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REVIEW: Black Bird GN 7




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Jaymie



Joined: 18 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:39 pm Reply with quote
This series is freaking creepy. I can tolerate a lot of things, but the psychological/emotional/sexual/physical abuse is too much for me to bear. And as the series goes on, it gets even more obvious that the heroine has a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome.

I am forced to believe that this was intended to be a parody of supernatural shojo manga. There's no way an author could mindlessly cross that many lines. It's so trashy that I buy every single volume as soon as they're released to see how much more messed up things have gotten.
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Generic #757858



Joined: 03 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:59 pm Reply with quote
Considering that the covers of pretty much every volume of this series feature Kyo molesting Misao the content shouldn't be a surprise for anyone....
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CCSYueh



Joined: 03 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:44 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
notably Kyo's demonic vessels

Did you mean vassals? Vessels sounds as though Kyo has a dozen or so bodies lying around.

Why is Ms Patillo reading this series if she dislikes it so?
I never saw any "ick" factor to this series. I am wearing thin on it as I usually do on shojo around volume 7. It needs to end. Soon. It's feeling stretched.

The story I've been reading is about a girl who by some cursed fate is a special being, not unlike the bit in Saiyuki where the demon believed eating a Sanzo Priest would besrtow benefits upon any demon eating one so of course she set her sights on Genjo Sanzo. While that was a single plot thread in Saiyuki, it is the basic premise to Blackbird. In typical romance style, we have the boy who grew up next door to Misao who fell in love with her as a child & decided to become the designated heir to his clan over his brother Sho so that he could claim Misao as his bride, but Sho cast a spell so that Misao forgot Kyo & only remembers him. By the time Kyo returns Misao has grown used to seeing these little demons no one else can see.

This isn't Twilight, kiddies. Yes, the author has done junk she didn't have to. (Did we really nead the plot twist that her having Kyo's baby will maybe be bad for her? No, we didn't). I feel the author is trying to portray the typical teen romantic urges-you shouldn't just have sex with your boyfriends, girls, only in the author's case, she's gone with a really extreme excuse for her couple NOT to have sex. Were this any other romance Kyo & Misao would have had sex a couple volumes ago.

This is the girl/boy & her/his demon/monster/whatever we've seen forever in manga & anime like InuYasha, Zenki, Kuroshitsuji, etc. Sometimes there's romance & other times not such as Pokemon. Tengu are interesting in the Japanese demon ranks because they are also Shinto Kami in some stories. In Tactics there are the black tengu who were born as tengu such as Haruka & there are white tengu like Sugino-men who became tengu (as in the Hōgen Monogatari). Tengu seem to have undergone a demonizing under Buddhism not unlike the various pagan gods under Christianity.

Blackbird portrays Tengu as higher demons, but less than dragons (another bit brought in by the author recently that we really don't need, but at this point I just want conclusion so all the little drawing out bits are annoying). I suppose one can see it as how much Kyo loves Misao that he is willing to incur the wrath of a dragon, a much more powerful entity.

If you're looking for a more equal relationship, read Story of Saiunkoku. This is a story of a romance between a human & some sort of alien creature (demon/angel/whatever) & such a relationship tends to be somewhat lopsided. If I wanted equal, I wouldn't be reading a story involving a godling of some sort.
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corinthian



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:50 pm Reply with quote
CCSYueh wrote:
Why is Ms Patillo reading this series if she dislikes it so?


Because it's her job? Reviews are all about looking at work with a critical eye, so it's only natural that not all reviews are positive. In fact, if only positive reviews were posted there would probably be cries of payola and such. There is, and should be, just as much talk about negatives as talk about positives.

CCSYueh wrote:
This is a story of a romance between a human & some sort of alien creature (demon/angel/whatever) & such a relationship tends to be somewhat lopsided. If I wanted equal, I wouldn't be reading a story involving a godling of some sort.


Lopsided? It sounds like one-sided to me. Misao sounds completely devoid of agency in her life. Demons may want her blood, but that doesn't mean she has to settle for guy who doesn't try to rape her anymore. Speaking of which, challenging dragons does not make Kyo a good person. Trying to force a girl to have sex, or making her watch creatures get killed, or purposefully making her cry? Out of context these actions seem terribly cruel, and I have trouble imagining a context where they would be justified. If the a relationship can be described with the words "the majority of their interaction [is] consensual," that is not a healthy relationship.
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:19 pm Reply with quote
corinthian wrote:
If the a relationship can be described with the words "the majority of their interaction [is] consensual," that is not a healthy relationship.

Not to start anything -- because heavens knows we've beaten this poor horse to a pulp several times already -- but given the kind of yaoi plot that CCSYueh has defended passionately in the past, (1) this one isn't so bad since at least he hasn't actually raped her and (2) CCSYueh is pretty good at divorcing what she'd consider immoral in real life from her fantasy world. I'm far less capable of that when it comes to sexual abuse scenarios (chock it up to actually witnessing it happen to close friends), and I'm guessing Lissa is closer to my position, which makes her a good review for me to read since she warns me away from series I'd be infuriated at.
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rinmackie



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:00 pm Reply with quote
I tried to get into this series but it's a bit too much like Twilight for my taste. To those of you who think Vampire Knight is the same; nope, if it's a Twilight clone you want, read Black Bird. It's almost the same, just with Japanese demons instead of vampires and werewolves.
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CCSYueh



Joined: 03 Jul 2004
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Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:50 am Reply with quote
corinthian wrote:
Because it's her job? Reviews are all about looking at work with a critical eye, so it's only natural that not all reviews are positive. In fact, if only positive reviews were posted there would probably be cries of payola and such. There is, and should be, just as much talk about negatives as talk about positives.

No.
My issue is by volume 7 if one is so against the basic premise of the title as the reviewer seems to be, one would have dropped it. Considering the complaints in the review are issues that go back to Vol. 1, this is a very bad mis-match of reviewer & material. It would be like having someone who hates historical/period pieces reviewing Story of Saiunkoku.
corinthian wrote:
Lopsided? It sounds like one-sided to me. Misao sounds completely devoid of agency in her life.

Actually she seems pretty standard ingenue. Yeah, I hate them, too. Misao is a generic romance (old Harlequin) sort of character. If she weren't in a relationship with Kyo, she'd be a doormat for her parents dutifully providing them with grandchildren.
Remember the line from Ferris Bueller-that the friend would marry the first girl he slept with & she'd treat him like trash? That friend is Misao. She's like the girl in Ouran 14 (15?) who won't speak her mind. Actually in Vol 7 Misao DOES speak up. The bargain is the Dragon orders Kyo to bed his sister because she's ill & he believes this will cure her. To refuse the Dragon could be disasterous if the Dragon chooses to punish the Tengu tribe, but Kyo leaves it up to Misao who doesn't want him to, but fears he must. At the last moment she protests she doesn't want Kyo to do this at which time Kyo reveals he had no intention of bedding the Dragon sister--he simply wanted to hear Misao's true feelings.
corinthian wrote:
Demons may want her blood, but that doesn't mean she has to settle for guy who doesn't try to rape her anymore.

From Wikipedia--
Quote:
Misao sees things that other people don't. Normally, the annoying monsters would do harmless things. But on her sixteenth birthday, these creatures she sees take it up farther, trying to kill her. They would be the only bother, until demons have gone serious into killing her or taking her for his own. She's saved by a childhood friend from her past, Kyo Usui, who just so happens to be a demon as well. Avoiding moments of death with Kyo protecting her, her own future turns out that she is the rare, "Bride of Prophecy." The demons are set onto her, and it just happens, that Kyo wants Misao as well.

Quote:
Kyo Usui (烏水 匡, Usui Kyō?)
Perverted and cocky, but a powerful Tengu with black wings.[the one who falls for Misao and has loved her since childhood] Kyo met Misao during their childhood. His older brother, Sojo, was supposed to be clan leader, but Kyo surpassed him for Misao's sake (as only a clan leader may seek her as their bride). In order to stay close to Misao, he moved back to his house next door to her's and took a job as a math teacher at her school. He is always protecting her and healing her wounds, also finding moments to steal a kiss

So this is the "childhood sweethearts" plot-the boy who promises to marry her when they grow up plot device. The overcome-any-obstacle-to-win-the-right-to-marry-her plot device.
corinthian wrote:
Speaking of which, challenging dragons does not make Kyo a good person.
Read the book, then say that. Specifically, compared to the other demons & in particular his own brother who are very much in the nobleman-taking-whatever-they-want-from-lesser-beings types who populate the title. Demons are very much a different race in this title, one that has no qualms about killing &/or eating "lesser" beings.
corinthian wrote:
Trying to force a girl to have sex, or making her watch creatures get killed, or purposefully making her cry? Out of context these actions seem terribly cruel, and I have trouble imagining a context where they would be justified. If the a relationship can be described with the words "the majority of their interaction [is] consensual," that is not a healthy relationship.

Really, I can't think of any instance where Kyo would do anything to Misao unless she wanted it sexually. He has loved her for years, remember. He has stopped short of having sex with her when that would have secured his spot as clan leader, instead usurping his brother who tried many times to harm Misao. Forcing her to watch those who would harm her be punished for their wrongs as cruel? Seems to me in shonen tales they have a line about not turning away from a brave comrade's sacrifice. I don't recall Kyo causing any deaths out of malice or wanting to cause Misao pain. They are demons punished for harming Misao as I recall. If she is to be his bride, she has to be aware of what he is willing to do in her name.
Of course, the story is dragging out too long. It needs to end.
animenewsnetwork.com/review/black-bird/gn-1
according to Casey Brienza posted Jul 1st 2009
Quote:
Overall : B+
Story : B+
Art : B

Quote:
A bodice ripper with lots of bodice ripping but no sex (at least in the first volume)? And lots of blood drinking but no vampires (yet)? That would be the deliciously dirty Black Bird by Kanoko Sakurakoji (Backstage Prince).

Quote:
The story begins with Misao Harada, the heroine and object of desire of the piece. At first, she thinks her main problem is that mischievous spirits that only she can see love tripping her up (literally), and someday the adorable little boy whom she met when she a small child will return to sweep her off her clumsy feet. Well, the adorable little boy in question (his name is Kyo) does come back to sweep her off her feet…but there's a problem: He's actually a karasu, the head of his demon clan, and in addition to wanting her as his bride he also wants her in the more sordid sense of the word.

Choose your review.

vashfanatic wrote:
given the kind of yaoi plot that CCSYueh has defended passionately in the past, (1) this one isn't so bad since at least he hasn't actually raped her and (2) CCSYueh is pretty good at divorcing what she'd consider immoral in real life from her fantasy world.

It's been awhile since I started this series (probably back in 2009 when Ms. Brienza reviewed it), but I really don't recall Kyo trying to rape Misao. Other demons have tried, yes. He has tried to talk her into consumating their relationship since she's accepted him as her fiance for some time (at least by Vol 3, wasn't it? Maybe 2). For their being a couple & NOT consumating their relationship is rather unusual in this day & age. How many stories have you read where the couple are in bed as soon as he gives her a ring or simply confesses his love?
Yes, his job would be MUCH simpler if he deflowered her since that would eliminate her being desired by every other demon clan so he & his clan wouldn't constantly be risking their necks for her, but since the rumor is consumating the relationship would be detrimental, even deadly for the Maiden, Kyo is not pushing the consumation idea. Hells bells, most guys I've seen in commited relationships would not stand for the set-up in this title.

And, yeah. I do have the ability to say "Crow men? Snake men? Not exactly human rules apply"


Last edited by CCSYueh on Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:12 am Reply with quote
CCSYueh wrote:
according to Casey Brienza (...)
Choose your review.

Ah, yes, Casey Brienza. The reviewer who went on record saying that someone loving you so much "he won't take no for an answer" isn't really rape. I'm not sure you want to bring her up, given the subject under discussion.
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CCSYueh



Joined: 03 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:33 am Reply with quote
vashfanatic wrote:

Ah, yes, Casey Brienza. The reviewer who went on record saying that someone loving you so much "he won't take no for an answer" isn't really rape. I'm not sure you want to bring her up, given the subject under discussion.

As I said, it has been a couple years since this series started in the US, but I really can't recall Kyo in rape mode. I recall all the clan wanting him to force her to have sex with him & I remember Sho doing all sorts of awful things to her, but Kyo loves her. Like most guys, he has his desires, but there have been many instances where he could have raped her & there has been at least once that he's taken serious damage over her. I believe there have been instances where she mis-read his intent, but she's the one who gave him chocolate syrup so he could put it on himself & she could lick it off.
This story plays with a sort of idealized romance. A young female idea of pure, idealic love vs a real relationship. It is aimed at the teen audience, after all.
I could read the series again, but I really should get on with other stories I'm backed up on like Ultimo 2 & 3. I've been considering myself on a roll for getting thru Hetalia 2, No One Loves Me, Gintama 21, Black Bird 7, Ouran Host Club 16 & 15, Nura 1, Hanako & the Terror of Allegory 3, Silver Diamond 8, FMA 23(or are we up to 24?), Story of Saiunkoku 2, Grand Guignol 2, D-Grey-Man 15-17, & Natsume's Book of Friends 2 in the last couple weeks. Usually I'm so busy, I only read a couple manga per week

edit-
checked the first 3 volumes.
The character killed to "test her commitment" was the Fox demon who made 3 attempt to rape Misao. After the 3rd time, Kyo had to kill him as an example to the other clans to stay away from Misao. In fact if it weren't for the Fox's seeds of doubt planted (Kyo only wanted her because she was the Bride of Prophesy) & the spell Sho cast erasing her memories she'd have admitted she loved Kyo much earlier then the middle of Vol 2. When another demon tried to block her view she said she needed to watch what Kyo was willing to do for her. As I said, the whole samurai noble act thing.

Vol 1-pg 120 Author comments she loves drawing crying kids
pg 5-Amid black feathers to a crying child-"Misao, someday I'll come for you, I promise. Because you're going to be my--"interrupted by friend. Misao feels the yokai she's always seen seem to be increasing in severity of attacks.
Pg 12-Hot guy asks Misao to go out with her.
Pg 24-Misao's 16th birthday. Hot guy slashes her throat. "You are food for us demons. Once every 100 years, a human like you is born. If a demon drinks her blood, he is granted a long life. If he eats her flesh, he gains eternal youth. And if he makes her his bride, his clan will prosper." Hot demon is going for eating her.
pg 27-Kyo saves her "I've come for you. Because you're going to be my bride."
pg 35-Kyo licks her wound, healing it. Breast grope in best Miroku sneak style.
pg 39-Kyo-"What happened today will happen over & over. But I'll protect you. You can be eaten or you can sleep with me & become my bride."
This is Chapter 1. Anyone squishy with the premise could have dropped this book instantly because they were very much alerted to the style of the book.
Say what you will about being handed a review, but I really hope ANN doesn't expect a critic to review a series 7 volumes in without the critic being familiar with "the story so far". The whole "Humans are food for demons" puts this over in the more violent side of life.

I've actually seen this in Island-I believe it was 7 volumes. Gal hires a serial killer to protect her from the demons stalking her. It was an excellent read
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:40 am Reply with quote
CCSYueh wrote:

corinthian wrote:
Lopsided? It sounds like one-sided to me. Misao sounds completely devoid of agency in her life.

Actually she seems pretty standard ingenue. Yeah, I hate them, too. Misao is a generic romance (old Harlequin) sort of character. If she weren't in a relationship with Kyo, she'd be a doormat for her parents dutifully providing them with grandchildren.


Now now, let's keep things impersonal. Laughing


CCSYueh wrote:

Remember the line from Ferris Bueller-that the friend would marry the first girl he slept with & she'd treat him like trash?


That's a classic. Why don't they make anime like that? Laughing
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rinjichan



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:33 pm Reply with quote
Are these reviews spell checked? There were so many errors in this review I could not finish it. Even in the opener:
Kyo and Misao continue to search for the knowledge of what will happen if they were to have sex, biding their time by enjoying anything else they can do with one another in the meantime. Family politics still brew however and Misao must decide how she feels about Kyo sleeping with another women. When Valentine's Day comes around, she must figure out what to get the demon who doesn't eat chocolate then be-still her beating heart when the two are home alone together. Things take a more dramatic turn when her father brings home an exorcist who immediately senses Misao's dilemma and is determined to rescue her from suffering the same fate he had at the hands of demons, unaware that her body holds the power to make demons stronger. ...Longest sentence ever. The writing is so awkward.
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