This is a story of boy meets boy—and everything after that.
Complex is about the lives of Junichi and Tatsuya, two childhood friends who just so happen to love each other. We explore each step of their lives, from grade school to the golden years, through the good times and the bad, revealing that a relationship between two men are nothing but complex.
It's complex to grow up in a society that won't accept you. It's complex to be brought up by your own parents who won't accept you. It's complex to raise a child who won't accept you. Something so simple yet beautiful, like love. That, too, is complex.
Complex follows the lives of Junichi and Tatsuya and how their "complex" relationship affects them and everyone around them. How is it complex, you may ask? Well, they are both boys. Society as a whole have not always accepted homosexuality. With this mindset on both sides, several problems and issues must arise from that emotionally and physically. For example,
Junichi once said that he is not gay, he just loves Tatsuya only. Why must questioning sexuality have to interrupt one's love for another? Unfortunately, that's how the world works. And the story does one hell of a job portraying such ideas with great depth.
Originality is key in Complex. Very rarely do I come across a yaoi manga that is not only about questioning falling in love with the same sex, but several other issues that are dealt with in this manga which greatly impact the story as well. Infidelity, depression, bretrayal, and doubt, to list a few. We hear many stories of these elements that involve heterosexual couples. However, in Complex, all sorts of life's troubles and tribulations are packed into the lives of a gay couple and that is very rare in all forms of media.
This is not your typical yaoi manga, they just don't hook up and "the end!" They have a whole life after that and and we walk each and every one of those steps together with the characters. After all, each chapter is greeted with a number of the age the characters are at. And there is always something special and/or daunting on each dash on that timeline keeping you interested throughout.
What stands out the most in Complex is how realistic the stories and characters are. As a homosexual man myself, I find many of the issues the protagonists endure are things I can relate to which helps me grow emotionally invested to them. It's as if I'm not reading a manga, I'm experiencing someone's life.
The romance, the drama, the comedy, the suspense, the sorrow, the joy all reflect real life into an artform. Complex holds an infinite capacity of what it has to offer. I encourage readers to use this manga as a learning tool which provides life-long lessons embracing the importance of family and protecting and flourishing love.
"Difficult times, fun times, sad times, happy times, we were always together." - Shinozaki, Junichi
Here’s an interesting question: what happens to the boys in BL after they’ve hooked up? In most series, we never know- the story stops right there. In Complex, however, we don’t get to just see the relationship, we follow the couple throughout their lives. It’s an ambitious idea, but it works. We see two boys grow up from being childhood friends to confused young men and to wrinkled old ones, with all of the drama that comes with it. Yes, there is sex, but the emphasis is placed more on the relationship than the fanservice. It starts a
bit hokey (two boys becoming more than friends because of a pedophile teacher? Really?), but once the boys become adults, the situations the characters are in are depicted more realistically, making it something that is believable. From being scared of being “open” to society to nasty breakups to raising children, it shows the difficulties of being gay in society. At the same time, the series makes sure to depict characters as human, with no idealized exaggerations and sexualities that aren’t exactly black or white. Overall, Complex is a gripping romantic drama that shows that yaoi is more than capable of having depth, and is a must read for anyone interested in the genre.
Pros: Realistically played, tackles issues such as gay parenting, heart wrenching ending
Cons: Starts unrealistically, random shota thrown in (volume 2 chapter 7), rough art in the beginning
From the first chapter it may look like this manga is about a nasty teacher into shota-con, however that is only the Very Very beginning and shota-con has nothing to do with the story at all. That first occurrence is needed only to bring the two main characters closer together to prepare for their journey of life together.
This manga is one of the best I have ever read; it will make you smile with joy and bawl your eyes out from beginning, when they are just children, to the end when they are old men preparing for rest.
It shows the very seed of
true love and how it conquers all despite all of the "complexes" that come up in one's life. The main characters may have a few falling outs, but as the red string predicts (metaphor), true love will prevail.
This is one of the most serious mangas I have had the joy of reading and one of the only ones I've seen that showed main character's life from beginning to end. It is heartwarming and even if the beginning throws you for a loop, once you get past that you will never regret sticking with it.
READ IT!!! Beyond it being one of the best yaoi mangas it is one of the best stories I've ever had the pleasure and the privilege of reading. Teary eyes, runny nose, aching sides, cheeks sore from smiling and an indescribably warm feeling in my heart; that's what I have taken from the series. I am not a fan of shota, but there are two instances of shota. You must read the first chapter to understand how the gears switch in the main characters' relationship. This is a story for those who understand the draw of yaoi and how the societal taboos create built-in obstacles
that give the stories an appeal and advantage that other genres lack. This is also a story for those who can really appreciate a well-planned story line and 3D characters that come to carve a place in your heart before the story is even halfway through. You'll love it!