Wednesday, December 30, 2009

GROG - Love*Com (Lovely Complex) Volumes 4-7

(Or "The Philosopher Musician thinks plotting is like a glacier" and "Why am I still reading this?")

Title: Love*Com (Lovely Complex) Volumes 4-7
Author: Aya Nakahara
Illustrator Aya Nakahara
Copyright: 2001 (Japan) 2008 (Viz)
Price: $8.99 each
Vol. 4: 978-1-4215-1538-0
Vol. 5: 978-1-4215-1738-4
Vol. 6: 978-1-4215-1739-1
Vol. 7: 978-1-4215-1740-7 (Library copy labeled “Printed in Canada”)
Summary: Risa and Otani are still the crazy comedy duo in their class with their public fights. While the fights take a more slapstick turn in these volumes, they still seem to only communicate by yelling at each other. In volume 4, everyone but Otani recognizes who Risa has a crush on, but she is still determined. In volume 5, while Risa is feeling bummed by events in the last book, a chance encounter with her and Otani’s favorite musician and his family renews her hope. In volume 6, Otani finally reciprocates her Valentine’s Gift only to get sick the day before. At the pressuring of her friends, she goes to visit him, has her first kiss, only to learn he doesn’t remember it. There is also the introduction of a new rival. In volume 7, Risa tells Otani she is going to quit, once and for all, but he tells her not to. Are her feelings finally being returned?
Thoughts: Risa and Otani seem to FINALLY become a couple at the end of volume 7, but it is still not confirmed. I’m also finding and not enjoying that Risa is letting herself be yanked around quite a bit and, in some ways, being abused by Otani (physically and emotionally). Risa and Otani seem to be two average middle school students instead of third year high school students. In volume 7, the topic of “going out” is discussed and a must read for anyone wondering what kids these days mean by this. While the verbal and physical abuse on both sides is a bit annoying and slapstick, this is one of the few “clean” romances I’ve seen geared toward high school teens.
Will Teens Like It? Probably, but mainly those who like romantic comedies.
Things to be aware of: Surprisingly not much! Slapping, punching, fighting in school, typical teen situations.
Bonus: The books I reviewed were library copies. 

The Philosopher Musician thinks I’m nuts to keep reading this series. I’ve complained about it a lot because the characters are taking FOREVER to get to become a couple! Yet, I can’t seem to put it down when I start reading.

At least up to volume 7, this is one of the few graphic novels I’d recommend for a school setting as it is clean of language, sexual situations, and nudity. This is very rare in popular manga.

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