Title: Revolutionary Fighter Inudo Sadao (革命戦士 犬童貞男)Serialized in: Young Magazine, Volume 46 2011-Volume 52 2012
Art and Story by: Sasaki Shohei (佐々木昇平)
Genre: Gag Gekiga Unleashed
What It’s About
The source of superpowers are just as inventive as their application. Superman draws his strength from Earth’s yellow sun; Green Lantern, a ring limited only by his imagination. Or in the case of Sadao the Dog Boy, from a lifetime of pent-up sexual frustration.
His intense nerd rage triggered something primal deep within, unlocking his inner altered beast to transform him into a full-blown man-canine hybrid, fleshy muzzle and all. Vengeance will be his.
Following the bloody break-in of a television station, he hijacks the airwaves to declare war between the animal kingdom and their human oppressors. The crime—betrayal and ignorance. The punishment—extinction. With the exception of his junior high school crush, Yuri. No, she has a responsibility to watch the world burn. And let Sadao lap up the scent of a woman with his hyper-sensitive bloodhound nose, if you know what I mean.
Not if their former classmate Yuji
Why It’s Awesome
Pomeranians go feral! Wild geese kamikaze into men’s eye sockets! Dingos eat babies! It’s a Tokyo Jungle out there, with a revolving-door cast of squishy humans as the prey.
The opening pages tease the reader with the would-be protagonist of a typical school comedy. Sixteen-year old Miku just moved to a new town and she’s running late on the first day of class. Chikuwa fish sausage flopping out of her mouth as a surrogate piece of toast, this walking cliche bursts out of the house and slams headlong into trouble—not the hunky upperclassmen she’s destined to fall in love with, but the waiting maw of a horse-sized Rottweiler!
Revolutionary Fighter Inudo Sadao, a pun that can be read as "virgin dog-boy," sets itself apart from the pack right out of the starting gates. While its name draws on classic surrealist titles such as Sexy Commando, this isn't a gag manga for the faint of heart. The excessive gore, bone-crunching violence, and throbbing red rockets mixed with smarmy satire and cherry boy humor brings it closer in line with the so-bad-it's-good heta-uma fare by Koizumi Tomohiro or Hanakuma Yusaku. Except while these authors hide behind a sketchy veneer of insincerity, author Sasaki throws it all out there in graphic detail.
Which isn't to say that it’s all grindhouse-style exploitation. There’s cliche, though complex dynamics between the three main characters. Yuji has always felt sorry for the insecure Sadao and wants to believe that there’s good in his twisted heart, even after the dog-boy makes mincemeat of a live studio audience. Sadao pines for Yuri, though his super-human strength doesn't include the courage to be honest with his feelings. And Yuri blames herself for the unfolding tragedy for seeing Yuji behind Sadao’s back.
It’s as heartrending as Macross. Or, with its former-schoolmate-turned-megalomaniac angle, a superior version of 20th Century Boys that delivers all the emotional suspense and payoff in its two volumes that Urasawa couldn’t force out in twenty.
Why It Won’t Come Out in English
What, you mean aside from the scenes of borderline bestiality? If anything I’d consider those a bonus for the book’s target audience—readers who appreciate realistic art blackened by dense hatchwork and blood spray ala Fist of the North Star, madcap contemporary humor like heta-uma but better, and terse Eisner-quality storytelling.
Unfortunately, filter this number down to the number of people actually willing to throw down cash on the underdog and you can squeeze potential buyers into a medium-sized convention center. Who has time to waste translating, marketing, and distributing a one-shot from an artist without any other exploitable titles? If that person is you, by all means do the humane thing and knock on Kodansha’s doors asking to adopt this mutt before it gets put to sleep.