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November 19, 2010

Bento Bako Bonus: Wolf God vol. 1

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Written by: Kristin
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Title: Wolf God (KamiinuxBlood)
Author: Ai Tenkawa
Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing (Doki Doki)
Volume: Volume 1 (ongoing), $12.95
Vintage: 2007 by Shinshokan, July 2010 by DMP
Genre: Fantasy, supernatural, romance (shoujo)

Kyounosuke Shirogami, part of a Japanese clan descended from wolves, is sent out into the world to look for his brother Kokuyou. Kokuyou is the alpha, the heir to the family, but has been missing for many years. With the current family head at death’s door, Kyounosuke follows his brother’s scent to Tokyo, where he meets a high school girl named Koyuki. He followed his brother’s scent to her, but Koyuki doesn’t know his brother. However, her older brother recognizes the name, and reveals that he went to college with Kokuyou, but that he had heard his friend had died. Shocked, Kyounosuke breaks into tears, and then collapses from a fever. The city air is interfering with his wolf senses and making him sick. Koyuki insists he stay at her house so she can take care of him, and her brother comes home from the hospital where he works to gives Kyounosuke fever medication. When Kyounosuke and Koyuki go to visit Kokuyou’s grave nearby, the remains beneath the dirt fail to resonate with Kokuyou’s whistle his little brother has been carrying. Each member of their family has a whistle that is bound to them and their divine spirit beast(s) that protect them. This convinces Kyounosuke that his older brother is still alive somewhere. (He gives his own whistle to Koyuki, to summon him to her side if she is ever in danger.) His hope is shaken, however, when Koyuki’s brother, Mitsuru, hands over the last thing Kokuyou gave him – a small black ball, the soul of a divine beast. Koyuki cheers him up by encouraging him not to give up and offering to help him search for his brother. Things are going smoothly, aside from Kyounosuke’s illness, until a branch family member shows up to pick a fight. Kanosuke hates Kyounosuke and is jealous of the attention he gets for being next in line to be alpha. Koyuki and Kyounosuke’s retainer Hata stop the fight, but not before the boy is severely injured. Enter the pint sized sorceress Matsunojou, who heals him and then sends Koyuki away…who then promptly gets kidnapped by Kanosuke. Kyounosuke rushes to her rescue, without his full powers, and Koyuki sees a new side to her courageous friend, and also learns some unsettling things about Shirogami family. Koyuki’s life will never be the same! Her days of boring normality are over, but is she ready for what’s in store?

Kyounosuke explains his situation to Koyuki. I adore the way Tenkawa draws the chibi characters in the book.

This one is definitely cute, and it’s nice to see DMP branch out beyond yaoi again and publish some traditional shoujo. Kyounosuke is adorable, and his courage and loyalty (which, not coincidentally, are strong dog traits) makes him a good lead. There’s no obvious villain for him to fight against yet, but I expect one is forthcoming. Someone clearly attacked his brother Kokuyou and destroyed his divine beast, so there’s someone out there to track down and make a later appearance. Koyuki has no dreams for herself, no goals or ambitions. But when she meets Kyounosuke, a new world opens up before her. She’s a little on the generic side as far as heroines go, but she’s cute, sweet, and stands up for herself. She does have a strange vision during a heated battle between Kyounosuke and Kanousuke, which seems to point to some traumatic event in her past that she has blocked out. Clearly there’s going to be a romance between the two leads, and it’s already starting to form. I am rather weirded out by the borderline bestiality here. Kou (one of the divine beasts) comes right out and says the clan came about from the union of a wolf and human…however that happened. There’s at least one character so far (who may be a divine beast, but I’m not positive) who can transform from human to dog to furry (human with dog ears and tail), though Kyounosuke says he does not have such abilities himself. The names in this book get confusing. Many of the cast have similarly spelled names, and a couple of them are tongue twisters to boot. The names are a little hard to keep straight, but at least the character designs are distinctive. The art is cute, if simple, and my only real complaint is the way the ears are drawn. I’m not a big fan of the style used, the big ears with dark shadows. The chibi style (often used for comedic effect) is simply adorable. The rating on this is an accurate 13+, so it’s great for young teens.

Kris
kristin@comicattack.net
@girlg33k_Kris

Review copy provided by Digital Manga Publishing.

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7 Comments



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kristin Bomba, Kristin Bomba. Kristin Bomba said: New #manga review: @digitalmanga's Wolf God vol 1 https://comicattack.net/2010/11/bbbwolfgod1/ […]


  2. Jade

    Haha, I hear what you’re saying about DMP’s yaoi. They’ve released a lot of really cool titles, but all but yaoi has fallen by the wayside for a while. I’m embarrassed to admit that’s what spurred my interest in yaoi mainly, so I could keep supporting DMP a little bit, haha.

    Aside from everyone’s names sounding way too similar, Wolf God sounds neat, but I’m kind of a sucker for werewolves. From the page you posted, the art seems surprisingly legible for a shojo sequence though. It may not be the most impressive, but that looks like some solid storytelling that’s getting rare these days.

    And some quick speculation on the ‘bestiality,’ I don’t really know for sure, but I think wolves might be considered shape-changing magical animals like foxes and tanuki. If not traditionally, the last really wolfish wolves went extinct there in the early 1900s, so they’ve prolly gained some urban myth cred since then at least. Animal Academy has two wolves at least so they can change, haha.

    It’s also kind of ancient history myth in the context of the book, so it might not be literal.


  3. Kristin

    Heh, well I have no problem with DMP’s yaoi, as I’ve enjoyed quite a bit of it. But it does seem to make up about 90% of what they publish. They have been pushing Itazura na Kiss very strongly, though. I hope it does very well for them.

    Wolf God, as I said, was pretty cute. I didn’t really get attached to it, but I also wouldn’t be adverse to reading more volumes. There seems to be some solid framework in there.

    Yeah, the panel structure is pretty straightforward. The writing is solid…just those damn names. And I assume they’re meant to be “family ties.” Though I’m not sure why Koyuki has to have a “Ko” name as well.

    I didn’t even think that about the wolves. But thinking back, I’ve seen several series that feature shape changing wolves.


  4. Jade

    Ok, so I went and did the legwork on the wolf – henge theory and I was right: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C5%8Dkai#Shapeshifting_animals Now I’m confused that there are absolutely no dogs in Animal Academy; the author must hate dogs.

    Haha, I can handle yaoi and your suggestions should be really helpful once money isn’t so tight for me. I mainly worry about DMP giving up anything but yaoi and market saturation. That Guild project sounds cool, but when I read plans to make thousands of yaoi titles available, that’s really worrisome. If every yaoi fan in the US is willing to pay for a couple digital yaoi titles, how many titles does that really support? People complain about a lack of availability of, say, Tezuka books, but they forget that Japan got the releases spread over decades in a market that better supported the creator. I can only see it creating a really harsh survival of the fittest atmosphere that only a few creators will really be able to profit from.

    *ahem* Back on topic, I wouldn’t be adverse to reading Wolf God, but there’s nothing I’m seeing about it that demands I pick it up. It can be justified as a decent book and it’s really not just Twilight with werewolves, but yeah, I’m not seeing anything really exciting about it.



  5. […] Girl (Manga Report) Erica Friedman on vol. 2 of Tokimeki Mononoke Gakuen (Okazu) Kristin on vol. 1 of Wolf God (Comic Attack) Erica Friedman on vol. 14 of Yuri Hime S […]



  6. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.



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