Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Black Bird, Volume 8 by Kanoka Sakurakuji

Misao is learning to deal with the presence of Raikoh, the boy who once had an interest in her and is now an exorcist specializing in demons, in her home. Because while she loves Kyo, Raikoh hates him and wants to kill him. Misao still draws back from Kyo whenever it seems like they might do more than just kiss, but she loves him- she just wants to stay with him forever, and he might devour her for the power that her power as Senku maiden would give him. And he doesn't want to lose her, either.

Raikoh returns with a special sword, known as Dojigiri Yasutsuna, which has the power to kill demons. He agrees to meet with Kyo to discuss their disagreement over Misao, and Kyo tells her that if they cannot reach some other sort of agreement, he will take away Raikoh's memory of the demon attack on his family that made him hate all demons. Misao doesn't exactly trust Raikoh not to try and kill Kyo, so she attempts to steal the sword and its case, since the case has a special lock that needs a code to open. But Raikoh halts her attempts by letting her know that the case is bugged with a locator chip so that even if she attempts to steal and get rid of the whole case, he could still find it.

Foiled, Misao tells him that Kyo wishes to meet with him, and he agrees, and sets the date in several days. Raikoh also shows Misao water he brought with him from his temple to drink- her mother has been making tea with it for some days now. He gets her to try some, and she says it just tastes like water, but a little soft, and he agrees with her. He then turns to her, startling her and making her drop the knife she was using so that she cuts her leg open. He says she can get Kyo to heal her, but she doesn't want to, simply pressing on it until the bleeding stops and then using a bandage.

But when she, Raikoh and Kyo meet, he notices the bandage first thing and insists on treating her wound by licking it right away. However, when he drinks some of her blood, he winces, and Raikoh tries to kill him with the blade, which he had concealed on his body. He then reveals to Kyo that the water from his temple is the water of God, which curses and kills demons. By making Misao and her family drink it, he turned them into secret weapons against Kyo, and now that Kyo has drunk her blood, which is infused with the essence of the Godly water, it will slowly leech away his power until he dies.

Kyo's bodyguards want to kill Raikoh, but Kyo makes them release him, and they promise Raikoh that if Kyo dies, so will he. Meanwhile, Misao blames herself, and decides to go through with sleeping with Kyo, no matter the outcome, because even if it ends up killing her, she cannot bear to see him die. But will Kyo go through with the act, or will he find some other way to save himself? And will their mating kill Misao? Or will the mating force her and Kyo to part?

I have enjoyed this series from the start, and it's great to see it finally come to some kind of conclusion of the Kyo/Misao storyline. I hope that the ending of the sexual tension between them won't mean the end of the manga as well, as I enjoy the romance and situations between the two of them, not to mention those of Kyo's bodyguards and servants. It's really cute and I enjoy it all.

And even if it is the end, I will hope that Kanoka Sakurakuji writes something else I can enjoy, as I have really enjoyed this series a lot and to be honest, the thought of it ending saddens me. Maybe not as much as some other series, but I have really enjoyed this series for a while now. I found the use of a Tengu as a supernatural creature to be very interesting, and while Kyo doesn't have the sort of strict Tengu features from myth, I find him an interesting character, Misao as well, even if she sometimes falls into the "Princess who must be rescued" trope.

I really like this series, which is fresh and fun and introduced me to some new creatures from Japanese myth that I wasn't really too familliar with before (Okay, Tengu showed up in the AD&D Oriental Adventures supplement, but that was a while ago. A LONG WHILE ago.) With a cute romance and more supernatural creatures than you can shake a stick at, as well as a girl with a really unique problem, if you love supernatural romance, you might want to give this manga a try. Recommended.

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