Sunday, 7 February 2010

Black Bird Manga

I first heard about Black Bird after it was awarded the 2009 Shogakukan Shoujo Manga Award and tried to search for the chapters sometime last year but the english translations were late to appear. Being jap illiterate and not so interested that i had to search for the chinese translations, i left it at that and hoped that the chapters would appear soon.
Sooo... i was rather delighted when i saw finally saw the english translations up on a few manga sites. Alas, my happiness was quickly replaced by disappointment after reading up to chapter 7. Perhaps due to the award, i expected more from the plot and certain reviews i read made me wonder why some people like Black Bird so much when it's...... nothing extremely spectacular D=

Misao is a teenage girl who has the unfortunate ability to see spirits and ghouls since young. After Misao's 16th birthday, the spirits and what nots started to harm her and in comes Kyo, Misao's long lost childhood friend and first love she can't seem to forget or remember clearly, to the rescue. It turns out Misao is the bride of prophecy, whose blood gives power to the demon clan who claims her. She also finds out that Kyo reappeared to claim her as his wife after becoming the head of the Tengu clan (aka crow aka black bird)
And so after a few chapters they get together officially but things aren't smooth sailing as Misao faces a dilemma to leave everything precious behind and become the Tengu's wife or enjoy the company of her family and friends but cause trouble for Kyo.

Pheeefffsh i hate summaries and the last sentence isnt completely accurate but you'll understand when you read the manga.

The drawings are average and rather pleasing to the eye with no shortage of bishies though Kyo looks cross eyed in many scenes X__X arrrgh it really spoils the mood when he's supposed to look dashing or drop dead gorgeous. It's a teeny weeny small problem really, but it bugs me alot!

Also, i dislike the sexual references which appear too often and are too bluntly placed, especially in the earlier chapters. Eg: Kyo's ablility to heal Misao's wounds by licking her, kissing to give energy/revive...... And the way the mangaka draws these situations makes me uncomfortable and not at all fangirly. I mean if these are supposed to be fan services, it's not working for me =(

Still there are definitely squeal worthy parts in the manga, like the 8 Great Tengus under Kyo's command 5 of which are all bishies and mysteriously alluring *faints* the other 3 are amazingly adorable chibis *melts* XD most of the parts i squeal at are the funny and cute parts not directly related to Kyo and Misao's relationship. What's the point of reading a shoujo manga then, when you are not interested in the relationship between the male and female protagonists. Sigh....

I've fallen prey... to the one in glasses XD Zenki kun~~

One last point (though i have many more) is regarding the Black Bird manga covers. What's with the strange cover illustrations of Kyo 'torturing' Misao???!! I don't get it, i don't exactly see Kyo as an abusive lover in the series though at times he was mean to Misao was in chapter 2 or 3 when he made Misao admit to needing him to survive by flying with her high up in the sky and then threatening to let go (or something like that) and in chapter 9 while healing her head injury. Still, it doesn't strike me that they have an abusive relationship in general. Again... if it's the mangaka's plot to attract readers by giving such an impression, she must have some pretty strange target audiences in mind.

Whooooopps i seem to have painted a terribly bleak picture of Black Bird.. i didnt mean to! Seriously Black Bird is a decent shoujo manga which a strong fan base and i plan to continue reading it. I'm pretty sure the reason why i have so little positive things to write is due to having too high expectations and the silly fan service (or whatever it's meant to be) which irritated the bile out of my liver and made me immune to the romance in this series