Review: Zankokuna Kami ga Shihaisuru

A Savage God Reigns. The title comes from A. Alvarez’ The Savage God: A Study of Suicide (which in turn, although Hagio did not know it, comes from a diary entry by William Butler Yeats lamenting the rise of what would come to be known as “Modernism”). Beautifully executed, yet brutal in its frankness and often painful to read, A Savage God Reigns is the story of a teenaged boy, Jeremy, who is sexually and psychologically abused by his stepfather, Greg. Although the abusive stepfather dies early in the story, Jeremy is all but incapacitated by his trauma, and also wracked with guilt, since his mother died along with his stepfather in the car crash Jeremy himself orchestrated. The straight man in this story is Jeremy’s blissfully ignorant stepbrother, Ian, who must come to terms with the reality that his father was not the man he had always thought him to be. Ian becomes Jeremy’s de facto guardian, and struggles awkwardly to help Jeremy regain some semblance of sanity and self-esteem, while simultaneously struggling with his own unexpected and frightening feelings of lust for Jeremy. Although the psychological scars of sexual abuse can never be completely healed, Ian and Jeremy manage in the end, after literally coming to the very brink (of a very real cliff), to end the downward spiral and begin to crawl back up again. This amazing contribution to graphic literature was recognized in 1997 when it was awarded the first Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize. (Matt Thorn)

Finally I get to read Hagio Moto-sensei’s Zankoku na Kami ga Shihaisuru (残酷な神が支配する;Cruel God Reigns/ A Savage God Reigns) though I only got it until the 4th volume (of ten bunko) which is still the very beginning of the story but I’ve wanted to read this manga for so long. This was indeed a masterpiece from Hagio Moto and compared to Takemiya Keiko’s Kaze to ki no uta (風と木の歌) which have the very similar theme, I love this one better. I wanted to make my own review but I guess I won’t be able to express the manga synopsis more then Matt Thorn writings above (he is indeed a big fan of Hagio Moto). I can’t stand to watch Jeremy’s suffering going on until the 3rd volume (of bunko) which is why I’m so glad when Greg died in the 4th volume, I guess this is where the fun begins. A review said that this manga is probably an anti-yaoi(反やおい)manga, hmm maybe she/he is right at some point. But I can’t help to feel that Julian (Ian) & Jeremy’s ‘love story’ is so agonizingly beautiful. Here is my favorite line from one of my favorite scene in volume 4 (notes in this volume Ian still didn’t know what his father had done to Jeremy and was torn by the fact that Jeremy killed his father)



I want to ruined him, to hurt him
I want to beat him to death and make him confess
to hold him down until his breath stops
to embraced him until his bone scatter


きっと一生誰かを愛することはないだろう 愛されることもないだろう
誰かにやさしくキスすることも やさしいキスを受けることもないだろう
ほらぼくの冷たい手 冷たいレンズに映る森

Surely for the rest of my life I won’t love anyone won’t be loved by anyone
won’t be able to kiss someone gently, or to accept a gentle kiss
look! my cold hand, the scene of forest reflected from cold lenses (eyes)
a splitting heartbeat of a cold heart
but why… only the lips kissed by Ian feels hot

(ps: terjemahan sy lumayan juga ya :p **)


14 thoughts on “Review: Zankokuna Kami ga Shihaisuru”

  1. (ootp) banyak tempat sih soalnya di Indonesia kan banyak perusahaan Jepang, tp sebenarnya bhs Jepang doang belum cukup lebih bagus klo di tambah manajemen, marketing atau kesekertarisan

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