...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.