Manga-ka: Hirotaka Kisaragi
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: March 2007
Synopsis: “Part of the angelic bureaucracy, Karasu is sent to Earth to retrieve a demon living among humans. However, he’s surprised to discover that the demon Shirasagi wants to throw away his heritage and his powers, and live as a human – and a holy human at that. As he works out of a bar in the city, Shirasagi teaches children and is generally an all-around wonderful person. But Heaven and Hell both want him back and it’s going to be quite a battle…”
Delving into a world of angels versus devils, we have another entertaining Kisaragi work, guaranteed to, at the very least, intrigue you with its beautiful artwork and interesting designs.
The story starts off quickly with the laid-back Karasu being sent out by his ‘department’ to make a retrieval attempt at Shirasagi, a calm and devote priest, aiding children from a bar-gone-church. Both a bit indifferent and intrigued, Karasu doesn’t push the kind Shirasagi any further upon meeting him. Through encounters with the demons, who want to claim their runaway brethren, a bond is created between the two. The devotion seems a bit sudden with little direct interaction even present between the two main characters. As a yaoi, this is more excusable than other more character-driven stories I suppose, however it leaves the story feeling a bit rushed. Continuing on, it doesn’t take long for the secret to be revealed that Shirasagi was actually sex-slave to one of the higher-ups of the down below, a higher-up who wants his slave back. At the very least, it makes for a clear reason as to why Shirasagi doesn’t wish to return to his prior ‘home’. This dilemma leads to the book’s climax where he is finally captured, leaving only Karasu to rush to his rescue.
I’m a big fan of Hirotaka Kisaragi as an artist but I often find her stories sometimes oddly paced, leaving a little too much up to the readers to assume. ‘Innocent Bird’ does at times seem to fall victim to these problems but overall flows quite smoothly. It combines drama and action in a well-balanced manner to keep you entertained and lots of attractive men to keep you looking. The innuendo is strong and gives yaoi fans a little taste of things to come. With so much occurring in one volume, it leaves readers almost wondering what else can really be added to fill an entire second book. Yet be it interest or purely guilty pleasures for scenes to come, you’ll probably be left waiting to read the next one after you put this first volume down.
Included at the end of this book is a short story about three ‘brothers’ coming together as a family for love and support. A sweet story that sums itself up nicely with a happy ending.