Lovely Complex by Aya Nakahara
A tall girl. A short boy. Both have a knack for words and together they make the manzai comedy pair of their school. However, our giantess, Risa Koizumi, finds herself caught in quite a pinch. After getting to know her unforeseen comedy partner, Atsushi Ootani, she eventually falls in love with him. How would she get by? How would she able to show this midget that she’s more than a funny girl? Aya Nakahara shows us a how a comedy combination turns into a love combi in Lovely Complex.
Edit : It seems that Viz / Shoujo Beat picked up Lovely Complex. So some things written down there might not be applicable.
Totally Complex. But not overly complex.
Do you know how overly dramatic some shoujo stories get? Some of them involve deep tragedies, quasi-suicidal plots and highly sexual tones. This is none of that. In fact, nothing of that. It takes love comedy to the next level by really trying to put a comedy act as the stars of the show. Plain and simple. They look cute together and they??????re funny together. To those from the western frame of mind, they’re like a happy bickering married couple. As much as they snark at each other, they all know it’s all for naught and in the end, they still love each other. But as simple as it may seem, the simplicity of things made it a lot difficult for our heroine to snag her partner’s heart.
Yes. It’s complex. So complex that I felt sorry for the poor girl! On the side of Koizumi, our darling giantess, it was indeed difficult to actually make her partner see that she’s more than just that casual funny Koizumi. She is, at the same time, a girl who has charm and who can seriously love and care for someone. But it was a hard route for her to even let her valentine’s chocolate be accepted by Ootani! Love was definitely difficult, nonetheless, she persevered.
And true enough to the shoujo formula, her hardwork (and with the help of her ever interfering friends and classmates) managed to snag Otani’s heart. The process was beautiful. Their romance was well paced and straightforward. Nakahara’s art is clean and totally captures their youthful expressions. The thing with her art and the story is that her art is very vibrant and energetic and totally provides a great setting for the story. I can totally imagine it in a real life setting. It wouldn’t help that a movie of the manga was already made and it just puts two and two together.
I was wondering why not a single American publisher has set their eyes on this shoujo manga. This is great stuff compared to some out there. But then on my end, I wish they don’t because I think a lot will be lost and would sound so red neck if they tried to translate Lovely Complex.
LoveCon is set in Osaka, hence the manzai combi gets better with the Kansai accent. I was hesitant at first to really read the manga, but the anime has convinced me the comedy of Kansai ben. I have to give my thanks to my friend Rinrin for guiding me with all the Kansai ben. Once you do get the hang of it, it is leaps and bounds funnier. The language is colorful and emotional, hence words, short or long as they may be can mean and feel totally different, depending on the tone and the expression of the speaker.
The anime helps in trying to see this a bit. While reading the manga, I just have to remember their voices while reading and totally visualize them sparring. It’s such a treat. :3 I could read it over and over again and I’d still laugh and cry like I did the first time.
Honestly, I really thought that the world of shoujo has gone stale with the rabid invasion of the horny joushi kousei mangas. But occasionally, there are gems like these that are really outright fun. Can I say, a manga appropriate for teenage girls? Lol.