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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lovely Complex (2006)



Country: Japan
Format: live-action movie
Genre: school, romance, comedy
Cast: Fujisawa Ema, Koike Teppei, Kudo Risa, Mizushima Hiro, Tamaki Namami, Tanihara Shosuke, Terajima Susumu, Yamazaki Yusuke, Nukumizu Yoichi, Yamasaki Shizuyo, Kato Mio, Wentz Eiji
Synopsis: Koizumi Risa has a problem with love - she is 170 cm tall and gets always rejected by guys for being too tall (172 in manga). At the same time, Otani Atsushi has the same problem, but vise versa - he is 159 tall (in actual manga he is 156). First annoyment grows into friendship after they discover that they have many similarities, but heart has its own way and soon Risa finds out that maybe it is not just friendship she wants - but uncertainty of confessing grows as everyone find tall girl and short boy couple a real joke.  
Rating: 3/5
Live-action movie of popular anime/manga "Lovely complex" by Aya Nakahara.The movie looks too fast-forward, because they show all three high-school years in less than 2 hours - so they almost took the most important scenes from the manga.
The lead is character is Koizumi Risa - she is rather silly, naive, childish and she does not have that big complex with her height as Otani has. She falls in love too easily and she tends to over-react with her actions - especially later when she has a crush for their new teacher. Even though it looks like she falls for Otani too fast, she actually did start to have doubts about her feelings in manga too. She and Otani are just so similar and the way Otani acts would make every girl's heart beat faster. I did not like Fujisawa Ema's acting as it was a bit overacted and unreal - even though Risa was unfeminine. It is funny that they made Fujisawa Ema wear high heels to seem taller - she is actually 167cm, which is the same with Koike Teppei's height. Also, which makes the illusion of her being tall, are the hairstyles - sorry, but does not every girl know that exactly these up-dos make you look reaaallly tall?
Otani is sweet guy, who acts like though and strong. He is the star of the basketball team, even though the coach is always displeased with him. He has much bigger complex about his height as he had some mental traumas, which stayed as a painful spot into his heart. Teppei's acting is good - he brings out the way Otani actually is and gyoza he looks cute with those hair-clips, but he did was not as thickheaded as Otani really was. I do not like that they showed too long scenes of baseball game and not much of Otani's feelings.
There has been on and on discussion about "being unable to find girlfriend/boyfriend for girl while being tall and for guy when being short". I would say that first of all, it is difficult to find good relationship whatever you look like. Secondly, if the height matters to another person, then for sure they are not worth your feelings. If you like someone, then like someone for who they are and the height is just part of them - unlike the weight of a person, the height cannot be changed when wanted.
Sadly it did not show the other characters much - it was movie only about Koizumi and Otani, with almost no side-stories, which sucked as it made the movie one-sided. But from other characters Suzuki was my favorite - sweet, shy guy who happens to have a wide imagination, especially when things come to "ero"-stuff, so he ends up having nose-bleeds time to time, even though this line was totally added to movie, because in manga he was not perv. He is together with Chiharu, who is just as shy as he is. They both are really good-looking and actually Otani and Koizumi had a crush on them in manga, but that is not reverberated in live-action. Last friends are Nobuko and Nakao, who again are a couple. Nobuko is Risa's best-friend and constantly tries to hook her up with somebody and Nakao is always helping her with her schemes.
They brought in Kuniumi Maitake or "Mighty/Maity" and left out Haruka - I do not know if it was the best idea, but I have not read that much manga yet. I know that we would have had much fun with Haruka or Seiko.
In the end, the most annoying part was the scenes with English audio - if you want to make a movie with English audio, then find someone who does not have that big accent and has a nice pronunciation. I did not understand a word of what he was saying.
It is a great movie when you want to laugh and say "Awwww" after every 5 minutes, but if you seriously want to have the best of "Lovely Complex", I recommend watching anime and reading manga - I bet for real fans the movie might had been a big letdown. At least for me it proves that it is difficult to make a great live-action of a fabulous manga. They have reorganized the time order to put it into movie time, but it makes it totally different from the original story.

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