Follow TV Tropes


Manga / Family Complex

Go To
"I'm sure no one else has problems like this at their own house. They don't wonder, 'Why am I here?' or 'Maybe there's somewhere else I should belong',"
Akira Sakamoto

The Sakamoto family is widely known among their neighbours as the "perfect family", because every member of the household is blessed with stunning beauty... except for the second son, Akira, that is. Insecure about his lack of good looks, poor Akira feels very out of place among his family, and is very embarrassed to be seen in public with them. Despite his discomfort, Akira keeps his feelings to himself because he's afraid to hurt his family; but when they finally found out the truth, how can they settle their differences?

Family Complex is a short series of manga one-shots revolving around the lives of the various members of the aforementioned Sakamoto family, and is written by Mikiyo Tsuda of Princess Princess fame, which is a sort-of sequel to this manga.

Not to be confused with the similarly-titled Family Compo, a seinen manga about a young man living with his new transgender family.

This manga provides example of:

  • A-Cup Angst: During her high school years, Nanami would often complain about her childish figure, and envies her busty friend, despite being considered very beautiful by many boys.
  • Adults Are Useless: Neither Hidetoshi nor Nanami can be relied on to deal with their children's problems, leaving the older siblings to take care and look out for each other all the time. Over the course of the manga, Hidetoshi often bemoans about how he fails to do anything fatherly, and how either Harumi or Natsuru would steal the role from him whenever this happens.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Akira notes that his family is very nice to him despite his comparatively plain face. However, he still feels isolated from them because his neighbours and friends keeps on mocking/pitying him for his "different" appearance behind his back.
  • All There in the Manual: A bonus material cited that Akira is a late bloomer who will outgrow his older brother. In the Omake, he laments about how this development is not shown in the actual storyline.
  • Attractiveness Isolation: Harumi is practically worshiped by his entire school for his good looks, but because everyone else treats him in reverence, he never had any friends he could hang out with.
  • The Beard: In the second chapter, Natsuru pretends to be Harumi's boyfriend to smoke out his "bodyguards", who were not-very-subtly stalking him.
  • The Beautiful Elite: The Sakamoto family is known to their neighbours as the "perfect family" because (almost) every one of them looks like supermodels and they command the public attention whenever they show up.
  • Bifauxnen:
    • Natsuru can easily be mistaken for a handsome guy, and she has many girls crushing on her since her childhood.
    • After learning to be more outspoken, Fuyuki cuts her hair short and wears boyish clothing that her former love rival starts to fall for her charms instead.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Both of Akira's older siblings get personally offended when some of Harumi's classmates insult him, and angrily demand the guys to apologize to Akira despite the latter's insistence that he's fine with it.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Every member of the Sakamoto family except Akira projects sparkles whenever they show up in public, drawing the awestruck attention from everyone around them.
  • Character Overlap: Akira returns as an important cast member in the manga's sort-of Sequel Series, Princess Princess, which takes place in his older brother's old school. His entire family later also gets featured in one of the latter series' bonus chapters.
  • Cool Big Sis: Natsuru is admired by everyone (especially her fangirls) due to her Prince-like appearance and personality. Akira and his friends certainly finds her cool.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: During his high school days, Hidetoshi was forced by a friend entered a female fashion contest while in drag and won.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Even though he's very popular among girls, the most aggressive of Harumi's suitors are men — as a result, his female fans can't approach him.
  • Friendless Background: Fuyuki's POV chapter opens with how well she is treated by her family, and is immediately contrasted by how isolated she is from her classmates, who only talks to her out of utmost necessity. Even Harumi, who technically has no friends either, at least interact with his "underlings".
  • Generic Cuteness: Akira's problems stems from the fact that he's the only one with a normal face in a family of beauties, but he doesn't look noticeably uglier than the rest of his family.
  • My Beloved Smother: The whole family towards Fuyuki. They constantly dote on and pamper her, providing her every need before she even asks for it. This makes her very quiet and passive, and she couldn't really communicate with people outside her family.
  • One-Gender School: Harumi attends an all-boys school, while Natsuru attends an all-girls one. Akira would later attend Harumi's alma mater, as can be seen in Princess Princess.
  • One of the Guys: During her elementary school years, Natsuru would frequently play with the boys, and due to her boyish appearance and her good skills in sports, they'd often forget that she's a girl.
  • Only Has Same-Sex Admirers: Unlike Harumi, who is popular among both men and women, Natsuru is shown to have only fangirls, while the guys she goes to school with only see her as a friend at best.
  • The Quiet One: Fuyuki doesn't speak very much and has difficulties relating with her classmates because of it. However, when Akira advises her to feel free to express her thoughts, she becomes a chatterbox.
  • Rotating Protagonist: The viewpoint character changes every chapter, focusing on the different members of the family. It starts with Akira, followed by Harumi, then Natsuru, Fuyuki and finally their parents, Hidetoshi and Nanami.
  • School Idol: Akira's older siblings, Harumi and Natsuru, are the idols of their respective schools.
    • Harumi's admirers revere him like royalty—even calling him "Sakamoto-sama". While most are content to appreciate his good looks from a distance, the more extreme devotees actually declare themselves as his servants/bodyguards.
    • Natsuru's admirers, on the other hand, act like her personal fanclub, constantly showering her with gifts and squee-ing at the sight of her.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Harumi and Natsuru frequently bicker with each other, mostly to fight over Akira.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: After Akira expresses his worries to his family, they assure him that having a beautiful face is not always so good because they get stalked, ignored, become targets of jealousy, and so on... But when Akira starts to feel sorry for their troubles, they immediately point out the perks of being good looking. The chapter ends with Akira questioning whether having a beautiful face is actually a good or bad thing.
  • Stalking Is Love: Harumi's self-proclaimed servants demonstrates their adoration for "Sakamoto-sama" by following him around, and generally stalking him. Played for Laughs, though.
  • Status Quo Is God: For Harumi's arc, at least. After managing to talk things over with his three self-proclaimed "servants" about how he would rather to be treated normally by his peers, the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue shows that people continue to revere him as "Sakamoto-sama" until after his graduation, and he continues to gain more fanboys than actual friends at his university.
  • Temporal Theme Naming: Harumi (spring), Natsuru (summer), Akira (autumn) and Fuyuki (winter).
  • Tomboyness Upgrade: Fuyuki starts out as demure and feminine, but after her Character Development, becomes more assertive, cool, and boyish. Her appearance reflects this change: cutting her Girlish Pigtails short, and trading her skirts and dresses with more masculine clothes.
  • The Unfavorite: Subverted. Although Akira feels unworthy of his family due to his looks, his siblings reveal that they like him better than the rest of the family.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Akira's parents are said to be 41 in the manga's present timeline, but in the flashback chapter featuring their first meeting 20 years prior, they're still in high school — even though 21 years old is not a reasonable age for high schoolers.