The fanservice factor gets upped and the harem material gets sillier in a really fun way.
What They Say:
The insanity that began when a very naked (and very female) alien teleported into Rito Yuki’s bathtub (while he was in it) continues. And even though Princess Lala has finally started to admit her true feelings for the young man she’s inexplicably engaged to marry (as a result of what happened in said bathtub and Develuke customs,) her sometimes erratic technology and the snags and snarls of intergalactic politics and intrigue are still causing major problems. That transporter? Yeah, it still has the nasty habit of leaving the clothes behind. Alien bounty hunters? Yep, even more of them and they’re even more devious. Add body switches, alien skunks, a bathroom that changes size and shape, the inevitable sleepover that you just know it’s going to go horribly, horribly wrong, and worst of all, Valentine’s Day, and even in space you’ll be able to hear Rito scream! Love takes a quantum shift into the wrong gear and the star brakes are broken in the extra-special, extra-crazy extraterrestrial romance to end them all, MOTTO TO LOVE RU – The Complete Collection! Now in high definition!
The audio presentation for this release is simple and straightforward as we get only the original Japanese language track in stereo encoded using the DTS-HD MA lossless codec. The series has a good mix of dialogue, wacky dialogue and action pieces to it that keeps it lively and flowing. The nature of the show is one that fits your standard romantic comedy with slice of silly action material well as the forward soundstage moves well through as we get a good range of material which does some decent placement at times and certainly with plenty of faster pieces as they move across the screen. The big action pieces aren’t exactly huge in a way and they lack a lot of punch but they fit for this kind of show. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally airing in 2008, the transfer for this twenty-six episode TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The series is on one disc only with the twelve episode season as a whole here. This is one episode less on the disc than the first season and that’s a bit of a concern to be sure, but the folks at Sentai said that without an additional language track, there’s more than enough room. For the most part, the transfer here is pretty good with bright and vibrant colors that maintain a solid feel throughout outside of a few minor areas. Most of the colors generally look very good with a lot of pop to them and the flow of animation definitely looks good. While the first season wasn’t bad, this one just has better animation and color design that allows it to look better.
The packaging for this release brings us a standard sized Blu-ray case that holds the single disc inside. Like the first season, we get the DVD artwork tweaked slightly to accommodate the case size. The cover has a good black framing which makes the various pinks stand out all the more, which would normally be a problem, but the combination of the two here looks really good. The character artwork is certainly appealing with its bright vivid colors that lets the skimpy nature of Haruna and Lala’s look be the main focal point, which is both a good and bad thing. The back cover follows the same layout with the framing while bringing in one piece of character artwork that looks really nice. There’s a lot of shots from the show through the lower middle that shows off the character designs as best as you can with a small space. The summary provides the usual comical look at the premise of the show while the rest is given over to the production credits and a clean accurate technical grid. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.
The menu design for this release is a pretty colorful and engaging one with what it does as we get pink and blue swirls dominating the background done in a light way while on top of it we get some very vibrant images of Haruna and Lala together, albeit different sizes. Lala gets her alien costume here which means a lot of color while Haruna is a bit more traditional in her school uniform. The right side provides the menu navigation strip which is essentially just the episodes by number and title which has a lot of pop as well with the pink, black and white while the second volume has a touch more with the extras submenu. The release has no language options and the whole thing moves smoothly and looks good when used as a pop-up menu.
The only extras included in this release are the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences.
After having a lot of fun with the first twenty-six episode run of To Love Ru in all its fanservice glory, a follow up single season of twelve episodes takes all of that and just runs with it. With the first series that we had, it was a lot of fun and while at times it felt like the two seasons might be a bit much overall, it continually left me laughing and enjoying the situation that everyone had gotten themselves into. It populated itself with basic characters and connections that wouldn’t surprise anyone whose watched such shows over the years, but it executed it well and it was one of those times where everything just clicked right for me. It delivered laughs, fun characters and plenty of sexiness that almost makes you cringe but doesn’t quite go that far. And this series is essentially more of the same.
With episodes broken down into three parts each, it lets it do a lot of short run comedy in a very engaging way without having any of it overstay its welcome. One of the bigger problems for a lot of comedy series is that they get an overall gag for an episode and the run it into the ground over the course of that episode, or focus on the cliches repeatedly during it where the characters don’t really change. Here, the characters aren’t changing but they adjust who is involved on a regular basis so that it’s just not a constant. And doing three short tales in the episodes helps to make that flow a lot better, even with Rito as the main character getting into a whole lot of trouble. His life as a young man with girls who really do know how to mess with him is priceless. He’s practically got the keys to many kingdoms but the girls keep it just out of reach or he’s not entirely into them and focusing on others. But these near-successes on a regular basis doesn’t hurt the show in the long run which is a saving and surprising grace.
Much of this season is pretty much as you’d expect since all the heavy lifting was done in the previous seasons. Because of that, they just go for the fun with the silly stories that involves a lot of fanservice, from pool scenes to compromising situations that that gets Rito involved with the girls. Often you get the sisters getting involved, mostly just Momo though, and there’s some cute tail stroking that comes into play. The same can be said of Yami as she continues to try and get to know what it’s like to live a normal life on Earth while still in the background keeping to her main reason for being there of, well, killing Rito. There are some fun bits with Yami that helps to soften her a bit here as the two spend time together and as Mikan gets to befriend her a lot. Yami also ends up going through a bit of body switching in an episode that has several of them doing that but she also later gets her whole personality softened to the point where she offers herself up to Rito. It’s cute how the two play together though it’s never a relationship that you really want to see come to fruition.
While this kind of material does dominate the series and it’s incredibly fun, it also does start to work the relationship quandary more towards the end and culminates in a final episode that dedicates it all the the phrase of “I Love You” in a good way. With this season focusing on the way Rito gets to understand that Haruna has feelings for him, it comes in interesting ways, including some time spent as a dog and getting to live with her a bit which includes a whole lot of licking. I really like the whole Rito and Haruna relationship angle and seeing it unfold here is wonderful. His relationship with Lala never quite clicked as well as this, but you can see how he’s the type that cares for both to different levels and a lot of it with Haruna is that he’s been into her for awhile and hopes to seal the deal. Seeing them work through this in the final episode is great since it finally gives us a call back to his potentially being the King of the Universe and what he can do because of it, but also because it goes the angle that I honestly wish more series would of the harem nature in that when you all do get along, there are options.
When it comes to shows like Motto To Love Ru, it’s easy to see why it gets a fair bit of derision and a sign as what’s wrong with anime these days. Similar to when I watched it the first time, it’s the kind of show that definitely has its place in the world of anime and it continually made me smile throughout if not laugh outright. The show plays up the fanservice in a big way and it really doesn’t hold back when it comes to camera angles, the amount of skin shown and that it goes the distance with the whole nipples aspect. So many shows avoid that. Here, it plays it up and does it with great looking fanservice but also characters that I can’t help but to enjoy watching run around and getting into trouble. And a huge amount of the fun comes from the fact that it doesn’t run the gags into the ground and never takes itself too seriously, even when it gets down to the “end story” to bring things to a close. With this high definition release, everything is bumped up a few notches in presentation as the whole thing just comes across cleaner and clearer with a whole lot more pop to it and definitely a bit more volume when it comes to the lossless audio track. Very fun and a great way to add a little more to the franchise overall.
Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening, Clean Closing
Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: May 27th, 2014
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 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.