Meet the Sakamotos...a typical, upper middle class family of six with one peculiar quality-namely, they're all uncannily good-looking! That is, except for one member of the clan-14-year-old Akira. At that awkward stage where teenagers feel out-of-place in general, Akira believes he's average in the looks department, which simply doesn't measure up. How can he be around his family when he feels like he's being judged against them all the time? Will Akira's complex about being "different" cause him to turn away from the people who love him most?
Have you ever felt like the odd one out in your family? Like you are less smart, less pretty, less athletic - anything - than the rest of your family. You don’t have the same qualities as everyone else so you come to question yourself, if you really are a part of the family or if you’re worthy to. You might start hating yourself, or even come to despise your family.
Well Akira Sakamoto does, reason being he is the only ‘normal’ looking one in his family. He comes from quite a large family of six, the third oldest child out of four and is completely plain in terms of looks. The rest of his family is beautiful though, from the youngest sister to the never aging parents. He didn’t even have a problem with how he looked until other people started to point it out.
The manga follows not only him, but his parents, older brother Harumi, older sister Natsuru and younger sister Fuyuki and their troubles in daily life which mostly comes down to their own appearance, social influence and behaviour. Each chapter is dedicated to a member of the Sakamoto family from their point of view motioning each of their stories.
The stories presented interesting ideas, some of which are the classic values of ‘true friendship’, ‘Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder’ and ‘be true to yourself‘. It was slightly over the top for a slice-of-life manga with the inhumane ‘beautiful’ nature of the Sakamoto family which presents most of the problems. Nonetheless, the over-the-top foundation of the story is used in an appropriate proportion; so much so that the fact that the Sakamoto family is supposed to be a super model family becomes a minor detail in the bigger picture.
The art is a guaranteed strong point. The pen strokes are bold creating a clean cut image with no fuzziness around the picture. The characters are strongly defined: Tsuda (the author) makes a clear distinction between Akira’s normal physique and the rest of the Sakamoto’s abnormal beauty. Backgrounds are a very rare see throughout the manga. Most of the time there is no background, but the few that exist are excellently drawn.
Family is of course the core of the story. The family atmosphere is a delicate theme that isn’t usually the focus of a manga, let alone a family that works well together as opposed to the typical dysfunctional one.
This is no doubt Mikiyo Tsuda’s (known for her other works ‘The Day of Revolution’ and ‘Princess Princess’) better series. The latter manga is now an animated series which Akira and his family also plays a part in. Compared to Tsuda’s other works it isn’t incredibly far-fetched. Though Family Complex has a foundation that cannot be related to most readers, the actual concept - of feeling out of place - is undoubtedly a common thread in the tapestry of humans.
Family Complex certainly does not have enough depth to become a respectable slice-of-life manga, but as a one volume manga it does a decent job. A light read, filled with enough comedy and uplifting stories it is an easy time killer. If you are a bit of a softie though, it will become much more. Either way, it is quite a memorable read. read more
Family Complex is another of Mikiyo Tsuda's masterpieces which i enjoy to this day :P
Published before the parent story "Princess Princess" this Manga focuses on the family of the Sakamotos' who are abnormally beautiful apart from 14 year old Akira who feels "normal" from the rest.
The story takes the form of taking the point of view of the various siblings and parents about life in the family and what it means to be "beautiful" and that beauty is not as glorious as it may seem to be.
It also has very powerful messages about looks and family life in general while adding that bit of comedy that adds to the story and likability of the characters.
The art is great (as expected from Mikiyo Tsuda) with not to little, or too much background or detail and does the story a good deal as well :P
Perhaps the best part of the Manga is the likability and unique personalities of the characters and the humor of the family in general.
Overall, i throughly enjoyed this Manga as well as Tsuda's other works and would recommend it to everyone :) read more
As the first manga Ive ever read, it wasnt terrible. It consists of a boy that has abnormally beautiful family members, which is constantly being compared to his average looks. The story travels through senarios of the main character, Akira Sakamoto, and the awkwardness of being a teenager combined with the unfortunante situation of being plain in a family swimming in beauty.
It has plenty of light-hearted humor with bishounen and bishoujo. The story itself is a little dry, being that the main character is constantly whining about not being as hot as his family, as well as the occasion glimpse of how hard it is to be beautiful. Overall, it wasnt the best of the best, but not a waste of time either.read more