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|| Lovely Complex ||

12 volumes, unfinished
Publisher: Betsuma Margaret
Mangaka: NAKAHARA Aya

KOIZUMI Lisa: fifteen years old, 170 cm. Her family name means "small river". OTANI Atsushi: fifteen years old, 156 cm. His family name means "big valley". The joke is that Otani is a short-fry, and Koizumi is unusually tall. Neither of them finds it very funny, however. After all, who wants to date a short guy and a tall girl? They annoy each other from day one, the sparks flying as they argue. But one day a tall boy joins their class, and Otani gets an idea. He'll set Koizumi up with the boy if she'll set him up with her (short) best friend. But as the saying goes: "The best laid plans of mice and men...."

What I Thought:
This was one of my favorite comics for over a year. And then... it kept going. And going. And the innevitable stream of possible significant others started up (a la "Marmalade Boy") and I wanted to tear my hear out in frustration. It starts so well! A tall, gangly girl and a short boy. And a spin on the love triangle cliche with Otani's being a cross-dressing boy and Lisa's being a childhood friend who grew up well but still hides behind her skirts when anyone says "boo!" And Umibozu, the crazy rock band! But then Otani's perfect ex-girlfriend shows up. And now some other girl. I've given up.

But do give it a try if it's your thing. The art is great and the writing is cute (I learned a ton of Osaka-ben).

Scanlation by Vera & Vincent