If you’re a fan of Lum from Urusei Yatsura or Ryoko from Tenchi Muyo!, you might want to watch To Love Ru online. This 2008 romantic comedy anime series belongs to a subset of harem anime shows which feature kooky, sexy, and cute alien girls. It also features fanservice — but more about that later.
Unfortunately, To Love Ru can be tricky to find legally. Netflix Japan has a webpage, but no episodes. And Crunchyroll recently removed it — apparently because of licensing issues with Sentai Filmworks.
However, we can help you find where to watch and stream To Love Ru today.
To Love Ru Basics
To Love Ru started in 2006 as a Weekly Shonen Jump manga. The series features ordinary, shy high school boy Rito Yuki, who has a crush on classmate Haruna.
In the first episode, Princess Lala from the planet Deviluke crashes on Earth. She somehow gets the idea that Rito has fallen for her — and thus begins the comic love triangle.
Viewers should be warned that the anime has a lot of fanservice for what’s supposed to be a shonen series (flashes of barely-censored partial nudity, etc.). Like many harem protagonists, Rito also seems prone to accidental peeking or grabbing.
The love triangle quickly gets complicated with various other girls entering the picture. These include Lala’s sisters; and Ren/ Run, a shapeshifting boy/ girl alien.
Lala also has a lot of science-fiction technology, which typically causes comedic trouble for Rito.
Incidentally, the title is a pun; it sounds like “trouble” spoken with a Japanese accent.
Where to Watch To Love Ru
- Apple TV
- Amazon Prime Japan
- Sentai Filmworks
Streaming service HIDIVE has To Love Ru, Motto To Love Ru (season 2), and the sequel series To Love Ru Darkness (a.k.a. seasons 3-4). Episodes are subtitled or dubbed in English.
HIDIVE is Sentai Filmworks’ answer to Crunchyroll. Although HIDIVE’s anime library is smaller than Crunchyroll’s, it does contain a lot of Sentai shows that were removed from Crunchyroll and elsewhere.
Exclusive HIDIVE content includes the third season of Teasing Master Takagi-san, and dubbed versions of Bodacious Space Pirates, K-On!, and Di Gi Charat. Other non-exclusive series include Azumanga Daioh, Clannad, Hidamari Sketch, Non Non Biyori, and Himouto! Umaru-Chan.
- An interesting library of good and popular series
- Some international availability; your mileage may vary
- Free 14-day trial period
- Shows have ads (but can be blocked)
- Limited language options
- Smaller library than Crunchyroll
Price: Free trial period, then $4.99/ month or $47.99/ year for a subscription.
2. Apple TV
Apple has a small but impressive library of popular anime favorites, seemingly grabbed from just about everywhere (except Netflix). So, you can watch Naruto from VIZ, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid from Funimation, Is The Order A Rabbit? from Sentai, etc. Apple even has Studio Ghibli movies.
Note that it will cost more to buy individual episodes, rather than stream or rent them.
- A good selection of anime from various sources
- You can download episodes to take with you
- Theoretically international (restrictions may apply)
- Limited language options for some shows
- Costs a lot to buy a season
Price: One episode costs $2.99. Season 1 costs $22.99. The season price goes down if you have already purchased individual episodes.
Disney-owned streaming service Hulu has the first season of To Love Ru with English subtitles.
Hulu’s anime library isn’t as large as Crunchyroll’s but it’s not bad. It also has a lot of non-anime TV shows, including some exclusive series. Hulu is only available in the United States. Those outside the U.S. will need a VPN, such as NordVPN.
- Bundled streaming packages available
- Free-trial period (length depends upon your preferences at sign-up)
- Only available in the U.S.
- Smaller anime library than Crunchyroll
Price: Free-trial period. Hulu with ads – $6.99/month. Without ads – $12.99/ month. Hulu, Live TV, Disney+, ESPN+ Bundle – $69.99/ month. Hulu, Live TV, Disney+, ESPN+ Bundle (no ads) – $79.99/ month.
NOTE: Keep an eye out for limited-time-only Hulu bargain deals, such as $1/ month for “National Streaming Day” in May.
You can watch To Love Ru on Amazon Prime Video, but there’s a catch. You need to be in Japan (or use a VPN). And you won’t have access to subtitles or dubbing. But, you can watch the first episode for free. The rest is more complicated.
The free sample is only available through Anime Times, a subscription-based channel on Amazon Prime Japan. Anime Times has the first season of To Love Ru. You can also rent season 1 of To Love Ru on Amazon (apparently provided by Japanese streaming service TBS On Demand). You can also rent Motto To Love Ru, a.k.a. To Love Ru season 2.
Amazon offers the first season of To Love Ru Darkness through dAnime Store for Prime Video, or to rent. The company lists season 2 of To Love Ru Darkness separately.
- First episode is free
- 30-day free trial options
- No subtitles or dubbing
- Not available outside of Japan
- Need Japanese form of payment
Price: First episode is free. 30-day free-trial for Amazon Prime, Anime Times, and/ or dAnime Store. Anime Times, 437 yen/ month. Amazon Prime, 500 yen/ month. dAnime Store, 440 yen/ month. Episode rental, 220 yen.
How to Watch To Love Ru on Amazon Prime Japan from the United States:
- Download a VPN (NordVPN works for this method)
- Clear your Amazon cache
- Choose Japan as your region in the VPN
- Log in to Amazon Japan and search for To Love Ru
If nothing else, you can always order To Love Ru direct from the source. Or at least, direct from Sentai Filmworks. Sentai holds the North American license, and offers the complete series on Blu-ray. The website notes that the discs are uncensored.
- Get a permanent, physical copy
- Will cost more this way
Price: $36 for To Love Ru season 1; $25 for Motto To Love Ru; $30 for To Love Ru Darkness season 1; $30 for To Love Ru Darkness season 2.