The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior is based on a manga by Ruri Miyahara. The series is produced by Brain’s Base and is directed by Shigeyuki Miwa. The series aired on Japanese television from April 3-June 19, 2014. As of this writing, Crunchyroll holds the North American streaming license for The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior, and Sentai Filmworks holds the North American home video license for the series.
The main character is Kazunari Usa, and he’s a first-year high school student. As he goes into the school library, he thinks about wanting to forget about his middle school years and spend high school in peace and quiet with a decent, intelligent girlfriend. Just then, he sees a girl named Ritsu Kawai sitting and reading a book, and he falls in love at first sight.
That day, Kazunari is moving into a dormitory complex because his parents got a job transfer and he wanted to be able to stay and attend school where he’s at. On his way to the dorm, he comes across a strange-looking guy named Shirosaki looking through a fence at a grade school. The guy knows Kazunari’s name, which takes him aback since he’s never seen this guy before in his life. When a cop comes over after receiving a report, it’s discovered there’s a hole in the fence and the guy says when you see a hole like that, you just have to poke in. After some more questioning, the officer decides to take the guy in for questioning. Kazunari, meanwhile, runs off.
Kazunari arrives at the dorm and meets Sumiko-san, the woman who runs the dorm; she turns out to be a sister of Ritsu’s grandfather. When Kazunari is shown to his room, he learns that he’ll have a roommate… and it’s Shirosaki. Kazunari decides he’s not going to stay there and starts on his way; however, he runs into Ritsu when he opens the main door of the building. When he finds out Ritsu lives in the dorm, he’s not in such a hurry to leave. Also, his mother makes it clear after a phone conversation that he’ll be staying at that dorm.
Another resident at the complex is Mayumi Nishikino, a bad drunk that has bad taste in men. There’s one other resident, Sayaka Watanabe; she’s a college student who’s sweet on the outside but loves to cause trouble for others.
A big focus of the series in on Kazunari and his attempts to try to get close to Ritsu. The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior is an ensemble piece, and there are also occasional stories that focus on the other residents at the dorm.
After watching the first episode, I thought the show had a good combination of comedy and drama to help drive the characters and their story. I also thought the first episode was charming and fun to watch.
I enjoyed watching the series for the most part, although I thought Episode Nine was one the weakest episodes in the series. My favorite part of the series was the story of Kazunari and Ritsu. Some of the ensemble stories about the other characters tended to not do much for me for the most part, and with some episodes I found myself wishing that there was more of a focus on Kazunari and Ritsu.
My least favorite character was Sayaka. Not only was she the most annoying, she also came across as a character who didn’t really add much to the series. A lot of the times, she was either just “there” or wasn’t even at the dorm for the entirety of an episode. In a lot of ways, I think this series might have been a little stronger if she wasn’t in it. She was probably intended to be a foil for Mayumi, but I thought Shirosaki did a pretty good job of filling that role for both Mayumi and Kazunari.
The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior was a decent enough series, and I’m glad I was able to watch it for free from a legal streaming site. While it was enjoyable, I’m not sure that it’s a series I’d be in a hurry to re-watch or buy on home video to add it to my anime home video collection. However, if there ever is another season of The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior at some point in the future, I’d be willing to watch it and give it a chance.