Wolf God, Vol. 1
written by Ai Tenkawa
The Inugami wolf pack is an ancient tribe descended from the union of a wolf and human. The role of the alpha male and tribe leader is passed down to the most capable son. Now with the pack leader on death's door, a new alpha must be crowned. Kokuyo is supposed to take on this role, but had left the tribe to explore the world years ago. Now it is up to his younger brother Kyounosuke to seek him out.
Kyounosuke heads into the city where he finds the air both overloaded with scents and overwhelming with pollution, causing him to fall ill. Fortunately, he soon comes across a helpful, carefree girl named Koyuki. For some strange reason, she carries Kokuyo's scent.
Koyuki takes care of Kyounosuke as he struggles with acclimating to the new environment, both physically and socially. Not only that, but a rival tribe member and a scorned lover are out to get him. Kyounosuke must prove that he can dominate in order to command obedience.
Delving deeper into the mystery, Kyounosuke and Koyuki learn that his brother had been reported dead. Using an attuned spirit whistle, Kyounosuke immediately realizes that his brother is not dead and his grave is a fake. The search must continue.
Just as Koyuki thinks Kyounosuke is moving on, never to be seen again, she quickly discovers that this is only the beginning...
Wolf God volume 1 is a solid manga for those looking to transition into the medium. The story is appealing to both male and female audiences without being too silly as some series often begin before they become serious. The plot is straightforward, but offers several twists and turns to keep things interesting. The mythology is original, clear, and easy to understand.
What also makes this a good transitional series is the very distinguishable art style. Ai Tenkawa uses very thick, deliberate lines as seen in western pieces such as Scott Pilgrim, but still maintains the classic huge Japanese eyes. This grants the series a modern, almost pop-art accent.
So far, Wolf God is off to a solid start. There is plenty of action to keep casual readers interested while providing an interesting enough plot to keep more intellectual readers stimulated. The story provides incentive to keep reading, but hopefully it will continue to grow without falling to the trap of repetitious plot devices.