Manga Depicts the Life of a Cosplayer
posted on by Eric Stimson
Complex Age, a manga about a 34-year-old gothic lolita by Yui Sakuma, struck a chord with readers when it ran in Morning in May 2013. Its tale of Sawako, a working, married woman who clings to her hobby despite her age, drew both popular attention — 1.25 million page views and 22,000 retweets — and critical acclaim — it won a Tetsuya Chiba Prize last year, which comes with a ¥500,000 purse ($4,882). Yet it didn't spark any follow-up... until now.
On May 22, Complex Age began running on Morning's website as a serial. The new incarnation follows Nagisa Kataura, a 26-year-old employee at a delivery company with a passion for cosplay. It will continue the manga's original theme — its tagline is "For everyone who can't give up what they like" — but Morning asks its readers to find out for themselves what the connection between the two versions, and between Sawako and Nagisa, is.
"I am closest to being two-dimensional."
Sakuma's portrayal of a woman who keeps her hobby secret from her coworkers and struggles with the gap between her increasing age and continuing interest in the gothic lolita subculture provoked sympathy from its readers, who tweeted comments like "I understand," "I cried," and "It was heartbreaking." Interested readers can read the original 2013 version of Complex Age here and the new version here. They are in Japanese only.