Lovely Complex 1

Lovely Complex 1-1

Ray likes to tease me about it sometimes, but despite my adoration of shows like Kare Kano and Honey and Clover, and the fact that one of the very first anime I ever watched was Marmalade Boy (which I have seen in its entirety!)…I don’t really consider myself a huge fan of shoujo type anime, per se. I found Fushigi Yugi, for instance, annoyingly melodramatic even as it had an unerring knack for cliffhangers. Fruits Basket was enjoyable for the slapstick comedy but cloying and ultimately inconsequential, and for me Ouran worked mainly because it skewered all these tropes so brilliantly and mercilessly. What I appreciate mainly is emotional realism and believable characters, which are certainly not shoujo/josei-only territories (see Monster and even parts of Asatte no Houkou), but they are easier to depict in the context of ordinary relationships than when you’re piloting a giant robot, which is an experience far fewer people have had in general. (For now.)

This show, Lovely Complex, seems unlikely to rank with the masterpieces I noted at the beginning. But it’s amusing enough.

Lovely Complex 1-2

Lovely Complex‘s premise is amusing, if not particularly original or surprising; the final outcome of the story is clear from the start, so where the show will have to shine is in the comedy and ultimately in our affection for the characters. I have to admit that I have a soft spot for the physical foibles of the protagonists–besides the fact that I myself am rather, well, short by Western standards, I think abnormal height’s a great physical analogue to the awkward, out-of-place feeling many of us nerds (face it: if you are reading this blog, you are probably a nerd :)) and geeks felt as adolescents. I love the fact that Risa’s an RPG gamer, and I found the metaphor of the characters’ ships being torpedoed by rejection both hilarious and painful.

Lovely Complex 1-3

Of course, you know, the story is still wish-fulfillment on one level–that of course the two protagonists are destined to be soul mates and of course they fit each other like hand in glove, with only their obliviousness getting in the way. This is of course the formula of just about every romantic comedy film, but still, I would have felt unbelievably blessed to have even a friend like Risa in high school…maybe it’s because I was an only child? Risa and Otani behave very much like siblings at this stage, and if there’s anything about siblings they tend to fight and often wish that they were only children!

It might be interesting if they start following the couple that Risa and Otani inadvertently “set up” in this first episode. One thing I really liked about Kare Kano is how they DIDN’T drag out the inevitable confession scene till the end, and instead tried to focus on what an actual working relationship looks like. Unfortunately I can easily see Lovely Complex going the usual route, but, you know, I think I’ll give it a few more episodes and see if the characters grow on me. Y’all have been calling me out lately on my recent bout of uncharitableness with recent comedy shows and I think I ought to be a little more patient for a change!

Author: gendomike

Michael lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been into anime since he saw Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1999. Some of his favorite shows include Full Metal Alchemist, Honey and Clover, and Welcome to the NHK!. Since 2003 he has gone to at least one anime convention every year. A public radio junkie, which naturally led to podcasting, he now holds a seminary degree and is looking to become Dr. Rev. Otaku Bible Man any day now. Michael can be reached at You can also find his Twitter account at @gendomike.

3 thoughts on “Lovely Complex 1

  1. If the anime follows the manga throughout, you’ll deffinately love it. : D They’re going a bit speedy with it though, which I find to be good and bad. I’m just worried some character development wont look as realistic when it took longer to accomplish in the manga.

  2. I love Marmalade Boy, too! But I rooted for Ginta and Arimi. Yuu is just another arrogant pretty boy, and the main girl is a stupid air head. Give me a romantic comedy with Ginta and Arimi and I’d give it golden stamps of approval.

  3. oh oteni and risa superr yes yes awesome  them love awesome awesome animesini   wach superr yeah ye Kore love  SARANİYOOOO ….. 😀

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