Love is unusual for Koizumi Risa and Ootani Atsushi, who are both striving to find their ideal partner in high school—172 cm tall Koizumi is much taller than the average girl, and Ootani is much shorter than the average guy at 156 cm. To add to their plights, their crushes fall in love with each other, leaving Koizumi and Ootani comically flustered and heartbroken. To make matters worse, they're even labeled as a comedy duo by their homeroom teacher due to their personalities and the stark difference in their heights, and their classmates even think of their arguments as sketches.
Lovely★Complex follows Koizumi and Ootani as they encourage each other in finding love and become close friends. Apart from their ridiculous antics, they soon find out an unexpected similarity in their music and fashion tastes. Maybe they possess a chemistry yet unknown, but could love ever bloom between the mismatched pair?
It was cute, insightful, hilarious and endearing. It was my most anticipated episode every week. I always wanted more. I want more now even though I know it's over!
The story is about the tallest girl and the shortest boy in class and their search for love in high school. It turns out they're both kooky, funny and energetic. They're also perfect for each other... too bad they don't see that. The story isn't complicated or new, but it was told so well that it crawled into right into that soft spot in my heart.
romance is built slowly over time and by the end, you're head over heels for them because the creators did such a great job of laying down the foundation and actually showing you how their feelings grow over time. It's not like a lot of shows where all of a sudden in a haze of fuzzy lighting and rose petals, love magically sprouts out of nowhere. Instead, you see a friendship begin, a moment happens, interest blossoms, awareness grows... the whole nine yards. You really get to know Koizumi and Otani over the course of the show and I was rooting like crazy for them.
The characters are so over the top and out of control that it's hard not to laugh. They exaggerate, make ridiculous faces and they over-react to everything. It's really kind of hammy, but that's part of the fun. And it's refreshing to see a female lead who isn't some stereotype of a dominatrix-in-training or a weak, helpless nitwit. She seems like a real human being with strong points and weak points. She isn't afraid to get ugly and imperfect sometimes and I think it's really great that they made her (and, really, him too) full of all these flaws and not-so-attractive traits... and yet so completely charming and loveable. It makes them really... human. I would say that if you like the relationship (without the music and with a lot more actual focus on romance) of Nodame and Chiaki from Nodame Cantabile, you might like this too because there's a similarity in the way that the relationships go both ways and the strength that each of them brings to the relationship.
The art is great too. First of all, they took the time and effort to change the characters appearances day to day and give them all a sense of their own style, which I really appreciate. It's just really thorough and well-executed. I completely agree with YoshikoHatake, there is something about the style that brings Bokura Ga Ita to mind, even though the tone of the story is completely different (BGI felt a lot more serious and the colors and style reflect that somewhat, I think). Music-wise, it's also nice. I don't normally notice the openings and endings that much (I've always hated credits), but LoveCom's are really good in a perky, energetic kind of way, which suits the show perfectly, and I find myself singing along w/ the karaoke. ;)
P.S. I really haven't seen very many romances that do this good of a job at being funny and sweet and tender and honest. If you have, I'd love suggestions!
Girl meets boy and girl likes boy. But girl is also half a foot taller than boy and thus, epic drama ensues!
S T O R Y - I don't read/watch a lot of shoujo, but from the start, I figured it was a pretty basic plot and as a result, probably a pretty generic story. I was right -- it's a lot of what you would typically expect from shoujo: lots of silly romantic drama, lots of hilarious shenanigans, and the your handful of cute, fluffy moments scattered throughout that always feel like an shot of diabetic sweetness straight to your black, black heart. And
it was wonderfully done for the most part. As predictable as the overarching story can be, it was still very engaging and fun to watch. The slice of life approach makes the episode-to-episode drama slightly less obvious, and I really loved that time actually moves throughout the series.
I suppose time progression would logically be more common in slice of life and shoujo series, but since I don't dabble into the genre much, it was very refreshing for me to experience. The series begins as the characters start high school and ends neatly as they graduate. Time moves at a pretty fixed pace, so there's no awkwardness in transitions. I was also really happy to see the beginning, creation, and progression of a relationship -- the series doesn't just end when they get together (I refuse to count that as a spoiler; I mean, c'mon. Did you ever have any doubts?), it keeps going and explores some of their problems and potential future. All in all, it's wrapped up pretty nicely. The story, while fairly generic, is solid, well told, and just silly and fun. The pacing is steady, and though things do feel like they're being dragged along occasionally, the feeling never lasts long. It's a good thing to watch after a shitty day. I'm actually really sad it's over for that very reason.
C H A R A C T E R - Risa Koizumi is a very dramatic girl. It's fun at first; after a while it got a little tiring. But then I came to realize that wait. Girls really ARE like this! They ARE overdramatic and hysterical and crazy and thoroughly ridiculous. After realizing that amazing truth, I didn't mind so much anymore. Risa is just a girl. And that's how they are. Honestly, I can't call her unrealistic in good conscience because everything she does, every over-the-top reaction she has, I can imagine someone I know in real life doing the same. Considering that, I think Risa's actually a pretty damn well done character. She's very sympathetic and easy to relate to, even when she's crying for the fifth time in five episodes. And she grows -- her feelings for Otani evolve and mature a lot throughout the series, and through you're constantly reminded of this progression through three-second flashbacks, it is something that's nice to look back on.
Atsushi Otani is an idiot. It's fun at first; after a while, it gets a little frustrating. But then I came to realize that wait! Boys really ARE like this! They're retarded and stupid and dense and miss all the obvious signs and are super awkward when they do finally get it! Amazing. Once again, I found Otani's depiction to be hilariously accurate on many levels. He does tend to be much less dramatic than Risa, but that's not surprising considering the male stereotype and the fact that his point of view isn't focused on as much until the second half of the series. Though both Risa's and Otani's feelings are undoubtedly romanticized greatly, I found the slower development of Otani's feelings a lot more interesting -- you know what's going to happen, but watching everything unfold is still interesting.
The supporting cast of friends do a great job of contrasting their lovey-dovey relationships with the irregular, often immature, and haphazard relationship of our protagonists. This makes them all noticeably idealized to the point where they're more roles than in-depth characters, but I guess that's all they really needed to be. Seiko and Haruka were fun gimmicks as well. Still, Nobuko was a pretty convincing best friend for Risa, likely because she had the most screentime of the supporting cast.
A R T S T Y L E & A N I M A T I O N - The animation and art jump around a lot in this series, so there's a bit of bad and a bit of good. The opening and end themes had a lot of fun variation to them, though all seemed pretty typical of shoujo, especially in the sense that they played around with the characters' fashion and style a lot. In the episodes themselves, the characters jumped back and forth from a pretty lazy and generic style to a really hilarious caricature style to a super, sparkle-filled, shiny, pretty shoujo style. The first of those three was the most common and got annoying sometimes because there would be strange discrepancies in how certain things (people, buildings, objects) look and I noticed some variations in height differences and proportions, especially for Risa whose lanky shape stands out a lot when the proportions change. The second was really amusing, especially since many of the SD faces are uniquely and hilariously grotesque and the characters don't hesitate to point this out themselves. The final style naturally showed up in all the super romanticized and climatic scenes -- its those scenes they saved their animation budget on, I'm sure -- making everything that much sweeter. It's predictable, but hey, it's gorgeous and cute and it works, dammit.
Another thing I'm sure is pretty common in shoujo, but that I appreciated all the same, was the fact that fashions changed from scene to scene, episode to episode. I loved that characters changed their clothes every day and had a lot of seasonal fashions; they would also be scene shopping occasionally and the clothes they buy would show up later, etc. I also loved that Risa's hair was constantly changing -- sometimes it coincided with her mood and emotions; sometimes it coincided with events or the weather; sometimes it was just different. It's not that big a deal, really, but it makes the characters that much more real and easier to relate to.
Overall, Love★Com's animation is just average, but it's good enough and the style definitely suits the series.
M U S I C - The first time I heard the first opening theme, "Kimi + Boku = Love?" by Tegomass, it confirmed all the stereotypical expectations I had for the series. It's upbeat and cheerful-hopeful, the vocalist's voice has an endearing, dorky quality to it, and the even the name of the song is corny as hell. It felt very right. End themes are generally slower, more somber, and more thoughtful compared to opening themes, and the first end theme, also by Tegomass, was no different. It kind of struck me how different the vocalist sounded. It also felt very right, and both songs really grew on me during the first half of the series.
Surprisingly though, the second pair of themes for the series are even better! I absolutely adore how the second opening, "Hey! Say!" by Hey!Say! 7 starts. In conjunction with the colorful animation sequence, it suits the series perfectly. It's the kind of music that I imagine Risa and Otani would listen to in addition to Umibouzu, and the lyrics are adorable. The same can be said for the second end theme, "BON BON," also by Hey!Say! 7 -- it's much more upbeat than the first end theme (though still reasonably thoughtful and kind of reminiscent) and once again, just adorable.
Love★Com also surprised me by having a really nice general soundtrack. The theme that played for all of the more depressing scenes was especially pretty and sweet to listen to. For other series of Love★Com's technical quality, I usually don't notice the soundtracks because they're generic and bland, so it's definitely worth noting that the music in this actually stood out. It's one of those soundtracks I wouldn't mind listening to outside of watching the actual series.
V O I C E A C T I N G - If you actually know Japanese or if you are just a gigantic dork, you might notice that pretty much all of the characters in this series speak in a Kansai dialect, which makes sense since the story takes place in Osaka. I found this pretty awesome because while a lot of series will have one or two characters that speak in the dialect, few have the full cast speaking in it. The last time I heard so many "aho"s instead of "baka" was in BECK. It's really interesting and neat to hear because even if you don't understand the language that well or realize that it's a different dialect, if you've seen a lot of subbed anime, you'll be able to pick up on slight changes in pronunciation and vocabulary (the most obvious things that I caught were "na" instead of "ne" and "chau" instead of "chigau"). For Risa, I also found her pronunciation of "Otani" to be occasionally distracting because she stresses the "o" a lot more than I would normally expect.
Other than fun dialect stuff, the voices themselves were pretty average. Risa's isn't that memorable, but it works well enough for her role. I was more impressed by Otani's voice because I found that he had a wider range of emotions and a much more recognizable tone overall -- his voice has a really unique inflection when he's upset or surprised, but it's also very charming when he's being serious. Other notable roles: Nakao was surprisingly soft-spoken, which goes great with his character, but was still surprising to hear because few people ever speak that quietly. Seiko's voice was obnoxiously high-pitched, which also went great with his/her character, but it also made me really glad s/he wasn't in too many scenes...
O V E R A L L - Lovely Complex was a much more enjoyable series than I thought it would be, but I'm always happy to see cliches work out. It's very true -- there are no original ideas left, so all there is to do is write good stories. They don't need to be original stories, just good stories, solid stories, fun stories. Lovely Complex fullfills all of above, so even though you know they're going to live happily ever after, you can still enjoy watching it for what it is. As I mentioned earlier, I watched episodes of Love★Com at the end of bad days. They're a shot of sugar and laughs, straight to the vein: adorably effective. Now I need to find another drug.
I'm actually quite surprised to think that this will be the first negative review of Lovely Complex on MAL. Every single review I read gives this show a 7 or higher, which I think is outrageous. I really have a lot of bad things to say about this show but I'll warn you if it gets too spoiler-laden. Here starts the review.
STORY- 2 (Dreadful)
Lovely Complex is about two high school kids, Risa and Otani. They are a comedy duo because whever they're together they fight, argue, make fun of each other, and cause a scene, which makes bystanders laugh. Risa is taller than
most guys and that's a problem for her because she's desperately searching for a boyfriend. Otani is sort of a dumb jock/trouble maker. He's shorter than almost all the girls and he's also self-conscious about it. So two people with height complexes.
Well the first 5 or so episodes of this are just filler-type comedy episodes which is pretty nice. Then Risa starts to like Otani for who knows what reason. He picks on her, argues with her, but the creators expect us to believe they're a match made in heaven because they both like this one rap group, Umibouzu.
For the next handful of episodes Risa tries to confess her love to Otani but Otani is just SO DENSE he thinks it's a joke when she confesses to him. This is where the show takes a nose-dive in quality. Lovely Complex starts going in circles. Something along the lines of this: Risa confesses, Otani rejects her, Risa cries, Risa beats him up. Risa stops crying and says she gives up on Otani, but then Otani does something Risa finds sweet, so Risa cries, and beats him up. She says she's going to keep loving Otani. Does it sound stupid? Yes it does! It's very long-winded, it goes in circles, Risa must've cried 30 times in this show. The show also shifts from comedy to drama around this point. You may or may not like this, depending on your preference, but you sure as hell don't want to see Risa cry again. Episodes 1-5 were okay, but around episode 6 it was a steady decline to the awful, unbearable, disgusting episodes 8-12. The show became a chore to watch because everytime I finished an episode I was so frustrated, and multiple times I logged into MAL and almost clicked "Dropped". I couldn't bring myself to do it. I would have rather never laid eyes on Lovely Complex then drop it at 12 episodes. I will explain why later in this review.
Episodes 13 on were watchable to my relief. Not as good as the first five but no where near as awful as 8-12. There is still the cycle of crying, beatings, motivations and what not, but their romance progresses slightly and new characters are added to the mix (which I will talk about later). I'm not going to dwell on the story any longer since I will spoil it for you.
So you may be asking, looks like you hated the plot...why not give it a 1? 1 is what Lovely Complex would be if it weren't for some great moments later in the series that just made me go "Awwwwwwwwww :3". They weren't anything worthy of bringing my score up past 5 but they were cute sweet shojo moments, and I was happy Lovely Complex included them. But the story is still a horribly low 2, and that's fair. The last episode, though I won't spoil it for you, is horribly contrived and way too unrealistic and convenient for the main characters.
All in all, Lovely Complex's story is a frustrating, long-winded, tedious, and boring one with not enough good humour for a romantic comedy. All of it is slapstick which isn't even funny. Risa kicks Otani probably as much as she cries her eyes out. It's a crappy story.
CHARACTER- 1 (Pathetic!)
Characters are unlikable and underdeveloped. The main characters...okay let's discuss them. Risa, awful as stated before. No redeeming qualities, just an all around annoying person. Otani, he's probably the best in the whole show, and that's actually sad. He's underdeveloped, stereotypical and dense. Side characters...well the main one here in Nobu-chan who is Risa's best friend and side kick. She's alright, nothing really irked me about her. She had no personality, she just loved her boyfriend and provided motivation and chances for Risa to meet alone with Otani. She wasn't awful but nothing was good about her. I'm not even going to talk about her boyfriend he's so underdeveloped and useless to the story.
Also on the topic of side characters, Chiharu was friends with Risa in the beginning but never mentioned past the first episode. She's just a shy girl.
The biggest problem, bigger than the character's being flat, is that they weren't put to good use. These names may mean nothing to people who haven't seen the show, but to those of you who have, Maity-sensei, Haruka, that blonde transvestite, Mimi, the red and black haired kid, and Otani's ex-girlfriend recieved no character developement and were brought into the series only to be forgotten. Ok, Mimi, red head kid, and Otani's ex weren't that important to the story, but all the other side characters were! Haruka most particularly, had brought a bunch of drama in the series and created tension between Risa and Otani in the beginning, only to be forgotten and useless to the plot, and never developed. He could've had a story arc about him but the creators didn't choose to go that route which was dissapointing. In the end, no side characters got any actual closure.
Character in this show is pathetic, Risa is the worst mainly because she cries too much.
Sound- 5 (Meh.)
The "sad moment" music just made the scenes too melodramatic. The "happy, funny moment" music did it's job and fit in well with the scenes. The "good moment" music (ie, when something romantic happens between Risa and Otani) is probably the best. It makes the seens just that much sweeter and it puts a smile on my face. The OPs and EDs were forgettable and just not special. That's all I reall have to say.
Art- 8 (Nothing to complain about here)
The art I actually quite liked. The character designs were nice, the colour palette was bright and colourful, sometimes Risa's fish-face bothered me but overall I liked the art in Lovely Complex. It was nice to look at, I would probably call it unique but from what pictures I've seen from Kimi ni Todoke and Bokura ga Ita, the art is all the same. But still, it's good.
Had some sweet moments but in the end this frustrating tedious mess of a romantic "comedy" made me want to bang my head against the wall and had little to no redeeming values. A MAJOR dissapointment.
Lovely Complex was a terrible, horrible, nauseating show that I wouldn't recommend to anyone. Unless you have a strong fetish for slapstick humour, you won't be able to sit through half of this. Anybody who actually enjoyed this has a remarkably high pain tolerance.
You love love? Then you're going to love this anime!
The story itselves seems very standard at first glance, but it isn't. Risa, the main character, is an girl who is taller than the average girl. She wants an boy that's longer than her, but then something happens. She and Otani, a very short boy from her class, are often being laughed at, because they look and act like an popular comedy duo. Although the fact they're being laughed at and are bickering all the time, their friendships start to grow and Risa even starts to like Otani. From here on the story has a lot
of twists and turns, even untill the end, which makes it very interesting!
The art was nice. It has it own style and is different than most of the anime. The characters wear different time of clothing and have an other hairstyle. The art is more focused on the girls than on the boys: the guys aren't really handsome or whatever, not something you see a lot in shoujo! An other visual part are how the emotions are showed. They're typical, but also 'a bit' exaggerated. It doesn't annoy me, instead it makes me laugh! It makes it very funny and that's a part of the power of Lovecom.
The sound was something that perfectly matched the anime. Once you know the translation of it, you're going to love it. When I first heard the OP and EN I didn't enjoyed it that much, but now I'm totally in love with it! Later on the OP and the EN change... I loved them at once!
The characters are just so human! You could have the feeling that you're one of the characters, there's nothing extra-ordinary or something about them, like that they're actually an alien or something. No, the characters are human and that's why you can feel sorry for a person when he or she is crying and sympathize with them. It makes the whole story only more interesting~!
I really, really, really enjoyed this anime. The love, joy, sadness, funny parts, dreams that come true, dreams that scatter, it is all part of it and that's what it made me totally addicted to LoveCom.
Overall it deserves an big 9~! Just watch and see this amusing anime!
Shoujo is one of the most recognizable genres in anime world... but how much do you really know about it? Is it really just about high school romance aimed at young girls or perhaps there is more to it? Let's learn more and take a look at 15 most popular shoujo anime on MAL!