As close encounters of the twisted kind between the residents of the planet Develuke (represented primarily by the female members of the royal family) and the inhabitants of Earth (represented mainly by one very exhausted Rito Yuki) continue to escalate, the situation spirals even further out of control. When junior princesses Nana and Momo transferred into Earth School where big sister LaLa can (theoretically) keep an eye on them, things SHOULD be smooth sailing. But when Momo decides she'd like to "supplement" Rito's relationship with LaLa with a little "sisterly love," you know LaLa's not going to waste any time splitting harems. Unfortunately, it's just about that point that 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 can apply a little of her Develukean Whoop Ass to exactly that portion of certain other heavenly bodies!
First off, I want to say To LOVE-Ru Darkness is not for everyone.
This show is NOT for people who hate fanservice and/or harems. This show IS for people who love tons of ecchi, harems, and more ecchi. To top it off, To LOVE-Ru Darkness actually has... wait for it... a plot. *Gasp* Really?! Yes, it does. It's not just mindless fanservice (although that's cool too). You should definitely watch this show if ecchi is your thing.
...But you all probably knew that since this is the third season of the To LOVE-Ru series and you've seen the first two seasons (To LOVE-Ru and Motto To LOVE-Ru,
respectively). If you haven't, then there really is no point in reading this review! Go check out the first two seasons!
Now, there are a few things I want to go over about this show:
1) Story - 7/10
You claim all ecchi shows have no plot? Think again! At first glance, the To LOVE-Ru series might seem that way, but in reality it has many arcs that keeps pointing in one direction. Sure, it's not going to be some mindblowing masterpiece like Death Note, but how can you even compare TLRD to something so different?! We have to realize that the main goal of the show is to make us go crazy over which heroine the male protagonist will choose in the end. So far, it has done that well.
However, like I've said before this show does have a bit of a story. I mean, there are two girls from outerspace trying to accomplish different things with the male protagonist. Conflicting things, if I might add. Then you get to see many girls on earth who show interest in the male protagonist. Well, it doesn't stop there because in TLRD there are even more girls from outerspace trying to accomplish things with...you guessed it: the male protagonist.
Of course, if you are Momo Bella Deviluke such troublesome things look more like a great opportunity. So for an ecchi-harem, To Love-Ru should please many (in more ways than one ;)).
Don't get me wrong -- Yeah it does have a story but it's still considerably weak. It isn't anything compelling but there are moments where it leaves you wanting more. It's enjoyable nonetheless. I'll leave it at that.
2) Art - 10/10
The To LOVE-Ru series has come a long way in terms of artwork. In the first season, the visuals were great for its time. But damn, the second season and third season turned it up a level or two. The scenery, the characters, even the small background objects look amazing. However, I remember reading forum posts and reviews criticizing the second and third season's artwork. You see... when the studio colored the characters, they added this shiny gloss to them to give the illusion of rounded body parts (i.e. the chin, elbows, knees). Not a lot of people liked it but personally I loved it. I think the studio made a good decision keeping the artwork for TLRD the same as the second season.
So overall, I think the show has beautiful art.
3) Sound - 8/10
Since it has been a year or two since the last season finished airing, To LOVE-Ru Darkness may come as a surprise to you in the sound department. Beginning with the OP song, I found it to be very good. It's called "RAKUEN PROJECT" by Ray. It's sort of a mix of electronic/dance music with rock. It threw me off a bit because the first few seconds sounded like the last few seconds of an ED song. I literally said "Damnit, this isn't the real version of the episode!" However a few seconds later you get to the "actual" part of the song. It's a really good song. Kinda stuck in my head now...
About the voice actors - You may find that you dislike the chosen voice actors for some of the characters in the show. I remember when I watched the first episode... I was wondering why the girls sounded so much younger than they looked. I thought for a second maybe they changed voice actors since the last season because I didn't remember them sounding like this. So I did a little research but found out they used the same voice actors as last season. I shrugged and decided to just watch through the first episode and hope that the voices grew on me. Well what do you know? By the end of the episode I wasn't thinking twice about having someone else voice the characters. You might appreciate the voices even more when you get to the "naughty" scenes ;).
The background music was very good too. Subtle, but good. There is usually a ballad playing when it gets to storytelling time and an upbeat soundtrack during the rare intense scenes (fighting, heated dialogues with enememies, etc.). There aren't many sound effects besides the occassional boob/ass grab. Even I found that hilariously good.
I'm not particularly fond with the ED song. It's called "Foul Play ni Kurari" by Kanon Wakeshima. It is a fast-tempo song with a string orchestra. A good song, don't get me wrong but for an ending it's a bit too 'cutesy'. I would have preferred a rock song with a bit of a ballad-edge to it but this song is good, too.
4) Characters - 9/10
One of the first things you will realize in To LOVE-Ru Darkness is the lack of Lala Satalin Deviluke. In the first two seasons, she was the main heroine but she has since dwindled into just another heroine subject to equal competition. Actually, she doesn't even get as much screentime now. I really miss her and I find myself happy just being able to see her even for a second.
Sadly, because of all the new characters the show has pretty much changed from being a harem that ends with a relationship between just two people into a harem that strictly aims to create a harem ending. I have mixed feelings about the change. On the one hand, I want Lala to win but on the other hand I'm starting to see myself change opinions because of the numerous interactions the other characters have with Rito.
Let us begin with the male protagonist. Yuuki Rito. He's a pretty typical character. He's clumsy, thick-headed sometimes, but a good person inside. Many girls like that about him. What makes him stand out though is the fact he's notorious for getting into situations that end with him being on top or under a girl. Sometimes he's naked. Sometimes the girl is naked. Sometimes they're BOTH naked! Top that off with just plain dirty and awkward hand positions like breasts/butt-groping, face-in-crotch/butt/breasts and you have one lucky bastard (minus the fact he usually gets punished for it after).
Then we have Yami the Golden Darkness. Yami for short. Yami is a quiet kuudere/dandere whose mission is to kill Yuuki Rito - although she doesn't really seem to want to do it. In the first two seasons, we didn't get much of her. She was just another character in the story for the most part. However, in this season it focuses on Yami and uncovering her past. This goes back to me saying that this show has a story!
Mea Kurosaki will be the first new character you'll be introduced to in this season. She is an assassin who was sent to earth by a master to monitor Yami's actions. By the way, Yami and Mea are sisters. They both have the ability to transform their hair into weapons and such. Although she appears to be nice (and sometimes curiously perverted) on the outside, she has a dark heart just like Yami. She's like the second best character in the show IMO. I really like her dirty schemes haha. You get to see more of that later on.
Now...Momo Bella Deviluke. Oh my goodness...she is AMAZING.To me, she's the best character in TLRD. I even dare say she is one of the best female characters of 2012. Not many will agree simply because they don't know about the show but those who have watched To LOVE-Ru Darkness will agree. They have to! I mean, c'mon she's what fuels the fire in the season. The perverted tactician would be a suitable title for her. We mostly see the story from her perspective. Her main goal is to be with Yuuki Rito, but she's okay with Yuuki Rito ending up with every girl. Wait. She isn't just okay with it - she WANTS it to happen. She ACTIVELY pursues that goal! That's why she is so entertaining to watch. And just wait until you see her extremely perverted delusions. It's hilarious!
I'd talk about the other characters but there isn't much to say. That is not to say they don't have any character development because they do. Run/Ren Elsie Jewelria is one good example of a character with good development. There are a few more characters that have yet to be introduced but I don't want to spoil it and say what happens so just watch the show!
5) Enjoyment - 10/10
Let me keep it brief: I enjoy this series so much. It is definitely the best ecchi/harem series I have watched in the past two years of my anime life. This show is so damn hilarious and entertaining to watch. I even end up watching it as soon as it comes out despite not having subs! All because I'm impatient and want to watch the show as soon as it comes out.
It's not that bad for me to watch it raw though because I'm up to date with the manga and know a bit of Japanese so I know what's going on. But anyways, 10/10!
6) Overall - 8/10
Overall, I find To LOVE-Ru Darkness to be refreshing. Even though the show does an extremely good job at it, ecchi is not the main reason why this show is good. The main reason why this show is good is because of the story, artwork, and characters. Without those three, the ecchi would lack a lot of substance. I know it's weird saying that because people think those who watch ecchi are pleased with just boobs and butts but NO. We want more! And where do we find it? In To LOVE-Ru!
So go ahead and watch To LOVE-Ru Darkness. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good ecchi show. Perhaps even those who don't watch ecchi that much but have an open-mind. Try it out and see.
Thanks for reading my review. Thank you even more if you read everything I wrote and not just skim through it. Yes, I consider them two different situations. You know it's true. :)
Please hit the 'helpful'' if you find this review helpful.
Even if you didn't find it helpful, I appreciate you checking it out.
There can only be one series that would be considered the forefront of a particular genre that currently gives it its own identity or face; that series in question would be To Love Ru. It has had a rough start in its adaptation to the original source material by not providing a coherent narrative to the manga. Eventually it has made a name for itself for being the aforementioned forefront of Ecchi thanks to the later seasons that are somewhat “reboots” in the pure sense of the word reboot. Now comes To Love Ru Darkness, which is a separate manga that continues the story of
To Love Ru, to breathe new life to its characters and comedy. To put it bluntly, it is a triumphant sequel that exceeds all expectations.
“That’s perfectly natural behavior for a living creature,” says Mea Kurosaki. This quote itself, in which the word “that” is supposed to signify sexual thoughts, is what encapsulates the entirety of To Love Ru Darkness’s charm as a whole. It tells us how we should view Darkness as nothing more but a fun joy ride through joyous comedy and beautiful girls through sexual feelings, but we shouldn’t be ashamed by this mere fact alone. That is one of the main selling points of the show, in that it lives off of making us feel excited through hilarious incidents of girls in suggestive situations without making it feel demeaning or deliberate to either of the sexes. This aspect alone that To Love Ru Darkness expresses should be an example that all Ecchi shows should follow in the near future, which sadly isn’t always the case.
Now to express how all the things I mentioned in the previous paragraph work unlike in most shows in what Darkness follows, the one thing that absolutely works is how every character all carry the show with their likability despite their very cliched nature. Cliched in the sense that you have Yui Kotegawa who is the stereotypical tsundere who wants order in the classroom, Nana who’s another tsundere, Mikan the younger half-sister who loves him, Yami the Dandere psychopath, and Haruna who the protagonist has feelings for yet she so happens to be in love with him as well. Despite how many would view cliches as a negative term, however, the way how Darkness handles them is through sheer charm and personality that make them feel energetic and alive. You even feel contempt for them whenever drama happens between the characters even with their stereotypical archetypes. However if there is one character that must have one full paragraph alone to analyze would be the one and only Momo Deviluke.
Because of the fact that she is the new heroine of the series, replacing Lala, Momo is what makes Darkness so special and wonderful to experience. Thanks to the glorious voice of Aki Toyosaki, Momo’s sarcastic and devious personality makes her such a delight to see on-screen when she is having one of her humorous fantasies and her clever schemes to make the girls fall more in love with Rito. With these things in mind, you might think that Momo’s personality only give off this one-sided aspect of it, which is mostly being a devious pervert throughout the entire show. I would like to describe a scene that happens in the last episode involving her and Rito in a gym closet room. Momo is on top of Rito seducing him as usual until we suddenly see Rito finally give into his instincts and do the same things to her and then we suddenly see Momo in a very vulnerable state. It isn’t until later that we find out it was just another fantasy that Momo was imagining while on top of him. This fantasy she envisioned took her by surprise, something of which we never see her go through before. It wasn’t until Rito finally tries to stop her by putting his hand on her arm which suddenly surprises her and jumps away from him quickly in fear and respite with her constant breathing and blushing face. We now see Momo in a completely different light than we are used to seeing her before. It is this scene alone that makes Momo a three-dimensional character by not through general exposition, but through character interaction.
Something that has changed from previous installments of the series is the art direction. While all of the characters still look the same, everything is now colored in very bright overtones. While many can argue that Motto To Love Ru art looked more better in terms of how the characters looked, that should not disregard that Darkness’s art still looks great in keeping the traditional manga art in context with the show. One thing that I’ve always admired the series and more so in Darkness is how they’ve always drew the girls and their figures that actually look very gorgeous without overemphasizing anything on their body like many other ecchi shows tend to do. Thanks to this, the girls actually look like High School aged girls who have just hit their period of going through many changes in their body and not the other way around.
To Love Ru has not been widely known for having an impacting story to show forth underneath its charming fan-service; it wasn’t until Darkness where we actually do have one that fills this very gap. Generally most people will think that the writers wouldn’t bother with writing a competent story being the fact that it is an ecchi series and those typically don’t go so well. While Darkness doesn’t break any new ground in this aspect, it does have an interesting twist in the harem genre where the heroine is actually the one doing all the work to help our protagonist get all the girls. Like I mentioned with Momo’s schemes, her intentions on doing these are very well-handled in how it balances sweet romantic moments and pure fun comedy. There isn’t a sudden tonal shift between drama and comedy in an effort to make it edgy, thankfully. The plot might not be a deep one to experience, it doesn’t really try to be one in the first place and sticks with it which is very well appreciated.
Rito himself as a protagonist, I would say, can be grating at times in how slow they build him up to be a harem leader after years of seeing him constantly getting flustered over women falling over him. In Darkness, it still portrays Rito as if he hasn’t experienced a girl falling on him in a questionable position before even though we’ve seen him in the past in these types of position countless times before. You’d think he would get used to it by now and not be phased by it after all these months but nope. For what he’s worth, he still has some moments where he comes across as caring and likable to everyone he meets so there’s never really a moment where you think to yourself, “Why would any girl fall in love with this boy in the first place?”
Onto the comedy itself, needless to say there will not be one person who is into suggestive comedies to be disappointed with Darkness at all. Almost every situation is handled with great comedic timing, whether it be a scene involving Rito and a girl bump into each other and, in true ecchi fashion, be in a very awkward position to the public to see or a scene that’s in a constant pace in showing jokes that involves hilarious dialogue between characters; a great example would be between Nana and Mea or Momo, or vice versa. Not all jokes hit the right notes throughout the entirety of the show’s duration but for what it’s worth, it will nevertheless entertain the masses who, like myself, love to engage in hilarious perverted comedy.
Not only do the characters themselves make the show enjoyable to watch, but the voice acting is what gives them their absolutely endearing personality through the sheer talent that Darkness brings to the table. I’ve already mentioned Aki Toyosaki previously, but she’s not the only great Seiyuu in the casting. Kana Hanazawa plays wonderfully as an upstanding little sister for Rito and giving Mikan a clear voice that feels perfect for her. Nana and Momo prove to be one of the best sister duos in anime thanks to the great chemistry between Itou Kanae and Aki Toyosaki, who have previously worked together in a somewhat similar situation in Railgun. Only this time it’s Aki who plays the devious one instead of Kanae and it definitely shows that Aki’s voice really does fit with that archetype more than Kanae. Finally we have Kaori Nazuka as Yui Kotegawa, probably one of the best tsundere roles we have had in a long time. Her authoritative voice, combined with childlike embarrassment will surely make any man’s, no matter what age, heart burst with joy and pure ecstasy.
What it all comes down to is that Darkness won’t win any new fans that aren’t into something like To Love Ru, but even with that said it is something that you should still at least try to see once to see if it pulls you in. Anyone who is in fact a fan will feel right at home with this new installment that has so much to offer for ecchi fans and people who are fans of the series for more than the fan-service. It will be funny and sometimes heartwarming in its romantic undertones for everyone who has followed the franchise since the beginning. That will ultimately lead to us hunger for more and for now with the OVAs coming out here and there to continue it. For now, Darkness is more than enough for us to enjoy while we wait for the next big anime installment for To Love Ru.
...and the reward for best Ecchi anime of 2012 goes to... To LOVE-Ru Darkness!!!
Those of you who do not like Ecchi/fanservice anime might want to stop reading here. This anime focuses mainly on these two things and will most likely not be for you. Now for those who are in to Ecchi/fanservice, I will tell you why i think To LOVE-Ru Darkness is so great.
To LOVE-Ru Darkness is a sequel to the original To LOVE-Ru series. I highly suggest watching To LOVE-Ru, Motto To LOVE-Ru, and all the OVA's before you watch Darkness. For those who have watched and are familiar with the To
LOVE-Ru series, To LOVE-Ru Darkness continues straight off from where Motto To LOVE-Ru leaves off. It - believe it or not- actually has a plot to it that extends for more than one episode.
The story this time mostly focuses on the alien princess Momo and her harem plan for her beloved Yuuki Rito. We also get a some back story about Yami, who was a side character for most of the To LOVE-Ru series. The plot is nothing special, but it is still pretty good. We get random nonsensical episodes here and there, then we would be thrown back into the actual story. There is a good balance of serious scenes and comedic scenes that makes the series quite enjoyable even if you do not like Ecchi that much.
An important thing to remember is not to focus too much on the plot though. Like the other To LOVE-Ru series, the story should not be taken too seriously. The issues do not even get resolved by the last episode, so yes it is a cliff hanger ending. What truly carries this series is it's very appealing fanservice.
That brings us to the artwork. The backgrounds are extremely bright and colorful. The characters are beautifully drawn and very hot. If you are looking for an anime with a cast of very sexy girls doing borderline hentai stuff, then this is what you are looking for. The only problem is the bright lights of censorship, but those will be taken away in the blu-ray releases.
The characters are really nothing special though. Yes, they are all pretty, but their personalities are as generic as you can get in anime. The way i see it, you can split the characters in to two groups. One side has all of the girls who want the main character, Yuuki Rito , and will be all over him when ever they get screen time. The other side also likes Rito, but they are too shy to express their feelings. Pretty normal for a harem anime.
Does this mean that they are not fun to watch? Hell no. Watching their hilarious and erotic interactions with Rito has been great a experience. Many of these scenes are very risque, so it would be best to turn down the volumes and lock your bedroom doors. This is probably the best part of To LOVE-Ru Darkness. Some of the scenes might seem a bit cliche- like the classic falling over and groping a girl's chest scene- but it can still be very amusing. Enjoy To LOVE-Ru for the Ecchi/fanservice because that is where this show excels the most.
So what is my overall opinion of this anime? It's a great show, but definitely not perfect. Its ability to only attract a specific audience- the Ecchi/fanservice lovers- severely lowers it's potential. For those of us who do favor fanservice heavy shows, then this is like a treasure among treasures. Definitely give this a shot because you'll like what you see.
To love ru darkness, brings up the new hope about how a harem anime which usually have negative comments can make all that comments gone. A common knowledge to all the anime lover that harem anime is usually is lack in the plot and story, since what makes harem anime interesting is fanservice and all beautiful or moe girl. If you have ever seen The World God Only Knows then maybe you have seen a good example how a harem anime can turn into from fun harem into a serious harem anime (in story aspects).
Back to the To Love Ru darkness , if
you have ever seen the previous season of To love ru darkness (To love ru and Motto to love ru), maybe you will realize the "gap" between this anime between the previous season. Not just from the score (which TLR darkness have bigger score than the two previous) but also from story aspects. if those previous seasons are TOTALLY random and doesnt have strong plot or story then this anime was 180 degree between those two. honestly, i really feel relieved since To love ru is getting better in each season, from the season 1 which is really abstract and season 2 which like a gag anime and to the season 3 (TLR darkness) which i felt like my effort for watching this series is paid off.
To love ru darkness or we can called TLR darkness, is focussing on Momo (Lala's sister) and Mae (Yami's sister) story. As for Mae, she is the new character that just appears in this season. Anyway, this anime has two main story, for the first one is Momo obssession to make a harem plan for Rito, since she thinks with the harem plan Rito can make all the girl happy, and for the second was about Mae and Yami (i am not gonna spoil it). So, what makes this season differences between those two previous season? First it was the story itself, So this series FINALLY have a story? YES IT IS! we have a main goal and know what this story about, and it obviously different with other season, like Motto To love ru, until i had finished Motto, i still dont know what the story about and it really like Shinyraku Ika Musume which have 3 different stories in each episode (I love Ika musume), but honestly it didnt fits well for a series like To love ru.
Back again to TLR darkness, after the story lets talk about the art. This maybe the whole reason why people love to watch TLR darkness. I am not gonna exaggerate it but it was superbly amazing! my first impression was extremely colourful and, so bright. The lines for the character design is really have a high quality art, like from the each character's hair or body. If you comparing between the art quality between the season 1 or season 2 and this season, you wil realizel see how big the gap between those season. Not just from the art for the character itself, the background was suprisingly really well-made. It was colourful, beautiful, and gorgeous. My eyes were never tired to watching the quality of this anime, my suggestion is you must watch this anime in the highest quality to improve the enjoyness.
Then, lets moving into the sound section, first lets talk about the opening songs. "RAKUEN PROJECT" by Ray. Honestly i dont really care about the opening songs in every anime but then i thought i might give it a try. From the first i listen it, and its directly raping up my ears. I totally love it, what makes more awesome is the video clip in those opening, it was heartwarming (especially in the end of the songs when Mae and Momo hugs Rito) not just the video clip, the lyric is really describing on what TLR is about. for me it was really fits with the anime and yet its a lovely song to hear. And for the ED, i didnt really paying attention to it, since it doesnt so special.
For the seiyuu,i dont find any negative things in here. Oh! For the new character, Mea which is being sounded by Yuka Iguchi (the seiyuu for Tsukihi from bakemonogatari and Maria from boku wa tomodachi) is really good, its really suitable with the Mea's traits which is taciturn and sometimes being naughty. as for the other main character in this series like Momo, Aki Toyosaki really did a good job for being a seiyuu for Momo. It was cute and easily grasp every viewer who're listening her voice.
And, finally, the character section. The character in this series is probably what makes this anime so special. Since in this series we will have a good developments between each character and more, We have nearly 8 or more CUTE girls that appears in this series not to mention how lucky that Rito being loved by many cute girls. because of so many girls that appears in this anime, i will just describing the main character in this series.
For the first, we have Mea Kurosaki. The new character that appears in this season series. Mea is like Yami, she is an assasin who is being sent by "master" to look for Yami, like i said before Mea is Yami's sister, so they same kind of ability that can transform their body into a weapon.On the first impression, you will see her as a taciturn girl and emotionless, but as far as the story goes, she had developments in her characters and of course the "love" development between Rito and her. its harem anyway.
The Second one is Yami, as we know from the previous season, she appears to be a dandere girl , which is cool and taciturn. She is also a loner and more She states she hates "ecchi" people, and does not hesitate to assault a person who looks at her in an obscene way, and usually Rito is the victim of this. lol. For this series, we will see the development between Yami and her friends.
The third one is Momo Devilluke Belia, she is Lala's sister and Nana's twin, she appears to be a naughty girl which is usually tease Rito in her way, despite of her action, she really loves Rito even she makes a harem plan just for Rito and even she is always protect Rito from any dangers .The last one is Rito, our main character in this series. I dont have many words for him, one sentence for me, He is a lucky guy who is being liked by many cute girls!.
I do really love with this series especially this season, because they had improve their quality like from the story and the art. But of course, there is nothing that perfect, so does this anime. Still there was unnecessary fanservice that really distrubing my eyes, Like how Rito is always trapped in such ecchi scenes (like he is usually grabbing boobs absently or how he trapped in Yami's panties without any logical reasons), but despite of that unnecessary scenes, i know that scenes were made to refresh our eyes. And of course its acceptable since this anime genre is Ecchi, honestly, although i found that unnecessary, as a man i must said it was kinda fun.
At the last, I must say i quite enjoyed this anime. I really surprise on how this anime can improve are, from such a fail anime turned into an amazing anime. of course, thanks to Momo and Mea as the new character that makes this anime more lively and fun.
The summary for this review :
+ Finally has a strong plot
+ This season have some improvement than the previous one
+ Amazing OP
+ A good developments between each characters
- Unnecessary fanservice scenes that sometimes didnt really make a sense, but oh well. Its ecchi anime anyway
- There is still fillers episode
*Thanks for reading my review! If you found this review was not helpful or doesnt good enough,please message me. I really appreciate any feedbacks*
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