Lovely Complex 17Posted: January 31, 2010
Aya Nakahara – Viz – 2010 – 17 volumes
Aw, crap. I figured this would be the finale, but that happened last volume and this is a collection of three short stories. In a way, I think I liked this better, though, since I can pretty well imagine how the end of this series went (school ended, Otani and Risa wound up where they needed to, everyone lived happily ever after). The first two stories in the volume were about Otani in his first year of junior high and Risa in her last year of junior high and stories about them meeting their mutual friend Yoshii. I liked the story of the two of them connecting to Yoshii despite his being difficult, connecting to him despite difficult friends, and making a connection through him that wasn’t realized fully until years later. These two stories wound up being the sweetest pair in what I’ve read of this series.
The last story was a bit lost on me. I’ve only read five of the seventeen volumes, and it was one of those final chapters that is like a huge side character reunion where you find out what everyone’s doing. Except there were a lot of side characters, only three or four of whom I recognized, and it sounded like they were all talking over each other about things I knew nothing about. That’s mostly my fault for not reading more of the series, though. The more important point of the chapter was about how people could grow apart and change, finding new interests, and yet still connect if they made an effort. There were only a handful of sad stories I’d run across in Lovely Complex, but they always ended so sweetly. This one only had a moment of sadness, but I still think it made quite a point with it.
And that was ultimately what I loved most about the series. It was a break from the usual back-and-forth high school drama, and it featured a steady couple that always managed to keep the mood silly and upbeat. I loved it for being positive. I’ll probably go back and start the series from the beginning sometime in the future, or at the very least pick up volume sixteen so I can read the conclusion. I wound up liking this quite a bit, though it makes me want to go back and pick up a little High School Debut to see how it compares to this one now. They’re similar upbeat series, but I liked High School Debut a bit better at first.
This was a review copy provided by Viz.