A Cruel God Reigns (残酷な神が支配する,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. The name comes from Al Alvarez's 1972 book, The Savage God: A Study of Suicide. Moto Hagio was awarded the first Osamu Tezuka Culture Award Excellence prize in 1997 for A Cruel God Reigns. 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.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.
Jeremy - Sandra's son, he is sixteen years old at the start of the story.
Sandra - Works in an antique shop, mother to Jeremy. A very emotionally weak person, who attempted suicide when a boyfriend broke up with her when Jeremy was ten.
Greg - An English aristocrat, he proposes to Sandra but tells Jeremy he loves him too, abusing Jeremy and then threatening to leave Sandra unless Jeremy is compliant.
Vivi - Jeremy's girlfriend, at the beginning of the story they are planning to consummate their relationship, but she believes Jeremy to be unfaithful after Jeremy kisses like Greg does. When Jeremy confesses that he is being abused by Greg, Vivi doesn't believe him.
Cass - a classmate of Jeremy's who is rumoured to be prostituting himself.
Ian - Greg's son in his late teens who begins to lust after Jeremy.
Matt - Greg's twelve year old son, withdrawn but loves his dog, Pepe, and Natasha.