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To Love-ru Darkness Episodes #04 Anime Review

3 min read

If you’re the villain, the lesson of this week’s To Love-ru is that you should fear the power of love and friendship. Which Yami and Mikan seem to have in abundance..

What They Say:
When junior princesses Nana and Momo transfer into Earth School where big sister Lala can keep an eye on them, things SHOULD be smooth sailing. In addition to sister drama, Yami, the Golden Darkness, enters the scene with all the subtleness of a supernova, along with an army of possessed high school students! All of which is certain to make Rito’s life suck more than a black hole at the family picnic. Unless, of course, a certain semi-demonic princess will open a can of Develukean Whoop Ass! It’s “Wham, bam, thank you, Space Ma’am” time once again in To loveru Darkness!

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This week, on YamiYuri… The vindictive Azenda the Tyrant comes to Earth to provoke Yami into fighting again. Later, Haruna and Rito have yet another awkward encounter, and Mikan and Yami grow closer – so close that Yami compromises her old assassin beliefs…

Once upon a time, Azenda was a tyrant of note: feared and infamous, she had it all (we’re talking in terms of ruthless killers here), until Golden Darkness delivered a pointed lesson in ass-kicking and humiliation. And so Azenda’s out for revenge – and how better than by humiliating Yami by killing Rito – and possibly a few other people near and dear to her along the way? Yami, meanwhile, has been thinking long and hard about her friendship with Mikan – the one person now who she truly feels comfortable and able to forget her killer past around. And so when Azenda decides to use Mikan as a disposable pawn in her plan for revenge, Yami doesn’t take it too well.

All of which continues to highlight that this is Yami’s season, while Mea watches from the sideline and disapproves of how her beloved ‘big sister’ solves this particular dilemma. Having been used to To Love-ru being pretty much about fanservice and nothing else, Darkness is continuing to surprise me by actually having things like “plot” and “character development” – things that are really quite important in anime, to be honest. What’s here isn’t going to win any awards for depth or unpredictability, but it is enjoyable stuff, with both Yami and Momo getting the chance to show off their skills.

Along the way, there’s also the usual heavy dose of fanservice, although to be honest if that’s your primary motivation for watching the series you’d be better off waiting for the inevitable home video release – while Rito gets to plant his face into the girls’ delicate areas at regular intervals, and in between them there are shower scenes and other noseblees-inducing opportunities, the series is so ‘generous’ with the censorflare that there’s essentially nothing to see. This episode isn’t as fanservice-laden as some in the franchise, but that doesn’t stop them from covering up what is here. A shame, perhaps, but that’s the way anime rolls these days – if you want the full effect, you’ll need to pay for more than a pizza pie. (Sorry.)

In Summary:
To Love-ru Darkness continues to be a guilty pleasure, although there’d be more to feel guilty about if there was less editing. Aside from that, while Azenda doesn’t exactly make an impressive debut, her appearance does prompt some developments in the character department that work well. Decent fun, all round.

Content Grade: B+

Streamed by: The Anime Network (North America), Anime On Demand (UK & Ireland)

Review Equipment:
Apple MacBook Pro 17” (2.4GHz C2D / 4GB RAM), Mac OS X 10.8.2