Hagio Moto, Zankokuna Kami ga Shihai Suru (1 vol. of 15)
The setting is modern Boston. Jeremy is the fairly normal teenage son of a widow who owns an antique shop. Things seem to be going well when his mother meets a well-to-do English businessman; they fall in love and get engaged. But of course, things are never that simple. Greg, Jeremy's soon-to-be-stepfather, starts sexually abusing the boy.
This is a very complicated manga for me to review because…to me, nearly everything has a certain level of 'art' and a certain level of 'enjoyment.' They usually aren't very far apart, but in this case there's a great deal of distance between them. Hagio Moto is an amazing artist, and I don't mean that in the sense that she draws pretty pictures. Rather, she's extremely talented at evoking emotions from the reader without making it seem contrived and manipulative. On the other hand, the emotions that she makes you feel are really not happy ones. And with this manga, it's somehow impossible to dissociate it from reality in the same way I can with other darkish series like Angel Sanctuary—that may be because of the setting, or it may have more to do with the author's purpose. Still, I want to read more, because it's so well written and I do feel suspense about what's going to happen next. I really admire Hagio for dealing with a serious topic in a serious way, while injecting enough reality into it for it not to seem like she's hitting you over the head with what she's trying to say. This is a disturbing work, and one that's definitely for mature readers only, but just from the first volume it seems like it'll be worth it.