Complex is a really great story; however, it is not your average lovey dovey bl. Complex is life story told in 24 chapters housed in four volumes. Although four volumes is not very long, the story itself reads like an epic, and for good reason; readers follow the two leads from age 11 to age 83 as they navigate their way through life and love. It is a beautiful story and I don’t think there are any wasted pages. It is the epitome of great bl; it is unabashed in its portrayal of the life of two human beings who really fall in love with each other and all of the real complications that come with allowing another person to reign over that vulnerability. There are more downs than ups but they are not the kind you can see coming a mile away. It is a story well worth reading when you have the patience and the inclination for a heartbreaking, tear jerking, wrap yourself in real love kind of story.
Be forewarned, the first chapter includes scenes that constitute pedophilia and corruption of minors. If you absolutely cannot deal with those subjects, then please skip it; however, if you can allow it when it is in an appropriate context and not at all gratuitous, please do not skip it. It is true that you can enjoy the story without it, but I don’t think some of the personal transformations the characters go through will be fully grounded in any reader’s mind without it. Also, while there are references to the event it in subsequent chapters, there are no graphic flashbacks that I can remember. As long as you go in understanding that this manga is not like most where you blink and the characters are in love or where the long-suffering one-sided love from a childhood 18 years back is finally reciprocated, you will be able to fully experience the maturation of the characters and reconcile those infuriating parts of the story as things that can be learned from and overcome in life.
Notes: This has been edited just a bit for clearer wording in some places, but, technically, this is what became of the first bl review I ever wrote. What this was edited from was the first review I posted on com801.com and that was a calmer more thought out version of the very first bl review I ever wrote which is still posted on MAL.