[Slice of Life Romance Fall 2020] Like Lovely Complex? Watch This!

Have you ever heard of the importance of a height gap in boyfriend-girlfriend relationships? Well, some people prefer it when their boyfriend is taller than they are, with some comical comments about men on the shorter end of the height spectrum being great little brothers! In Lovely Complex, we see this dynamic between the short Otani Atsushi and the tall Koizumi Risa. The duo starts off their relationship as something akin to sworn enemies, but soon those feelings turn into mutual affection and a blossoming romantic relationship! We’ve seen “unlikely” relationships like this in anime before; however, this year, we have ourselves these two other interesting treats!

Tonikaku Kawaii (TONIKAWA: Over the Moon For You)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 2020 - December 2020

Yuzuki Nasa is aptly named because he aims to become larger than life, his ambitions resulting in his placement at the top of the pile in the national mock exams. After crushing the exams, he sees a beautiful stranger on his way back home and he attempts to talk to her in hopes of asking her out; however, in his distraction, he does not see the truck on its way to mow him down. Seeing what is about to happen, Yuzaki Tsukasa jumps in front of Nasa to shield him from the impact, but both she and Nasa are injured from the crash. Bleeding out into the snow below him, Nasa gets a closer look at the beauty that distracted him from oncoming traffic. Despite her injuries, she gets the truck driver to call for help before leaving. Through sheer determination, Nasa wills his broken limbs in her direction so that he can ask her out. His confession of love catches Tsukasa off-guard; however, she gives him one condition: they can only be together if he marries her. Without a second thought, Nasa happily obliges before passing out from his injuries.

Talk about unlikely relationships, TONIKAWA follows a tried and tested slice of life anime formula: the unexpected marriage ultimatum. In a similar fashion to Lovely Complex, the characters in TONIKAWA navigate the treacherous realm of romantic relationships in a situation where such would be considered to be unlikely or downright impossible as seen in how Lovely Complex treated the height difference between Otani and Koizumi as an insurmountable challenge. In the case of TONIKAWA, the insurmountable challenge is the fact that Nasa very nearly died because he was taken aback by Tsukasa’s beauty, but also the fact that he had no way of contacting her after losing consciousness. An entire year passes before she brings herself to his doorstep. Stubbornness in love is the name of the game in both Lovely Complex and TONIKAWA.

Adachi to Shimamura (Adachi and Shimamura)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 2020 - Ongoing

Adachi Sakura and her best friend Shimamura Hougetsu developed their friendship on the second floor of the school gymnasium. The space had become the site of many conversations and ping pong bouts while skipping class. However, Adachi begins to feel very unsettled in the friendship when one day, she dreams of Shimamura and herself sharing a kiss. She does not think that it comes from romantic feelings, but she cannot help but want to be Shimamura’s first thought whenever the concept of friendship comes up. What if Shimamura feels the same way?

One of the major similarities between Adachi and Shimamura and Lovely Complex lies in the initial one-sidedness of the romantic attraction. While the main pair of Lovely Complex do not immediately fall for each other, Koizumi was definitely like Adachi in that she came to realise her own feelings before the other party did. The other major similarity lies in how both sets of characters spent an incredible amount of time alone together as friends prior to the development of romantic feelings.

Final Thoughts

Lovely Complex is a hilarious, dramatic, and sweet journey of romance in the springtime of youth. The series has a unique flavour, but it still manages to call back to well-known slice of life and romance anime tropes. This Fall season’s TONIKAWA and Adachi and Shimamura both bring unique slice of life and romance elements while also drawing on a Lovely Complex-esque sense of unlikelihood in their relationships, but also a wholesome comedic feel that rounds off the journey from stranger to friend to more than that.

What was your favourite thing about Lovely Complex? Drop a comment below and tell us all about it!

Tonikaku-Kawaii-225x350 [Slice of Life Romance Fall 2020] Like Lovely Complex? Watch This!


Author: Hoshi-kun

I’m South African, harbouring an obsession for anything remotely related to Japan, mostly anime, of course. I draw sometimes. Some people call me Naledi, it’s my real name, or something like that. People think I’m stoic because I don’t smile often (I do sometimes). I like languages. Hoshi-kun and Naledi are the same side of the same coin.

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