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Love*Com Volume 1

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Love*Com (Lovely Complex) Volume 1, published by Shojo Beat / VIZ Media

Love*Com Volume 1

© Aya Nakahara / Shueisha Inc.

The Bottom Line

Risa thinks she's too tall. Atsushi thinks he's too short. When this mismatched pair team up to find each other dates, why does everyone think that they're already going steady? Love*Com is short for "Lovely Complex," which is ironic because this simple story is anything but.

Still, it does have its charms. Nakahara's light touch gives this romantic comedy an infectiously fun mood. Love*Com's teens are awkward, insecure and hilarious in a way that feels real and relatable. Still, this likeable teen romance lacks cliff-hangers or drama, so fans of saucier fare will be left yawning.

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Pros

  • Light-hearted romantic comedy that captures the awkwardness of high school love
  • Delightful artwork that tells the story with simplicity and clarity
  • Charming characters that think and act like real teens

Cons

  • A simple, vanilla plot that will bore readers craving more complex fare
  • Slice of life story that offers no tantalizing cliffhangers or sweeping romance

Description

  • Original Title: Rabu Kon (Japan)
  • Author & Artist: Aya Nakahara
  • Publishers:
  • ISBN: 978-1-4215-1343-0
  • Cover Price: $8.99 US / $10.99 CANADA
  • Age Rating: T – Teens, Age 13+ for teen romance, mild language
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  • Manga Genres:
  • US Publication Date: July 2007
    Japan Publication Date: 2001
  • Book Description: 192 pages, black and white illustrations
  • More Manga by Aya Nakahara:
    • HANADA
    • Himitsu Kichi

Guide Review - Love*Com Volume 1

Maybe I've been on the Web for too long, but upon first glance, I thought Love*Com was about an Internet romance. Love*Com's story ended up being surprisingly low-tech, as the title is an abbreviation of "Lovely Complex," which refers to the lead character's height complexes.

A title like "Lovely Complex" ends up being an ironic choice, since this simple romantic comedy is anything but complicated. Let's do the math: too tall girl plus too short boy equals mismatched couple hilarity. Tall girl Risa has a lot in common with short guy Atsushi. They like the same music. They have fun whenever they're together. And everyone thinks that they make a great couple. But since this manga runs longer than one volume, Risa and Atsushi's collision course with romance will just have to take a bit longer to develop.

The first volume of Love*Com lacks cliff-hangers and angst-y drama, but so what? This slice of life high school romance has its charms. Nakahara-sensei's light-hearted storytelling and likeable artwork will charm shojo manga readers, especially younger teens. The characters are awkward, insecure and hilarious in a way that feels real and relatable. If you've ever gone through puberty, you've probably felt a little bit like Risa or Atsushi.

All in all, Love*Com is a well-crafted, fun to read shojo manga confection. It's a little vanilla compared to other romances, but sometimes a little high quality vanilla can really hit the spot.

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