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There is a world of myth and magic that intersects ours, and only a special few can see it. Misao Harada is one such person, and she wants nothing to do with magical realms. She just wants to have a normal high school life and maybe get a boyfriend.
But she is the bride of demon prophecy, and her blood grants incredible powers, her flesh immortality. Now the demon realm is fighting over the right to her hand...or her life!
Black Bird received the 54th Shogakukan Manga Award for shoujo manga.
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I really like this manga. The characters are pretty good and the story is nice. I like Misao because, even if she's weak (can't help it, every shoujo female protagonist are super weak ¬¬) she isn't a crybaby who can't do anything, I mean, she's protected by Kyo, yes, but she wants to help him too, she wants to be useful, and that's not very common in shoujo mangas. The artwork is really wonderful too. I won't say that is the best manga neither that's the worst. There are a lot of different opinions and I recommend you to read it, that way you'll know if you like it or not.
I usually read the opinions because I like to know what others thinks, and I always respect that opinions, but this time I read one that shocked me. One of the things said in this opinion is this "I don't mind stories with super possessive/abusive boyfriends and weak submissive girlfriends, what I mind is when this sort of relationship is viewed as romantic. And in this case it is." Well, first of all I will say is that in my opinion this romance isn't creepy, and I don't think that I'm a creeper too ¬¬ (this goes for a comment made in this opinion too). Well, the thing is that in this manga the sex is rather 'important', Kyo wants to have sex (HE'S A MAN, YOU KNOW?) but, like in a lot of shoujo mangas, the female is 'scared' (she's the typical innocent protagonist). Throught the chapters we can see situations where he tries to do it but this doesn't mean that he treates her like an object (or so I think, or what, when you have a boyfriend you don't want to do it with him? I think that sex is a very normal thing in a relationship, and wanting to do it with the person you love is NORMAL too) But what shocked me the most is that don't minding "stories with super possessive/abusive boyfriends and weak submissive girlfriends" you criticize this romance, Kyo isn't abusive (possesive yes, like almost very male shoujo protagonist XD) and I don't thinks that Misao is submissive, if the guy you like touches you is normal to feel excited, even if you're scared.
I don't say all of this to argue with anyone, but sometimes when you read the opinions you are influenced by them (that's the purpose, ne?) and I wanted to give my thoughts to everyone. I highly recommend everyone who wants to read it to do so, maybe you don't like it, but maybe you do
I remembered I picked up this manga because it was rated so high on the list but later dropped it for various reasons. This manga is like a "Japanese Twilight" with a completely weak and dependent heroine, a dominant male, guys fighting over the heroine's blood, etc. Blood is like this captivating substance that both tengus and vampires die for.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Misao later drops out of high school because she unexpectedly became pregnant. Very reminiscent of Twilight. What a great example Misao is setting for teenage girls who are reading this manga. Why didn't they use condoms and protection in this manga? Also, Misao always depends on others to save her while wishing that she would not be a burden to others. If she really wants to help and protect others around her, why didn't she learn martial arts or learn spells on how to ward off demons and bad spirits?
I just can't read the manga any further after this. The smutty scenes didn't help much either.
... Last updated on November 6th, 2011, 11:05am
I don't usually review shoujo manga...
...but when I do, it means something has gone horribly, horribly wrong. Since this manga has been getting a lot of exposure, I figured I might as well try to save as many innocents as possible before it's too late.
To be honest, I've only read the first chapter of this abominable piece of crap. But, you know, that was enough for me to see it for what it is - the aforementioned abominable piece of crap, in case you've forgotten. They say you can tell if a book is good from the first line. Well, I went ahead and read the whole first chapter. So I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of how things are gonna turn out.
First of all, the story isn't even interesting. By which I mean, it's boring as hell. I mean, if you want to read your smut, go for it, I won’t hold you back. But even for smut, this manga is lackluster. Allow me to summarize the basic formula of this manga’s plot: Blah blah blah dumb girl blah blah blah want boyfriend blah so desperate blah blah sexy boy from childhood blah blah demons and yokai blah you're my bride blah I'll protect you forever blah blah no choice blah molestation blah blah helpless crying blah. Seen any of that before? It's like the author went out of her way to pick out every horrifically overused and discredited shoujo cliché, roll 'em all into a big ball, and then bowl the whole freaking manga over with them... you know, just to make sure it's shoujo enough. And it’s boring. Oh god, is this thing boring.
The manga begins with a creepily disproportionate child saying he'll come back someday to molest our heroine once she’s actually reached the age of consent (or something like that). Said heroine is, in the present, wangsting profusely over not having a boyfriend. She’s so dumb that, when her friend asks her what she wants for her birthday, she asks for – you guessed it – a boyfriend! And she happily chirps the word twice in a row, kind of like how Max always demands his single-word object-of-the-episode in that kids’ show, Max and Ruby. It’s supposed to be cute, but all you really want to do is punch them in the face for it.
Anyway, our ever-so charming protagonist is so desperate to acquire said boyfriend that she’s ready to accept the first thing with a ding-dong that comes her way, which happens to be a pretty tennis boy school worship icon. One wonders why exactly she’s been single for so long if she can score that kind of catch. Oh, wait, but then it’s revealed that, surprise, surprise, she wasn’t so lucky after all, as he’s actually a yokai who is literally after her blood and wants to eat her. So her creepy childhood stalker, having returned as promised a few pages beforehand, shows up out of nowhere and is all, “This is mine. Don’t touch.” Then he proceeds to beat the crap out of the other guy. You know, in that animalistic, possessive, alpha male, “you are my mate/property/toy, you have no choice, don’t even argue” kind of way that werewolf fanatics seem to find so attractive. So he saves the girl, and apparently, to heal her wounds, he has to use his phallic-looking tongue to lick the area, which I can already tell is gonna be the gimmick of this series. Then he randomly grabs her boobs and sexually molests her, and god, the whole thing is like something out of an ecchi manga, only it’s okay because he’s hot and she likes him and secretly she wants it. And, oh yeah, did I mention that throughout the whole thing, she’s bawling her eyes out while having these doki-doki internal monologues about creepy-stalker-man? The chapter ends with the guy introducing himself as the new substitute teacher, which is, of course, the author’s way of pandering to all the teacher-student fetishists out there.
That’s all I actually read of this series, but let me tell you how the rest of it is going to go. The girl’s gonna get threatened/attacked/imprisoned/molested a whole lot by all the demons that want to eat her soul or whatever. Then creepy-stalker-guy is gonna have to go rescue her, which will inevitably involve him threatening/attacking/imprisoning/molesting her himself (which is okay, though, because they’re the OTP). There’s probably going to be at least one open wound of varying severity per chapter, which will, of course, be the focus for the post-rescue sexy licking session. And there’s going to be crying. Lots and lots of crying, and all of it will be the heroine’s. Maybe the author will try to sneak in a non-explicit sex/rape scene here and there for that extra spice.
So, in summary, Black Bird really isn’t a good manga by any standards at all. It’s cliché, it’s boring, and it’s offensive to men and women alike. The fact that it was nominated for, let alone won, an award is so depressing that I’m surprised most decent shoujo manga artists didn’t just drop their pens and say, “Screw it, I’m done.” Contrary to popular opinion, the shoujo demographic itself is not a subpar one. Unfortunately, it is a demographic that is cluttered with garbage like this, much like how shounen is cluttered with Shounen Jump-esque crap. It’s titles like Black Bird that give shoujo in general a bad name. But, hey, if you read through my entire review and think that Black Bird sounds like the icing on your cake, then have at it. We all have different tastes, after all. Like, for example, the bloody wounds of virgins.
She is a thinker and he is a mystery
I love how the romance is complicated by the question of motive. Kyo interesting - he goes after her persistently and she in turn considers the situation. She does not mindlessly falls in love and go with the flow because they are childhood friends or because he is handsome. I think what really draws me is her reactions to situations and trying to understand the mystery of who kyo is. The politics of his world should be interesting - i am looking forward to understanding that as well.
... Last updated on September 8th, 2009, 10:37pm
My problems with it
"A lot of people describe Misao as weak and relying on Kyou. This is true; but how else is a perfectly normal girl supposed to survive demon attacks etc. if she has no powers? Isn't it kind of impossible for her to do anything but rely on Kyou and his bodyguard people in order to survive?" ------- My problem is not that she has to rely on Kyou, I understand the reasons, but rather that why this is necessary is not presented as a problem. The girl is practically doomed to either marry a powerful demon, or die. This is not ever brought up as an existential problem. Even if she discovers that Kyou is "good" and doesn't want her just for personal gain or his clan's gain, she is left without any agency and she is ok with that. WHY? Why is she ok with the fact that the boys we're practically raised to seduce her and make her theirs? Even if they proove to be nice people, how could you ever fully trust them? What if they are puppets in the big game, just like you? Isn't it creepy that while he had a choice, chose and fought to become clan leader for a childhood romance, she was never presented with a choice and everybody acts like that is normal. I know she has no choice, but that doesn't mean she should be all happy and bubbly and accept this situation as it is, even feel GUILTY for everything. Your life is juggled around by other people, you have no say in what happens, and you are ok with that?
So much crying
I mean, I get why the main character cried a lot in the beginning, but holy crap. I think I would literally be physically ill after crying so much. I wish her more courageous side was displayed more, sometimes it just seems like she's sitting around and waiting for help.
But then I realize she's what, 16? Not every teenager at that age is very good at decision making. Some of the decisions she makes is just like "Are you for real??"
But I digress. The plot is pretty average and I feel as though it's a mix of many mangas I've read over the years. Nothing really makes it stand out to me, it hasn't really developed anything that I consider 'special' or 'unique'. It is better than Love Monster, a lot less perverseness with other men.
A good read for shoujo readers. Now that I've read so much, I guess I'll see it out until the end.
... Last updated on February 7th, 2015, 7:04pm
LOL this manga feels like a joke
Okay I'm not gonna say much here, since everyone else has already pointed out all the "good" and the bad of the series, and I know people can get butthurt pretty badly when their favourites get criticized in general. The only thing I just HAVE to say out loud (as it's bugging me horrendously) is how in the world did this manga get an award? Seriously, were they out of mangas to give awards to at the time? I know I'm not a manga expert and all, but I'm pretty sure there're way better manga series out there which deserve the award so much more.
Misao must be dehydrated 24/7
because girlfriend cannot go 2 pages without crying. In the beginning I noticed it but thought it had more to do with her new situation, but as I read Volume 13 it's become apparent that no, she's just a really weak female character. Like other reviewers, I also agree that I only read each new volume because of the time I've already invested in it.
Why this manga got an award? Why this manga got a high rating while other manga with similar quality got a low rating? Why this manga run for so long while other manga with similar concept but better quality cough*Mugen Spiral*cough ended early (yeah, I'm biased but only in this sentence alone)?
Romance: really, I don't get why the main couple fell in love with each other at all. Everything seems so convenient. Not to mention the 'love' they build is childish and superficial. Drama: they are cliches. And while cliches are fine if they are enjoyable, but here is not. They're just... cliches. Character: It's HARD to like any of them, especially the main characters (for the reason mentioned at other comments), while the rest just cliche, unmemorable, and indifferent. Plot: unoriginal, averagely executed Comedy: It can make you chuckle but it's far from enough to make you read more
I should say if you just got into shoujo manga world, or a shoujo lover, then you might be able to enjoy this so I won't say I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. And I dropped it at vol 3, so maybe things do get better like they said (but no, I won't read anymore of this). It's not THAT horrible, but it's not good at any aspect at all, average at best, except for the art.
... Last updated on February 1st, 2012, 11:26pm
I love it, but....
I really like this series, but I completely understand why so many people do NOT. Main female character is constantly crying and trying to "not cause problems", but usually ends up doing just that. Main male character is often rude (bordering on mean) and sometimes lacks the ability to say what he's really feeling. However, I have come to expect this from Manga. Japanese culture usually favors non-emotional men and women who "magically" understand how they feel by a look or a stance. Get used to it. Just chalk it up to a cultural difference. I'll never be that girl, but I don't mind reading about them too much. She's still not quite as whiny as Bella from Twilight (LOL)! Overall, this is NOT a story I would recommend for younger teens or girls with lower self-esteem. Too much emphasis is giving on her virginity. As in many Japanese stories, pushy men seem to get the better of a "weak female" in the end and make her "be with them". Not realistic, but again a cultural thing. Get over personal differences about female-male politics, and its a story about two childhood sweethearts - very nice idea.