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Love Love? Complete Collection Anime DVD Review

8 min read

Love Love Complete Collection
Love Love Complete Collection
When the women compete for a man while working on a sentai show, it’s boobs galore. Holy inappropriate boobs!

What They Say:
It’s said that Heaven and Hell can be the same place, depending upon your situation, and Naoto Ooizumi is learning that lesson the hard way. At only 17 years old, he’s working on the set of Cosmopolitan Prayers (CosPrayers for short), one of the hottest TV soaps on the air, and the girl of his dreams, Natsumi Magami, is playing the lead. The problem: as much as he wants to start a relationship with her, he keeps getting romantically intercepted by the OTHER cute girls in the show.

It’s not like they’re just trying to stop a Naoto/Natsumi hook up. They seem to be actively “interested” in the cute young man who’s running the behind-the-scenes production camera! But that’s not the biggest twist, because unknown to anyone except the show’s producer, Ooizumi isn’t just a camera operator, he’s also the show’s writer! So what do you do when you’re able to put any words you want in the mouth of the girl you love, but you’re contractually obligated to put similar things between the lips of the girls that love you?

Contains episodes 1-13.

The Review:
Audio:
The audio presentation for this release is pretty simple and straightforward as we get the original Japanese language in stereo encoded at 224kbps. No English language dub was produced for this show. The show is one that uses the forward soundstage in a basic way with little in the way of noticeable or needed directionality and it generally has a center channel kind of feeling to it. Though it’s not a show that really stretches itself, it does come across well and conveys the material appropriately as we get a clean and clear mix without any problems such as distortions or dropouts during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing in the middle of 2004, the transfer for this thirteen episode series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The show is spread across two discs with six on the first and seven on the second. Which isn’t as bad as it could be as the episodes are only 15 minutes long – including the English separate credits scroll. The show has a very basic look to it and doesn’t really stretch itself all that much and it feels like one of those holdovers after most studios went widescreen and more involved in their productions. The transfer captures the source material well, though the show feels older than it actually is in a lot of ways with its design and look and there’s some familiar minor problems such as line noise in some panning sequences and a bit more noise in the backgrounds and solid fields than I expected to see.

Packaging:
The packaging for this release is done in a standard size single keepcase where the front cover has the logo done in a cute way as it tries to work the whole Love Love aspect. It brings in the five main girls in each of the letters used here and it’s definitely colorful and appealing if more openly sexual than I might have expected. The back cover runs with that a bit more as we see more of the girls in various states of undress and there’s a good large section for the premise inside of a heart. The character designs look a bit better here but it still plays up the fanservice pretty well. The discs features are clearly listed and we get a good breakdown of production credits along with a clean and accurate technical grid that lists everything without any problems. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.

Menu:
The menu design for this release is pretty blunt as we get the lead femal character along the left side with an upskirt view, except that she’s not wearing any clothes as it’s a shower scene with an indistinct blue/purple background. The right side breaks down the show by episode number and title, but it does the numbers in the rainbow format with the heart as the cursor that’s pretty cute. Submenus are minimal as they’re really just for extras but it loads quickly and is easy to navigate. With this being a monolingual release, there’s not much to do otherwise but it’s laid out well and works right, even if it’s a bit more overt than it needs to be with the character artwork.

Extras:
The show has a fair selection of extras to it that go a bit above and beyond the norm. We get the clean opening and closings but we also get the original TV commercials, a look at some of the CD commercials for the series and the extended previews for most of the episodes as well which was more of the norm during this time period.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Serving as a sequel to the series Hit o Nerae, Love Love is a thirteen episode show from 2004 that was directed by Takeo Takahashi for IMAGIN and Studio Live. The show had a fairly limited broadcast run as not a lot of networks were running twelve minute shows at the time and it’s also one that really does push some boundaries in terms of acceptability. Which may explain why only the first nine episodes were broadcast and the final foru were DVD only releases. Though that may just be my Western sense of morality stepping in more than it usually does. The series is at its core a standard harem show with a decent mix of comedy, but it takes the fanservice up a few notches and turns one of the darker and crueler aspects for a lead male than we usually see. In some ways, it reminded me more of some darker and misogynistic hentai series out there while not going all the way.

The series revolves around lead male character Ooizumi, a seventeen year old young man who is about to enter his senior year of high school. He’s been hired on to a new TV show called The Super Transforming Cosmopolitan Prayers, aka Cos-prayers, to create a video diary of their recordings for promotional purposes. It’s a big job for a young man and it’s a difficult one since the entire sentai team is filled with women. And one of them is someone he goes to school with, Yagami, and he’s completely in love with her. With the show starting filming before the start of school, he’s excited to spend time with her and the others outside of school, but he hopes to get closer to her there too. The trick to all of this though is that through a screw up, the secret truth to the whole show is that Ooizumi actually wrote and created it, but it has to be kept hidden due to the snafu and his age. Doing the diary lets him show up on set, but nobody outside of one of the managers knows the truth.

So the show spends its first six episodes with each one roughly covering a separate month and showing them going on their recording journey, doing things on set, taking vacations and just talking up the production, its troubles and how the actresses are struggling at times with their parts. Naturally, Ooizumi is an easy person to talk to and they all get close to him in similar ways, which is awkward as while a couple of them are seventeen like him, a couple are fourteen and one of them is eleven years old. While the show generally keeps things clean, it’s the time outside of it that’s awkward as it plays up some fetishes at times, such as swimsuits, and there’s plenty of bath and shower scenes. And Ooizumi seemingly misinterprets some of their blunt behavior with him in how they flirt with him to get better parts and more screen time.

And because we have some really young characters here – that are kept realistic in chest sizes at least – it has a lot of nudity that can be pretty uncomfortable since it’s thrown in your face regularly. This is even more important as it goes along because we learn – spoiler ahoy – that the girls know the truth about Ooizumi and are all using their sexuality to try and improve their roles while hiding that they know all about it from him. When Ooizumi realizes that he’s been used, especially by Yagami since he truly loves her, he gets all psycho controlling by coming up with some brutal bits of sexual revenge on them. The first time around it’s just his imagination, which is worse of course, and the second time ends up being similar but different. And to add insult to injury, the girls all seemingly grow in their acting skills because of what Ooizumi did. The show as a whole started off alright, but the more it went on, the more it left a bad taste in my mouth with what it was doing with these characters. Anime has an obvious strain of misogyny about it that’s always there, but shows like this just come across as so much more blatant and hard to stomach that it left me feeling unnerved by it all.

In Summary:
At it’s core, we do have a relatively straightforward harem comedy here as you can see all the basics that are used when it comes to setting, characters and progress overall. Unlike a lot of those other harem comedies, it’s more overt with its sexuality and involves more younger characters that causes it to be more difficult to get into. The show is may have come from 2004, but it feels decidedly early 1990’s in a lot of ways and like it was originally intended to be a hentai show that had its budget and actual sex scenes cut. There’s a ton of nudity in here and some paper thin plots, but it does try to have some heart but it seems like it gets stomped on and crushed halfway through where it turns darker, crueler and less and less interesting.

Features:
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, TV Commercials, CD Commercials, Clean Opening Animation, Clean Closing Animation

Content Grade: D
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: B-
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B-
Extras Grade: B-

Released By: Maiden Japan
Release Date: May 21st, 2013
MSRP: $39.98
Running Time: 195 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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