Zankoku na Kami ga Shihai Suru
Author:Hagio, Moto (Story & Art)
Reading Direction:Right to Left
A Cruel God Reigns traces both Jeremy's and Ian's journeys towards redemption. Jeremy is a sensitive teenager who is happy for his mother when she remarries. However, the sweet-talking man who is his new stepfather turns out to be a serpent in disguise -- he's a sadist and a pedophile, and it isn't long before he makes Jeremy his target. After months of horrific, systematic abuse, Jeremy's mind becomes unstable and his thoughts turn vicious. He decides to murder his stepfather in order to get rid of him -- but the plan goes awry, and when he sabotages his stepfather's car, his mother also dies in the crash. Shocked and wracked by guilt, Jeremy's reactions seem strange to the average onlooker. His brittle and bizarre behavior isn't just that of a grieving son's. This is when Ian, the free-spirited son of Jeremy's stepfather, begins to suspect Jeremy of murder. He finds several clues that tie Jeremy to the crime, but in unearthing them, Ian also discovers the fact that Jeremy was abused. What should Ian do with his evidence? Caught in a moral dilemma -- between punishing a criminal and atoning for his father's sins -- Ian begins to be haunted by lust for Jeremy. Is it lust, or is it love? Ian wonders whether he shares his father's proclivities, and despite his best efforts, he is drawn into a passionate and painful relationship with Jeremy. - by The Pink Panzers Winner of the first Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize's Award for Excellence.