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  • Accidental Aesop:
    • The first Original Video Animation, where Rito Yuuki turns into a girl and his life suddenly becomes much more difficult. This is later balanced out with an Imagine Spot where, as a girl, Rito's life is made much easier since his Accidental Pervert moments are dismissed on account of gender.
    • In Chapter 144 of the Manga, a perverted spirit takes over Zastin's body and tries to undress every female he sees. He reveals the reason he's gone rampant is because he was rejected by 500 different girls during his life, and agrees to leave if he can touch even one girl's breasts. Oshizu Murasame agrees, but just before the spirit touches her, she pulls the spirit out of Zastin's body and burns him away with her spirit flame. The spirit's final words? "I knew it! Women are liars!" Considering illustrator Kentaro Yabuki's then-current situation with his ex-wife... (although even Oshizu admits she did "something horrible" afterwards)
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
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    • Is Rito really a Nice Guy who's simply unlucky enough to wind up in Accidental Pervert situations or a "master" pervert that only pretends to be clumsy? Chapter 66 of Darkness confirms that all of his Accidental Pervert moments happen as a result of talent, while two chapters later, it's explicitly both. Run using an alien aphrodisiac to remove Rito's inhibitions proves that yes, he is that clumsy, and he is that good.
    • Was Mikan Yuuki's Not Blood Siblings prank to Rito when she got sick just that, or did it represent some hidden desire of hers?
    • Momo Belia Deviluke's "Harem Plan" in Darkness paints her in two separate lights: does she genuinely want all of the girls who love Rito to be happy or is this grand scheme of hers a way to justify going after Rito herself without feeling any guilt or remorse?
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  • Americans Hate Tingle: While Haruna Sairenji regained fans in Japan as Darkness rolled on, she's still considered a boring, static character internationally - the one who received hate due to being the primary menace of the Harem Plan and as Rito's chosen girl at the end of Darkness.
  • Arc Fatigue: The "Harem Plan" in Darkness had been developing at a slow pace, even after the "Darkness" plot surrounding "Golden Darkness"/Yami was resolved.
  • Base-Breaking Character
    • The Black Cat-based characters - some Black Cat fans were annoyed with the changes made to their favorite characters in To-Love-Ru, while others enjoyed the alternate versions of them.
    • While a decently popular character in the original series, Rito turned more divisive among fans in Darkness, where he failed to be an agent of volition and mostly existed to trigger perverted situations without experiencing any meaningful Character Development. Fans had a hard time deciding whether he was a sympathetic victim of circumstance or a subject of mockery.
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    • Momo in Darkness due to her motives: some fans love her personality and desire to be a Harem Seeker for Rito, but others state she's nothing but a Hypocrite who wants to win Rito without "fighting" for him, with a possessive side that's manipulative and violent. Even in the original series, there were some people who didn't like her due to feeling like a Flat Character who has nothing to contribute except fanservice and having little-to-no chemistry with Rito, her attraction to him seeming purely physical rather than the emotional attraction most other girls have.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: The series does have a diverse cast and interesting setting, as well as a number of serious emotional scenes, yet any amount of talk about To-Love-Ru and its criticisms to anyone always results in this being mentioned first, not that fans can blame them.
  • Broken Base:
    • Haruna confessing to Rito, and Rito's reaction to it at the end of the original Manga: a decent twist that added a lot of conflict in the story or utterly wasted because if Rito picks her, he'd be settling for the most "normal" and "boring" of the harem?
    • The Harem Plan in Darkness: a real possibility for a Marry Them All ending or it's useless because Rito will end up with Haruna or Lala Satalin Deviluke? Or both?
    • The ending of Darkness: Rito chose nobody, despite his claims that Haruna is his favorite, thus leaving the series with No Ending. Did Darkness do a good job at keeping the playing field open and provide more opportunities to flesh out the cast for future installments or did it squander opportunities to finish the Harem Plan and make Rito the harem king he was meant to be? Was this a good or bad decision at all? Unfortunately, with the writer/artist duo breaking up post-Darkness, this means everyone across the board are left wondering what to make of the ending.
    • Darkness itself. Is it a perfectly good sequel and the vastly increased fanservice a good thing because it's what most people were here for anyway? Or is it a horrid sequel because of the change in main characters, the near-pornographic fanservice, and largely doing away with what made the original series fun and charming and worth watching/reading for besides the fanservice?
  • Die for Our Ship: Not quite as bad as some examples, but people were becoming very annoyed with Haruna as time wore on when she stood in the way of more popular pairings such as Rito/Lala, Rito/Yui Kotegawa or Rito/Anyone-Other-Than-Haruna.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse
    • Mikan, especially in Japan (for certain reasons), though she would gain popularity outside of the country for the same arguments and is often touted as the fandom's favorite.
    • Yui, whose Type-A Tsundere personality was an endearment to readers so much, as she played the archetype better than other examples in the genre and medium. It's little wonder that in an online poll of all the females for the original Manga, Yui placed first with at least 50% more votes than the runner-up. Much of Yui's popularity can also be attributed to her receiving more screen-time when Haruna was Demoted to Extra and Out of Focus.
    • Yami, the Expy of Eve from Black Cat, who retained most of her origin's characteristics and charm; compared to the other To Love Ru Expy characters, Yami stands out for having Character Development. Positive fan reception of Yami would ultimately lead her into headlining Darkness as the primary heroine.
    • After his initial Gender Bender accident, Rito's female form "Riko" didn't only fulfill Rule 63, but the latter was lauded for being just as attractive as the many girls in the cast. Inevitably, this resulted in more chapters of the Manga with Gender Flip in order to justify another appearance of Riko.
    • Despite appearing in the late Story Arcs of the original Manga, Momo's mischievous nature was such a welcome change that she would turn into a Breakout Character and promoted to co-heroine in Darkness.
    • If the Chapter 59 poll of Darkness was any indication, Risa Momioka was just as popular, reaching runner-up among the "girls readers want to have as a girlfriend" behind Haruna, despite Risa having little-to-no screentime in Darkness. That she was the series' original tease before Momo appeared and having Bi the Way tendencies helped.
  • Ending Aversion: The conclusion of To Love-Ru Darkness got backlash for feeling inconclusive - Rito doesn't choose an official partner, leaving the girls still vying for his affections; furthermore, he's oblivious about the feelings of other girls such as Yui, Rin Kujou and Kyouko Kirisaki. On top of that, Rito rejects the idea of a harem, claiming Haruna as his favorite all along.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Nemesis in Darkness - a cute, dark-skinned Going Commando girl who knows of her Voluntary Shapeshifting Power Perversion Potential. To top it off, she's even more lustful than Momo!
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The first Animated Adaptation is generally ignored by fans because it is an Adaptation Distillation without following the Manga. The "real" adaption starts with Motto To Love-Ru.
    • Some fans of the original series pretend that Darkness doesn't exist, due to largely doing away with the fun, wacky storylines of the original in favor of more erotic stories that result in more fanservice, cranking up the fanservice to blatantly sexual levels to the point where it might as well just be hentai, demoting several former main characters to extra including Lala who was the defacto leading lady of the original series, promoting Momo, a rather Base-Breaking Character, to be the new female lead, Rito being little more than a cataylst for lewd things happening, the explanation for all of Rito's Accidental Pervert moments, and the retconning of the original series ending where he confessed to Lala that he loved her and told her that he loved Haruna as well, to him saying that only Haruna is his "favorite" in Darkness.
  • Friendly Fandoms
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The Not Herself chapter in the original Manga where Haruna acted like an evil sadist was pretty funny, until the woman whom she was based on, Yabuki's ex-wife, rather than being a sweet Girl Next Door type was actually a hateful, sadistic woman on top of being a philanderer, thief, kidnapper and extortionist. Whether series writer Hasemi Saki was trying to tell Yabuki something or not through the story's script is unknownnote .
  • Growing the Beard: Darkness was seen by many not only for a jump in visual quality compared to the original series, it also brought about major Character Development for the side-characters surrounding Rito, with criticisms usually leveled at Lala and Haruna getting pushed to the side and Rito existing in the sequel just to end up in even crazier Ecchi situations notched Upto Eleven. The appearance of Nemesis to serve as a counterpart to Momo made things slightly more interesting, including Nemesis temporarily Sharing a Body with Rito. On the other hand, Darkness has its fair share of detractors as well, see Broken Base and Fanon Discontinuity above.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the first chapter of the manga, Lala says, "Even though I have a tail, it doesn't mean I'll transform when I look at the full moon". In J Stars Victory VS, Lala appears as a support character and one of the playable characters is naturally Son Goku. She even has special dialogue with Goku and Vegeta regarding her tail.
  • Idiot Plot: All over the place in the original Manga; for example, does Lala's latest invention kickstart the plot of a new chapter? If yes, does it make Rito more of an Accidental Pervert? If yes, then he's guaranteed to physically suffer despite it not being his fault.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: What fuels the fans' pairing of Rito and Mikan together are the scenes whenever they're alone, to wit Mikan's joke about how they're Not Blood Siblings in the original Manga being the impetus to this. In-Universe, Momo even includes Mikan in her "Harem Plan".
  • Les Yay: The series is primarily on heterosexual pairings, yet it doesn't skirt on teasing girl-girl duos.
    • Lala/Haruna: they already love each other the same way they love Rito, yet neither have the same problems typical of the Betty and Veronica in Shounen, especially when the two form some very close skinship. This is before mentioning the various official art Yabuki has drawn himself (NSFW).
    • Risa and Mio Sawada to every girl, though it's Played for Laughs. On the other hand, Risa having her way with Momo during one chapter in Darkness wasn't for the sake of comedy, but rather for another reason.
    • Yami/Mikan: for God's sake, Chapter 6 of Darkness has Mikan licking and sucking at Yami's nipple. Sure, Mind Control was involved for the latter, but that's not why fans cared about the scene.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "To Love-Ru is super interesting."Explanation 
    • "Nobody falls like Rito."Explanation 
    • "He can't keep getting away with it!"Explanation 
  • Moe: Minus that lousy scumbag of a principal and Kenichi Saruyama, everyone else in the cast, Rito/Riko included.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Ghi Bree: a horrible humanoid lizard with shapeshifting powers who took Haruna as a hostage using slimy tentacles to restrict her movements (while also doing Ecchi things to her). Even if it was revealed he's a spineless coward whose real form is played up for a joke, he sure is the creepiest of all the extraterrestrial villains that have appeared in the story.
    • Some of Lala's inventions aren't just dangerous, but are actually destructive: this is invoked in "Darkness" with the "Go-Go Vacuum-Kun A", a machine used to detect and clean up trash. When this invention was destroyed, it's revealed that it was powered by a micro black hole that nearly sucked up the whole school and its student body! A combination of Oshizu and Mea Kurosaki was required to stop it.
  • One True Threesome: Invoked In-Universe by Lala at the end of the first series - after Rito confesses to Lala that he loves both her and Haruna, Lala becomes overjoyed and encourages Rito to get together with Haruna. Lala's real desire is for both Haruna and herself to marry Rito, which will be possible if Rito marries Lala and becomes king of Deviluke, making polygamy possible for him.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Zigzagged - despite being Demoted to Extra in the original manga and the early parts of Darkness (with regards to Yabuki's Creator Breakdown), Haruna slowly regained fans (at least in Japan); the last poll even placed her at the top of favorite characters.
  • The Scrappy: The Principal is ugly, fat and a pervert whose only role was simply getting beat up by the female characters whenever he dashed half-naked towards them. While this character should provide what amounted to Comic Relief, the interruptions that occurred as a result of him became increasingly annoying, frustrating and unnecessary, especially when certain scenes that were meant to build drama and tension were instantly cut away by him, often resulting in Mood Whiplash.
  • Tear Jerker: Momo in Chapter 76 of Darkness - hearing Rito and Haruna confessing their feelings to each other, she believes her Harem Plan has been a failure, she starts crying.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • How some people feel about the main heroine of the original series, Lala, by the time Darkness came around where she's mostly been Out of Focus in favor of Breakout Characters, Momo and Yami, taking center-stage.
    • Compared to her other Devilukean sisters is Nana Asta Deviluke: apart from an early Darkness Story Arc surrounding her broken friendship with Mea, there's little reason for Nana to appear afterwards, as it's largely regarding her Hair-Trigger Temper and Sour Prude attitude against Rito, especially when she keeps accusing him of Accidental Pervert situations not of his doing.
    • A chapter from the original Manga had Rito befriending Yui's older brother, Yuu Kotegawa: not only could the latter have been a role model and confidant for Rito (which is impossible with Saruyama), neither character interacts with each other again in the series, including Darkness.
    • Several fans felt this way about Rito and Mikan's parents: despite the two having fairly amusing character quirks, there was hardly a chance to showcase the two being Happily Married, which could have been a gauge for Rito to consider choosing which girl to wind up with.
    • The non-Rito male characters were extremely underutilized in general. There was much more that could have been done with Zastin and Ren. Poor Ren got it really bad, basically being forced into an And I Must Scream situation by his "sister" working to overcome her allergies in order to keep control of their shared body at all times.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: If the series was to ever push the story-telling further than just the harem shenanigans surrounding Rito, the potential was there to become a full-blown action series where Rito worked himself up to become the next ruler of the universe. The beginning of the story had the perfect premise to be a good action/romance series, with Rito fending off Lala's dangerous would-be suitors to protect her, protect his friends, and protect the Earth, while slowly growing more powerful and slowly falling in love with Lala. Alas, the premise of Rito having to fight off Lala's suitors and other invaders was eventually dropped, and the series settled into being a romantic comedy with lots of fanservice. The sequel series Darkness seemed like it would be more action-packed at first, but it does away with this pretense fairly quickly, and instead just ramped up the already high amount of fanservice to absurd levels, with the only "action" anyone seeing being the sexual kind.
    • The "Trouble Quest" plotline in the original series had a lot of wasted potential. Rito and his harem are trapped in a video game designed by Lala, with Lala herself being held hostage by the game's Big Bad. The game itself is a very blatant Shout-Out to Dragon Quest, and none of the girls play video games, making Rito the only person in the group who knows how turn-based battles work and knows what to expect from such a game. This could have been Rito's chance to finally shine, as the arc seems perfectly tailored to let Rito take the lead for a change and not have to cower behind his girlfriends due to being a weak human, and him saving Lala in contrast to how she usually saves him could have provided some poignant development to their relationship. Rito taking a stand and being a hero could have also helped all of the girls see him in a different light. Instead, Rito gets saddled with a randomly-selected joke class while the girls all get strong classes that are actually useful, leaving Rito to once again be useless in combat and having to hide behind the girls. Making things worse, the group later runs into Yami, who hasn't been bothering with the whole "turn-based combat" thing and has been using her natural shapeshifting abilities to fight instead of the abilities the game gave her, letting her kill everything she encounters in one hit, and revealing that they never had to play by the game's rules to begin with, making Rito's knowledge of video games retroactively worthless.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Accidental Pervert moments aside, Rito is no different from other Unwanted Harem protagonists in the sense that he is meant to be simple with no distinctive attributes. It's the girls who carry most of the series’ emotional development.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Wait - Peke is female?! (re: Chapter 145 of the original Manga)
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: With the amount of sexual content in To Love-Ru Darkness, one would think the manga would have made a move to a seinen magazine at the time. It actually changed to monthly shonen magazine, Jump Square. It was even reviewed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly to see if it violated Bill 156's restrictions on material that could be sold to minors, but they ultimate decided it did not.
  • The Woobie:
    • Yami: no different than a happy little girl who lived with Tearju Lunatique, her "mother". Unfortunately, when Tearju planned to run away with her, the "Eden" organization attempted to assassinate Tearju, forcing her to escape. Yami is left behind and lied about Tearju abandoning her as Eden starts training her into a Living Weapon. Following the organization's collapse, Yami has lived alone in the universe before coming to Earth. However, Eden has a programming block in Yami called "Darkness" mode that will activate when she comes to accept the mere possibility of being able to live peacefully, thus ensuring she turns into a weapon of mass destruction, all so the universe will never achieve true peace.
    • When one thinks of how Oshizu has spent 400 years in that desolate basement, unable to communicate, it's quite harsh, too. Played with, however, because she doesn't show it much.

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