Manga Review – Rabu★Kon (Love*Com or Lovely Complex) by Aya Nakahara

Rabu★Kon or which is popularly known as Lovely Complex (Love*Com) is a fun shojo manga that I’m sure every shojo and YA lovers would love and enjoy. This is by far the most entertaining and cutest shojo manga I’ve read this year. Definitely a must read!

Manga Review - Rabu★Kon (Love*Com or Lovely Complex) by Aya Nakahara | Blushing Geek

Rabu★Kon (Love*Com or Lovely Complex) by Aya Nakahara
Published by Shueisha from September 2001 – December 2006
Genre: Shojo
17 Volumes with 16 Chapters
Format: eBook
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (8/10)
Buy: Amazon
Find on Goodreads

Risa and Ootani are in a similar predicament. Neither is dating anyone, they are both continually being laughed at as a comedy duo (courtesy of their loving sensei), and they both have height problems! Risa is taller than the average girl, and Ootani is shorter than the average guy!

Determined to be in a relationship, they both decide to cheer each other on in the war of love. However, along the way, Risa begins to develop feelings for Ootani… Are these feelings mutual? Can love win, no matter what the height?


I’ve been meaning to read Rabu★Kon or most commonly known as Lovely Complex after watching the anime one or was that two years ago? Oh well, I don’t remember the exact date but I can still clearly remember why I loved it. It was one of the funniest anime I’ve watched that time and I love the concept of the story. Imagine falling in love with a guy who is shorter than you. Kind of weird right? Well, it’s possible ofcourse (I have a neighbor in our province who’s husband is shorter than her) but it seldom happens. I haven’t read anything like this one before and most shojo manga/anime doesn’t have this kind of idea too so it was really something new for me.

Lovely Complex revolved around a tall girl named Risa and a short guy named Ootani. Risa is taller than her age and Ootani shorter than his age. They doesn’t get along well and keeps on bantering like little kids whenever they see each other, and with both having height problems, they were then dubbed as Hanjin Kyojin comedic duo at school.

Unlike book reviews, I always do my hardest not to drop some spoilers, but with manga, I wouldn’t mind. So read on your own risk *wink.

I always enjoys love and hate romance and Lovely Complex is definitely perfect for me. Risa and Ootani started their friendship (I’m not even sure if you can call that friendship as they keep fighting each other, lol) as enemies. I think that wouldn’t be a surprise as they both have height problems – Risa being tall than normal in her age and Ootani the shortest, thus making them like a clown at school. They keep on getting on each other’s nerves until Summer break came in. Risa and Ootani along with some of their close friends attends Summer class and that’s how the miracle happened. And when I said miracle, it’s the two of them getting along well. They become closer since they are in agreement, and guess on what? It’s about their love interest. Ofcourse they don’t have the same crushes, although that would have been fun, but they are on agreement to work together since both of them are friends of each other’s crushes. But something unexpected happen, haha, both of their crushes likes each other instead. And guess what? Their crushes ended up together thus leaving Ootani and Risa heartbroken. I would have expected both of them consoling each other eh? Sure they did but in an unromantic way which includes a lot of hitting and punching, haha. Really, it’s true. Risa, since she’s taller always treated like one of the guys and Ootani as a girl because of his height too. So it should be normal that the two of them understands each other aight? But I guess even with that knowledge, they still end up fighting and irritating each other as they are somewhat the same; both have the same favorite singer and both of them acts like a kid.

Lovely Complex is composed of 17 volumes with 68 chapters thus making it longer compared to your usual 400-600 words book, so to refrain from making a very long review (I know how troublesome to read it), I decided to categorize my review on what I like and didn’t like in this story as well as introducing  some of my characters.

What I Liked:

    • I love the idea, a tall girl falling in love with a short guy. Not impossible to happen in real life but the idea is fresh as it’s uncommon to romance stories.
    • It’s setting is in High School and you know how I love YA.
    • The love and hate romance. It could get a little too much sometimes especially when they finally became a couple but it’s still very entertaining to read and the illustrations were so on point!
    • The facial expressions. Haha, I love how the creator drew the facial expressions especially one from Risa. It’s no different in anime too, the expressions was way too funny.
  • Manga Review – Rabu★Kon (Love*Com or Lovely Complex) by Aya Nakahara | Blushing Geek
    • The kissing scenes. My! It was just wonderfully drawn and soooo romantic.
  • Manga Review – Rabu★Kon (Love*Com or Lovely Complex) by Aya Nakahara | Blushing Geek
    • The “stair” kissing scene. My! That would have been funny, but dang!
      Manga Review – Rabu★Kon (Love*Com or Lovely Complex) by Aya Nakahara | Blushing Geek
  • I hate to admit it (know why in my What I Liked The Least section) but Ootani is just so cute especially if he ties his hair. Sometimes he could look hot too, haha. My! I think I have a little crush on Ootani now.

Manga Review – Rabu★Kon (Love*Com or Lovely Complex) by Aya Nakahara | Blushing Geek

  • Ootani is not into mushy stuffs let alone say something romantic to Risa, but whenever he did, it’s just way too sweet I can hardly bear it without combusting.
  • I love that even if Lovely Complex is originally about Risa and Ootani’s height differences, it also includes conflicts between other characters in this story which gave other character to shine.
  • When I think about it again, most problems the main characters encountered we’re what we normally read in YA and any other shojo manga but I have to say that some of them makes sense that even younger sweethearts can gain some lessons out of it.
  • Even if it includes some “slightly” annoying conflicts, I was happy that on the next day, Risa and Ootani both gave each other a chance to explain whenever there’s some misunderstanding.
  • And lots of good looking and supportive characters. Special mention, Nakao and Nobu-chan. My! This couple is the cutest, funniest, and supportive character ever. And obviously, they’re added to my favorite list so is Ootani and Risa *wink.

What I Liked The Least

  • I really really hate the part of Ootani where he’s so stubborn and so unexpressive and refused to say some romantic lines to Risa. I understand that they started as a comedic duo so it would be a little weird but dang! Can’t he be a little considerate sometimes?
  • Ootani’s very very very dense. I really pitied the part where Risa did her best to tell Ootani what she feels about him but ended up being laugh at.
  • Ootani not being an ideal boyfriend to Risa. Ofcourse he can’t be a complete boyfriend material but sometimes this guy can be so irritating, like forgetting her birthday (who’s boyfriend would even forget his girlfriend’s birthday?!), not believing in Risa and a lot more I dare not to mention or I’ll deduct another star again.
  • Both of them having third party problem. That setup is common in every romance stories but I have to say that I was still entertained because of the illustrations lol.

Main Characters

  • Koizumi, Risa – I always adore her character. Aside from making me laugh my heart out every single moment, she’s really nice too. One example was when Ootani’s tall beautiful neighbor trying to steal him away from Risa. If that was me, I will really cut her head off, but wow, the way Risa handled her was amazing. Another amazing thing about her is being caring, even if Ootani can be a bit irritating, she’s still trying her best to support him and take care of him.
  • Ootani, Atsushi – I love and hate his character at the same time. He could be cute yet dumb at the same time and it was irritating to read how he treats Risa. But when once in a while drop some sweet lines to Risa, my heart goes gaga. I guess you could say I love him more than I hate him, haha sucker.

Favorite Characters

  • Ishihara, Nobuko and Nakao, Heikichi – These two is absolutely one of the cutest and funniest couple ever. I love how responsible Nobuko is and is very supportive to Risa especially when those times that Risa almost wants to give up Ootani. Nakao on the other hand is a very funny guy but I really adore his love for Nobuko. They’re just perfect for each other.
  • Tanaka, Chiharu and Suzuki, Ryouji – they used to be Risa and Ootani’s crushes and right now they’re one of their very good friends. They’re a very cute couple too. I don’t have anything bad to say about them as they’re always there to support Risa and Ootani with their relationship.
  • Fukagawa, Haruka – Risa’s childhood friend and Ootani’s rival for Risa. He’s one good looking guy and sometimes I want to give Risa to him. He can be sweet and charming yet very stupid at the same time haha. He’s very funny too and sometimes I pitied him because he’s really doing his best to get Risa’s attention but with no use. But atleast in the end, he respects Risa’s relationship with Ootani and that’s really good.
  • Kuniumi, Maitake – the hottest and coolest teacher assistant you could ever have. I thought at first that he’s going to be in a love triangle for Risa and Ootani’s relationship but it turned out that his participation made it possible for the Risa and Ootani to make it official.
  • Yoshi – He wasn’t mentioned until on the extra part where we’ve got to see how Risa and Ootani really first met each other. But he’s one of the main reason why the two of them got to meet each other and has the huge impact to both Risa and Ootani so I guess it’s just right to add him to this short list.

My plan was to make this a short review but still ended up making it a long one, haha. Oh well, it can’t be helped *wink.

Overall, I really enjoyed Lovely Complex. It was romantic and was very very very entertaining. If you like shojo anime and YA, then Lovely Complex is highly recommended. While at it, you may want to consider watching the anime too. Enjoy!


Anime Trailer


About The Author

Aya Nakahara is an award-winning Japanese comic book author who made her debut in 1995. She is most famous for her Kansai-dialect romantic comedy series Lovely Complex (also known as ラブ★コン or Love★Com) which as well as spawning a feature film and a 24-episode animated television series has been translated into many different languages and has been published across the world.

She primarily writes in the romance and romantic comedy genres. Her most recent work is Berry Dynamite (ベリーダイナマイト).

Website | Goodreads

You May Also Enjoy

 Ao Haru Ride | Blushing Geek  Kiso Mori no Hayaky (Faster Than a Kiss) by Meca Tanaka | Blushing Geek  Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi | Blushing Geek  Berry Dynamite by Aya Nakahara | Blushing Geek


Check out my book shelf for a shojo manga suggestions and recommendations!


Subscribe To Blushing Geek