Sunday, March 18, 2012

Manga Review: Black Bird, Volume 12, by Kanoko Sakurakouji

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5 or 4
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo Beat)
Volumes: 15+

VIZ Media Synopsis:

Sho’s manipulations have cast the demon world into chaos, and Kyo must leave the tengu village to help save the Kuzunoha clan from slaughter. But giving aid to one of his few remaining allies means he must leave Misao vulnerable to attack.
Kyo’s grandfather is able to cast a powerful shield over the tengu mansion, but while it keeps anyone from getting in, it also traps those who are inside. How can Misao justify locking herself away when Sho begins to menace the village’s most helpless members?


This is such a... long series. It's seeming to be dragging out, and I'm not enjoying the volumes as much as I'd like to. On a good note, though, this one was a bit better than the last few have been.
Hoki got hurt in the last volume, and so has to stay and protect Misao while everyone else goes out to fight, since the village is under attack. There's a spell on the village that creates some kind of maze that doesn't let anyone into the village, and some children trying to find Misao get lost in it, and so she tells them to lower it for a short moment so they can be found, and in result lets Sho in. He goes after her, and Ayame protects her, even when he tells her that they have Sagami. Ayame believes him, but doesn't move from in front of Misao.
We find out, later, that Ayame and Sagami have an agreement, where they would die for Kyo and Misao, over each other. Sagami told her he would choose them over her if he had to, before they married, and she vowed to do the same. It's sad, but, in a way, sweet. (I really enjoy their relationship, especially after finding this out. I would probably not mind chapters devoted only to them.)
Anyway, Ayame gets hurt, and Sho leaves. Later Misao sees the kids and gets stuck in the maze with them, and somehow calls for Kyo to come to her, summons him or something, which I guess is impressive, and gets out.
For the next bit, Sho moves on to capturing Kyo's men. He gets Hoki, who apparently can't differentiate between good and bad, and so willingly joins Sho after being push away from Sagami and the rest. He seems to feel a bit bad about it, even when he takes blood from Misao (willingly). Then Sho captures Zenki when he goes in to attack. We find out that Zenki has marks on his chest and earrings to keep in the uncontrollable demon that he is. Sho weakens him and then takes an earring out, which makes him attack everything/one in sight.
Something happens with Zenki by the end of the volume (which I won't spoil!) and we also find out what Hoki is up to, which Kyo is determined to stop him from doing.
We also find out that Sho is trying to make a drug similar to Misao's Senka Maiden blood. He's using his people as test subjects, and killing them in the midst, while trying to made them savages and crazy with addiction. Hoki makes one batch, (or something,) with her blood, which doesn't kill them.
This volume was pretty exciting, which was good. Hopfully the next one will be as well. I like that we're getting to see more of the Daitengu, getting to know each of them as a person. And while this volume had a lot of violence and tension, there were several fun moments. When we found out about Sagami and Ayame, for example, and there was a moment between Zenki and Misao, and a very hot scene between Misao and Kyo, as well as a cute, bonus one at the end where Kyo is worried Misao is feeling homesick.
One thing I'm hoping for, though, is Misao to get stronger. She tends to leave all the fighting and decision making to Kyo, and only does a lot of crying and supporting. She should learn to fight, and get some more confidence. She doesn't bother me as much as most in her position would, and have, but I want her to start actually doing something productive.
Oh, and a little of topic: I love the recent covers. How Sakurakouji started drawing characters on their own, instead of only Misao and Kyo together. I remember reading something (I don't remember where) about how she was going to start doing something different, as she was running out of ideas with only Misao and Kyo. Anyway, I like them.
So, I already have the next one, and will probably be reading it soon; so that review will be coming.

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