Sunday, 27 May 2007

Preview: Lovely Complex

Lovely Complex (LoveCom) is based on the manga by Nakahara Aya which tells the oft-told tale of high school love with a twist: height complexity. Koizumi Risa is the unusually tall girl and Otani Atsushi is the guy who wishes that he could be taller (since he's in school basketball team).

Right from the start it can be sensed that there's chemistry between the two, and they ended up being dubbed by their teacher as a comedy duo ("All Hanshin-Kyōjin"). The rest of the first episode had me laughing to the point of tears.

Both Risa and Atsushi are considerably unlucky in love, so they decided to hook-up one another with a friend. The plan backfired instead (the friends fell for each other), so they made a bet to see who gets a boyfriend or girlfriend first. And that also seems to backfiring too as Risa begins to develop feeling for Atsushi...

LoveCom is the series I've been waiting for some time. Shoujo comedy is a sadly ignored genre.

Shoujo is difficult genre to describe. The best way is experience it yourself. I'm drawn to shoujo mostly by the way how the characters are made central to the story. Most of time the emotions of the characters affect the plot greatly, instead of the other way around. In the end, you can't help but to feel acquainted with the characters, after seeing and feeling what they've been through in the story.

Unlike in other genres, shoujo characters don't wear the same clothes all/most of the time. Same goes for hair. The lead is usually a plain Jane, pining for for the shining armour-clad knight. And flowers bloom in the background, when feelings of love surfaces (an almost sure sign of something being shoujo).

So far the series, after 7 episodes, is a bit inconsistent in the comedy department. Some episodes like the first had me in stitches, while the rest focused more the story's progression. Not that it's a bad thing.

LoveCom's charms lie in its characters' foibles. Who really haven't struggled with a complex of their own? Risa struggles with a confused feeling towards Atsushi and the possibility of finding a guy to match her height. Atsushi himself also suffers from an inferiority complex, after a former girlfriend broke up with him for a tall guy (that's what Atsushi seems to believe, anyway). Plus he's all blur, unable to pick up on Risa's feeling although the clues are very clear.

LoveCom may not be the funniest or most original story I've seen, but interesting enough to make want to stay for the rest of the season.

(Many apologies for an image-heavy post.)


dzul said...

hee, no wonder this seem familiar. I read the manga long time ago. IIRC it's the only shoujo manga that I read. A funny manga it is but back then the scanlation is only done for few vol. Might be going to get the rest later now that you remind me of it :P.

rol said...

I've read comments how the manga is actually many times funnier that the anime. Maybe I'll check the manga out myself.

Interesting thing about the anime is that it's Kansai-ben (Kaisai dialect). But with my weak Nihon go (Japanese language) knowledge, I was able to identify only one difference in the speech due to the dialect. :P

ieka said...

nak pinjam nak pinjammm!! :D

rol said...

ka, you know how to find me...

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