Welcome to the Complex Discussion Thread!
Title: Complex (コンプレックス)
Authored by: Manda Ringo
Original Publisher: BIBLOS
Genre: Shounen-Ai, Slice of Life, Drama, Tragedy, Romance
Japanese Release: 4 Volumes in 1996-2000 (complete)
Age Ranking: Teenager (14+)
Smut Level: light
Content Warning: Shotacon (see summary note)
Summary (from Mangaupdates):
Tatsuya and Shinozaki are in 5th grade and their music teacher is a perverted pedo. One day the music teacher has a request for Yumi, a girl who uses him to get expensive gifts. He wants her to get Tatsuya into the music room so he can be with him. Shinozaki recently confessed his feelings for Yumi and she decides to use him as bait to get Tatsuya to go to the music room. Shinozaki and Tatsuya's future does not look good...
Complex is the story of the lives of Tatsuya and Sinozaki from near beginning to end.
Note: We usually don't allow shotacon here at MH but in this case the child abuse in the beginning of this manga is an important turning point for the protagonists and just very short. The oneshot in volume 2 also contains shotacon but is unrelated to the main story and can be ignored.
Sample pages (a little spoilerish to show an example of the timeline):
Volume 1-4 complete scanlated by Obsession
Obsession (Forum and IRC channel)
Eni's Mini-Review: I know that I'm build near the water, but it's rare for me to let my tears flow that much over a manga (in a positive way!). I really stopped reading at the end a few times to whip my tears away as I couldn't see the text anymore but I also couldn't stop reading. But let's start the mini-review...
It took me a long time to pick up this manga. The art, the shota-label and the cheap looking first chapter turned me off right from the beginning, but damn - I WAS SO WRONG! This is one of the most touching Slice of Life stories I've ever read. You'll need an handkerchief, seriously! The art as well as the story develops a lot during the whole series. The story spans four volumes and the whole life of the main couple, from childhood, highschool, college, job, to the very end and over two generations. We see their relationship developing, breaking, renewing. They go through hardships, through happiness, marriage, parentship, losses and aging while trying to hold to their love. It's one of those very rare stories with a real and satisfieding end.
I highly recommend to try this manga, not only as Boys Love fans. The gay relationship is portrait in a realistic matter with very few and mild love scenes. Actually, the further the story progresses, the more tame it becomes till the last volume has pretty much no such scenes anymore. It's even a Boys Love manga that I would recommend to a yaoi critic person since it's not focussing on fanservice at all. In fact the "gay topic" serves as the motor for a wonderful story that couldn't have happened in any other way.
Last edited by eni; July 13, 2008 at 07:34 PM.
i just started to read this one and i have very mixed feeling ... I really hope it wont turn like many people said on mangaupdates into something like " Ive cheated on you but who cares" and the first chapter is somthing WTF..wrr
Yes, the first chapter turned me off as well. But it's really the worst in the whole series which is sad since many people only judge on the first one and than drop it. The child abuse is relevant for the later story but could have been told in a more serious way, imho.
The 'cheating' part... yeah, I can't say that the story has high class storytelling. It has it's cliches and some could have been executed better but overall it clearly is one of the better BL manga. I think you really need the whole story till the very end to understand what I mean. It has it's flaws as much as it's awesomeness.
well i'm actuallo on 3 vol and i say its good manga but you can clearly see that autor didnt know how to make them to come back together and then *THOUGHT* "lets kill the characters that interfere with main plot Yeaah"
and he's(tatsuya) such a pushover ;/ i dont know what to say
i finished reading this one and i have very mixed feeling this one very good shounen ai but still authot rushed things too much and tatsuya still was a iritating pushover who didnt know what to do with his life and emotions but i really like Shinozaki he was great characters who knew who he belongs to and did want he really wanted without minding what other may say
and to add some more the other reason for tatsuya beeing annoying was that he was calling junichi a bother when he was the one who should be greatful that even what he has done to junichi he still loved him and wanted to take care of him wahh not to say tatsyua chased him away just because he was scared of someone founding about them
it looks i'll not get over this for a long time ..
Last edited by boszz; March 13, 2009 at 11:29 AM.
I feel like re-reading this one but I don't want to cry *siiiiiiiiiiiiigh* .... such a hard decision >.>
Anyone else read it since I recommended it? <.<
Still in my list to read and update if necessary.
I still have to finish Love Mode and 150+ pages of Super Lovers were just released.
Finished this manga a while back and was rather impressed so I'm contributing my two cents.
Yeah the story does have cliche's or rather creates plot points that generally create convenient routes for the story to progress but I would like to point out its not as if we did not anticipate this type of story telling given how the first chapter progressed. Its clear from the get go that the story telling is rather rough around the edges and frankly its not something I would necessarily take to heart too much about the manga. Yes, its a given the story telling is rough but I wouldn't let it detract from the range of emotions that I think the author successfully conveys through out the life journey of the two lovers, joys, fears, and concerns that you genuinely end up empathizing with the characters that you really grow to love. Growth or rather maturity is what is at the heart of the manga and I actually think the rough story telling works here because it does help to convey well that hesitant step forward that the two main characters take with each milestone in life. Like them the story may lose its bearing and rush certain things or dig itself in a hole but it does try to persist forward and once it regains its balance or confidence the manga shines with grace through some rather poignant high points in lessons of life and love. In fact I do put some admiration here because what people are taking for granted is that this is not a recent manga, though scanlation is, its certainly bears marks of an era gone by (and characteristics of works there) but more importantly it is an early work by an author - it is on manga updates her second work published. I would actually say its a great start for such an author to distinguish herself quite well.
Just wanna point out regarding the cheating issue... I don't see it as necessarily consider the decision of Shinozaki to be something quite forgiving, fact is they lost touch with one another for a LONG time, if that wasn't hurtful enough I don't know what is. Guess its just the build up of how the two eventually met, and the sequence of events that basically forced them in a sense to reconcile. Still I did find that point of their lives to be quite a highpoint, despite the sudden reconciliation, as it was genuinely heart rending as it showed how little foresight the two characters had about being separated since they were so secure about their position (when in reality it was far more tenuous than they had ever anticipated).
I agree the manga has its rough edges no doubt but I'm rather at awe with how it handled the topic of gay romance as per concern of the age, its completely understandable that the sex concerns would disappear towards the end as it was far less of a concern to the characters once they had reached a certain age and had a different concern (marriage, the son, etc). The manga certainly manages to mature quite well itself and I honestly don't mind the rough edges, it sort of cushions the blow so to speak in keeping the manga from taking such a heavy handed approach that could potentially have weighed itself down given the numerous concerns it tackles. A flawed but definitely strong series that I'd easily put on a must read pile that's easily not isolated to yaoi readers.
Last edited by Hamy; December 22, 2012 at 08:43 AM.
I read this manga years ago..
This is the best Yaoi manga for me.. it's so heartwarming, full of emotions, realistic but also funny in it's own way..
Even New York New York that had similiar plot and ending couldn't beat Complex for me..
Even though there was cheating issue which make me soo sad when i read it, the story flows really well..
If Tatsuya never got married, they would never had Kenta and the story would stop without that beautiful ending..
For those who avoid it because shotacon tag, you shouldn't bother it, coz the story itself will save the day..
Aah.. i want to read something like this again.. Do you have any recommendations?