It’s been quite a while since I first saw this anime, but I am reminded of it on almost a daily basis. Why? You’ll read about that later on. Lovely★Complex is an anime based on the eponymous manga by Aya Nakahara, who is also known for Berry Dynamite, Dame na Watashi ni Koishite Kudasai and Junjou Drop. The studios behind the anime is Toei animation, which is also known for One Piece, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball and Digimon, among others.
Risa Koizumi is taller than the average girl and wants to fall in love, but her height tends to get in her way because she doesn’t want to be with someone shorter than her. Enter Atsushi Ootani, who is shorter than the average guy, the two are known as a comedy duo from the moment they meet. Their bickering and love-hate relationship entertain both teachers and students around them. The two soon become friends and it doesn’t take long before an attraction starts to form between Risa and Atsushi.
The story intrigued me from the beginning, especially because of the comedy aspect, but also because I’m quite fond of romance anime. This one brings up a lot of questions along the way, some part of the cliché ‘will they, won’t they?’ moments, but also some you don’t find in every romance anime. Aside from the romance and comedy genres this anime also has quite a bit of drama. The comedy aspect of this anime makes it uplifting, lightening the mood a bit even after something heart breaking has happened.
Risa, Atsushi and their friends are fun characters with each their own personalities. There’s not a lot of focus on their backgrounds, but this wasn’t bothersome to me since you have plenty of time to get to know them as they are now. You see the characters grow, but you also see their relationships develop and grow along the way. Atsushi and Risa’s relationship obviously jumps out the most, because of their bickering, but the other relationships in the series are also fun to watch.
When it comes to the character designs: they are simple, but easy to distinguish. The changes of hair styles in between, especially when it comes to the girls, add a nice touch to this. Their looks seem to match their personalities and fit with the setting well.
The drawing style of this anime isn’t as pretty as some newer anime, but at the time is was a pretty standard quality. What I loved about this anime was that they didn’t just show the pretty side of their characters, but showed quite a lot of ugly and funny expressions on them as well, that fit their personalities. At the time I first watched the anime I didn’t see any flaws in the animation. Looking back now the colour scheme looks a little different from newer anime, especially in the more romantic scenes, but this didn’t bother me.
Now, onto the intro and outro music of this anime. This is why I’m reminded of this anime so often. The first intro song, ‘Kimi + Boku = Love?’ by Tegomass, has been a hit with me from the moment I first heard it. It is very catchy and the lyrics are simple, but fun. This is one of the first Japanese songs I learned to sing along to and it has been my ringtone ever since I watched this anime. Both intro songs, by Tegomass and by Hey! Say! 7, are upbeat and uplifting. They fit the anime and set the mood very well. The outro songs are both calmer, but fit well with the calm images and the general feeling of falling in love.
Although it’s been a while since I watched the full episodes, I watched back some bits of it for the review, I do still love this anime. It has comedy and romance, two genres that combine very well in Lovely★Complex and make for some hilarious and endearing moments. The story itself isn’t super original, but it doesn’t just stick with the standard romance story. There’s a lot more to it. The characters are fun and I managed to empathize with them quite easily, even though they were fictional characters in an anime. The songs, as you’ve read, is something I’ve always enjoyed. For me this anime is a total hit! But if you don’t like these genres, then it makes sense not to watch it.
If you prefer to read about the story of Lovely★Complex then you could read the manga, which has finished and has 68 chapters in total. There is also a manga named Lovely★Complex Two, which continues the story but doesn’t focus on Risa and Atsushi specifically.
Studio: Toei Animation
Started airing: 7th of April 2007
Number of Episodes: 24