Notice for Review Requests

I receive review requests weekly. However, my personal schedule is hectic and I no longer review actively. (I also manage another blog called The Toronto Cafe and Food Blog). I do read every request sent but I apologize in advance that I do not reply to them all.

If I do take on a request, I will forewarn that it may take some time before I can review it. I am now looking to review adult fiction and self-help books instead of young adult fiction because I have grown out of it. If you are to request a review for either adult fiction or self-help, I will more likely to give it a shot.

In the meantime, Stop, Drop, and Read! serves as an archive book review blog. When I have the time, I may post a review. Thank you for understanding.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Black Bird by Kanoko Sakurakoji

Title: Black Bird
Mangaka: Kanoko Sakurakoji
Age Group: Older Teens
Series is: Ongoing with 8 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1
My Rating: 4.5/5

Ever since she was young, Misao Harada could see supernatural spirits. They caused nothing but trouble. Because of her "sight", she was bullied as a child by her classmates. The only other person who understood her was an older boy. He could see the spirits too. But then he moved far away and Misao never heard from him again. He was her first love.

Now in high school, Misao hopes for a better life. She hides the fact that she can see yokai (demons) so she can blend in. One day she comes home to meet a new and beautiful neighbour, Kyo, who just moved in next door. She realizes out that he is her first love!

She unexpectedly gets attacked by a demon and Kyo comes to rescue her! And to find out that he is a demon too!? He is there...to make her his bride?

Every one hundred years, there is a special human who is born. Demons who drink her blood will live longer; if they eat her flesh, they will have eternal youth; and if she is made into their bride, their clan will then prosper.

With her old crush wanting to sleep with her, demons chasing after her, and nowhere to run, what will Misao do??

When I first saw the cover of this manga, I was already judging. After reading so many mangas in one's life time, you can pretty much figure out if you are going to like the series or not just by looking at the art. This one, I was not so sure on. I was thinking I would give it a 3/5 or 4/5 rating. But I just love it when any novel or manga takes me by surprise.

Using a simple plot like this, the mangaka can always make it more interesting or more boring. Sakurakoji made it quite interesting.

I have to say, her characters' designs do not stand out at first. I'm staring at Kyo, wondering which other character he looks like. I know one that has the same appearance but with so many series read, I can't my place my finger on it. And Misao is quite plain and cute, like every other female manga protagonist out there. But Sakurakoji knows how to give her characters their own defining personalities and background, making them much more memorable. Misao seems like a weak character if you first glance at her. But throughout the manga I always found her to be strong, even though her actions does not show it. Kyo is quite a perv and he makes things, ah, much more interesting. Their relationship is like an on-and-off switch.

I really look forward to the second volume of Black Bird. I want to know if Misao ever becomes Kyo's bride or any other demon's for that matter. The first volume left off leaving the reader with so many questions. Not questions of confusion, but questions of curiosity. Hopefully it will not go downhill from the first volume.

Black Bird is a delightful read and I think shojo fans will take a great liking to it like I did.

Review copy provided by Viz.

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7 comments:

a flight of minds said...

I've read my fair share of shoujo manga, and this honestly sounds pretty typical. The cover makes it out to seem that the female is once again weak and simply cute, while the male walks all over her. Still, if the characters stand out, maybe I'll give it a try. Thanks for the review!

- Alex

Diana Dang said...

It is pretty typical in a way (aren't all shojo manga?) but this one stood out to me. :) Browse through it to see if you might be interested online through some scanlated sites!

Anonymous said...

i actually read the book i thought that kyo was a perv but he had a good heart.

Thesarcasticend said...

To me, when I saw this book I was already dissing it...If it wasn't my sadistic qualities of someone looking like they were in pain, I probably would have never picked up this book at all. Kyo surprised me...I nearly dropped the book when he started licking Misao while she was asleep. God, I was so pissed when I found out the 2nd volume isn't out yet until November? The book left alot of questions and thats why I've waiting endlessly for the second Volume and the third with unbelievely doesn't come out until February >.<

Brooke said...

wow i love this book i wish i could read somemore!!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love Black Bird. I've read 1-4 with my friend Liz. I don't think Misao is ordinary. She is a simple girl, yes, but she has characteristics that give her spunk. Kyo may be a perv, but he has a good heart and would do anything to be with Misao. They should totally end up together in the end <3
-Kay

deebs said...

i love this manga so much... i really like it.. I've read volume 1 to volume 8.. i haven't read volume 9 yet.. i hope they will release it soon...