Love Hina's Official Animal Mascot
Tama was an animal character created for Ken Akamatsu's Love Hina manga series. He was originally going to be designed as a pet for the child of Haruka Urashima's early character concept being a cat before the idea was scrapped. When Tama first appeared in the series, Akamatsu had a contest where fans of the manga could write in their own names to suggest for naming the turtle. The name Tama would be made as a result of sixteen fans requesting it, while variants of his name with Tamago and Onsen Tamago were written in by four fans a piece.
Tama would also appear in anime adaptations of Love Hina as he would appear in the TV anime, Christmas special, Spring special and Love Hina Again OVA series. He is voiced by Yukie Maeda in Japanese and Wendee Lee in English.
Tama has a green shell with yellow limbs and black eyes. While male, the inn residents tend to confuse his gender and mistake him for female. This results in him being dressed up in female attire and getting confused over his attractions.
Tama is mostly on friendly terms with the residents of the inn. He is able to fly, reaching a top speed of 60 km/h and is strong enough to fly a human short distances. Tama is also skillful with writing, mathematics, self defense and able to talk with other humans via motions or Turtlese. Only Seta, Mutsumi, Kaolla and Nyamo are able to understand Turtlese.
Tama mostly serves as an unofficial animal mascot of sorts for the Love Hina franchise upon taking residence at Hinata Inn. The most notable aspects of his character focused on are the interactions he has with Kaolla and Motoko.
Kaolla has the desire to want to eat the turtle, often causing the scared Tama to flee from the energetic girl. She would create a number of Mecha Tama-chan robots armed with various weapons in an attempt to settle her "rivalry" with Tama.
Motoko has a deep fear of turtles, that often spark panic attacks from the swordswoman whenever Tama is near her.