Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

4 November 2007: Lovely Complex and the OVER TOO SOON

Otani may be short as Hell, but he makes
up for it with deplorable fashion sense.

Now that I've finished Lovely Complex, I'd like to add a couple of notes. First, I was a little surprised that the entire show is told from Koizumi's point of view. Pretty much up until just past the halfway point, I was expecting it to switch to Otani's point of view for at least a little bit. I should have caught on quicker considering that Lovely Complex is shoujo.

Koizumi Risa.

Second, as further testament to just how good Lovely Complex is, both Koizumi and Otani are fairly flawed individuals. They make stupid, adolescent mistakes, and press their luck pretty often. And even though I don't especially like either Koizumi or Otani, I still want things to work out for them.

Nobu and Koizumi
Otani's obtuseness confounds Nobu and Risa.

Most anime romantic comedies aren't good enough to maintain viewer interest without making at least one the leads (typically the female), as endearing as possible. I suppose it's intended to trigger some manner of vicarious interest in the outcome or whatnot. However, Lovely Complex has me cheering for Koizumi even though I've no interest in her (or Otani, for that matter) myself.

Koizumi gets a surprise.

As a matter of fact, as far as the characters go, Koizumi's preternaturally insightful friend Nobuko is probably my favorite. Her relationship advice is always so spot-on, it's uncanny. Likewise, her dedication to ensuring that Koizumi and Otani DON'T FUCK THINGS UP makes her role in their relationship invaluable. Nobu is a testament to the influence a mutual friend can have in preventing a couple from SCREWING THINGS UP ROYAL.

You gotta watch out for Seiko.

I'm inclined the dislike Seiko on principle, and also because of an unearthly annoying voice, but I am amused by the character's intense, over-the-top vapidness, and under-explored camaraderie with Haruka.

Koizumi and Otani
Koizumi and Otani. Uh, spoilers, I guess.

I'm sad to see the show end, because it is one of the few series out there with a perfect streak of No Bad Episodes. I'll probably end up buying the manga, since I hear there's additional material that didn't make it into the anime. It's going to be a long wait with only two English volumes in print so far, though. As it is, I'll probably end up sating my relationship-anime jonesing by re-watching Honey and Clover or Banner of the Stars. Neither of them are nearly shoujo enough to replace Lovely Complex, but I'll take what I can get.

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