Tokyo University Professor, Archaeologist, Keitaro's role model and Naru's Crush
Seta was successful in making it into Tokyo University after three years of failing his entrance exams. While at the university, he would meet Julia McDougal and Haruka Urashima as the two girls became his excavation assistants and the three would travel the world together to take part in various archaeological projects. When the three find themselves in a love triangle, Seta promised that he would make a decision between Haruka and Julia over whom he would love by the time he is 30 years old. However, Julia would die shortly after this promise was made and Haruka would return to Japan due to being wary from the romantic ordeals she had to deal with.
With Julia's death, Seta would adopt her daughter Sarah and continue with his excavations. He would become the tutor of Naru Narusegawa while she was in middle school when the girl needed to improve her grades. While Naru would develop feelings for Seta, the man would leave Japan shortly afterward to continue with his excavation work. Graduating from Tokyo University, Seta would become an archaeology professor at the college, But due to the low pay of his job, Seta would wind up taking residence within his van with Sarah.
Seta was created as a major character for Ken Akamatsu's Love Hina manga series. Seta's character design was inspired from Neon Genesis Evangelion's Ryoji Kaji and Cowboy Bebop's Spike Spiegel, resulting in his character's knowledge of martial arts and five o'clock shadow. Akamatsu had admitted he had no idea if Tokyo University had lectures about archaeology during the time he developed Seta's character. Seta had appeared in all anime adaptations of Love Hina which include the TV anime, Christmas special, Spring special and Love Hina Again OVA series. He was voiced by Yasunori Matsumoto in Japanese and Kirk Thornton in English.
Seta was 28 years old in his first appearance in the series, having brown hair and brown eyes. He is normally seen wearing glasses, dressed in a lab coat and casually smoking a cigarette.
Seta has a carefree and gullible nature, as he is prone to being clueless due to his heavy commitment to archaeology. In addition, he is known for his horrible driving as Seta often crashes his van and comes out of it mostly harmless. Despite these negative traits, he does have some surprising wisdom that he can bestow on others and is a skilled martial artist in Jeet Kune Do.
Upon his return to Japan, Seta sought to make a visit to the Hinata Inn to reconnect with Naru and Mitsune. This led to Naru's crush on Seta to reemerge and cause a rift in the developing relationship she was having with Keitaro. While the inn residents tried doing their part to reconcile the relationship with Naru and Keitaro, the residents would be dragged into doing work at a beach resort and a play based on Journey to the West that led to Motoko and Seta to get in a fight with one another that the latter wins. Afterward, Seta would leave Japan again to continue his work and left Sarah under the care of the Hinata Inn residents.
Anime versions of Love Hina hint to a possible relationship between Haruka and Seta, but never expands on it. The manga expands on exploring their relationship as Seta would make a later return to Japan upon his 30th birthday to make his promise to Haruka. However still wary from dealing with the romantic predicaments she put up with from Seta years earlier, Haruka tried avoiding him until Keitaro and Naru's intervention led the relationship to get mended.
Seta appeared later on to drag Keitaro on an adventure to the island nation of Molmol to return an artifact belonging to the Todai ruins out of a final promise he made with Julia. When Keitaro winded up abducted by Kaolla, he would be rescued by Seta, Haruka and Naru via plane. After the couples reconcile, they continue their journey to the Todai ruins where a competition develops between Seta-Haruka and Naru-Keitaro to see who would reach the ruins first. Seta and Haruka would be successful in reaching the ruins first and both would be married there. The two would wind up choosing to travel the world together and Sarah would tag along with them for the trip.