot.

  1. I was afraid that the tv-series would be toned down, but fortunately my worries are unjustified. If they can keep this up it is going to be soooo good…
    And since I already posess manga volumes 1-5 and the first OVA (and the second one on pre-order, it is only natural that I will have this series on DVD and have an uncensored good watch 😉

  2. Tried confirming whether this was a real post and after a second read and refreshing the main RandomC page, I can say this is a real post. Don’t know why everyone is talking about the censorship… AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO READ THE MANGA AND WATCH THIS FOR THE PLOT?!?!?!?

    1. All the fog is pretty egregious though. I’d prefer if they did fanservice is a way that they didn’t need to censor it or were able to censor it more discreetly.

      Well it’s not impossible to do that and remain faithful to the manga in this case.

  3. I agree that the anime is good: awesome character designs, good fighting and lots of funny moments. However, the censorship is annoying and shouldn’t be there. Btw, comparisons to hentai are not accurate IMHO because even without the censorship, there is not much intimacy happening beyond the typical bathroom encounters.. and even then..

    I do want the assassin to hook up with Rito and be part of the harem though.. 🙂

    1. I don’t mind censorship as long as it’s CONVENIENT censorship (like a girl with really long hair has it draping so it’s conveniently covering the spots they’re “censoring”, for example like Quele did in H), but the whole “light from the heavens / shadows from nowhere” censorship IS quite annoying.

  4. Stilts, I hope that in case AT-X really airs the uncensored version, that you’ll cover that version instead of the censored one. It wouldn’t make any sense otherwise IMO.

      1. https://randomc.net/image/To%20LOVE-Ru/To%20LOVE-Ru%20-%20Trouble%20Darkness%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2012.jpg
        Is it me or this is what Stilts does for a living when not blogging anime? 😛
        Anyway, I concur with the principal, this school needs Konjiki no Yami:
        I am again led astray from the pure action shows by the season’s lighthearted ecchi comedies (another being Oniichan Dakedo).
        Well, I will be not the first man to FALL due to those sexy devils…

  5. I really love this series. (Hurray! ^_^ )Episode 1 of the latest season was pretty cool. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here. As everyone said though… the ever-present white fog was kinda annoying. >_<

  6. Rito. Rito. Rito. How I always want to bury you alive… Come on man, make up your mind already! It’s okay to break some girls’ hearts!

    …or so I wanted to yell during first season’s airing. Now I don’t care about him anymore. I just want to see our little Momo ruining his life as severely as possible.

    …damn stupid censors.

      1. But…don’t most girls in this story like this guy for some contrived reason? I mean, I’m not familiar with this story in particular, but usually that’s how it works here.

        Ah well, same old “protagonist is bland enough that viewers can insert themselves in” type of story, I suppose?

  7. Guess I gonna wait for the Blu Ray release, way too much censoring. The fanservice is half the deal in TLR Darkness..^^
    Guess this one’s gonna stick close to the manga. I’m not so sure if I’ll watch it, the story line in the original series was much more interesting (although the end was probably one of the worst endings ever produced in Manga/Anime history – felt a bit like back then with NGE)~

  8. With the amount of fanservice this anime is going to have, someone has to make more interesting censors, steam, black bars and holy light won’t work if you can imagine through it.


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