Top 5 on The Strip: Anime cliches

Anime: Nisekoi
Anime: Nisekoi

1. Amnesia-stricken protagonist

Your protagonist — male or female, it doesn’t matter — is going to conveniently forget his or her’s first love. They will struggle to remember just who the person is, will struggle with their feelings for this person and then miraculously remember every detail, down to exact conversations they may have had when they were young.

 

Anime: Myself;Yourself
Anime: Myself;Yourself

2. Young romance grows up

The protagonist is quite outgoing and will make a friend or two that they will inevitably leave behind. They will encounter this person years later and will find a way to reconnect based on their previous dealings with each other. In this new age, they will rediscover that which they have in common and it will recreate a long-forgotten romance between them.

 

Anime: Toradora!
Anime: Toradora!

3. Opposites attract

The main characters that are destined to be together will not like each other. In fact, they downright hate each other. They can’t stand each other but somehow keep finding themselves thrown together in situations that require them to interact and learn something new about each other. Before long — usually by the end of the series — they will find themselves together.

 

Anime: Kimi ni Todoke
Anime: Kimi ni Todoke

4. Valentine chocolate is strictly forbidden

Giving the gift of chocolate for Valentine’s Day is a ritual for school children worldwide, and more so in Japan. It’s so prevalent that it’s usually an episode in a romantic comedy series or any type of romance series that involves school. What usually happens is that the main characters will attempt to bake chocolates or buy chocolates for their intended special person. It will either be extremely problematic or won’t happen at all. Hilarity or drama can and will ensue.

 

Anime: Lovely Complex
Anime: Lovely Complex

5. The payoff scene

Required for every romantic comedy by the third to the last episode in the series, the main characters have to have a confession scene. One of the characters has to be obvious about their feelings up to this point, and the other has to be oblivious to it until a revelation occurs that makes them take notice of the fact that the other character has been panting behind them since the first episode. What happens next is important: There has to be payoff for the buildup. They have to confess feelings and kiss, enter a relationship or resolve everything by the end of the series.

Anime Lounge #08: Lovely Complex Ep. 1-12

Lovely ComplexSeries: Lovely Complex

Episodes: 1 to 12

Anime-Lounge

Premise: Two high school sophomores, Risa Koizumi and Atsushi Ōtani, are friends. That’s not out of the ordinary, but their physical characteristics are: Koizumi is 5-foot-8, and Ōtani is 5-foot-1. Each are attracted to the opposite of their stature, as Koizumi has confessed to a short boy before and Ōtani has had a crush on a tall girl. They normally get along and have things in common but their previous confessions are a stumbling block that keeps them from realizing that they are perfect for each other. Koizumi manages to realize it first and so begins her struggle to get her best friend to notice that they belong together.

Is it worth watching? YES. The episodes are genuinely funny and you learn as the characters learn to accept each other as is. Neither Koizumi nor Ōtani can help their height in life, but they slowly realize that it’s not the outside that’s important; it’s the inside that counts. This is quite possibly one of the best romantic comedy anime out there.

Breakout character: Koizumi. She’s the romantic female lead of the anime, but she shines on her own almost immediately. You root for her despite her awkwardness and you want to see her succeed because she has a great heart. Also, her fashion sense is unparalleled in nearly any other anime out there. She should probably do well because of that alone.

Funniest episode: Episode 12, “Recapture Love! Improve as a Girl with Honmei Chocolate!!” It’s got a few moments of humor mixed in with drama, but the humor is subtle and makes several situations a little more bearable than one would think as you’re watching them. The outright funniest part of the episode is when Koizumi throws a box of chocolate at Ōtani, which is hilarious when you realize that she really wants him to take that chocolate.

Where it’s going: The rooting value of Koizumi and Ōtani increases a great deal. You’re going to see just how much it takes for a couple to get together and how the change in relationship between two longtime friends can make them better people. Also, their lives are coming to a critical junction and how that plays out is important, as well.