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Lovely Complex
Lovely Complex
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Aya Nakahara, Toei Animation, Shueisha
Original title: Rabu Kon
Risa Koizumi, Atsushi Otani, Nobuko Ishihara, Heikichi Nakao, Chiharu Tanaka, Ryoji Suzuki, Seiko Kotobuki, Haruka Fukagawa, Kuniumi Maitake "Maity", Mayu Kanzaki, Mimi Yoshihoka, Kazuki Kohori, Umibo, Kiyoji Nakano, Mrs.
Author: Aya Nakahara
Production: Toei Animation
Regia: Konosuke Uda
Country: Japan
Year: 7 April 2007
Broadcast in Italy: 1 May 20096 XNUMX
Gender: Comedy
Episodes: 24 mm
Duration: 24 minutes
Recommended age: Teenagers aged 13 to 19

"Lovely Complex" (original title Rabu Kon) is originally a manga by Aya Nakahara, whose genre fully falls into the category of "Shojo". It is a sentimental comedy, which the author published in 2001, and whose distribution, in Italy, was handled by Panini Comics. The plot is engaging and funny, never intricate or complex, well unraveled in the school world. Japanese.

An anime series was also produced, as happens repeatedly in Japan with the successful manga series, and from 20 February 2012 in Italy it will be broadcast on the Rai Gulp channel, for a total of 24 episodes.
The story revolves around two protagonists, Risa Koizumi, a young girl atrociously complicated by her height, much higher than that of her peers in class, and Atsushi Otani, who instead has the opposite problem, since, compared to all the others, his stature is definitely below average. The two do nothing but tease each other all day, arguing constantly, showing however, even if still latent, a certain affinity and complicity.

Lovely Complex
The difference in height between Otani and Risa
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Aya Nakahara, Toei Animation, Shueisha

However, these are not the classic guys, secretly in love with each other, but too shy to confess their feelings, rather Risa and Otani are real enemies, who almost hate each other without yet knowing anything about the other's soul, rediscovering themselves, then, more similar than they thought. In any case, the very idea of ​​being together, at least at first, does not even remotely touch Otani, blocked by the titanic dimensions, at least for him, of Risa. However, having discovered the great complicity that will bind them more and more during the arc of the series, a deep and sincere friendship is born between them which, given the deep-rooted complexes of the two, will show traits that are not difficult to define pathological. It is above all Otani who shows a certain indecision in abandoning the certainty and stability of an established friendship, to try a leap into the void in view of an unlikely love affair. So it will be Risa to chase his friend, trying in every way to make a fire of feelings ignite from what seems to be only a dim spark. To tell the truth, however, all this falls into the category of the already seen. Of course the difference in height, used as an obstacle to the blossoming of a feeling, would in itself represent a novelty, but it is necessary to broaden the vision of this detail, grasping the picture as a whole. In fact, all this represents nothing more than the classic obstacle to be placed between two souls destined to join. The differences between lovers, inherent at birth, are a classic of the film, manga and anime world. Whether it is in fact scions of contrasting families, humans and beings from other planets or dimensions, or perhaps angels and demons, it certainly cannot be said that there is not something already seen. "Lovely Complex", however, reserves a twist, which clearly makes the anime make a qualitative leap, surpassing many other series with similar traits.

Lovely Complex
Otani and Risa - Lovely Complex
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Aya Nakahara, Toei Animation, Shueisha

The story and the various characters that dot it are in fact absolutely demented. This is the brilliant idea of ​​the author, entirely intent on overcoming the stereotype of the "Shoujo" genre, identified by most, and especially by boys (this being a genre almost purely dedicated to the female universe), as sloppy, dull and, ultimately, simply filled with feelings ad nauseam, which, in many cases, suffocate the already subtle plot, which often gets lost in the maze of the many declarations of love, tears and daydreams. The two protagonists of this story are nothing short of idiots. In fact, Risa and Otani will do nothing but create repeated challenges on which of the two will be able to find a girlfriend first, sometimes helping each other to conquer the person for whom they have feelings. In doing so, however, they find themselves in increasingly paradoxical and absurd situations, which then see classic gags based on misunderstandings mix with a fair dose, never excessive, of sadness and romanticism, mainly due to Risa's realization that Otani is becoming for her something more than just a friend. To help the two in reviving the comic side of the series more and more take over, from the beginning or during the episodes, various characters, secondary or minor. An important role is that of Suzuki and Tanaka, two schoolmates of the protagonists, who are the basis of their initial alliance. In fact, Otani is in love with Chiharu, while Risa di Suzuki, so the girl proposes to her enemy to help her in the conquest, and he asks her in exchange for the same favor, even if the two "preys" already have feelings for each other. other. The group of friends, however, is also made up of Ishihara and Nakao, who are one of Risa's best friends and the other Otani's best friend, as well as a historical couple themselves. Beyond these fixed characters, however, the disturbing elements, which give way to the birth of paradoxical and hilarious situations, are the minor ones, which, in one way or another, manage to promptly divide the protagonists. Fukagawa is an old friend of Risa, who returns to his homeland after many years spent in England, and is madly in love with his old playmate. This new element deeply confuses Risa, and somehow disturbs Otani, who, however, cannot concretely intervene without having to admit that he feels something, even if still unconsciously.

Lovely Complex
Atsushi Otani
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Aya Nakahara, Toei Animation, Shueisha

Otani's jealousy, however, is also put to the test by other characters, such as Maity, who is a fascinating English teacher at her school, who receives a lot of attention from her students, and her charm is not entirely even Risa is immune. Finally, to these is added Kazuki, who works in a restaurant with Risa, and who is infatuated with her, creating many problems with a stolen kiss. But Risa also has to deal with some girls, or pseudo-girls, who revolve around Otani. Certainly the most particular is Kotobuki, who is actually a boy, who is joined by Kanzaki, Otani's ex-girlfriend, who regularly returns to the scene ready to take him back, and finally Yoshihoka, the young man's neighbor and deeply in love with him, ready for anything to have it. Misunderstandings between Risa and Otani are therefore commonplace, but their suffering is suffocated for about half of the series, at least until she decides, supported also by her friends, to reveal her feelings for him. The author's idea was to show her point of view on how certain relationships of love between young people develop, or, in particular, the difference in the approach to this complicated feeling by males and females. In fact, if Risa learns to know Otani, discovering the smallest details, each time being surprised by the world she discovers behind what she has always considered to be a stubborn and grumpy head. For example, he sees him playing basketball, a sport in which, despite his stature, he is not bad at all, although perhaps the choice of basketball derives from his deep-rooted complex, and from the desire to compete with boys much taller than him, beating them maybe. Risa's process of falling in love is rather slow, but her growth is progressive and relentless. It starts from small things, which almost always turn out to be the main characteristics of a person, up to having a total vision of who Otani really is.

Lovely Complex
Koizumi rice
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Aya Nakahara, Toei Animation, Shueisha

Now more determined than ever to reveal her feelings, however, Risa must clash against the other world outlined by the author, the male one, harder and more impenetrable. Otani in fact, while questioning himself several times about the concrete possibility of making his relationship with Risa evolve, does nothing but repeat to himself that it would be impossible for a boy like him, that is, so short, to be next to such a girl. It would be ridiculous to even kiss each other, he keeps repeating himself, even assuming the absurd scene of having to get a small ladder if necessary. The height complex, however, already analyzed in the first part of the anime, no longer represents as strong a motivation as it might have previously appeared. The relationship between the two protagonists has in fact evolved for some time, reaching the intimate level so feared by Otani even without his explicit approval. In fact, the strong and deep-rooted jealousy that the two feel towards the other is proof of this. However, these are sentiments which, even if obvious, only Risa is willing to accept. Otani continues to hide behind now banal excuses, perhaps to protect himself, fearful of the possibility that Risa could hurt him to the point of destroying him. The author gives ample space to these sentimental moments, which reach a climax with the declaration of Risa about halfway through the course of the anime and manga. At this confession, however, Otani decides, once again, not to show his side, not to give up, and so he destroys in a moment, in a simple word, "no", any possibility of a happy ending between the two, or so It may seem. In fact, Aya decides to charge the character of Risa with the responsibility of making her "happy ending" alone, with her own strength, and in part of her friend Nabu. In fact, having reached the climax of sentimentality, the viewer is dragged into a frantic exhilarating descent, made up of Risa's repeated attempts to conquer what is basically already her boyfriend, or at least in part, until the much-desired finale.

Lovely Complex
Otani and Risa - Lovely Complex
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Aya Nakahara, Toei Animation, Shueisha

It must be said, however, that perhaps the anime, compared to the manga, has a somewhat elongated storyline, postponing the ending by about 4 episodes. This gives the impression that the means used to surprise and entertain the audience are somewhat repetitive, at least in the mechanics rather than in the characterization of the characters.

Dynit took care of the anime edition in Italy, proposing "Lovely Complex" in a box of two DVDs, complete with informative booklets full of curiosities on the Japanese traditions highlighted in the anime and on the Japanese school system, which from background to texture. The free-to-air transmission of this anime was instead entrusted to the Rai Gulp channel, which dedicates ample space to it, with a program, accompanied by two repeats throughout the day, which runs from Monday to Thursday, starting at 20,15 pm. , offering then, on Saturday, a double episode in prime time, starting at 21,00. source:


Lovely Complex episode titles

01 - Summer of 1st high school. He'll find me a boy at all costs!
02 - Love triangle with the ex!
03 - The guy you like, or the guy from the past?
04 - Smack! I am in love!
05 - Break down every obstacle to love!
06 - The most important choice: a confession of love!
07 - Hit and sunk! The statement
08 - Impossible to recover! Broken heart
09 - Change of course! Do not lose hope!
10 - Fear of the ex? Show off your boobs!
11 - Desperate Situation! The return of the ex?
12 - The regaining of love! Femininity and official chocolate!
13 - Sudden fever! First kiss in her bedroom?
14 - For Maity you can even die!

15 - A dangerous boy. Maity's sweet temptation!
16 - The Magic of Maity! A changing image of love?
17 - Iron Fist in Love! Grab it, my maiden spirit!
18 - The most beautiful birthday in the world!
19 - Sudden Collapse! First date means trouble.
20 - War declared! A dangerous beauty mad with jealousy!
21 - Separation announced? Diverging paths for Risa and Otani!
22 - Otani's catastrophic announcement!
23 - To each his own way !! Everyone has their reasons.
24 - Always together!



Lovely Complex
Lovely Complex video trailer
Lovely Complex coloring pages

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