What They Say:
Did Riko Yuki’s life go to hell in a handbasket when a naked alien princess from the planet Deviluke suddenly appeared in his bathtub and he found himself betrothed into the universe’s most dysfunctional romantic relationship? No, but only because he never got a damned handbasket. Even if the luscious Princess Lala is finally starting to admit her real feelings for her earthling scum significant other, there are so many other things constantly going wrong that Riko’s doing well just to survive.
Whether it’s due to bounty hunters, a defective transporter, body switches, alien skunks, mighty morphing power bathrooms, a sleepover that goes horribly, horribly wrong, or, that worst galactic scourge of all, Valentine’s Day, each day seems determined to prove why you should never, ever, marry a monster from outer space in the continuing conjugal cataclysm that is Motto to Love Ru!
The audio presentation for this release is simple and straightforward as we get the original Japanese language track in stereo encoded using the DTS-HD MA lossless codec along with the newly created English language dub done in the same. 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 absurd life bits while also handling the action material across the forward soundstage. It moves well through all of this in both tracks 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 2010, 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 previous edition had all twelve episodes on one disc since it was monolingual, but here we get a nine/three breakdown with the dub that I think gives it more room to work with overall. The transfer here is pretty good with bright and vibrant colors that maintain a solid feel throughout outside of a few minor areas. The main offender, and it’s a weak offender overall considering the amount of content here, is that some of the darker green school interior pieces look like they have a bit more noise to them.This was something we saw with the first season and continues here if a bit more muted. Most of the colors generally look good and solid though and the flow of animation definitely looks good.
The packaging for this edition of the season brings us a standard-sized Blu-ray case that holds the two discs without any hinges. The front cover artwork is changed up as well as we get our two leading ladies together, all snuggled close together in bed, with just a bit of the sheet draped around them in some sexy ways to heighten one’s interest in it. I really like the use of new artwork for editions like this and this cover is just perfect in what it says. The back cover follows the same layout with the framing while bringing in one piece of character artwork that looks really nice with the pink and black framing and slight angles that blends well with the blue of the case itself. 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 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 who’s 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, but one that you can experience anew with the English providing a new slant on it for viewers with how they interpret the characters.
As we said the last time, this is a show where the women get to really dominate as the couple of male characters are almost background at times. Ry McKeand does what he can with Rito but there’s only so much for Rito to really do here like before, but I really do enjoy the way he tries to handle the women in his life and just how crazy it gets. As before, Alexis Tipton as Lala is definitely the highlight here and she makes the character work really well as it again ramps up in either the silly or the sensual based on the situations. She also gets to play off Bryn Apprill as Haruna and that means the two of them have a lot of on-screen back and forth and attempts at overacting each other to deal with how scenes escalate. Haruna’s a favorite of mine and remains my top here, especially with Bryn voicing her, but Alexis really gives the character a run for the money with how she brings Lala to life. This season gets to play with Yami a bit more, who had more of a role in the back half of the previous season. Katelyn Barr delivers the deadpan just right and so many of her scenes left me grinning with how it unfolds and the delivery of lines.
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 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 involve a lot of fanservice, from pool scenes to compromising situations that get 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 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 to 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. Being able to enjoy it in a new way with the English dub definitely helps and left me smiling a lot, taking a new view on the familiar. 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. The addition of a dub takes an already solid property that’s very fun and gives it that little extra that I hope draws in new fans that will be around for a long time to come.
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: February 16th, 2021
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.