With the seas of bishoujos I sail lately I really appreciate having a catalyst. For this season Lovely Complex is the counter-programming, and I should say that this is really a blast! Despite rollercoaster animation quality, this shoujo series is a total LOL-fest! Extreme comedic value with a lighthearted touch on romance… and height complexes.
You see, Risa is a tall girl. Usually tall girls are the school idols of anime society, but this one here is a total baka. Well not really, she is as talkative and fun as a rowdy girl can get. On the other side, Otani is a short guy. Usually short guys get the flak and ridicule in anime society, but this one has his thing going (good basketball skills for example). Nevertheless he is quite an baka too. If we mix baka and baka together we form the “All Hanshin Kyojin”, a nickname awarded to them by the school, because they always bicker with each other as if they’re some owarai comedy duo! Yep, Risa and Otani started up doing word wars with each other… and crazily enough ended up STILL fighting by the end of the series. The question though is… will they find love with each other?
I would say that relationships between a tall woman and a short man are statistically low, it’s usually the other way around. Lovely Complex delves on this kind of ‘height complex’ a bit, in that Risa wouldn’t imagine falling in love with a short guy. Likewise, Otani wouldn’t prefer someone taller than him. Nevertheless the setup is fun enough, but what Lovely Complex excels in is the totally extreme laugh factor! All characters speak in Kansai-ben, which is a perfect dialect for owarai comedy. Tsukkomi and boke-type jokes abound, which doesn’t necessarily translate to English well, but Lovely Complex gives the aural factor treatment because ALL the characters just SHOUT their lines! This anime OVERACTS like crazy! Might as well say that this is the first OA (overacting) anime I’ve watched. This ridiculous energy made me laugh out loud ‘literally’ almost every minute, and it really never lets up. The comebacks and the witty dialogue… very well executed. Maybe not really well-executed per se but it’s done in the OA fashion as mentioned, and that makes it as if you are part of the LOL gang. You know, if they had the “laughing audience” like in US TV comedy series, I think this would be a total knockout. The comedy kept me entertained, and the story isn’t so bad either. Just my observation, but the love story seems like a reverse of what Suzuka had, in which Otani acts as the male version of tsundere… if there is such a fandom classification.
There’s nice development in the relationship of Risa and Otani, although some new characters just pop up out of nowhere near the end. This must have been a manga quirk, because they didn’t fit the whole manga content on there. I think they were struggling for a closure near the end, and the energy kinda died down, but still the rest of the series were so strong I just didn’t mind the slightly lowered quality. Speaking of animation quality, since this is a crazy LOL-fest, the character designs just zoom out of proportion, and the faces deform in very weird ways. When things get serious though, you would notice the inconsistencies in the way they draw between episodes. For a show like this though, it isn’t a major setback. Yup, this is one rare instance of me not minding the animation quality, because the rest of the show is just that good.
All in all, a surprisingly good anime, and one that makes me want more shoujo in my watch list. Lovely Complex is a hyper-WIN in my record books, and warrants my repeat watching. It’s hard to make me laugh (even rarer to make me laugh ‘out loud’) but this anime managed a ton of them (I even choked once, haha). Highly recommended.