Ughhh.  You probably aren’t ready for this one.  This one is hella dark.  When I say twisted, I mean this one is really up there.  This is one of those twisted stories that you are so not ready to read but once you start reading it you are completely drawn into the world.  And when you finish it.  Oh damn.  When you finish it.  You will immediately say to yourself “I can’t believe I liked a story like that as much as I did.”  It is not going to make your list of manga that you would like to go back and read.  It is a one time enjoyment and then a few showers and nightmares to help you get all of the disturbing out of your system.  Really.  Believe me.  But still, if you are of a certain age I promise you that it is an amazing read if you are into some dark and twisted narratives.

First and foremost, let me be fair to the narrative.  It’s not pulp or pornographic in nature. That is not the mainstay or the point of the series.  It is actually a very well thought out story that gets really to the heart of humanity’s animalistic tendencies.  Certainly, some of those elements I mentioned previously do play a part in the story but they really shouldn’t be used to characterize it.  The story itself is incredible.  The things that happen in the story are at times, highly disturbing to read but you will be if nothing else, deeply engaged.  Wolf Guy is not actually scary.  And its twistedness; its profane nature; its profound grotesqueness is all perfectly understandable within the plot.  The characters are set up very well to behave as they do.  And this foulness that I write of does not carry all the way throughout the story.  It’s really the last arc that gets into a more extreme depravity.  And the problem for the reader lies therein.  All of the gore and violence in that last arc has been built up thoroughly by the beginning and middle of the story so that you sort of fall into it and accept it when it appears.  It’s wicked in all the ways you can accept that term.

Wolf Guy (Ookami No Manshou), was written by Tabata Yoshiaki and drawn by Yuuki Yugo and was released in 2007.  It is considered to be a re-adaptation of the 1970s manga bearing the same base title of “Wolf Guy” but is completely different in terms of its plot and its more violent and mature character.  I’ve never read the original.  But the basic premise of our story, Wolf Guy (Ookami No Manshou) 2007, is a young werewolf by the name of Inugami Akira strolls into a new town and a new school and through mostly no fault of his own, ends up causing a tremendous ruckus.  The cool thing about the story is that our protagonist’s only real shortcoming is his attitude toward normal humans.  He thinks very little of them.  And for this reason, he does his very best to maintain a certain distance from them while also hypocritically choosing to be around them.  To a degree it is hubris.  But it is also very understandable.  He just wants to be left alone in a world he cannot understand.  However he also, to a certain extent, is giving this world he doesn’t understand a try.  The problem is that he has a very strong animal magnetism shall we say.  It draws people to him.  The funny thing is that this animal magnetism plays out in a decidedly human-relatable manner that begs the question as to whether the two could be differentiated in any way.  If you can finish the story you see that the manga is borderline a national geographic special on wolves if you take it into the context of pack dynamics and territory and such.  Having said that, you might easily make that argument for all human social interactions.  We are hypocrites.  We think ourselves special animals yet act no different from all the others.  And so too is Inugami.  He also is aloof and dismissive to the point of being too cool for school which creates unwanted attention.  Playing hero to his hot homeroom teacher (Akiko Aoshika) further creates its own dynamic relationship.  Right now, I am sure that I am making this story sound kind of shallow but I assure you it is not.  There is tremendous depth and character in this narrative.  Inugami’s existence becomes a matter of contemplation for various people in the school.  He will come to mean different things to different people.  Also there is the question of what makes Inugami as a person a noble character.  Is it his innate pride and sense of justice as a wolf or is it that he has a greater humanity that is something different?  Furthermore is the question of why is his existence so meaningful to the people around him.  Although it is the attributes of the wolf that cause him to stick out, a great deal of his shortcomings and problems stem from his very human hypocrisies that he himself comes to ponder.  And the same is to be asked of what makes him a hero. Yes.  He has lycanthropic capabilities such as strength and regeneration but it is this strong love and compassion that he exhibits which draws people closer to him causing them to try and understand what he, as an existence means.

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Wolf Guy (Ookami No Monshou) is an awesome read.  Not for the faint of heart and not for the undered of age.  But it is a truly great narrative that is worth the read if you can handle that last arc.   The problem is that most people will read this review and then go and read other reviews on manga websites and totally misunderstand the story.  Now, I am saying all of this a reader and not the creator but I don’t agree with many in saying that the final arc is complete fan service.  I also want to point out that I am also not into sadistic stuff at all.  But I didn’t find it that way once I made it to the end of the manga.  While I will agree that it was fairly excessive I will say that I thought it brought the story to a head by showing who the true animal was and showing why the werewolf tries his best to restrain his power and anger.  The funny thing is that people are totally fine with brutal depictions of this and that in film, television, and books but somehow so many people who taut themselves as manga fans were quite livid in their repudiation of the more severe scenes in Wolf Guy.  Manga comes in so many different varieties just like other forms of narrative art.  If its not for you then there is no need to moralize.  That’s why I generally only post reviews of narratives I enjoy. Rant.  The person that the protagonist is as a werewolf is still the antithesis or the worst of humanity which is embodied in the antagonist.  And in the end I think that is what the creators were trying to convey.

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