Lovely Complex is a Japanese manga turned series circulating on the story of a tall girl and a short boy, Risa Koizumi and Atsushi Otani. The relationship of these two started as a comedy duo as they are always seen bickering with each other, which became a laughing matter to their classmates; just like in a comedy show.

Risa started to develop romantic feelings towards Atsushi. However, Atsushi was hesitant about them two being together as she, for so long, had been a comedy to partner to him; he could not see immediately her as a girlfriend.  Risa, few times demotivated by this, still kept doing her best to make him fall for him. As the series went on, Atsushi eventually realized how much he cared for Risa and the two ended up being together.

Being a 165.10-cm tall woman, the effect of this series to me is vast. More often, I liked guys who are shorter than I am. However, unlike Risa, I do not have that much motivation to pursue the guy; main reason is because I grew up in a culture that guys should be the one to pursue the girl. In the end, I just let my feelings hidden and just look at the guy from afar. I know it does sound stupid to most, but it’s one of my principles that I wanted to keep intact.

But I had an ex-lover who is shorter than I am. So heights do not matter much to me as well. He stands just below my ear; he is such a sweet guy with big dreams; he always took care of me and very thoughtful about us. Until this day, I still look back at our love story with happiness. I think it’s one of the most memorable relationships I’ve had. We broke up on a summer; I grew tired about us for several reasons that I also explained to him. We still became friends afterwards, but we do not keep in touch that much as we were both taken at most parts after our break up. Also, he is based on Cebu so we do not get to hang out too. At this moment, he is now engaged, and I am very happy for him.

Heights is not an issue for me, let alone appearance. I am really after the heart, attitude, and statue in life. Lovely complex just gave me a bittersweet experience of how a girl can get so motivated for someone she really likes. When you watch the series, you’ll see how Risa was able to maintain the comedic relationship with Atshushi just to avoid any awkwardness between the two. It came to the point that their classmates wondered if Risa had been really rejected by Atshushi as the two of them still seemed to be the same to each other. And I think Risa is such a strong woman for being able to put up with such kind of situation. It only meant how much she liked Atsushi.

There’s no feminism on this. There are guys who can also put up with this kind of situation, and they are equally as strong as women who do. It’s just that there’s a stereotype that guys are ‘supposed’ to be the one pursuing the girls, and being dedicated is expected of them. I think not. Men and women who strive hard for whatever they want despite challenges are equally strong, in concept (of course situations are case-to-case basis).

So for me, this series is about achieving a goal (for Atsushi to fall for Risa) and not entirely about height difference. The latter was just an added factor because, in reality, there are really guys who are shorter than girls, but it doesn’t mean it’s always an issue.

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