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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 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.
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 ever 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 April 29th, 2013, 9:38am
Art and Story= LOTS OF SMILIES!!!!!!
The story and art are great! I have read the first three books 15 times each(those are the ones I own)! I love the way the drama flows with the characters personalities, and how it shows readers the real fiction and some beliefs of Japan, while adding some comedy to it.
The half points off is that the author always resorts to the "damsel in distress" detail. I know some of us girls to cry a lot to show feelings, like Misao from the above description. But I know we girls are proud and strong, I and I feel that we can do better than Misao, right? Even though the author is a woman.
A great manga, and I think an anime should be brought out to those who are allowed to watch!!
Oh DAMN IT!
I download like 10 volumes when it was popular and had high rating. Now it's 7.9 I feel so idiotic! *CRY*
Why did this happen to me? Next time I'll read something before I download it. *And hell did the manga distaste me when I read the first volume... Ew... Horrible horrible smutty stuffs.*
My precious downloading time! My (neighbour's) precious internet package! Damn it this wasteful series!
I like it!
For one thing this is a fictional Manga, if you wanna read a fantasy/romance this ones for you. Yes Misao cries a lot but I mean come 9 out of 10 mangas in this catagory are like this. If you wanna read a story about super women where they are thrown into a world of demons and sex and are 100% fine with it, then this is not for you.
misao's ability to cry in every single page is tremendous
and i admire her for that.. not. it's bloody annoying. seriously, is life really that pathetic? sigh.. but then again who am i to judge, heh? aside from that, the story and romance is not that bad. hardly 7 out of 10 then.
... Last updated on December 16th, 2012, 3:25pm
I Love It
wah, this is one of my favorite manga, the story was so interesting, i love the way Kyo and misao hehe... eventually this is including so many "more than an usual romance", but in good way.. i am anticipating what will happen in the next chapter, so so beautiful, can't imagine the story and it become more more interesting... hope it will be happy ending, for kyo and misao ^^ i am ready including this manga to my reading list
What's with misao? she is whining almost every chapter :/ What's wrong with her? and she's crying like she has constipation or something. i've read till chapter 26 and i can say, it was the WORST MANGA i ever read. misao makes a sad face and everyone's like 'what's wrong dear misao?' LIKE IF SHE WANTS PEOPLE TO HAVE SYMPATHY FOR HER D:< she's a useless bitch! like how, in chap 26, kyou had to have sex with another woman.. you should've look at misao's face at that time.. i wanted to slap her then throw her in a river.. if she's so jealous, go and have it with kyou herself! she's like kaname from vk, selfishly keeping kyou for herself.. it's not called love!
i hate how everyone cares about her.. as if she was a 9 year old chick :\ she's 14 or 16 for god's sake!!
geez, misao spoiled the manga for me. DROPPED 1/10!
... Last updated on November 30th, 2012, 12:27am
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.
Not Great, but Not Bad
Honestly its not that bad, if you can get past the heroine been so, I don't really know how to describe, but weak would be best for a lack of a better word. She's there to support the main lead, and serves her purpose well, I think. At first I was excited reading it, but she does start getting annoying, and somehow manages to ruin the story. In all honestly the only reason I believe there even is a story is because of Shou, and its the only thing that keeps me reading it, cause he causes the story to go in all kinds of directions whether directly or indirectly.