Not so much complex as a bit crazy.,
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This review is from: Cosplay Complex  [DVD] (DVD)
Cosplay Complex is a three episode series following a highschool Cosplay club who hope to make it through to the national Cosplay competition. Cosplay features in many Manga and Anime series - and also in real life as people engage in Costume Play for fun or as part of a competition. Here the Cosplay group are made up of highly excitable teenage girls who harbour crushes on various people including each other.
I was expecting a slightly mad Anime series akin to the acclaimed Excel Saga but apart from having many references to lots of other Anime series, Cosplay Complex has little to offer. At first glance this looks like the sort of animated series you'd see on kids TV, it's very cartoony with immature characters and lots of manic chattering. Each episode has a loose story but the mad goings on make it difficult to follow what's happening - partly because there is very little going on!
The show is fan-service heavy with lots of scenes taking place in the changing rooms and mild references to naughtiness - almost like a Carry On film, but with young girls rather than Sid James and Charles Hawtrey. By the third episode however the show started to redeem itself. It wasn't a great jump in quality but it started to introduce themes which look as though would have created a story-arc had the series continued beyond three episodes. Perhaps with more development the series would have become better, the characters could have been developed beyond the rather bland 2-D ones which we see here. But as it stands, the series isn't strong enough to warrant a full volume of epsiodes.
Animation-wise this looks good. The colours are bright and transitions are smooth, it's 4:3 aspect ratio but if you stretch it to 16:9 there's no noticeable drop in quality. The audio is a bit odd though - it sounds a bit thin on sound, like the audio is being played from inside a cardboard box, I even checked my sound settings to make sure I'd not adjusted something by mistake! There aren't any great extras beyond the usual, it would have been interesting to have seen a round-table discussion about where the series would have progressed and what plotlines could have been explored had Cosplay Complex continued beyond three episodes.
In a nutshell: A great DVD for those who love fan-service, Cosplay Complex does deliver a few laughs and it's certainly not rubbish - it just seems to cram a lot of nonsensical stuff into each episode though that they feel a bit all over the place. This isn't as bonkers as the hyper-charged Puni Puni Poemy, and it's not a poor as the dire Kekko Kamen - it's probably worth a watch for the references to other anime series and I'll give it three stars, but only just.