Release Dates: January 10, 2020 (Vol. 1), January 9, 2021 (Vol. 2)
Publisher: Libre Publishing (Be Boy Comics Deluxe)
Moto Haruhira’s works are generally a sweet and relaxing read so I naturally picked up this title. She is probably most known for being the manga-ka behind Koketsu Dining (Dining in the Tiger’s Den; Canna Comics) and Mauri to Ryu (Mauri and the Dragon; Be Boy Comics Deluxe). Both tend to be relatively slow paced stories and this one is no different. I just finished reading Vol. 2 so I will review it along with Vol. 1.
Lots of spoilers from here.
In Vol. 1 Rodd, the Captain of the Guard of Town No. 11 goes into the forbidden forest to find his missing friend, Neil, who is a doctor. A wolf finds him on the ground unconscious and drags him to his den in order to eat him. When he is about to bite his throat Rodd puts up a fight and in the process he knock a wolf cub against the wall. The wolf runs up to the cub and Rodd shows that he is concerned for the wolf cub and asks to take a look. Rodd explains that the wolf cub has weak lungs and perhaps medicine would help. Rodd is about to leave when the wolf stops him and in a human voice tells him to wait. The wolf slowly turns into a human and introduces himself at Jeo. He tells Rod that he will help him find his friend. As they go to pick up Rodd’s belonging they run into a strange creature he calls the god of abomination in the forest. Soon Jeo realizes that the person Rodd is looking for is the person he threw off the cliff because the forest spirits had made him act aggressively and attack Jeo and the wolf cub Theo. Jeo falls in love with Rodd, but is unable to tell him that he killed his friend.
Rodd offers to take Jeo to town to get medicine for Theo but Jeo declines. Jeo later asks his human friend and hunter Angie (who has a cottage in the forest for when he spends time there) to look after Theo while he goes into town to get some medicine. And so Jeo goes into town but his money (that he borrowed from Angie) is stolen and soon ends up getting involved with those in the underside of society.
At the end of Volume 1 Rod appears at Kamio’s place (who is the leader of the underworld gang in Town No. 11) to see what bad things he is up to. He is surprised to find Jeo madly attacking people in wolf form. Drug dealers had come to Kamio’s from another town and they grabbed Jeo and gave him a shot of the drug to show its effectiveness. However, Jeo collapses and while in agony, he slowly turned back into a wolf.
In Volume 2, with the help of a bear who can turn into a human like Jeo (and had come with the drug dealer) they escape from the cell they are locked up in. They part ways and Jeo turns back into human form in the alleyway and loses consciousness. Jeo is taken in by a baker named Ricardo who he stays with until he runs out one night. While he is leaving Kamio finds Jeo. We learn here that Ricardo and Kamio seem to be enemies. Jeo runs off and then bumps into Rodd, who has been looking for him. Rodd takes Jeo to his home where Jeo soon tells him that he did not help Rodd but rather killed his friend. He then leaves and goes back to the forest to where Angie and Theo wait.
The story has been progressing super slowly with a good amount of new characters appearing. I have no idea how long this series is going to be. At the end of Volume 2, the mayor of the town tells Rod that they must go into the forest and kill the beasts that have been endangering them. I sense danger for both sides in Vol. 3 especially because the forest are full of the “ghosts of god”, but we probably won’t know about it until it comes out (or if you follow it in Be Boy Magazine) hopefully in January of next year.
As mentioned, there are new characters (including Boss the bulldog) introduced in Vol. 2 and we find out about the various relationships. I’d like to see where some of these conflicts end up and how it will play a role in the story. Right now there are so many possibilities for the storyline and nothing has been solved. Some characters we haven’t learned much about them. An example is Bibi, who works at the brothel and passes information onto Kamio. Another is Ron who seemed to have been buying drugs from Kamio in the past but now lives in Ricardo’s building.
Jeo on the other hand isn’t accustomed to the human world and has spent most of his time as a wolf in the forest. He seems a bit like a child when talking and in the way he acts, but is very warm-hearted. This is reflected in the tone of the manga and is not overtaken by the serious incidents of the story. In other words he is very simple-minded and innocent and is not accustomed to the kind of dangers and negative aspects of the human world. He certainly does not understand that you can’t buy one medicine for everything and the condition of the patient is necessary to prescribe medicine. But he truly cares for Theo with all his heart. On the other hand Rodd is a calm and very mature character who seems to care for and show interest in Jeo. Yet he seems to run into a lot of unfortunate situations and keeps missing the chance to talk to Jeo in town until the end of Vol. 2. Volumes 1 and 2 are generally Jeo learning about the human world and an introduction to the world of this story, but Vol.3 will most likely take place in the forest. The series is quite tame so you will find almost nothing when it comes to explicit scenes.
The title translates to “The Wolf that is not Human.”
Cover images from Amazon Japan.