| Moto Hagio|
| March 19, 1993 – August 20, 2001|
Thomas no Shinzō, Poe no Ichizoku, Kaze to Ki no Uta, Marginal, Bitter Virgin
A Cruel God Reigns (Japanese: 残酷な神が支配する, Hepburn: Zankokuna Kami ga Shihai Suru, aka. "A Cruel God Rules in Heaven") is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Moto Hagio. The manga was serialized in Shogakukan's josei manga magazine, Petit Flower. Moto Hagio was awarded the first Osamu Tezuka Culture Award Excellence prize in 1997 for A Cruel God Reigns.
A Cruel God Reigns Wikipedia
The story follows the ordeals Jeremy endures at the hands of his sexually-abusive stepfather, Greg. He does not tell his emotionally unstable mother for fear of destroying her dream of a happy marriage, but tampers with the brakes in his stepfather's car, killing his stepfather and accidentally killing his mother too. The stepfather's older son Ian begins to suspect Jeremy of involvement in his father's death, and tries to get him to confess.
Hagio describes her impetus to write the story thusly: "Because of my problems with my parents, I did a lot of reading about psychology and counseling. Among those stories were a lot about stories about sexual abuse. I always had a hard time understanding why other members of the family, particularly the mother, does not step in and help. In order to search for the answer to this question, I started that story. [... ] I had the idea, but it was such a dark, heavy story, it took me 10 years to find a way to put it into manga form. When I started A Cruel God Reigns, I told the editor it would probably last two years, but it took a lot longer; it took nine years [to finish the series]." Hagio found that Julian (Ian) in particular was difficult to characterise. The name comes from Al Alvarez's 1972 book, The Savage God: A Study of Suicide.Jeremy - The main character, Sandra's son. He is fifteen years old at the beginning of the story.
Sandra - Works in an antique shop, mother to Jeremy. A very emotionally weak person who attempted suicide when her husband died (Jeremy was ten at the time), and tries to do so again when Jeremy is sixteen.
Greg - An English aristocrat, he proposes to Sandra but tells Jeremy that he loves him as well, abusing Jeremy and then threatening to leave and/or turn the abuse on Sandra unless Jeremy is compliant.
Vivi - Jeremy's girlfriend. In the beginning of the story, they are planning to consummate their relationship, but she believes Jeremy to be unfaithful after Jeremy kisses like Greg has taught him. When Jeremy confesses that he was raped, Vivi doesn't believe him.
Cass - a classmate of Jeremy's who is rumoured to be prostituting himself.
Ian - Greg's eldest son, in his late teens. A popular and successful student whose life has been interrupted by Jeremy's presence, he is torn between his discovery of Jeremy's culpability and his own growing attraction, and eventually the knowledge of his own father's misdeeds as well.
Matt - Greg's twelve-year-old son, withdrawn but loves his dog, Pepe, and his aunt Natasha.
Aunt Karen - Jeremy's father's sister.
Hannah - Maid at Greg's mansion.
Natasha - Lilya's older sister.
Lilya - Greg's late wife, mother to Ian and Matt.
Nadia - A kindhearted organist who is drawn into a love triangle with Jeremy and Ian.
Dr. Orson - A retired psychotherapist with whom Jeremy seeks council.
Shogakukan published the manga's 17 tankōbon volumes between March 19, 1993 and August 20, 2001, having decided to bring the series to a close in September 2000. After completing A Cruel God Reigns, Hagio took a year's hiatus from manga. The manga was republished into 10 kanzenban volumes between October 15, 2004 and February 15, 2005.