This is a part of an ongoing collaboration of ‘To Love-Ru’ reviews between myself and Irina from I Drink And Watch Anime, the links to the other reviews can be found at the bottom of this post. My words are in bold, while Irina’s are in plain text.
The Episode Review:
And now we continue to Episode 8 and before this episode started I honestly couldn’t remember a thing about it. Which was good because I didn’t have any expectations–well other than it was the introduction of a new character, but we’ll get to that in a minute… It’s a jam-packed first few minutes of the episode, as we’re re-introduced to Run (from Episode 7) and rich girl Saki (from Episode 5). Were you glad to see these characters back and interfering in Rito’s life after their debuts? I was confused by Run. Her personality and/or IQ also really changes a lot. I sort of forgot who she was supposed to be. I was relieved the blonde girl was ok.
Were you at all confused about why Run was so enamoured with Rito and wanting to give him a kiss after they shared barely a sentence together the previous episode? I really was. I thought I had skipped an episode for a second there. I figured she would have been in love with Lala, like her counterpart. Maybe it’s a trick to separate him from Lala? It’s not really properly explained but the blink and you’ll miss it moment in Episode 7 where Run (in boy form as Ren) accidentally kisses Rito was enough for her to fall in love with Rito. Ren and Run are two separate consciousnesses and personalities sharing the one body (well that’s not strictly true either since their bodies change)… this got more confusing than I intended it to be!
Saki’s still up to her old tricks, trying her best to win Rito away from Lala the only way she knows how, with skimpy outfits! (We’ll talk more about that in the fan service section of this review though!) Wasn’t Saki just doing that cause she was jealous of the attention Lala was getting? Is that still a thing or did she also fall in love with Rito at the same time as Run? That’s correct, she doesn’t have feelings for Rito at all, in fact she ends up falling in love with someone else but I won’t ruin the surprise!
And finally we’re introduced to this episode’s star and new girl on the harem scene, Yui Kotegawa–a no-nonsense, proper girl with a proverbial hard-on for formality, morals and order. So in other words, the fun-police for a harem series. In the first half of the episode she institutes a strict code-of-conduct for the students in a bid to stamp out any ~shenanigans~. What did you think of Yui? I really liked her voice actress. She distinguishes in pitch and tone from the other characters which is nice. I generally prefer when voices aren’t too high pitched although there are some exceptions. I was happy they had someone closer to an alto for contrast.
I don’t know if this will surprise you or not, Irina, but Yui is in my Top 3 ‘To Love-Ru’ waifus! I hadn’t really thought about it but she does have the most classical design and I notice you go for those fairly often. So Now that you mention it, I guess it makes perfect sense. If she was flat-chested, that would be a real surprise! Hey! I like flat-chested girls too! Prove it.
In episode, Yui decides that Rito is the cause of the moral degeneration of the female student population and gets the principal to ban him from talking to girls. It was at this point that I actually remembered the episode and also how surprisingly emotional and character driven the latter half of the episode was. Seeing Rito, a victim of circumstance, be punished like that made me empathise with him a lot–I seem to recall this being the moment the irlwaifu started to really warm up to Rito as a character too. Hum, I always liked Rito. I actually felt a lot more sorry for him when Lala is destroying his life. I guess I can see why you would like him in this episode. Personally I tend t be less interested in “perfect” characters and in that second half Rito was basically a hero angel that could do no wrong so to me he seemed a lot more like a parody than he usually does. Like I said, I liked Rito from episode 1 and I still like him now.
And even through this cruel and unusual punishment he still manages to show how much of a ‘nice guy’ he is by performing random acts of kindness to strangers on his way home–not limited to even giving a person CPR after they were hit by a car! Thankfully (for Rito) Yui has been following the whole time and has a change of heart as to Rito’s true nature. Ooops I guess I jumped the gun with my comment above. It’s an escalating series of humorously selfless and impressive acts. It was pretty funny. Mimicking a cheesy shoujo hero. I think they could have pushed it further, maybe have him donate a kidney to a stranger and save a baby in a carriage that had rolled in the path of oncoming traffic. Maybe it would have made it too obvious though. It was a good sequence.
Anyway, just as there’s something of an ~almost~ tender moment between Yui and Rito one of Lala’s gadgets activates, causing Rito to be drawn like a magnet towards Lala–all the while carrying Yui through increasingly ridiculous situations. Very slapstick and very funny. Did you enjoy this scene Irina? Sure. It was kind of like the Lala riding a whale in the aquarium episode.
Speaking of gadgets Lala featured a few in this episode including inventing one on the fly that changed her classmates school uniforms, and what a better not-at-all forced segway into the fan service portion of this review!
The Fan Service Review:
I may have missed this but Lala gets naked every time she trips? Was that always the case? It’s to do with her talking hair brooch wardrobe assistant Peke (the little white thing with eyes) if that comes off she gets naked. You see it fall off her hair in the couple of scenes she gets naked this episode.
I was surprised by how tame the magical girl costumes were. I’ve seen more revealing in shows that weren’t ecchi at all. Was it disappointing to you? Yeah it was a bit odd, I still thought they were sexy outfits but that’s probably just because I’m in love with all the female characters on this show so I was just pleased to see them in something a bit more racy than their school uniforms.
There were a couple of repeated fanservice exhibitions this episode. Run acting very childish and doing the cute slightly horny girl bit, random girls having their school uniform turn into magical girl outfits, Lala falling and being suddenly naked, blonde girl s&m and Rito falling headfirst into someone’s breasts. Which was your favourite and why? (Is this like trying to pick one of your children?) I liked the sheer quantity of fan service in this episode, even if the quality was reduced (not a nipple in sight!) I liked it all but I’ll always be a fan of the slow pan over Saki’s body, where the art quality gets ~super~ detailed.
Who has the best body? Why? If you’re asking me from just the girls we’ve seen so far (and not out of the entire series) it’s a bit difficult because ‘To Love-Ru’ doesn’t have the same attention to detail and full-frontal nude scenes for each girl like ‘To Love-Ru Darkness’ has.
Unlike some previous episodes this episode was surprisingly down-to-earth–at least as far as sci-fi shenanigans go–but where it did impress was in its manic energy (in the first half) and its sincerity and unexpected comedic moments in the second-half. It didn’t waste time with overly long gags or spending too much time with any-one character and it tied itself to Rito a lot better than some other character introduction episodes did. This episode is a lot more in line with what ‘To Love-Ru’ becomes in its second season with shenanigans turned up to high and being mostly set at school. I really enjoyed this episode a lot, how about you Irina?
I enjoyed it too. I’m a little sad though because I really like the at-home scenes with Rito and friends. Those are sort of my favourites and I’ll miss them. I find Rito’s sister and Zastin really fun especially when they are all together. Then again, we haven’t gotten the chance to get to know a lot of the student characters yet. They’ve been introduced but there hasn’t been much time for development so I’m sure they’ll turn out just as fun. Don’t worry if we ever get to watching ‘To Love-Ru Darkness’ almost all the episodes take place at home! (I should probably stop mentioning that show, we might not even get there!)
As for scores I give the episode a 94/100 while I give the fan service an 80/100.
Previous ‘To Love-Ru’ Reviews:
Solo Episode 1 Review
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 1
Solo Episode 2 Review
Solo Episode 3 Review
Solo Episode 4 Review
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episodes 2, 3 and 4
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 5
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 6
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 7
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