More re-posts! This time a review from a blog I had last year, but filled me with so much shame (don’t quite know why) I deleted everything.
Artist: Manda Ringo
# of Volumes: 4
Genre: Yaoi (18+)
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, and all 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, depicts the situations the characters are in 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. It’ll sadly never be published in the states, but it’s a must read for anyone interested in the genre.
Pros: Becomes more realistic as the story progresses, 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