There’s not really much to say about Love Hina other than it’s a very sweet story.
Much of it is comedy, with harem dynamics that are just a bit different from your usual fare. From the very beginning, you could tell that Keitaro and Naru were going to be together. None of the events that occurred from the very first chapter to the end ever suggested otherwise. Often, harem dynamics are a bit more ambiguous, especially to lengthen the series. But with Love Hina, you’re always rooting for Keitaro to be together with Naru, and every event pushes them that little bit closer together.
The plot is standard rom-com stuff though, with the usual childhood promise and the faded memories, along with a clueless Keitaro and violent tsundere Naru. But as the series continued, you can see the development of Keitaro and Naru as more than just their tropes, becoming more mature.
The rest of the characters are offered some development too, but none to the extent of Keitaro and Naru, which really hammers in the idea that they were always meant to be together at the end. Characters like Kitsune and Shinobu are offered little to no development compared to others like Motoko, which in a way ties in to how close they are to Keitaro. It’s a big miss for me though, given how much potential content there was left untouched.
From a critical standpoint, it’s not a very good story. But feel-good stories such as Love Hina don’t have to be amazing. They just need to be heart-warming and funny, and it succeeds at that. And after reading Elfen Lied last night, heart-warming, funny and sweet is exactly what the doctor ordered for me.