Post Reply Lovely Complex Volume 1 Review and Summary
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Posted 8/15/08 , edited 8/20/08
Hey all,

Having recently purchased Lovely Complex manga volumes, I would like to show you all a little bit of the art and go through the storylines involved in the first volume of the manga. First of all some disclaimers. The LoveCom manga is in fact licensed by Viz Media, although the Anime hasn't been licensed yet (TBS has requested LoveCom to be removed from Crunchyroll). The rights to the manga is retained by Aya Nakahara and Shueisha Comics, who published the manga in their Margaret Comics subsidiary, and the license rights is attributed to Viz Media and their Shojo Beat Manga subsidiary. All use of images are through fair use exceptions as I am not replicating the manga in full but only using a few of them to showcase the manga. The manga costs $8.99 US, and $10.99 Canada, and is available in Australia for $14. There are 16 Volumes in total, I believe, and I only own volumes 1-7 so far.

Let's start with the cover.



Nothing overly special over here, but as always it's a treat to see art from Lovely Complex. Aya Nakahara has been writing since 1995, and LoveCom is actually her breakthrough comic, receiving the Shogakukan manga award in 2003.

Of course, all of you are familiar with LoveCom as the story of the relationship between Risa Koizumi and Otani Atsushi, an incredibly heartwarming and comedic tale of a short guy and a tall girl.

The first volume actually covers a number of stories which were translated to anime form pretty well. Of course, it starts with the introduction of the characters, and immediately goes into the first storyline, the initial summer where Risa meets Suzuki and is attracted to him. Otani picks up on this, and tries to get Risa to pull Chiharu into a trip to the pool, on condition that he does the same for Suzuki.



Now it's Aya Nakahara's style, or rather, Shojo comic styles in particular to have a rather simplified artwork rather than an overly extravagant artwork. Shojo comics tend to focus on characters rather than background, and use background only to prove a point somewhere. But nevertheless, this sort of artwork works well for this story, as it is intensely character driven.

I apologise for the scan quality, as it's directly from my scanner and I didn't want to damage my book. Also as you can see, the translators opted to emphasise Otani's name and placed a ^ on top of his O, to make it pronounced "Oh-tani". I think that although it looks weird, it was a pretty wise decision on their part.

Anyway, after the pool incident, things look like they're looking up for either Risa and Otani. However, Otani is quickly demoralised when he talks to Chiharu and she tells him that she gets along fine with him because he's so short, she doesn't think he's a guy. He runs away and Risa chases after him, giving him an idiot punch to snap him out of it.

However to much amusement the exact same thing happens to Risa.

After some talk Risa and Otani decide to call Chiharu and Suzuki out to the local summer festival:



Throughout the comic book, Aya Nakahara writes to her readers in a series of short notes. There are four of them in every comic book, and they don't have anything to do with the story at all - they're just her personal thoughts and things like that as she worked on the project. It shows that she's a very humorous and uncertain about a lot of things, but overall she's having fun while doing work. Very humble person, she seems.

In the comic, what happens after the festival is that Suzuki asks Risa out to a family restaurant. She is stunned, thinking she still has a chance, but it turns out that Suzuki is really asking for Risa to get Chiharu out for a movie with her and Otani. She relents and Otani teases her about her going back on her word that she would give up on Suzuki.

There's also a bit about how much Chiharu really likes Suzuki. Risa questions her on this and Chiharu breaks down into tears about how nervous she is all the time around him. And then Risa realises that they really have to get these two together.

At the theatre, Risa confronts Suzuki about the matter at hand. Suzuki still denies he likes Chiharu, and then Risa threatens to tell Chiharu anyway! An extremely amusing scene ensues when Suzuki runs to Risa, pulls her away, and confesses to Chiharu.

After they leave the theatre, Risa and Otani make a bet to see who gets a partner first. We all know how that turns out.

Chapter 4 starts off with Otani's insane hair, which Risa messes up. The gang goes home together, and then they stop outside the infamous compatibility tester, where this occurs:



The volume ends with the kompa, or the karaoke night. Nobu finds a stash of porno in Nakao's room, and in an angry huff, drags Risa with her. This event is changed in the anime, of course. While at the karaoke night, Risa actually runs into Otani, who knows one of the guys that is there. There's a bit of to and fro, but they do trip out on an Umibozu song.

When they're going back, Otani asks her about the kompa. She said that she didn't have that much fun... Otani replies that he didn't have that much fun either. The volume ends with Otani asking her if she wants to go to the Umibozu concert that Nakao's friend has extra tickets on.

Overall, the volume is a must have for the LoveCom addict. It provides a greater depth of explanation that the anime doesn't provide. Aya Nakahara's artwork is excellent. The translation is also similarly good, although you may be used to the language in the fansubs. However, one thing that I didn't like was how the translators here decided to dumb down the conversation a little to suit the high-school age group, which this comic is aimed at. There are a LOT of "omigods" and venacular used in high school. At times, Risa seems a little blondish due to the translation. However other than that, the book is solid. I enjoyed it, and I would recommend any LoveCom addicts to get it.

The book ends with an explanation of japanese terms and cultural differences that needs to be explained. This makes it greatly accessible to a new reader. I think that was a great decision to make. There is no omake in the first volume.

Overall, get it. Visit your local retailer and demand it in.

I will be doing more of these reviews and summaries as time passes, unless someone tells me to stop. I'll be glad to hear your commentaries on it.


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Posted 9/5/08
wow cool|!!!!! tnx for this!!!!
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Posted 8/28/10
The last manga scan always friggin' cracks me up!! And Suzuki and Chiharua gets 18% :DD Ahhh, Thank god for this manga!
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