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Taking in some anime

January 18, 2014
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

I've been channeling my inner geek lately by watching some anime. I never watched an anime program until a little more than five years ago when I started borrowing some from Ross. I tend to find myself drawn to the high school romantic comedy type of anime. I was browsing Hulu and stumbled upon a little goofy gem called "Hatsukoi Limited." It revolves around a group of eight girls who are in middle school and high school and their friends and siblings. The storylines are about "first loves." So each of the episodes are about the different characters and their first forays into love and relationships. There's unrequited love - the I love her but she just sees me as a kid and doesn't share the same feelings. I'll admit it was kind of sappy at times, but the anime was also amusing. Two of the characters, Kei Enomoto and Etsu Kusuda, are constantly bickering with each other throughout the entire 12-episode series. I could see the sparks flying between them. Kei always kept telling Etsu that he was "ugly" and looks seemed to be important to her. Eventually, she starts having feelings for Etsu, despite his ways and realizes that looks aren't everything. I just wish it wasn't just the 12 episodes. Maybe I should look into reading the manga.

A few years ago, Ross introduced me to an anime called "Lovely Complex." It's about a girl named Risa and a boy named Otani. Risa is taller than the average Japanese girl, and Otani is shorter than the average Japanese boy. Their height difference is kind of the ongoing joke throughout the entire series. The two of them fight like cats and dogs, but their friends think the two actually like each other. Risa does admit to her two best friends Nobu and Chiharu that she likes Otani. Even though he's short, he's the star of the school's basketball team. He's also pretty sensitive about his height. The two are compared to a comedy duo in Japan - All Hanshin Kyojin, which has the same height difference. I keep thinking like Mutt and Jeff. I had to finish watching the series on an online anime website (which is no longer in existence). It's just a funny, sweet series that does have a happy ending despite a few monkey wrenches thrown in.

For some reason a couple of weeks ago, probably after watching "Hatsukoi Limited," I wanted to rematch "Lovely Complex." So I found myself power-watching the show throughout the week last week, sometimes watching four or so episodes a stretch (the series is 26 episodes long).

There were some things I remember about the show - the banter between Risa and Otani, the not-so-subtle matchmaking efforts of their friends, and things I didn't really remember - the middle school neighbor girl who has a crush on Otani and is super-evil to Risa (this is after Otani and Risa finally become boyfriend and girlfriend), the boy at Risa's job who becomes enamored with her and causes friction between her and Otani. I was sitting and watching the episodes with a smile on my face, not just because of the comedic antics of Otani, Risa and their friends, but just the cute love story that evolved.

Heck, I'm almost tempted to watch it again soon, but there's plenty of other stuff out there I have to get to first.



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