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Zankoku na Kami ga Shihaisuru  
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Zankoku na Kami ga Shihaisuru portrays the tale of two step-brothers - Jeremy and Ian, as they strive to discover their separate paths towards redemption.
Jeremy, a sensitive but outgoing 17 year old, is delighted to hear the news of his neurotic and excitable mother's remarriage to a wealthy British man. However, much to his horror, his sweet-talking new step-father Greg, soon begins to exhibit a disturbing trait...he is a sadistic pedophile and loses no time in making Jeremy his target. Months of horrific, systematic abuse drives Jeremy to desperation; he sabotages his step-father's car with the hope of eliminating him. The resulting accident, however, kills his mother along with Greg.
Jeremy's shocked and guilt-stricken behaviour arouses the suspicions of Greg's free-spirited son, Ian. He unearths enough evidence to tie his step-brother to the crime; but in doing so, also discovers the details of Greg's sexual abuse of Jeremy.
Caught in a moral dilemma -- between punishing the criminal and atoning for his father's sins, Ian soon finds himself haunted by lust for Jeremy. Is it lust...or love? He wonders whether he shares his father's proclivities, but finds himself helpless to resist being drawn into a passionate and painful relationship with Jeremy.

Note: Won the first Osamu Tezuka Culture Award Excellence prize in 1997.


Related Series

Associated Names
A Cruel God Reigns
A Cruel God Reigns in Heaven
A Cruel God Rules in Heaven
A Savage God Reigns
After Us, the Savage God
Zankoku na Kami ga Shihai Suru

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.17 c.86 (end) by carfish (1389d ago)
v.17 c.85 by carfish (1452d ago)
v.17 c.84 by carfish (1564d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
17 Volumes (Tankoubon - Complete)
10 Volumes (Bunkouban - Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews

3 topics, 15 posts
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User Rating
Average: 8.9 / 10.0 (400 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.72 / 10.0
 53% (210 votes)
 19% (74 votes)
 13% (53 votes)
 8% (31 votes)
 2% (7 votes)
 2% (8 votes)
 1% (3 votes)
 1% (3 votes)
 1% (4 votes)
 2% (7 votes)

Last Updated
May 17th 2017, 7:43pm PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Petit Flower (Shougakukan)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #359 increased(+61)
Monthly Pos #475 increased(+30)
3 Month Pos #509 decreased(-48)
6 Month Pos #484 decreased(-26)

List Stats
On 725 reading lists
On 691 wish lists
On 421 completed lists
On 47 unfinished lists
On 420 custom lists

Note: You must be logged in to update information on this page.

Forum Posts
Thoughts and reactions 725 days, 3 hours, 28 minutes ago
Jeremy look alike IMO 1966 days, 12 hours, 12 minutes ago
Painful to read 2704 days, 2 hours, 4 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by time added ]

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A Must Read   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by naikan
February 15th, 2009, 2:10pm
After reading all 17 volumes in the span of one day, I must say that this manga is truly wonderful. It is very well developed, in terms of plot and characters, and the balance between the two story arcs (as divided by the prologue) is quite fitting. Although the last two volumes started dragging a tiny tiny bit, the ending was overall satisfying and just the right mixture of realism and romance.

If you are looking for happy smut, you should probably skip this, but if you are looking for a realistic and well-developed drama, plus an intense emotional rollercoaster, you will probably enjoy this manga as much as I did. Highly recommended.
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Rating: N/A
by beloved828
November 3rd, 2009, 6:34pm
I could go on forever about how incredible "A Cruel God Reigns" is, but I'll try to keep it short. This series has it all for angst-lovers and shounen-ai fans. The writing is beautiful, the art is exceptional, and the characters are believable and relatable. As the summary says, this series won the first-ever Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize Award for Excellence. It fully deserves it. This is what BL should be. "A Cruel God Reigns" deserves a lot more recognition than it's gotten by North American manga fans. I am extremely grateful to The Pink Panzer for scanlating this and bringing it to us.

A warning, though. There is NO fluff here. What the main character experiences is truly horrific, and not easy to watch. There is also no explicit sex. Many of the sex scenes are rape/abuse. They aren't gratuitous, though. They are an essential part of the story and if you can get through them, it's worth it.
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This brought me back...   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by cakesNpie
December 3rd, 2013, 1:25am
This manga was sadly all too familiar to me.The author did an excellent job with the realistic depiction of Jeremy's situation, and while I won't bore you with a sob story of my adolescent youth, I will admit that I, too, was a victim of physical, verbal, emotional and sexual abuse from my mother's second spouse and his daughter. Many things (the courtship of the mother, the two faced step-father, the manipulation of Jeremy, the insistence of love, etc.) paralleled my own life experiences.At times while I read I felt sick, and sometimes I wanted to cry but I could not turn away. I must say that I am not a fan of the art. It's not especially aesthetically pleasing, though the artist has their own style and the content of the story far outweighs my dislike for the art.

As far as the physical abuse being "too long" for 400 pages... those 400 pages might have taken 2 hours to read though - try living through it for 6 years.

... Last updated on December 3rd, 2013, 1:25am
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Award-winning isn't a joke.   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Rae-Rae
January 7th, 2012, 4:35am
Do not let this one pass you by(especially good for those who like a good plot). I have to say that this was one of the best and might be my favorite manga of all time. It just makes me think, like really think about the character's predicament and I just feel so much for all of them. If I were to be asked if there's a manga that had the most "life" I would hands down choose this one. I felt very pulled into the story as if I were there sometimes, although this might be due to my excessive imagination.
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Rating: N/A
by lialah
December 28th, 2011, 5:52am
A dark but incredibly addictive manga. As weird as this may seem, it's very rare to see any type of manga which dosent glorify sexualised violence in any way. A Cruel God Reigns is such a manga. Rather, we see the impacts of the abuse on Jeremy over a period of time and the psychological toll it takes on his bright, considerate and happy personality.

Speaking of Jeremy's mother and stepfather, wow, I don't think I've ever wanted a characters to die as much as I did these two! haha. But really, its saying something when a character rouses a reader to feel that way. The abuse greg inflicts on Jeremy is horrific, and even his mother is abusive in her own way as she manipulates Jeremy in such a way that he feels he has to stay for her welfare even during the abuse.

Seriously, this is so worth reading I can not even begin to describe it.
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Rating: N/A
by spikebaby
January 7th, 2011, 1:35pm
Everything the main character goes through is believable and not used for shock value. It's on the realistic side of sexual abuse and actually very disturbing. It's a very emotional and suspenseful manga, I'm excited to see what happens next. It's also a classic so more people should read it. It's well-written with wonderful art, I love all Moto Hagio's works but this is the best.
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Perfect insanity   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Sky Cross
April 16th, 2012, 7:38pm
Wow. This is the best psychological story I've ever read. You can see Jeremy going insane very slowly, chapter after chapter. It's poetically dark and painful. It hurt when I read it, but it was so insanely enticing, so deep and bottomless. The secrets, the symbolism, the weirdness of Jeremy's words as he starts to lose it, it all sucks you in and you can't let go.

This is so much better than any regular manga. This is the stuff that stays with you forever.
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Oriolidae
July 6th, 2012, 4:52am
This is by far one of the most horrible manga stories I've read, but also one of the best.

I was completely dragged in by the story. It's cruel, vomit-inducing and depressing, but it's so beautifully executed. This is a believable (though extreme) tale of sexual abuse and the darkest parts of society. Truly disheartening. It's so sad to see Jeremy slowly fall into despair and insanity. How his personality changes.

This manga is heavy. It's an emotional roller coaster that swings between complete loss of hope and short periods of improvement, just to swing into despair again.

This is ugly and painful, but it's also an incredibly beautiful story. Not for the faint-hearted. But for someone who can tolerate dark stories, this is an amazing read. I ended up reading the 12 scanlated volumes in a day, and even if it's heavy, it's so absorbing that you just need to read on.

I definitely recommend it. Truly. It's probably on my top 5 of favorite mangas.

... Last updated on July 6th, 2012, 2:26pm
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Amazing Art and Characters   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Babywallaby
April 29th, 2015, 4:15pm
I don't know why everyone's saying the art of this manga isn't great because to me the 1970's art style is genius. Jeremy reminds me of a roman statue; beautiful, androgynous, seemingly strong yet fragile like he could break at a touch. the visual character progression is well done as well. It's not necessarily an age progression because the story only takes place over about a year or two but more like a state of mind progression where the characters gradually become more and more mentally unstable. honestly, I wish there were more characters in other mangas who look like jeremy with his sad angelic face.

The story itself is gut wrenching depressing and surprisingly familiar to me. I'm not exaggerating when
I say that this manga literally changed my life, hopefully for the better. It resurfaced memories I never knew I had as well as a past I didn't know existed, maybe because I was able to connect to Jeremy so well. The author was able to pinpoint all of the feelings a victim of abuse experiences. Guilt, shame, anger, depression, a feeling of insanity, of breaking into pieces. I don't think I can express how much jeremy, a fictional character of all people, means to me. So, as you can tell the character development is extraordinary.

As you can probably assume by now, this story is not for the weak hearted but I encourage that even if you don't like sad mangas to read it because I feel it is an important read. It accurately deals with the subject of sexual abuse and a victims struggle. So, if you ever wanna feel more in tune to others' experiences, read this manga! In conclusion 10 out of 10, will read again.
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Just perfect   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by CuthienSilmeriel
May 29th, 2013, 6:08am
Really, I cannot praise this enough. It is heartbreakingly sad, and disturbingly realistic, in its portrayal of Jeremy as a young, naive victim, and Ian as a well-meaning but completely out-of-his-depth supporter.

People who complain that it is too angsty, too heavy, or that the actions of the characters were cowardly or nonsensical simply do not understand what it is like to be abused and completely powerless to stop it. It is actually quite insulting to suggest that Jeremy's behaviour is overly dramatically or irrational given the depth of the trauma he has, and I can only attribute such callousness to the sickening frequency with which "rape = love" is used as a plot device in yaoi manga, because in real life, abuse victims act like Jeremy. Not always, but a damn sight more often than the all-too-commonly-seen yaoi reaction of "You raped me, and I felt violated and ashamed, but now you told me you love me I understand and forgive you. Let's be together forever! And sure you can ostracise me from all my friends and family, because you love me." This is a serious manga, and such reactions should never be taken seriously. If this bothers you, don't read this manga.

Jeremy's downward spiral is very authentic. He is a young boy who has grown up with a suicidal mother pushing all her burdens onto a small child (think about it, she woke him up in the middle of the night when he was 10 years old to show him her slit wrists for Heaven's sake!). His father has died, so he alone became responsible for keeping his mother on track, even calling her Sandra to sound less like a son. When Greg comes along, he is dealing with all this and going through the generally painful teenage years. He is told "sleep with me or your mother will die", and when he refuses, Greg breaks up with his mother who promptly tries to kill herself again. So he does. This is just the first example of how Greg, ever so skilfully and slowly managed to box Jeremy into a corner until speaking out becomes impossible, finding help is unthinkable, and running away would be akin to murdering his own mother. Greg is very practised at exercising his domination and sadistic abuse over his victims in such a way that he holds their weakness and they feel compelled to keep silent.

On top of all this, he is in a new country, with a new school and new family, so he has absolutely no one to rely on, no one who knows him well enough to recognise the warning signs bar his mother, who is too screwed herself to actually be a good mother to her son and admit that the man she loves is abusing him. The new family around Jeremy isn't of help because how are they to know that he has become withdrawn when they only met him after the abuse started? Besides, Greg has managed to psychologically screw with everyone in the household in some way so they believe every word he says and follow him despite knowing how violent he can be. After everything he goes through Jeremy is shattered emotionally, and can only deal with the trauma by repeating it (a very common phenomenon actually). Cue Ian's clumsy attempts to heal wounds he cannot possibly understand after ripping them wider, and you have a very touching emotional manga.

... Last updated on March 11th, 2014, 9:23am
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