Another hate-to-love relationship I’m sure will fill the hopeful and hopeless hearts of fans who are fond of romance anime. Despite this anime being titled Lovely Complex, the story follows a very simple yet engaging plot. The characters of this romance-comedy anime will give fans all the feels in spite of all their differences and will discover the meaning of love through it.
Lovely Complex is a romance anime by Aya Nakahara in 2001. The story falls under the genre of shoujo, romance, and comedy. Therefore, you can expect to feel not only butterflies in your stomach while watching it but also will hurt your stomach from laughing in some scenes. Despite this anime not being placed alongside big romance animes like Maid-Sama and Kimi Ni Todoke. Lovely Complex has so much to offer for it is not just simply about lovers being all lovey-dovey to each other.
In fact, this masterpiece of Aya Nakahara even received the 49th Shogakukan Manga Award for shoujo. The Shogakukan Manga Award is one of Japan’s major manga awards and the oldest one in the country. Lovely Complex manga has a total of 17 volumes together with twenty-four episodes of its anime adaptation. Don’t worry because the amount of episodes is enough to let you in the lives of Risa and Otani. Not only that, but it will also let you fall in love with them.
Some people frequently assume that the man is usually the taller one in a relationship. However, the main characters of Lovely Complex tell us otherwise. They are among the many couples in the world of romance anime that aims in putting an end to the endless stereotyping of how the characters should be like.
What Is Lovely Complex All About?
A she fell first but he fell harder love story. Lovely Complex centers on the relationship between Koizumi Risa and Otani Atsushi. Unlike usual romance tropes, Koizumi is the taller one with a current height of 170 centimeters while Otani is probably among the shortest boys in their class with a height of 156 centimeters. Although it shouldn’t be a big deal, the height of these characters is their biggest insecurities. Risa wants to have been born with an average height and Otani with an above-average height.
Their friendship turned to a daily dose of non-stop bantering because their insecurities get the best of them and always end up teasing each other. However, they will eventually realize that no one aside from each other could understand their struggles more than anyone. This leads them to start relying on one another by sharing their problems to ease the burden. Before forming a romantic relationship, they both became the best of friends who spends almost everything together, such as singing in karaoke.
As much as she wanted to avoid it, Koizumi end up falling first and did her best in trying to get through her feelings for Otani despite their differences. The story of Koizumi Risa and Otani Atsushi reminds us that love knows no boundaries and that nothing can stop you from falling in love even your deepest insecurities.
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Four Reasons Why Lovely Complex Is a Must-Watch
The hate-to-love relationship between Koizumi and Otani started airing on April 02, 2007, until September 29, 2007. Hence, it has been around for sixteen years now. However, word of how good and underrated it is hasn’t been talked about much by anime or manga fans. Therefore, we have listed four reasons for you to realize how underrated Lovely Complex is.
Well-Rounded Side Characters, Not Just Otani and Koizumi
This anime does not only have well-rounded main characters. Lovely Complex also features side characters that contribute well to the plot of the story. In any kind of anime of any genre, the role of the side characters should be given importance too, and should not only be about the main ones.
Focusing on the main characters sometimes bores the whole plot of the story because of being too one-dimensional. However, it is a good thing that this romance-comedy anime also gives a glimpse into the side characters’ lives and how much they have helped the relationship of Otani and Koizumi to turn into a reality. It is an anime that we can consider to be character-driven.
Storyline Is Engaging and the Genres Are Well-Balanced
Koizumi and Otani start off as friends and end up being labeled by their schoolmates as a comedic duo. This is because of their constant bantering day-to-day. Unlike most romance-comedy anime, Otani is not really the most handsome and the most popular guy in school, and Koizumi is totally not a shy girl who will eventually receive mistreatment by bullies for hanging out with the coolest guy.
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Hence, the story does not fully adapt to the common love stories in the romance genre. The plot is very engaging and simple. The only thing that is complex about this show is their height complex and that’s it. In addition, as a personal fan of the romantic comedy genre, it must be taken into account that what makes its storyline good is that it offers a lot of laugh-worthy scenes. But, it doesn’t overshadow the romance and self-growth between the characters which is the point of the whole plot. Comedy and romance are pretty well-balanced in this anime. The balance of both genres greatly contributes a lot in keeping the storyline more interesting to watch.
Animation is Good Despite Its Criticism
One thing that is causing fans to skip Lovely Complex is its art style. Despite the anime being released in the year 2007, the art style seems to be based on how animes in the mid-90s were created. In fact, if you are not aware of its release date you would assume that it was indeed released around the late 90s. But, it’s not all bad though.
There is something about old animation shows that gives their audience a very warm presence. Moreover, when watching the anime you might also notice the familiar art style if you have watched the massively popular anime, One Piece. Lovely Complex and One Piece were produced by the same studio which is Toei Animation along with the all-time favorite anime Dragon Ball.
You may also hear some familiar voices like Koizumi Risa who was voiced by Akemi Okamura, the same voice actor behind our favorite navigator from One Piece, Nami. Therefore, don’t let the art style hold you back from watching it. Lovely Complex is one of the best shoujo animes out there. The lacking of its animation can easily be overshadowed by how well-written the plot is.
Lovely Complex Original Manga and Anime Adaptation are Complete
With the adorable characters of Lovely Complex, it is normal to ask for more of them. The anime only has one season with a total of twenty-four episodes. However, it is safe to say that season two will never be released unless Aya Nakahara decides to write more volumes of the manga. As mentioned, Lovely Complex has a total of seventeen volumes and the anime adaptation pretty much covered all of it.
Although, there might have been a few scenes that are missing in the anime due to time constraints. All the important parts of its storyline were definitely not one of them. Hence, you will still get the full experience of Otani and Koizumi’s relationship together with their friends.
Since a possible release of season two will very much not happen at all. Fans can read its original manga to experience those few moments that were not present in the anime adaptation. Also, if you’re fond of animes like Lovely Complex, you can also check 30 of the best shoujo anime of all time we have listed just for you.
In conclusion, Lovely Complex is definitely an underrated anime that deserves more attention and appreciation from fans. Sure, the anime might be lacking in some aspects but overall it is undoubtedly entertaining and good. Koizumi Risa and Otani Atsushi’s path in dealing with their height complex, particularly Otani, and other indifferences make their relationship more wholesome to watch.
Also, do not forget the usual cute little jealous scenes that we are always expecting in romance animes. It’s all here! If age doesn’t matter in a relationship then so is height. Otani and Koizumi teaches us that our biggest insecurities are dependent on how we perceived ourselves. Because no matter what they are, be it your height, age, or whatever, if the person loves you then there will be no issue at all. Lovely Complex is available to watch on anime streaming sites like Crunchyroll. So what are you waiting for here? Go ahead and watch it now!