Man, the Love Hina cast looks different to how I remembered.

Kogarashi Fuyuzora is a psychic who has a tried and true method for exercising spirits – he punches them in the face. He has also been lacking a home for quite some time, but ends up moving in to the Yuragi Inn in a popular hot springs town. The rent there is super-duper cheap, and its the only way he could afford it…the reason for this, though, is because it’s haunted. The ghost in question is said to be of a student who died in the hot spring – but Kogarashi figures he can just punch the ghost away and enjoy his cheap lodging.

Unfortunately, the ghost turns out to be a cute highschool girl, Yuuna, and Kogarashi can not bring himself to punch her (or rather any woman) in the face. Fortunately, she’s quite friendly and happy to have a new friend, because apparently nobody else can see her as anything other than a creepy white shadow. Unfortunately, she’s not exactly harmless, because this is a dumb sexy comedy so Kogarashi is always falling on her or accidentally grabbing her boob and causing her to freak out and cause poltergeist activity. Fortunately Kogarashi isn’t the only living person in the inn so he does have other company. Unfortunately they are all annoying early 00s harem tropes on legs and also beat him up whenever sexy hijinks occur, which is every few minutes.

At least her design is cute.

Yuuna-san is one of those softcore almost-porn manga that are inexplicably published in usually family-friendly Weekly Shonen Jump, that are never allowed to be outright pornographic due to Jump not being an adult magazine, so instead the artist pushes the envelope as far as possible just to see what he can get away with, until eventually the manga gets pulled and sent to a more adult magazine like Young Jump or Jump Square, where it gets more explicit still. Now, I haven’t read this, although I’ve seen enough out of context panels to be surprised that it wasn’t in either of those magazines to begin with. A lot of people are calling it To-Love-Ru (which basically turned ‘how far can we go without earning an 18+ rating’ into an art, albeit a lowbrow one) all over again and I see their point, but for me this was just an even saucier Love Hina.

I don’t just mean its a harem show set in a hot springs inn with lots of fanservice. I mean that the entire supporting cast is pretty much exactly the same as Love Hina, except for Yuuna. There’s the big-boobed sexy one who is always drunk. There’s the extremely capable, worryingly young one. There’s the stoic and serious one that threatens the MC with violence helped by some kind of sharp weapon. And there’s the wacky one who acts more like an animal than a human, which is apparently sexy. I was ready to make Love Hina comparisons before watching this, but I didn’t expect this. Kogarashi even gets punted into the hot springs and beaten up by the girls – although nobody has sent him flying into the sky Team Rocket style….yet. Love Hina is an anime/manga that has a very particular late 90s/early 00s cheesiness and given that I havent even thought about the series in years, I forgot how unbelievably dated it feels now. And since Yuragi-sou no Yuuna mirrors it almost exactly – albeit with a supernatural twist – it feels weird and dated itself.

There’s also a weird contradiction in this episode -unless it gets explained away later. At the end of the episode, Keit-I mean Kogarashi is punted into the hot springs where all the naked girls are. The reason this happened was because some psychotic monk broke into the place to try to force Yuuna to ‘ascend’, but when she said she wanted to stay in the living world longer Kogarashi took pity on her and disrupted the exorcism. Somehow in this process he touched her boob, which caused her to blast him out into the hot springs. The other tenants are ready to beat him, and then Yuuna suddenly appears and tells them all  it’s not his fault he came in here, it was because he touched my boob! which makes them even angrier. …Wait a second. Why the hell can they suddenly see and understand Yuuna now? Yuuna was acting like Kogarashi was the first person to ever be able to see what she looked like, and the first friend she made since becoming a ghost. If the other girls could see and understand her all along, why did they react the way they did when they found out that Kogarashi was staying in the ‘haunted’ room? If they knew Yuuna was just a harmless girl, surely they would have told him instead of hinting that there was a horrifying ghost in there. Maybe they just expected him to not be able to see her properly? Maybe this will be explained later? Maybe this crappy ghost booby show is just badly written?

I guess if you really want to look at cartoon boobs the show itself is decent looking enough, and the hot spring town itself has really nice scenery. Although..did Yuuna really have to be a sexy highschool student…? At least Love Hina was mostly college-age students. Mostly.

And at least he’s a slightly more capable protag than Keitarou was.

Out of 5,