Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior (Bokura wa Minna Kawai-sō)

This, good people, is my 30th anime of this year. One part of me is oddly proud by the fact that despite watching at least two extremely long anime titles and having a job I have managed this many, but the other part is slightly disappointed that I've only managed 30. But at the end of the day I have enjoyed just about all of the titles I have seen. That's the important thing. 

I admit I rushed into Kawai Complex, though. I have had it in my queue ever since its simulcast, but I put it off and kept putting it off. Then when I discovered I was only up to 29 titles for the year I began looking at extremely short titles that I could binge out on to bring that number up a bit. Yes, I'm a stat guy. It's hell for me to play Madden because I love running up those stats. True to form I watched this entire twelve episode anime in a period of 24 hours despite those hours taking place on work days. 

I would say that I enjoyed Kawai Complex quite a bit. I suppose the best way to describe this anime would be comedy with a dash of slice of life and romance. When things get too deep or too serious there's always a quick and snarky aside that causes the subject of the entire episode to go off the rails. In fact, there really isn't a subject for each episode. Yes, things happen in a chronological order and there's even some character building happening, but a lot of the events feel almost as random as the jokes. So I suppose you could say the story is secondary to the actual jokes and the interaction between the characters, but those joking interactions are what the story is about. Kinda like a sitcom, really. So there's basically no story at all. 

Anyway, let's get to some summarizing. 

The title is a play on words in the case of both the English and Japanese versions. The Japanese title means "We are all from Dormitory Kawai," but it could also mean "We are all Pitiful." The English title can also mean "Manners and Hostile Behavior" and, while neat, it isn't quite as neat or relative as the Japanese title. 

Usa Kazunari has just moved into the Kawai Complex. It's his first time living alone, but that's not to say he won't have company at his new digs. Shirosaki is his roommate and he likes nothing more than being punished and insulted. Masochist to the core, Shirosaki will even spend too much time under the sun with the hopes of getting heatstroke. 

Kazunari is disturbed by his roommate's behavior, but Shirosaki is not the only strange one living there. 

Nishikino Mayumi is an easy-going girl (emphasis to be placed on the word "easy") with terrible luck in the men department and a knack for drinking and insulting people. 

Kawai Ritsu is an antisocial girl that reads more than I do. She prefers books to real people and reality. I love her already. I want to marry her. We'd never talk to each other, but we'd read together and watch anime together. Or she'd read and I'd watch anime while she read. She'd never ask me to do things and I'd never forget the things she asked me to do because she wouldn't ask me to do them. It would be perfect. Kazunari is a guy of class and taste like me so he is naturally attracted to her, but unlike me he is at a loss because of her behavior and can't seem to make any ground with her. Not that I could make any ground with her either since she is 2D and all that.

They live together and go to school together, but they never seem to communicate with each other. Kazunari wants to change all of that, but he doesn't know how to and his roommates do everything they can to make his journey to her heart even more difficult by being themselves and doing silly things.

The supporting cast in this anime is excellent, by the way.

While this isn't the greatest anime I've ever seen and it won't make my top ten for the year, I did like it. It could have been a bit more dramatic at certain points because that seemed to be the real potential of the series, but I'm just not a very easily amused guy some of the time. Don't get me wrong, I thought a lot of the jokes were hilarious, but all of the sexual innuendos in the world can't really create an emotional connection. An actual story would have been nice. 

Then again I'm glad this anime stayed loose and nonsensical and didn't get all mushy and shit. 

I have mixed feelings as to its overall impact on me, I guess. I loved the way the animation looked, though. I still enjoyed it enough to recommend it, but only to those folks that like their anime goofy and silly. 

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