Misao Harada has been able to see demons since she was a child and has vague memories of a boy who protected her from these troublesome creatures, vowing to come back for her someday. Now in high school, Misao wishes she could be normal and have a boyfriend. As she returns home one day, she notices a gorgeous stranger has moved in next door. To her surprise, he introduces himself as Kyou, her long-lost childhood friend and first love.
The next day, on her 16th birthday, Misao is suddenly wounded by a classmate. Exposed as a demon, he plans to eat her in order to gain eternal youth. When all hope seems lost, Kyou saves her, revealing himself as the leader of a Tengu clan. Since making Misao his bride will bring prosperity to his clan, he offers her a choice: sleep with him and become his bride, or endure more attacks from other demons drawn to the power of her blood.
Intially, the plot of Black Bird sounds great! But the execution of said plot is disturbing and disappointing to say the least.
Am I the only one that's a little bothered by the fact that crying women are plastered on the front of all Black Bird covers and that alone just screams 'rape culture' ?
For those of you who don't know --- Rape culture is a concept which links rape and sexual violence to the culture of a society, and in which prevalent attitudes and practices normalize, excuse, tolerate, or even condone rape.
Black Bird and its' popularity makes me very unconfortable because it's true, the male
protagonists are not gentlemanly at all and although they seem like 'true and protective' most of their actions are manipulative and their only interest is the power they receive when the drink the female protagonist's blood. The female protagonist is weak, stupid, and bends easily to all the male characters. This is not what I want my teenage daughter to be reading. Women should be offended because it portrays us as stupid weak sex-lusting ditzs. Men should be offended because it portrays them as unable to control themselves and all perverts.
TL;DR : It's like Twilight by Stephanie Meyer only in Japan and manga form.
If you want respectable characters and respectable plot though, please skip this.
I really thought this manga was just a silly romance manga with little to no story that I would just read in order to pass time. Well honestly the story is actually pretty cool and unique. The supernatural aspect mixed with romance was well structured and captivating. Yes, it tends to be very sexual and kinda throws the topic of rape in their a lot, but they mix it in the story where it doesn't seem forced (plus if there's a guy and a girl in love, their most likely going to have sex and make out a lot and not just a few
times like in other romance manga). If the story was more of a shounen and built on more, it really would have been very engrossing even more so and more mature (mature not only in the sense of sex and stuff).
The art was really nice and the artist rarely or ever got lazy in chapters. It was vibrant and detailed enough sort of like a shoujo and shounen manga's art put together if you know what I mean.
I loved pretty much all of the characters in this manga, especially the main characters. Well the female protagonist, Misao, was very annoying and whinny and cried way to much, but she redeemed herself in many ways and its actually hard to completely hate her, because she's like a lovable puppy (kinda like Nana Komatsu). All the important characters were built on well and all had their own background stories shown (even if it was just briefly). Every character in this series has their own funny and/or honorable trait to them that it just makes it to hard to despise them.
I do have complaints about this manga, but I really enjoyed it. It was a fun read that had quite unexpected plot twist that keeps you on edge. It's a manga I'm truly glad I read and has a special place on my future manga bookshelf.
I came across Black Bird after I finished reading Hana to Akuma. Being a fan of youkai(s) and stuff (because they are somewhat gorgeous lol), this manga caught my interest. Initially, I really love the plot of the story. The manga was good, it is entertaining. However, there are downsides to it as well. I somewhat find Misao kinda annoying the way she wails and stuff and that she always cries. I love how Kyo acts sometimes, though. The way he gives off that mysterious aura is a plus points for me. However, I did not like the ending of this manga because basically, how
can he even hate his own son. I mean, it's his own flesh and blood, and he acts so cold and like a jerk towards the kid. It was really annoying. Over all, it was worth a read, it may not be the best but it's worth it.
The unique thing about Black Bird for me is that, I ADORED all of the side characters. In contrast, I rarely felt anything for Misao and Kyo unless I was acknowledging a cute moment between them. I want Sagami and Ayame to have their own manga. The daitengu all had awesome backstories, which could have easily spinned off into their own stories. I am glad they didn't spin off though because they made the Black Bird experience tolerable and so much better. :D
The tengu orphanage babies are lovely in every way. Misao's parents are the best as well!
I liked how the story cast a realistic
light on the human falls in love with supernatural species. In many chapters Misao struggles on whether she's ready to give up seeing her family and friends so freely to move with the Tengus.
I hated Kyo's manipulative, obsessively rude moments, like wanting to force his girl to watch him kill someone. I disliked Misao at times, for listening to him! Why in the world did she make herself watch that? She also cried TOO MUCH, more than humanly possible. :p
I feel bad for Kyo's brother's loneliness, but it didn't make me excuse his previous behavior. This manga has one HUGE problem: Rapey moments are not okay! They never will be! I don't care if you are super nice the next day or the next 600 chapters, trying to rape someone, even the Senka is WRONG.
Raikou (He's a legendary pokemon haha) needed to back the chicken feathers away from Misao. That's all that needs to be said there.
If you dislike this manga for it's story, you will love it for it's characters (mostly side but the main have their moments too). Some of the kissing moments are sweet.
The smutty scenes are pretty easy to skim over as well. So, I wouldn't worry too much about them. The blood isn't overly gorey unless limbs are detached, and only arms get detached! I do get squeamish when Misao tries to cut her wrists though and all the talk about drinking her blood.
The story is also super hilarious! Some of Misao's expressions have me in laughing fits. One of my favorites is when she meets Sagami's wife, or when Kyo knees Zenki in the face. XD NO, no my all time favorite is when Misao (in a rare shining moment) outsmarts a mean, former orphan girl.
One thing though if the almost-rape moments do not all the way turn you off, a later scene that could be perceived as child abuse may. With context it's understandable but still unsettling
Overall, due to some smutty scenes I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone, but it is an interesting read. I finished it within a week because I was binge reading it. The story sho' will keep you turning pages!