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The Summer 2015 Anime Preview Guide
- To LOVE-Ru -Trouble- Darkness 2nd

How would you rate episode 1 of
To Love Ru: Darkness (TV 2) ?
Community score: 3.4

Theron Martin

Rating: 3

Review: Normally when series have a “split season,” that means that its two parts are separated by anywhere from 1-3 seasons off. That makes the second season of To Love Ru: Darkness such an anomaly, as in this case it has taken 2½ years for its second half to come around. Granted, a few OVAs did come out during the intervening time, so it's not like the animated side of the franchise totally disappeared, but all of those were more side vignettes than anything which meaningfully contributed to the overall story. Hence the long-awaited return of the series to TV form should be a welcome development for any franchise fan, especially given the way the first season just ended rather than having any kind of wrap-up.

Of course, the downside to the franchise being back to TV form is a high level of censoring, as Darkness has been quite a bit raunchier than previous franchise installments. Episode 1 does not shirk on the need for such censoring, either, as Rito once again finds himself in all manner of compromising positions, whether it's waking up to discover that he has been sleepily sucking on Momo's tail (not that she objects!), faceplanting into Lala as she stands around in only a towel, accidentally feeling up Yami when he dumps into her at school, or getting cozy with Haruka when she finally lets her inhibitions go after becoming intoxicated by a Devilukean sports drink innocently given to her by Nene. (Didn't Urusei Yatsura teach anyone that humans eating/drinking alien food and beverages rarely comes without consequence?) First season director Atsushi Ootsuki and his studio Xebec staff are back to do the animation, which means that the artistic level and quality control necessary to properly support and enhance the fan service is still pretty high. As before, the series uses a softer, more pastel-oriented color scheme than the glossier look most recent fan service-oriented shows have had.

There is at least a bit of plot/character advancement, too. Although Lala has previously openly declared that Haruna joining her in becoming Rito's wives is perfectly acceptable to her, Haruna apparently never fully appreciated that Lala really did mean polygamy and that such a thing is actually relatively common outside of Earth. This point Momo manages to impress upon her, which she regards with mixed feelings. (And as a side point here, watching this after watching Nisekoi in the interim between seasons has made it clear to me that Kosaki Onodera has to be at least partly modeled on Haruna.) That all spills out to Rito in the “Haruna accidentally gets intoxicated” part, which will presumably have consequences down the road. Mea lamenting the absence of her master, Nemesis, also seems like it might have story implications.

Really, though, the story/character advances are a minor part. The episode can be simply summed up as “business as usual,” which should be good enough for anyone still following the franchise at this point.

To Love-Ru -Trouble- Darkness 2nd is available streaming at Crunchyroll.

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