- "Urashima, you're doing the right thing! There was a girl within reach who obviously liked you. She was the sure bet, so you went for her. You're finally acting like one of us, I see. I must admit, I didn't think you had it in you!"
- —Kentaro Sakata
Kentaro Sakata (坂田 健太朗 Sakata Kentarō) is a rich, handsome, genre savvy high-school graduate who acted as Keitaro’s one time rival for Naru’s affections. Only appearing in the anime series, he acts as a pragmatic foil to Keitaro’s romantic idealism.
Astute, professionally well-mannered and intelligent, Kentaro grew up in a well-off family in Japan. Extremely competent in comparison to Keitaro, Kentaro was accepted at K University following his graduation.
While not one to outright abhor hard work when it comes to business, he is essentially a playboy in affairs of love and goes about such affairs without feeling it necessary to involve such romantic ideals as “true love” and “open hearted honesty”.
First noticing Naru during the first year of high school, Kentaro also noticed that she was endeared to her tutor, Noriyasu Seta, and so bided his time until Seta left the picture. Come graduation day he sprung his attempt to compel her, arriving at the Hinata Apartments on board his family owned transportation and personally took Naru to the graduation.
While visiting Naru for a second time, he and the rest of the Hinata residents became acquainted with he and Keitaro arguing over whether or not Naru would fall for the other. While he had intended to take Naru alone to Kanagawa Neverland, she, seemingly oblivious to his intentions, convinced him to buy tickets for all of the Hinata residents instead.
His second attempt to visit Naru was interrupted by Amalla Su who had her pet alligator attack him after he tried to flirt with her. Kentaro spent the rest of the visit helping Keitaro track down the mysterious girl who only appeared in Hinata under a red moon.
Not one to give up easily, Kentaro hosted an idol competition in Hinata, inviting Naru and Shinobu as contestants. With Naru winning the contest, Kentaro acted as her agent and promoted her as a national singing idol. However, Naru’s priorities to get into Tokyo University eventually caused the business to fail.
Resorting to working odd jobs, he found work in the Hinata Café, and later the Hinata Seaside Teahouse, under Haruka.
Eventually he tired of chasing after Naru, labelling her a lost cause, he non-the-less stayed at the café offering assistance and advice when the dormitory residents require it. In that context he became instrumental in helping Keitaro and Naru’s relationship; helping Naru retrieve her present from Keitaro during Christmas Eve and helping her arrive at Pararakelse Island and assisting the group while on the island. He even provided Keitaro with the keys to the Forbidden Annex during the incident involving Keitaro’s sister, Kanako.
Kentaro has one theme from the Love Hina anime series, "Dry Leaves", which is available in the Love Hina Original Sound File soundtrack.
Ground Defense Force! Mao-chan
- A Kentaro look-alike appears cowering with Haitani and Shirai look-alikes on the security monitors during an alien invasion in Ground Defense Force! Mao-chan.
- Kentaro’s name was so similar to Keitaro’s that the Hinata Residents often called him Keitaro by mistake. This occured so frequently that even Kentaro mistakenly called himself Keitaro during an introduction.
- Strangely genre savvy, Kentaro would often comment about the events going on around him like he was aware that he was in an anime.
- Haruka let him work at a pay rate of just 1.50 yen an hour
- Kentaro is the only male character to sport "hair antannae" in the series.
- Akamatsu wanted to use more characters from the anime in the manga, like Kentaro and Mei, but never had a chance. Only Mei made a cameo at the very end.