Shinobu Maehara

Shinobu Maehara is a anime/manga character in the Love Hina franchise
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Hinata-sou's Resident Cook and kawaii girl.


While her back story varies depending on source material, Shinobu was the youngest resident to live at the Hinata Inn at the start of Love Hina as she took up residence at the inn due to a messy divorce between her parents. The anime expanded on her back story featuring her still living with her parents at the start of the series as she was caught in the middle of having to choose to live between one of her parents before encountering Keitaro Urashima. Seen crying, Keitaro drew a picture of her smiling which Shinobu took as an insult. He accidentally left his sketchbook behind, which led Shinobu to travel to the Hinata Inn to return it. Not able to withstand the pressure her parents were putting her through, Shinobu returned to the inn and decided to live there to earn her keep.


Shinobu was one of the major characters of Ken Akamatsu's harem manga series, Love Hina. Traits to her character had been decided since early in the title's development such as being in the 7th grade, living alone and having a talent for cooking. Her character design underwent the most significant changes in development of the series as she was originally more stingy, aggravated and was supposed to hate Keitaro until the middle of the series. She has appeared in anime adaptations of Love Hina which include the TV anime, Christmas special, Spring special and Love Hina Again OVA series. She is voiced by Masayo Kurata in Japanese and Ellen Arden in English.



Shinobu stands at 147 cm (almost '4'10") with her three sizes being 68 cm for bust, 52 cm for waist and 72 cm for hips. In the manga, she is 12 years old at the start of the series having short-length black hair and blue eyes. In the anime, she is 13 years old having blue-colored hair and is normally wearing a purple and green short-skirted dress with an exclamation point in the chest area.


Shinobu is initially shown to have a shy and timid personality, as she is nervous in interacting with others. Because of this personality, she had trouble making friends. Through her interactions with Keitaro, Shinobu was able to gain greater self-confidence and better interact with others. Among the Hinata Inn residents, she is the most talented cook in the residence.


  • Keitaro Urashima- Shinobu has a one-sided crush for Keitaro throughout much of the series, thinking highly of him and known to cry whenever she comes across any of Keitaro's predicaments or misunderstandings that would lead Shinobu to think that he is becoming romantically involved with another girl. She was the only resident in Hinata Inn who did not physically harm Keitaro whenever he got into any misunderstanding with the other female residents. Depictions of how she handled his growing relationship with Naru differed between the anime and manga. In the anime, she is shown to put aside her feelings for Keitaro to allow him opportunities with Naru to advance their relationship. In the manga, she starts to openly show signs of jealousy towards Keitaro and Naru in later volumes of the series.
  • Kaolla Su- Despite their rather different personalities, Shinobu and Kaolla are close friends with one another through being fellow residents at Hinata Inn and both attending the same middle school together.
  • Akiko Taichi- Appearing only in anime adaptations of Love Hina, Akiko is a classmate at Shinobu's middle school whom she is also close friends with.


Depictions of Shinobu's character development differed between the anime and manga. In both source materials, she is the youngest resident living at Hinata Inn at the start of the series, residing in Room 201. Shinobu normally tends to cooking duties at the residence and is the only girl who does not physically harm Keitaro for the majority of the series.

The circumstances in which Shinobu gained her crush on Keitaro differ between the anime and manga. In the anime, it resulted from Keitaro helping Shinobu settle her family problems that led her to take residence at the inn. In the manga, developments were a little more complicated. Shinobu did initially develop admiration for Keitaro when he helped her study for exams. But when she learned that he lied about being a Tokyo University student, Shinobu started avoiding him out of disappointment until Keitaro made amends by reminding the other residents about her 13th birthday and having a small celebration for her.

Shinobu is given a great deal more development with her character in the manga as more moments between her and Keitaro took place, including one notable event where Shinobu was able to have a date with Keitaro as a condition for passing an exam she took. At the end of the series, Shinobu is 19 years old as she has more self-confidence in herself and has grown her hair out. Despite Keitaro and Naru being engaged to marriage by that time, she would still maintain her interest in Keitaro.

Voiced by
Name Movies TV Shows
Bridget Hoffman
Masayo Kurata
Rank Game #89 in Power Rank
General Information Edit
Name: Shinobu Maehara
Name: 前原 しのぶ
Romanji: Maehara Shinobu
Gender: Female
Birthday: 11/15/1985
1st manga book: Love Hina #1
1st anime episode: Love Hina #2
1st anime movie:
Aliases Shinobu-chan
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