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To Love-ru Darkness Episodes #12 Anime Review

4 min read
To Love Rue Darkness Episode 12
To Love Rue Darkness Episode 12

And so the 3rd season of To Love-ru comes to an end – and with it almost making a point not to tie up its loose ends, I can’t help but wonder if there’ll be another on the way at some point…

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:
Momo’s obsession with Rito – and her eagerness to follow her Harem Plan to completion – is getting stronger. Bad news for the school’s newly-formed Venus Momo Club, dedicated to her admiration – and willing to lay down their lives for her protection, if need be. Having them cater to her every need is not exactly her idea of a good time. And neither is the amount of time that Rito’s spending away with Lala lately…

Yup, after last week’s focus on Mio, Yami and Tearju, this week we move across to Momo and her much-vaunted Harem Plan – which so far is failing to get off the ground. Mostly thanks to Rito being as dense as the average neutron star. Momo’s getting impatient at her lack of progress, and the emergence of the Venus Momo Club only makes it harder for her to spend time with Rito than it already was. So what’s a girl to do?

Take a refreshingly direct approach to seduction, is what. Which on the one had is great to see – harem leads beating around the bush is as annoying as it is predictable, and after a certain amount of effort Momo manages to get even Rito’s defences to break. Sort of. Given that’s something that the girls have been trying to achieve for three seasons now, mark that as an achievement. If only we’d been able to get there without the VMC appearing on the scene and being terminally annoying, it would’ve been great.

Speaking of annoyances, along with the VMC, left hanging in the background is the small matter or Tearju, Yami and Mea. Last week didn’t really resolve the relationship between these three (or the issues between Mea and Yami), and with this week switching focus to Momo there’s no time to tie up those loose ends here either. It’s particularly grating as from early in the season this was made to feel like it was the whole point of the show (To Love-ru Darkness, remember?), but rather than being properly dealt with it’s been given just 2-3 episode of time and spent the rest of the season on the sidelines. So much that could have been done with the idea, and so little that actually was.

But the series is over, and we’ve had to live with what we’ve got. To Love-ru is firmly in the ‘guilty pleasure’ category – it’s not a show that people will hold out as an example of why anime is fun, or use as a ‘gateway’ show to get people hooked. It’s a show for people looking for a certain type of mindless entertainment, and who aren’t going to be bothered too much by those hanging plot threads and inconsistencies. There have been other shows in that category that have arguably done a better job this year (hi there, Highschool DxD, but I also can’t deny that I’ve had a lot of fun watching this one. Roll on the home video release, so I can do away with the steam.

In Summary:
Lightweight entertainment with an annoying habit of not finishing what it starts, To Love-ru Darkness is almost the definition of ‘guilty pleasure’. This final episode is a lot of fun as a standalone tale, but given there’s so much from the rest of the season that’s been left hanging, I have to say that it could’ve been even better, given the chance.

Content Grade: B+

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

Review Equipment:
27” Apple iMac, 2.9GHz Core i5, 32GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.8.2

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