Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Thursday, November 3, 2011

Plot Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Misao has always known what its like to see beyond this realm. All her life, she has the ability to see demons, but none have ever tried to harm her. Unfortunately, the day after her sixteenth birthday, she is attacked by humans possessed by other demons. Although she has no idea why the demons want to kill her, she learns that she is not of this world. Ten years ago, a boy named Kyou asked Misao to marry him when the time is right. After they made this promise, Kyou disappeared and all Misao has is shattered memories of him. What she did not know that Kyou is actually a Tengu, a bird-like demon, who not only loves, and desires, Misao, but has claimed her as his Senka Roku, which means "Bride of Prophecy." What Misao doesn't realize is that any demon who claims her will not be granted amazing powers, but her blood, alone, will make any demon invincible. After claiming Misao as his bride, Kyou must dedicate his life to protect her not because of her power, but because he loves her.

Critical Evaluation:
Of all of the Shojo manga out there, this particular series is absolutely brilliant since it has a great balance of romance, comedy, drama, and violence. Other than Matsuri Hino's Vampire Knight, the amount of epic battles is almost unheard of in the world of Shojo. However, the best part of this series is the forbidden love between Misao and Kyou. The flashback of their childhood memories are absolutely precious simply because a young boy made a promise to a young girl and fulfilled it. Although I was leery about Kyou's intentions, it is clear that he loves Misao for the woman she is and risks everything to save her. Although sex is a big part of this story (in order to obtain the powers of the Senka one must bed or consume her), there is a hidden moral message about waiting for the right time and the right person, which, for us adults, is better than no message at all. This series is definitely meant for older teens (younger teens will probably be really uncomfortable for the inevitable consummation of the "marriage").

Information about the Author
Although there is not a lot of information about Kanoko Sakurakoji, what we do know is that she was born on August 1 in Tokyo, Japan. According to Shojo, " [Sakurakoji's] hobbies include reading, watching plays, traveling and shopping. Her debut title, Raibu ga Hanetara, ran in Bessatsu Shojo Comic (currently called Betsucomi) in 2000, and her 2004 Bestucomi title Backstage Prince was serialized in VIZ Media's Shojo Beat magazine. She won the 54th Shogakukan Manga Award for Black Bird( para.1)."  

Teen Fantasy Manga, Teen Romance Manga

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 10 & up

Books Similar to Black Bird:

Awards & Recognition:
  • 2009 Shogakukan Manga Award for Shojo manga

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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