Tuesday, November 18, 2008

God of Dogs by Satoru Ishihara review

God of Dogs

Author/Artist: Satoru Ishihara

Publisher: Juné

Rating: YA – 16 and above

Genre: Shonen Ai, Drama, Action, Organized Crime

Grade: D

*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at http://liheliso.com/buzz. Check it out! ***

I'm going to quote from the back:

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. Meanwhile, the mysterious Archer has been convicted of killing his father and is on his way to jail. What will fate reveal for the powerful Tsai clan's criminal dynasty AND this strange young man?

In God of Dogs, a feared family demands the service of a special descendant... but can the chosen one fight back? A rebel with a mind of his own is trapped in a bloodline riddled with secrets, murder, and the constant threat of betrayal. Will he break the centuries-old chains that bind him to this history of violence and stand on his own two feet, or does he have no choice but to bow at the altar of his wicked forefathers?

Archer Rogue has been convicted of murder by killing his father. On his way to the pen, the paddywagon that the prisoners are riding in comes under attack. It crashes and the prisoners escape. One of the prisoners gets picked up by a fancy car, which they pick up Archer as well. Archer leaves behind his knit cap as a clue for his friend, police officer Kohki. Meanwhile back at the ranch, the "God of Dogs" has killed himself and the search is on for the pureblood successor. Some guy named Zigger is involved in all of this and someone promises to deliver Archer Rogue to him.

Some craziness ensues and Archer ends up in Miami as ransom, a riot somewhere breaks out, and people are soaked in acid to destroy evidence. If I'm not making much sense, that's because this story is a bit confusing.

This is the first Satoru Ishihara-sensei manga I've read. She also wrote Dost Thou Know? also published by Digital Manga. I had no idea what this manga was going to be about because I didn't see anything on the Juné or Digital Manga websites about it. This manga probably would have been more enjoyable had it not been so confusing. Characters are introduced and are dropped just as quickly. The story feels like you're starting in the middle of a larger series, but there aren't any other books associated with it. In the author's notes at the back, Ishihara-sensei makes the point that this is a continuation of a story that started in another set of stories, but we only get this one volume and are expected to know what was going on. All of the characters seem to look the same; the only way you can tell characters apart is their hairstyles. This is supposed to be a "Shonen-Ai" story, but there was no boys love to be found. The only BL thing I could think of is there was something happening between Kohki (the cop) and Archer (the criminal). But there wasn't enough there to make it really boys love worthy. I did like the art on the cover though. It has a tough looking watercolor picture of Archer (I assume) and a bunch of other dudes. It has Juné's signature dust jacket and larger trim size and the design of the jacket is pretty sweet. Unless there are plans to release the prior volumes of manga that would clear this story up, I wouldn't bother. Sorry.

***Review Copy provided by Juné***
***Reposted with permission from The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society***

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