Black Bird 14

February 14, 2013

Kanako Sakurakoji – Viz – 2012 – 19 volumes

Oh maaaan. Black Bird. I thought it ended at volume 16. Well… can’t stop reading now, can I?

Actually, things are looking up in this volume. The fight between Kyo and Sho ends in this volume, which is the main reason I was happy. It was surprisingly dark for a shoujo manga, even for this series. Black Bird is fairly dark, but the characters always seem to seek out the path of least violence and resistance.

Hm. I’m not quite sure how to explain my feelings on this. I do actually like this series a lot because it’s darker and, admittedly, because it’s a little more smutty than most shoujo manga. We get both of those things in this volume, as the dark ending leads to more smut later. Which is interesting, since that never happens in shoujo manga, and is a bonus if you’re into that kind of thing. But man. I just cannot get into the story. I think that whole Tengu Clan leader storyline permanently soured me to the rest of it. A shame, because the second half of the volume seems to be getting things back on track to the whole Senka Maide/Kyo Will Kill Misao thing, which is way more interesting. But… I just can’t bring myself to care about Kyo or Misao, which sours the whole thing.

Maybe I’ll begin liking it again in volume 15, when the action and family politics hopefully take a back seat to the Kyo/Misao relationship. Unfortunately, one of the other things I don’t like about it is the fact that there are so many characters involved with the main storyline. All action seems to involve all seven of Kyo’s bodyguards, their backstory, and their kin, and I just can’t be bothered to care or to keep them all straight. I’d like it much better if things were pared down. But maybe that will be the case, since hopefully things will be less action-oriented now. Fingers crossed, it will delve more into mythology, which would suit my tastes perfectly.

I hate getting so down on this series, but… I mean, it’s not like I have high expectations for it. It’s always been a guilty pleasure, but it became a chore to read lately, and I do want to like it. Here’s hoping next volume will bring me what I want.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

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