In the time that has passed since Inugami has been published, I haven’t ever come across a story quite like it. Elements of the story (genetic take-over) have been used in a variety of other series—manga, books, movies—but they’ve never been quite so impacting.
Inugami never dawdles over its own arcs, it never introduces any elements that aren’t resolved and it never contradicts itself. Each element is explained and there’s no way you can be confused about what’s happening.
Inugami is a perfect example of the horror genre, with a mix of action and thriller thrown in.
Being published mostly in the 90’s, Inugami’s art style is exactly what you expect—realistic, proportionate, even familiar. Masaya Hokazono, the artist, is exceptional in his attention to detail in the two-page spreads, and even in some single-panel shots. Characters covered in fur, trees, even the high-rise buildings are drawn with every single crease or line added in.
The normal human characters aren’t anything special, but I found I even recoiled in horror (teehee) when they were in pain. The blood and gore scenes are especially…entertaining…with body parts flying everywhere and blood splattered on each surface nearby.
Inugami’s characters are nice, but they aren’t great when you come to think of it. They just fulfil the roles they were given, but don’t do much else. We are told to feel something for even minor characters, but I had to flick back a few pages to try and remember whom they were.
The main characters, Fumiki, 23 and the bad dude, are all that really matter in Inugami. Fumiki changes and evolves as the series progresses, seeming mature in some parts, but quite childish in others. In the final few volumes, characters became quite repetitive and I skimmed over some dialogue.
I wanted to find horror and I found what I wanted in Inugami. This series took me down a path that I had only been down once before (The Fury by John Farris) and sated my need for violence and horror. I waited with baited breath, watching how everyone would react to one thing and how they would deal with crisis.
When the ending came, I felt gratified to have read something so fulfilling.