Atsushi Ōtani (大谷敦士, lit. meaning "big valley") is the main male protagonist of the romantic comedy shōjo manga and anime series Lovely★Complex created by Aya Nakahara. Ōtani is from the Osaka Prefecture on Honshu Island in Japan. Ōtani has always been short for his age, only standing 149cm (4'9") by his first year of junior high and often being confused for an elementary student even throughout high school. His height often prompts his teachers and classmates to refer to him as "All Hanshin."
Ōtani and Risa MeetEdit
The chapter primarily focuses on Risa's point of view.
Ōtani first met Risa at an Umibōzu concert that fell on his birthday during their final year of junior high (equivalent to 9th grade). The chapter starts with Ōtani being in a very depressed mood. Nobu asks what's wrong with him to which Nakao replies that Mayu had recently broken up with Ōtani due to his obsession with basketball. This scene is followed by a flashback of Mayu returning her Umibōzu ticket to Ōtani. She tells him she can't go to the concert and that there is someone else she is seeing now. Ōtani was initially going to tear up and trash the tickets, but decides he still wants to go.
Ōtani is seen sitting alone in the back of the concert hall when a girl approaches him. Before she can speak, he starts to cry. The girl asks if he is okay to which he replies with a simple, "Yeah," before taking a phone call. The call is brief only mentioning to the person that he was alone, it was his birthday, then proceeds to call the person a dummy, thank them, and hang up.
The concert begins before the girl can say anything else. The girl rushes forward getting caught in the crowd, grabs her arm and pulls her out. The girl thanks him and tries to begin a conversation, but it is so loud that he can't hear her. The crowd and music suddenly go silent as she yells for him to "cheer up", which Umibōzu reciprocates telling to cheer up as well. The girl then yells to Umibōzu that it is Ōtani's brithday, the crowd and Umibōzu wish him a happy birthday. He talks with the girl about Umibōzu for a short while before she walks away.
Ōtani notices the girl looking for something and that her shoe is missing, he finds her destroyed shoe in the trash and returns it to her. Ōtani offers his shoes to her saying that he "don't need'em" and "with the mood (he's) in, (he) don't even want'em." The girl gives him some strawberry milk candy in return and wishes him a happy birthday again before they part ways.
The flashback ends with Ōtani and Risa meeting up for an Umibōzu concert during the summer break of their final year of high school. They run into an old junior high classmate named Yoshii who was also attending the Umibōzu concert with Risa’s old friend, Ake. Risa and Ōtani reminisce on Yoshii introducing them to Umibōzu and of their first concert. It’s then that they realize the "elementary school boy" and "weird girl" that they both met that day was, in fact, each other.
In the anime, Ōtani has light red hair and brown eyes similar to Risa's. In the manga, Ōtani's hair is seen as the light red color as well as a vibrant orange and light brown, while his eyes are seen as both brown and reddish-brown. He stands at only 156cm (5'2") and is very lean muscled, even being described as having a manly body despite his short stature. Ōtani wears a school uniform consisting of a short sleeved white dress shirt sporting a pocket, red star, blue and red buttons/patches, with a blue and green striped shirt underneath, brown pants, and blue shoes. He is often seen wearing a sweat band around his wrist as well. During winter weather he wears the same basic uniform, but the white dress shirt buttoned up with a red tie and a peach cardigan with a red star and stripes over top. He wears the same uniform in the manga as he does in the anime, but only during school ceremonies and other important school events. Otherwise, he can be found wearing a variety of very fashionable clothing.
Throughout the series, Ōtani would often act prideful and arrogant displaying a pseudo-Napoleon Syndrome especially when he is praised in any manner. However he is actually a very kind and funny person. He greatly struggles with his short stature, which was made worse after his then girlfriend, Mayu, broke up with him for someone taller. Ōtani has a very happy and carefree attitude when he is goofing around with Risa, and this is especially obvious when they are talking about Umibōzu or at an arcade.
Despite his short stature, Ōtani is an aspiring basketball player. Even after his final season, he continues to show up to the basketball club and cheer on his teammates, and was able to play a scrimmage with them one last time before graduating. Ōtani loves basketball so much that he studies hard to get into University intending to become a teacher so he can teach young children how to play basketball.
Ōtani has a very gentleman-like personality when it comes to woman who are upset, often assisting them in any way possible to cheer them up. This is seen when he gives up trying to date Chiharu so she can be with Suzuki and again when he is tricked by Hitomi. Though Hitomi tricked him into spending the night at her house and attempted to seduce him, he never cheated on Risa and remains loyal to her throughout the series.
Ōtani is not very intelligent and is very naïve when it comes to love towards him. It took several confession attempts on Risa's part for him to understand her feelings, including several more attempts from their friends. Ōtani is easily embarrassed when Risa is too open about her love for him and will not repeat himself if he says anything lovey to her, often hitting her on the head out of his own embarrassment. He shows an extremely jealous side when it comes to Risa, becoming very frustrated at Maity-sensei, Haruka, and Kohori for showing affection towards Risa, yelling at Seiko for kissing Risa on the cheek, and almost starting several fights with other men trying to protect her. He later shows that he is not very confident in Risa's feelings for him and becomes depressed at the thought of her not loving him as much as he loves her.
Risa is Ōtani's friend and classmate, and later his girlfriend. The series started with Ōtani and Risa as enemies, not wanting to be around each other as they were always being grouped together as "All Hanshin-Kyojin." Shortly after the series begins, Ōtani develops a crush on Risa's friend, Chiharu, and notices Risa also has a crush on a boy named Suzuki. Ōtani befriends Suzuki in order to form a pact with Risa to set each other up with their respective crushes. After a series of unfortunate events, Ōtani overhears Chiharu saying that he is so easy to talk to because she does not think of him as a boy due to his height and that she does not reciprocate Ōtani's feelings. Shortly thereafter, Ōtani and Risa figure out that Chiharu and Suzuki have crushes on each other and decide to support the two of them.
Christmas soon rolls around and Ōtani invites Risa to go to an Umibōzu concert with him, of which they share a mutual interest and Risa immediately says yes. Ōtani's ex-girlfriend, Mayu, shows up before the concert and asks Ōtani to join her and their old basketball club for a Christmas party. It didn't take long for everyone to figure out that she and her boyfriend had broken up, and that she intended to ask Ōtani out again. Instead of going to the Christmas party, Ōtani holds true to his arrangement with Risa and shows up to concert instead stating that he had made plans with Risa first and that's all that matters.
Several months later, Ōtani notices Risa becoming increasingly depressed and decides to cheer up by showing her his secret spot to watch fireworks. Risa confesses to Ōtani that she is in love with him during the fireworks though he considers it a joke and blows her off. After several attempts in convincing him it is the truth, Ōtani finally understands. He takes a short time to think about it and tells Risa on their school trip to Hokkaido that he cannot suddenly think of her as a girlfriend. Risa smacks him on the head and tells him to just forget the whole thing ever happened, but later on tells him that she can't suddenly stop loving him so she will wait for him.
After returning home from their school trip, Risa falls for their new English teacher, Maity, and opens up the Maity Fan Club. This greatly bothers Ōtani and he tells her that she should close the club and that he doesn't like her, often pointing out that he is the one she loves. Maity instigates a lot of repressed jealousy over Risa, eventually angering Ōtani to the point of saying some very hurtful things about Risa right in front of her. He hurts himself playing basketball after these events which prompts Risa to take him home on a bike, because despite how he is acting, she still loves him. During this bike ride home, Ōtani tells Risa to not stop loving her and to give him time to figure out how he really feels.
Ōtani eventually confesses to Risa after a basketball match, but she had fallen asleep and didn't hear him. He later gives Risa a bunny necklace on her birthday and confesses to her again with a kiss. Risa somehow misinterprets this and tells her friend that Ōtani isn't her boyfriend which greatly upsets him. He clears this up with Risa later that day saying he would never kiss someone that he didn't consider more than a friend. Risa then perks up showing a more loving side of herself which immensely embarrasses Ōtani. Despite this, he shows an extremely protective side over Risa, even going as far as yelling at Seiko for kissing Risa on the cheek and almost starting a fight with an old man on New Years that grabs Risa's arm.
Ōtani dated Seiko after she forced a kiss on him. They were only briefly together before Ōtani found out Seiko is biologically a male and broke up with her because he couldn't see passed that. Despite this, he still tells her she is cute and remains her friend.
Chiharu was Ōtani's first high school crush and is the best friend of his now girlfriend, Risa. Ōtani's crush started for Chiharu due to her striking resemble to his ex-girlfriend, Mayu. Chiharu is completely oblivious to was Ōtani's feelings for her, and states that she feels he is so easy to talk to because he is short and reminds her of a girl. Ōtani eventually finds out that Chiharu has a crush on his friend, Suzuki, and decides to give them his support instead.
Mayu was Ōtani's first and only girlfriend during junior high. They met through their junior high basketball club where Mayu was the clubs manager. Mayu broke up with Ōtani shortly before they entered high school for a guy that is 198cm (6'5") tall, which causes Ōtani's height complex and furthers his insecurities. It is later discovered that she did not break up with Ōtani because he is short, but instead because he ignored her to focus on playing basketball which caused her to develop feelings for someone else that paid more attention to her.
Nakao is Ōtani's best friend, they met in their basketball club during their first year of junior high (equivalent to 7th grade) and remained best friends throughout high school. Nakao often assists Nobu in picking on Ōtani for anything involving making Risa upset, and Ōtani is the only one there for Nakao when he goes through a depressed state over Nobu moving.
Nobu and Ōtani are not particularly close, but they have known each other since she started dating his best friend, Nakao. Nobu often picks on Ōtani when he upsets Risa and seems to get a lot of joy out of embarrassing him.
Suzuki and Ōtani met during summer school of their first year of high school (equivalent to 10th grade). Ōtani befriended Suzuki with the intention of setting him up with Risa, but that planned failed and they remained friends regardless.
Mimi is Ōtani's next door neighbor and has been that "annoying little sister" to him since they were young children. Mimi eventually confesses her to love to an unsuspecting Ōtani and runs off. Ōtani later rejects her saying that he simply does not think of her like that, despite this, Mimi does not give up on Ōtani and continues to try breaking him and Risa up.