Canis -Dear Mr. Rain-
The Edge Comix lineup adds yet another striking cover with the release of Canis -Dear Mr. Rain-. Similar to Tokyo Shinjuu, this manga is the first tankoubon release of a new artist, Zakk. The manga is about two very different people, their pasts, and how their futures will intertwine.
Kutsuna Satoru is a 29 year old man who works as a hatter. He’s talented and passionate, but he can be difficult and has a hard time retaining workers. After deciding to throw an event at his store at the last minute, he desperately needs a model lest he risk losing his last two loyal workers. Luckily, he stumbles upon one in the rain.
Kutsuna picks up the young man and takes him home as if he were some abandoned, lost puppy. This imagery is not lost on Kutsuna because the young man’s mannerisms remind him of his old dog and this seems to bring his guard down.
The young man is Kashiba Ryou and he recently came to Japan from New York. When asked for the reason, Ryou merely states “in order to die.” Kutsuna thinks it’s an odd foreigner’s idea of a joke and brushes it off. The story often contrasts the two men–they are 10 years apart in age and come from very different walks of life. Fragments of flashbacks are sprinkled in the story, giving some insight into their pasts.
It’s soon apparent that Ryou’s happy, shiny attitude is a veneer covering a troubled past. He was abandoned by his parents and after their deaths, he joined up with the mafia in New York. Thinking he found a place he could belong, he was once again left behind and is now trying to take care of his final business.
Things end up being not as final as he thought and a battered Ryou is once again picked up by Kutsuna. Kutsuna uses the expensive hospital bills as an excuse to keep Ryou around. He has a hard time admitting he’s drawn to Ryou. This isn’t one-sided and the two seem fairly comfortable around each other. They create a happy home life, not unlike a dog and his owner (besides the shared toothbrush scene–fucking GROSS), but there are moments in which we’re reminded that this is a BL manga.
The scenes manage to be electric while not stifling the rest of the story development. The romance aspect is a slow burn.
My favorite thing about the manga is definitely the art. The style is very distinct with sharp, angular faces, expressive eyes, and fun, curly hair.
The story feels a bit underdeveloped, but that’s because it’s not over. Although this manga isn’t labeled “Volume 1,” the sequel (Canis -Dear Hatter-) is currently serialized in Opera magazine. A short extra chapter at the end of -Dear Mr. Rain- sets the scene: Ryou’s shady past is resurfacing and the relationship between Kutsuna and Ryou is going to get complicated. It feels like things are just getting started, so I’ll definitely be back for the second tankoubon.