Lovely Complex, is a romantic comedy shōjo manga by Aya Nakahara. It was published by Shueisha in Bessatsu Margaret from 2001 to 2006 and collected in 17 tankōbon volumes. The series is about the romance between a tall girl and a short boy who are treated as a comedy duo by their classmates. In 2004, it received the 49th Shogakukan Manga Award for shōjo
The story has been adapted as a live-action movie released in 2006, a 24-episode television anime series broadcast in 2007, and an adventure game released for PlayStation 2 released in 2006. Two drama CDs have also been produced. The manga and the live-action movie are licensed in North America by Viz
Love★Com is a love story between a boy and a girl. The girl, Risa Koizumi, is 172 centimetres (5 ft 8 in) tall—much taller than the average Japanese girl. The boy, Atsushi Ōtani, is 156 cm (5 ft 1 in)—way below the height of the average Japanese boy. Because of this, they are called the "All Hanshin Kyojin" after a popular comedy duo that has a similar height difference.
During summer school, a very tall student named Ryouji Suzuki (from another class) shows up and Risa immediately falls for him, as she has had bad luck with boys in the past because she is tall. There is a girl that Atsushi likes as well, so Risa and Atsushi decide to put aside their differences and help each other get their love interests. But as they get to know each other better, Risa's feelings for Atsushi begin to blossom, and her love life gets complicated from there.
One notable fact about Love★Com is that instead of speaking standard Japanese, almost all characters speak in Kansai-ben (the story takes place in Osaka). While having one or two characters speaking Kansai-ben is common in many anime shows, having all characters doing so is unusual in media produced for a nationwide audience.
Risa Koizumi (小泉リサ, Koizumi Risa?)
Drama role by: Ema Fujisawa, Voiced by: Akemi Okamura (Japanese), Kate Oxley (English)
The protagonist, Risa Koizumi is not your average Japanese high school student. Standing 172 centimetres (5 ft 8 in), Risa's height is well above that of most Japanese girls her age (the average height for a female is 160 cm (5 ft 3 in)) Ironically, her surname means 'little spring'. She and other characters compare her to a giraffe. Risa can be impulsive and strong-willed at times, and is rarely willing to display her softer side. She had a crush on Suzuki before he started dating Chiharu. In the beginning of the series, Risa is 170 cm (5 ft 7 in) but she gains 2 cm (0.79 in) in height to become 172 cm (5 ft 8 in).
Risa starts developing feelings for Ōtani and soon admits to herself that she likes him. She then starts trying to confess. Failing the first time, Nobuko and Nakao try to help, Nobuko often giving Risa advice on what to do. Finally she very directly tells him. She immediately regrets it, and tells Ōtani to pretend it never happened, but in spite of herself she tells Ōtani once again that she likes him. Ōtani responds that he couldn't see her as a girlfriend yet, so her new goal is to make Ōtani regret that and make him like her as well. Eventually they start going out.
Atsushi Ōtani (大谷敦士, Ōtani Atsushi?)
Drama role by: Teppei Koike, Voiced by: Akira Nagata (Japanese), Maxey Whitehead (English), Voice actor for game/drama CD: Takahiro Sakurai
Atsushi Ōtani is one of the main characters. He is very short for a boy, standing 156 centimetres (5 ft 1 in). The average height for a male in Japan is 171 cm (5 ft 7 in). Like Koizumi, Ōtani's surname (roughly, "big valley") is a pun on his diminutive stature, and he can be thoughtless and rude; at heart, however, he is kind and a little silly. Ōtani is also the star player of the school basketball team.
His ex-girlfriend is Mayu Kanzaki, the manager of his middle-school basketball team. She broke up with him for a much taller boyfriend, and this is one of the reasons Ōtani is sensitive about his height, but he later finds out that wasn't the reason she broke up with him, it was because she was in love with someone else already who just happened to be tall. He doesn't know quite yet how he feels about Risa, and only responds that he can't see her as a girlfriend (at the moment) when Risa confesses her feelings. But later, he realizes that he does care for her, and he kisses her. Later on in the series, Ōtani gets the wrong idea when Risa keep doing suspicious things with her co-worker Kohori, and then breaks up with her. However, after seeing how devoted she is to him, Ōtani reconsiders and they make up on Christmas Eve.
Nobuko Ishihara (石原信子, Ishihara Nobuko?)
Drama role by: Nami Tamaki, Voiced by: Saori Higashi (Japanese), Monica Rial (English)
Fashionable and charming, Nobu is Risa's best friend. She is generally wiser than Risa or Chiharu in the ways of love, and is always ready to offer her advice. She's mostly the one who sets up all the 'alone time' moments with Risa and Ōtani, but it usually ends up failing and Risa goes back to her for comfort. She's utterly in love with her boyfriend, Nakao, and is always calling him her 'honey', 'darling', and 'baby'.
Heikichi Nakao (中尾平吉, Nakao Heikichi?)
Drama role by: Yusuke Yamazaki, Voiced by: Yasuhiko Tokuyama (Japanese), Jason Liebrecht (English), Voice actor for game/drama CD: Kenjiro Tsuda
Nobu's boyfriend and Ōtani's best friend. Considerate, sensitive, mild-mannered and easygoing. Nakao is absolutely dedicated to Nobu, and when he is not playing basketball with Ōtani, he can usually be found helping with her match-making schemes.
Chiharu Tanaka (田中千春, Tanaka Chiharu?)
Drama role by: Risa Kudo, Voiced by: Kazuko Kojima (Japanese), Brittney Karbowski (English)
One of Risa's closest friends, Chiharu has such a shy, demure personality that she fears most boys her own age. Ōtani once harbored a crush on her (she resembles Kanzaki, his ex-girlfriend, or vice-versa), but Chiharu instead fell for the gentle Suzuki. The two are now a couple. When everybody starts making college plans, Suzuki and Chiharu applied for the same college, but Suzuki got rejected. He sadly tells Chiharu somebody else would be able to protect her. For the first time, Chiharu breaks out of her shy character and violently lifts up a desk and throws at him (narrowly missing), frustrated that Suzuki thinks he can be replaced. They later make up and Suzuki promises to join Chiharu in her new school the next year.
Ryoji Suzuki (鈴木涼二, Suzuki Ryoji?)
Drama role by: Hiro Mizushima, Voiced by: Kenjiro Tsuda (Japanese), Travis Willingham (English), Voice actor for game/drama CD: Masaya Onosaka
Chiharu's boyfriend. Suzuki's cool demeanor is often mistaken for standoffishness, and so he has few friends. Oblivious to Risa's crush on him, he develops feelings for Chiharu, and eventually asks her out. Like Chiharu, Suzuki is shy and easily embarrassed. When failed to get into the same university as Chiharu, he promises to try again the year after.
Haruka Fukagawa (深川遥, Fukugawa Haruka?)
Voiced by: Masaya Onosaka (Japanese), Todd Haberkorn (English), Voice actor for game/drama CD: Ryotaro Okiayu
A handsome, effeminate young man who developed a childhood crush on Risa when she defended him from a gang of bullies. Though he is popular with many of the other girls (dating seven at a time), he says it's all preparation for when he goes out with Risa, but she always rejects him. According to Risa his grandmother is English. It is also suggested that he might have a crush on Seiko.
Voiced by: Yuki Matsuoka (Japanese), Trina Nishimura (English)
She is the ex-girlfriend of Ōtani. She and Chiharu look very similar, which is one the most likely reasons that Ōtani had that crush on Chiharu. They started dating in middle-school, and she was the manager for the school basketball team. She broke up with him, leaving him completely heartbroken, because she was in love with someone else who was tall, causing his inferiority complex.
She invited Ōtani to the team Christmas party, and though Ōtani accepts, he ends up going with Risa to the Umibōzu concert instead. She then visited Ōtani's school to see him, but encountered Risa and Nobu. Risa is convinced that Ōtani is still in love with her, so she goes to clear up a misunderstanding. It is then that Mayu tells him that it was not because of his height that she broke up with him. However, she appears again later, after having broken up with her boyfriend. When she asks to meet up with again, he says "Sorry, I can't because if I do there'll be an idiot who'll cry."
Drama role by: Susumu Terajima
A popular rapper that both Risa and Ōtani are avid fans of, leading to Nobu's suggestion that the two are compatible. Risa and Ōtani accidentally cross paths with Umibōzu while on a class trip, and learn that he is actually a devoted family man, with a wife and son with a similar story of how they became a couple. He is named after the mythological creature Umibōzu due to his bald head.
Kuniumi Maitake (舞竹国海, Maitake Kuniumi?)
Drama role by: Shosuke Tanihara, Voiced by: Junichi Suwabe (Japanese), Chuck Huber (English)
Student teacher at Risa and Ōtani's school. Maitake, who prefers the nickname "Maity" or "Mighty", is taller than Risa and extraordinarily good-looking. He bears a resemblance to "Cain-sama", a character in one of Risa's favorite visual novels, and soon acquires a legion of female fans. Gaining affection from Risa, Ōtani soon becomes jealous and quickly starts to realize his feelings for her. It is later revealed he has a fiance - much to the disappointment of his fan club - and that he is Haruka's cousin.
Voiced by: Kae Araki (Japanese), Meredith McCoy (English)
Ōtani's next door neighbor. She is in love with Ōtani and brings him milk every day in hopes that he would one day grow taller. She is about the same height as Risa. Mimi harbors a burning hatred and jealousy for Risa because (despite her having the same height issue as Mimi) she had successfully won Ōtani's heart. She comically switches between her alter egos, acting sweet towards Ōtani, yet sour to Risa behind his back.
Drama role by: Shugo Oshinari
Drama role by: Eiji Wentz
Voiced by: Hiroki Shimowada (Japanese), Greg Ayres (English)
A young student who works part time with Risa in Ikebe. He is notably shorter than her, although slightly taller than Ōtani (158 cm.), and has distinctive black hair with a red streak. Risa soon discovers that he is also an avid Umibouzu fan. He very soon develops feelings for Risa, who admits to herself that she finds him 'cute'. Against her better judgment, Risa attends an Umibōzu concert with Kohori which leads to complications in her relationship with Ōtani. He even proclaims his love for Risa, which causes Ōtani to give him a right hook. Around chapter 60 in the manga, Risa's classmate Abe is shown to have a crush on Kohori.
Seiko Kotobuki (寿聖子, Kotobuki Seiko?)
Voiced by: Fujiko Takimoto (Japanese), Luci Christian (English)
A blonde who has a large crush on Ōtani, although 'She' is a male, stating that God placed 'her' in a wrong body. Prefers to be called Seiko instead of Seishiro (birth name) because it sounds more feminine. 'She' kissed Ōtani, when tending to his injury in the school infirmary. Ōtani's relationship with Seiko became awkward when he discovered that Seiko was in fact a boy.
Matsubara-san (松原さん, Matsubara san?)
The manager in charge at the restaurant where Risa works. She wears glasses and is quite nosy. When she is intoxicated, she turns wild, and does things that she won't remember the next day.