This beautiful coming-of-age Japanese movie is fitting for this time of the year, and contrary to what the title may suggest, this film is the perfect example of innocent love and the purity of youth.

Manami Shintani (Aoi Morikawa), a senior in an all female high-school, is preparing for her graduation from the Broadcast Club where she is the present Leader. Everyone in the club wants to make sure that her graduation is memorable, and simply perfect. Though their plans soon change when Chiyuki Mitsuzuka (Mugi Kadowaki) decides to join the club. Her aura of unfriendliness and disinterest towards the club and its members quickly makes the others reluctant to approach her. However, the mystery and secrets that follow Chiyuki fascinates Manami, and she finds herself overwhelmed by feelings unknown to her toward the mysterious girl.

While some viewers may find this movie’s genre as a romance/drama, I think what was being displayed was actually friendship. Sure, we get to see a “relationship” that seems to build towards a romantic bond, but the interpretation of that depends on whether or not the viewers themselves wants to see it as such. In my opinion —keeping in mind the title of the movie itself— these high-school students are at an age where their sexuality is still in development; therefore, they aren’t able to decide between love, and friendship. This, I believe is the reason behind the use of “Complex” in the title. Complex— according to Psychoanalysis— means an overabundance of emotions that, when repressed create a conflict in the behavior of an individual. Furthermore emotions are complicated, and for teenagers who are only now gaining experiences in life, it is even more so.

I think that this movie is actually pretty decent, nothing extraordinary, but quite a nice film to watch as it depicts a beautiful friendship and progression into adulthood. Yuichi Onuma has created an amazingly well-made, light-hearted story which is still emotional, and relatable. Therefore viewers regardless of their age will find it enjoyable to watch this film.

Aoi Morikawa played the role of Manami Shintani perfectly, and the same can be said about Mugi Kadowaki who played Chiyuki Mitsuzuka. The cast were in their element, as most of them were in fact 17 years old, which probably made it easier to believe the characters. A slight problem I had was that Maaya Kondo, who played Ai, didn’t seem comfortable in her acting until the last scene – and considering that she had the third most screentime, it was a little bit of a disappointment.

At some moments, the film can be quite confusing as it is difficult to follow the plot, but the unique theme of the movie makes it quite understandable. I had a great time watching this production, and I have to say that I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a romantic slice of life film set in a high-school. Students especially should give it a watch.

Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Cinematography: 2/10
Cast: 6/10

An enjoyable movie for everyone. 7/10