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God of Dogs by Satoru Ishihara
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God of Dogs

by Satoru Ishihara

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Shaolong just shot himself in the head, effectively ending his status as heir to the Tsais, an elite Chinese mafia. Archer Rogue is going to prison for murdering his own father. Kohki and Oliver find a partly chopped up body half submerged in acid. Sound like a lot of disjointed stories passing by? That's how God of Dogs starts. It gradually becomes more cohesive as it is revealed that the characters all seem to have something to do with each other in an almost six degrees kind of way.

Yee Fah, faithful subordinate to the Tsais, is ordered to retrieve the possible next heir, Ling. Unfortunately, Ling is on his way to prison, coincidentally in the same prison wagon as Archer. Or not so coincidentally; it's possible that all the guys on that wagon seemed to know each other because they were part of the same gang, although that's not something explained in this book. So what gives me the idea that they might have all been in a gang together? God of Dogs is actually the sequel to a four volume series titled Charisma, currently unlicensed. It is that series that deals with Archer Rogue's life as leader of a gang, then known as "El Gato." Unfortunately, that is the extent of my knowledge on it and God of Dogs does not rehash Charisma.

So where does the boys love come in? It doesn't really. It's rather obvious Archer and Kohki have something going on, but not having been in the vicinity of each other for the entirety of the graphic novel, aside from an emotional phone conversation, not much could be done with them in the romance department. In fact, even that phone conversation and all the hints beforehand could be attributed simply to close friendship if it wasn't for the Juné logo. No, the closest thing to BL in God of Dogs comes in the form of Wanglong, another member of the Tsai family, although of much lower status. Apparently, his hobby is to strip guys naked and then chain them up.

So far, God of Dogs resembles a violent cop drama more than it does a romance. People are shooting each other right and left, mutilated bodies get discovered, corruption within the government rears its ugly head. It is hard to say at its unfinished stage whether it makes a good BL or not, but I suppose it all the violence and gore make for a good cop drama along with its complex weaving of character relationships and the activities they partake in, albeit an unfinished one.

This review originally appeared at J LHLS.
  801megane | Jul 20, 2008 |
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