Black Bird 4
March 29, 2010
Kanako Sakurakoji – Viz – 2010 – 9+ volumes
I know I say this every time, but I really do forget how much I like this series between volumes. It’s not exactly a compelling story (the plot is still just Misao and Kyo angsting about whether or not they can be together), but its one of the best series I’ve seen for living in the moment, and there’s just the right balance of steam, angst, and bits of violence to make it a really compelling shoujo series.
The documents that Kyo’s clan made off with aren’t all that helpful in trying to figure out whether Misao will be “spirited away” if they marry, but they do determine that the love-making parts are a-ok. So the story turns steamier as Misao wrestles with her conscience and libido about whether or not she should have sex with Kyo. These parts are pretty well-done, for being about a teenage girl trying to figure out if she wants to have sex with a bird demon. Her character rings pretty true, and Kyo does his part as well.
Then a problem comes up in the kitsune clan, and it turns out the new head is Kyo’s best friend for years. Of course, they are destined to kill each other for Misao, so they are no longer friends, a fact that hurts Kyo and Misao deeply. Twisting the knife a bit, Misao meets another girl who can see spirits who turns out to be the kitsune’s girlfriend. Lots and lots and lots of angsting through these parts. There is a climax at the end of the volume, but someone out for Misao also implies that the parts of the Maiden legend Kyo is unfamiliar with reveal why it’s a bad idea for demons and humans to be together, so there is still trouble, and the two again have a reason not to have sex.
The plot is slow, and not terribly original, but again, it’s the characters, the steam, and the fights that really make the volumes fast reads. Another thing is the perfectly placed humor to break the monotony. This volume has the single best scene that was never in a yaoi manga, where a young Kyo and kitsune demon bond over a shared teenage love of porn, complete with nonsensical porno title “Pirates of the Lesbian.” I have to wonder if that scene inspired any doujinshi for this series. It probably did.
Anyway, great stuff. The plot isn’t such that it leaves me wanting for the next volume, but I’m certainly going to pick it up and enjoy it when it comes out. It’s pretty good mature shoujo, for what it is.
This was a review copy provided by Viz.