The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors & Hostel Behavior (2014), It's a Mess but I Like it | Anime Review

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

Title: The Kawai Complex Guide to Morals & Hostel Behavior

Series: 13 Episodes | Complete

Language: Japanese (English subtitles)

Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, Romance

Otherwise known as Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou, this comedy, slice of life, anime will have you laughing constantly and convince you that you have become a resident of the boarding house yourself.

This series is centered around Kazunari Usa, a teenage boy starting his first year of high school, who moves into the Kawai Complex after his parents have moved away because of work.  He is looking forward to a peaceful high school life with good friends and (he hopes) a girlfriend who shares his values.

But the moment he meets the residents of Kawai Complex, Usa see's his vision of the perfect high school life slipping away.

The Supporting Cast:

Sumiko: The lovable caretaker who is not afraid to go to extremes to uphold house rules.

Mayumi: The heavy drinking professional woman with terrible taste in men.

Sayaka: The cute but unconventional young woman who likes to cause trouble.

Shirosaki:The perverted masochist with an unknown occupation, who will be Usa's roommate. 

Usa is certain he cannot possibly live here and states his intentions to leave...

That is until Ritsu Kawai, an upperclassman from his school, walks through the front door with hair in a pixie cut and nose in a book.  She is his vision of the perfect women, and he immediately decides to stay here--in her house.

Unfortunately for him, she spends most of her time in her bedroom--and the entire hallway of the girls rooms is lined with weapons.

The Comedy

This show is driven by comedy, even more so than by the characters. You put completely unconventional characters inside a traditional style Japanese home, and things just tend to happen.

The supporting cast is truely great. Whether Shiro is doing something outright funny, or you find yourself laughing at the misfortunes of Mayumi.

A major theme running throughout the series is the innocence of Usa and Ritsu-- in matters of love, yes, but also in other areas of their young adult lives which have only just begun, and just how much that contrasts with the older adults of the home who are juggling the harsher and less fun aspects of adult life.

The Romance

This is largely the story of a one sided love, as Ritsu, the female love interest, is so bookish that she hardly ever stops reading long enough to realize what is going on in the world around her.

However, the way this plays out long term, and even progresses to incorporate the other characters, is complete perfection.  Rather than have it become boring, you find yourself smacking your forehead over every missed opportunity that occurs between Usa and Ritsu.

Commentary comes from Usa, so there is quite a bit of pining...

And some mild stalking...

The Style

Most of this show is bathed in harsh rays of afternoon light.  And when that filter doesn't make sense to use in a particular scene, a rainbow overlay often appears, making it look like there was oil spilled over the entire scene.

The characters spend plenty of time in chibi-mode, or have their faces replaced by outlandish expressions.  Both of which successfully heighten the comedy.

Different patterns constantly take over the background, but they are much nicer than anything found in your typical shoujo manga

Humorous text will also appear on screen, which adds another layer to the jokes.  For example, when a thought bubble appears over the character's head betraying their true thoughts.

Definitely Watch This Anime

Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou has the power to both make you laugh and feel like you have joined a wacky family. The characters are absolutely engaging enough to keep your attention to binge watch the whole show. You might even be surprised by some of the outlandish comedy they come up with.

Thanks for reading!


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