Monday, July 27, 2009

Manga Monday: Black Bird

Black Bird (Volume 1)
Kanoko Sakurakoji
Misao is a high school girl with issues. She's always been seen by her peers as strange because she's constantly zoning out and tripping over herself. But there's a reason for these episodes: ever since she was young, Misao has been attuned to a world around her that most humans don't see, that of the supernatural world. Most demons seem to be just mischievous little things that do their best to embarrass Misao or cause her to injure herself in minor ways, but there are demons who take more of an interest in Misao and it gets quite dangerous for her. This all occurs because Misao is the bride of prophecy, and if she marries a demon, that demon's clan will prosper. However, a greedy demon may eat her to keep that power and strength for himself. Misao's dilemma is that she met a boy when she was young, Kyo, who protected her and vowed to come back for her. And as she's attacked by a demon for her blood, he returns to save her (and lick her wounds to heal them) before asking for her hand in marriage. But Misao doesn't want to be married because of what she it, and refuses him as demons become more aware of what she is, and she must depend on Kyo's protection more than ever.
I really like the premise of the book, and the characters are all pretty admirable in their own ways. Even a handsome antagonist that comes in about halfway through the volume becomes a cool character with a neat dynamic with the others, making for quite an interesting story on both an action level and a romantic level. There's also quite a bit of comedy speckled throughout the book that works very well, particularly surrounding Kyo's servant or the ghosts surrounding Misao. The art is typical shojo-fare, but executed well. I like the airy spirits that Sakurakoji incorporates into the book and some of the demon designs. There are also a lot of black feathers floating along the pages, as Kyo's true form is of a humanoid black bird (thus the title). I think it's kind of tough for a writer to toe that line of keeping her heroine's love nearby, but at arm's length so everything isn't too perfect, but so far in Black Bird, the creator manages to do just that, although I don't know how much longer we can keep seeing Misao deny what she truly wants. But overall, this is a nice, fresh take on supernatural romance.

1 comment:

Laura said...

I'm so glad to see a more positive review of this, Dave. Many of the recent ones give it a negative light. I personally loved it! Thanks!