Welcome! Before we kick off shorts week, we have a normal length anime to review! Specifically, that anime is Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou, otherwise known as The Kawaii ComplexGuide to Manor and Hostel Behaviors in English (the Japanese name is much shorter so we will be using that). As always, beware of minor spoilers.
Now without further ado, let us begin the review!
Summary: Thanks to his parents’ job transfer, high school freshman Kazunari Usa finally gets to enjoy living on his own in the Kawai Complex, a boarding house that provides meals for its residents. Ritsu, the senpai he admires, also lives in Kawai Complex, as do a few other “unique” individuals: his masochistic roommate Shirosaki; beautiful, big-breasted Mayumi who has no luck in finding men; and sly, predatory college woman Sayaka. Surrounded by these people, Usa never finds his daily life boring.- Wikipedia
Honestly, Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou is pretty standard as a romantic comedy slice of life goes. It is pretty well done, and part of this success is the continual focus of the characters’ lives in and around the Kawai Complex. The show, however, does not really try much new, and as such, can feel a little bit generic at times. Additionally, there is very little resolution in any of the conflicts or romantic plot lines, even by the very end of the anime.
The characters are the most important part of this anime, since the plot is completely character driven (as is with almost every slice of life). The cast is pretty diverse in terms of not just personalities, but also age representation, which is rare when the main protagonist is in high school. The anime also makes a point of exploring each character rather in depth, adding another layer of diversity to the cast. The real issue comes in that most of the characters are picked from the same stock archetypes as many anime. Other than Ritsu, not many of the characters feel very unique, just maybe a little more explored than what is normal for their archetype.
As a fan of very stylized animation, Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou has, to me, a very well done and beautiful animation style. It is in a similar vein to Your Lie In April, with somewhat muted coLowlors, but at the same time being very pretty to look at.
The soundtrack is not really especially knock out, even being somewhat generic at points. However, it does service the show well enough.
A slice of life anime frequently falls on either extreme of the thematic spectrum, either being incredibly deep or rather lackluster/non explicit in its themes. Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou falls into the latter in not being very straightforward with its themes, though not without good reason. The anime prefers instead to focus on character interactions rather than develop its themes beyond what are presented from the start. Mainly what the show carries as themes are ones promoting adaptablity, aka making the best of a situation, and learning to love someone for who they are. Both of these are clearly seen through Usa as he navigates his life at Kawaii Complex and develops his affections for Ritsu.
Final Score: 7.8/10
Final Grade: C
The Kawai Complex was an anime that I was not able to finish. There was too much wrong with to keep me watching so for this review I am going to talk about why I dropped it. To start this off I hated the animation of this anime. It was just to stylized for me and really just put me off. The characters also very off putting. They were cookie cutter characters and the love interest seemed very uninteresting to me and mostly just irritated me. The anime also seemed to be going nowhere with the romance, which was the main focus of the show. Because I never finished this anime I feel like I should not give it a rating, but I do not recommend watching it when there are so many better romance anime out there. – B-Ro
The Kawai Complex is a show that RishRaff suggested to me a very long time ago. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I saw it on my watch list, and kind of needed something positive to watch. Well, the show certainly succeeded. For starters, this show has perhaps some of my favorite visual moments in an anime. The art here is beautifully crafted, endlessly creative, and at times very symbolic. The amout of care and artistic effort put into these visuals reminds me of Ef: A Tale of Memories, though the Kawai Complex certainly goes more for the wacky comedy route. This show is very character driven, and the characters here are mostly great. Usa is a good yet at times awkward main character, and I was definitely rooting for him throughout. Sumiko, Shiro, and Mayumi were a great supporting cast, and I loved each of their quirks. I honestly didn’t like Sayaka at first (she felt somewhat added at the last minute and annoying), but she actually really grew on me as the show progressed. However, Rit was by far my favorite. I really loved her character, due to her introverted nature. I personally related to her a lot. Her interactions with Usa made for some extremely awkward moments, and I couldn’t help but excitedly watch the awkward but sweet developments. As for the music, it didn’t blow me away, but it served its purpose quite well. All in all, The Kawai Complex is a perfectly functional show whose enjoyment factor went through the roof thanks to its visual style and quirky and/or relatable characters. It ended up being a joy to watch for me, and I really applaud its charm.
Final Comments: While the animation for Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou is absolutely gorgeous and standout, the rest of the show feels a bit generic between the characters and soundtrack, keeping it from true greatness.
Thanks for reading our review! Be sure to check us out on Twitter! Be on the look out for our Shorts Week post later tonight!