God of Dogs (Inu no Ou)
Author: Satoru Ishihara
Manufacturer: Digital Manga Publishing
Rating: Youth (16+)
Genre: Yaoi, BL
Themes: Mafia, assassins, violence, drama, action
Summary: The notoriously vicious Chinese Mafia has lost its next rightful heir…to sudden suicide! Now, the esteemed “God of Dogs” Tsai family must race against the ticking clock and hunt down the child of the deceased eldest son in order to preserve their ancient, sacred legacy.
According to Baka-Updates, this story is actually a sequel to a manga called Charisma and they say it is imperative to read Charisma first in order to understand this story. Naturally, Charisma has never been officially translated into English. I don’t know what kind of planning goes into choosing which books to translate but clearly in the case of sequels, the first book should definitely be translated.
Of course, I had no idea this was a sequel when I bought it. This explains why I felt I was dropped into the middle of a story and was utterly confused as to what was happening. There are many characters and I had a hard time keeping them straight. I went back and reread sections more than once. There is so much going on that I felt like I couldn’t keep up with the story. I’m sure, had I been able to read the Charisma first, I would have been far less confused.
The action is non-stop in this book. You are literally flying the whole time. Ok not literally, you won’t sprout any wings and take off into the sky but wow, does it ever move fast. I couldn’t help thinking this would make an excellent movie (of the live action variety though it would make a beautiful anime as well). Speaking of beauty, the art is just that, beautiful. It’s not typical to the 3 or so styles I’ve become accustom to since I began reading yaoi manga. Because it’s not the typical style it may be a turn-off for some but I found it incredibly appealing and I’m glad to have the book for that alone. The style of art reminds me of Mika Sadahiro’s Under Grand Hotel. It certainly suits the characters and story and really adds to the overall appeal of the book.
Despite the confusion and feeling like I’ve come in halfway through a movie I still enjoyed the manga. The characters are fascinating and I truly hope Charisma gets translated one day so I can have a better understanding of the story. It doesn’t end with this book either, so we’re plunked down somewhere in the middle and that’s all we get. Definitely frustrating. I’m not sure if there is another book to this series but I’d love to see where it ends (and begins). Even though it’s a full book it very much leaves you with the sense that you’ve just read a chapter ripped from the middle of a novel so if frustration isn’t your thing, you may want to skip this one. But it is clever, realistic and very interesting (not to mention very violent) so if you like that sort of thing, why not give it a shot?
It’s rated YA 16+ and is definitely suitable for teens. The story is violent but there’s no nudity and (sadly) no sex. There’s nothing that really screams yaoi in this story but there’s certainly a BL theme running through it.