Naru Narusegawa is a fictional character and the female protagonist in the Love Hina series by Ken Akamatsu  

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Naru Narusegawa (成瀬川 なる, Narusegawa Naru) is a fictional character and the female protagonist in the Love Hina series by Ken Akamatsu. Known for her fiery temper and tendency to use physical violence to punish central character Keitaro Urashima, she is the first female introduced in the series who is trying to pass the University of Tokyo entrance exams. Her studies along with her developing relationship with Keitaro is one of the focal points in the manga and anime. The word Naru means "to become" while her surname Naruse-gawa means "the Naruse River" or possibly "to become a raging river". In Chapter 96, her Hinata-rōshi name became Narusegawa Naru Uemon (成瀨川奈留右衛門). Her Japanese seiyu is Yui Horie and her English voice actor is Dorothy Elias-Fahn.
Ken Akamatsu initially designed a character named Midori who would later become the basis for Naru. Her appearance was identical to Naru with the exception of the signature hair antenna. Midori was to be the complete opposite of Naru in character, acting more like Mutsumi in personality, clumsy and keeping on her own pace yet being kind and very gentle to everyone she meets. Upon first encountering the main character she was to fall naked from the ceiling on top of him, losing her memory in the process . Because of her amnesia, not much is known about her past. She stays with the main character who instantly falls in love with her, and gets a part time job as a waitress yet due to her clumsiness she's prone to tripping and falling while carrying food.
Some of the sketches of Midori's facial expressions and outfits were still used for Naru in the anime . Before finalizing her design and description, her character was renamed multiple times before the start of the series . In particular, her eyes were worked on the most to match her personality
There is a toning down of fanservice involving Naru that is more prevalent in the manga than the anime. Her first encounter with Keitaro in the hot springs is more revealing in the manga as she shows off her breasts after mistaking him for Mitsune "Kitsune" Konno due to her not wearing her glasses or contacts at the time. She then proceeds to follow him relentlessly, after several embarrassing run-ins around the house, so as to protect the other girls. She is also more prone to being exposed, grabbed, or depicted in very provocative positions which are heavily played on in the Love Hina series.
Naru is much more tolerant of Keitaro when he first arrived in the anime, however, half-way through Volume 1 in the manga, she participates in the "Get Rid of Keitaro Plan" devised by the other girls and becomes the coldest of the group towards him.
In the manga, Naru made promises with three people that she would get into Tokyo University. At first, she did it because of her crush for Seta. However, it started when Naru was only two years old and living in Hinata when she and Keitaro promised to go to Tokyo University together. Because she was too young, Naru could not remember that promise. She had also promised Mutsumi Otohime to go to Tokyo University in an effort to be reminded of her promise with Keitaro. The anime only includes her promise to Seta and only lightly follows yet never reveals any such childhood promises.
The manga also follows Naru's relationship with Keitaro longer and more closely after they both pass their entrance exams. The main focus of the story switches to their feelings, commitment mishaps and problems, and insecurities--all of which are often depicted in comical manner. Rather surprisingly, Naru is initially the one to ask Keitaro if he wanted to take their relationship to another level. The series ends with them having developed a more mature and committed relationship.
In the epilogue set four years later, Naru marries Keitaro fulfilling their childhood dreams. The anime ends before this happens.

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