Rollercoaster Love

May 3, 2010 at 10:19 am 3 comments

When you see couples, it’s almost always the guy who is taller than the girl. When it gets reversed, the result is rather comical. This is exactly the problem of Risa Koizumi and Atsushi Otani, the outspoken main characters in Aya Nakahara’s hit manga Lovely Complex.

All her life, Risa has been placed at the back of a class line-up because of her height – a commanding 172 centimeters (or 5 feet and 8 inches). Being tall brought nothing but misery to poor Risa and her frank attitude doesn’t help much. But mind you, Risa has her girly side as well, but it doesn’t change the fact that she can’t get a guy unless he’s taller than her.

Otani’s predicament is basically the same as Risa’s, only it’s the other way around. Standing a mere 156 centimeters (or 5 feet and 1 inch), it’s no surprise that Otani is nicknamed “chibi” (or small) by his classmates because of his height. Girlfriend standards becomes quite limited because he’ll have to find one who is shorter than him lest it will look like he’s dating his older sister or worse, his mother.

How these two ended up together would eat up a 16-volume manga filled with laughter, tears and best of all, a good dose of romance.
Ever since their high school life started, Risa and Otani, the so-called giraffe and midget, have been nicknamed “All Hanshin-Kyojin” which is a reference to a popular Japanese comedy duo with the same height differences as our main characters. Despite hating being called this name, the two have a rather strong bond that stemmed from their common interests of which a prime example is Umibouzu, a fictional rap artist who seems to have a very strong appeal to them. They both like Umibouzu so much that they have gone out to his performances more than once.

Risa and Otani’s friendship is off to a great start and they’ve used it well when they helped each other get romantic partners. But gradually, Risa feels something different from her best guy pal and it’s something she didn’t want to admit in the beginning. To her, there was nothing worse than falling in love with someone who is so short that he can pass up to be her younger brother. However, she learned to listen to her heart and admitted that she is indeed attracted romantically to Otani. Problem is, how will she confess? And even if she did, how will the indignant and undersized Otani take it?

I’ve heard about LoveCom for a while before trying it out and I’m so glad I did. I first encountered it through its 26-episode anime and then I ended up reading the manga. What’s so nice about it is the fact that the anime followed the original manga story so faithfully you’d feel like the characters you’ve read have come to life onscreen.

One of the best features of LoveCom is hilarity. The comedic scenes just keep coming out from nowhere and will keep you laughing all through out. Risa and Otani’s synchronized expressions whenever Umibouzu is the topic is something so cute it’s amusing.

Being a romantic comedy manga, it’s quite commendable that the author was able to dish out a nice dramatic feel that can make you cry in frustration because you want to have these two hook up already. Risa’s insistent love confession is the one to look for and her determination to get Otani at all costs is very admirable.
On the other hand, the art is also very nice and visually pleasing. I have to say Otani gets my vote hands down because of his cute expressions especially when he’s embarrassed.

All in all, I highly recommend Lovely Complex to manga fans out there who are looking for a good romantic story that’s not overflowing with unrealistic mushiness. LoveCom can teach a thing or two about the ups and downs of life and that makes this manga worth trying out.  – Zizi

Entry filed under: Spotlight, Tankobon. Tags: , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kat  |  June 29, 2010 at 6:27 am

    We watched the anime first, and even my sister who’s not a rabid anime fan got hooked on LovCom! It’s really cute and hilarious.

    • 2. anneplaza  |  June 29, 2010 at 10:49 am

      Glad you enjoyed watching it. 🙂 Have you tried reading the manga?

  • 3. Zizi  |  June 29, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Thanks so much for reading my review. LoveCom remains as one of my top favorite romantic comedies be it manga or anime, haha. 😀


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