Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

21 October 2007: Lovely Complex

Otani and Koizumi
Otani and Koizumi.

I've missed the past few anime seasons because I've been in hard core re-watchering mode for months, but I've started catching up on a few recent shows. For example, I'm watching Lovely Complex now, although I'm months behind everyone else. The gimmick in Lovely Complex is that the girl, Koizumi, is super tall—okay, she's 5' 7", but that's freakishly tall for an anime gal—and the guy, Otani, is really short. (He's 5' 1".) Koizumi and Otani are fast friends, although they bicker a lot. Nevertheless, it's obvious to everyone that Koizumi and Otani are perfect for each other.

Went about the same during rehearsal.

Lovely Complex, at least for its first 11 episodes, is mostly from Koizumi's point of view as she comes to realize that she's attracted to Otani. We also discover that Otani is very popular with girls, despite being short. I don't know if this would be a normal occurence in Japan, or if it's something the viewer is supposed to just accept because it's anime. I'm guessing the latter, since Otani definitely has a complex about his height (albeit not nearly to the same degree as Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist).

Koizumi and Otani
Koizumi and Otani as friends.

Lovely Complex is astoundingly good, and teeming with romance. Long-time readers will remember my laments about the dearth of any actual development in the relationships alleged in anime romantic comedies. In anime, dumb-ass couples almost always fail to realize until the series finale that they both like each other. Or they figure out they like each other and then high-test-genki cockblockers freeze the would-be couple in carbonite for the duration of the show. (See, for example, the contrived stagnation in the Ai Yori Aoshi anime.) On the rare occasion that anime couples profess their mutual attraction to each other relatively early, they turn out to be unlikeable deviants (e.g., Koi Kaze), or the show itself is a train wreck for an unrelated reason. (See Gift ~eternal rainbow~.) Pretty much never is an anime series just about a nice, non-shit-heel couple that spends the show enjoying each other's company and dealing with the normal problems that come with being in love. Kare Kano is a rare example—part of what makes it so good.

Koizumi and Otani
Koizumi and Otani...more than friends?

Reportedly, there is a first-episode love confession in the new Da Capo, but I've already suffered through more than 50 episodes of Da Capo. You can't expect me to commit to another 13.

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