Manga-ka: Hirotaka Kisaragi
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: October 2007
Synopsis: “Koumori leads Karasu and Shirasagi through the wastes of Puragatory, while high above, the Seraphim argue over how best to prevent the Distortion from spreading any further. When the war between Heaven and Hell begins once again, Dominions and Karasu restart their own fight, but soon the Archduke gets involved… and what happens in the end will take everyone by surprise! Faith, passion, and betrayal collide as the universe spirals downward towards chaos…”
Continuing the events of volume two, the Distortion threatening Heaven, Hell and all those in-between continues to grow as the battle between angels and demons begins again. It’s a character cast call as nearly all previously seen characters return for their final stands, sometimes with some explanatory back-story tossed in for good measure.
People’s motivations aren’t always crystal-clear which brings about a few surprises and the religious tension makes for some dramatic dialogue. Credit to Hirotaka Kisaragi for not shying away from depictions of the world they’ve created either, ranging from their versions of angels, demons and even God himself. Karasu and Shirasagi also take their relationship further but it’s not graphic, keeping Innocent Bird more about the romance, which is suited to the setting and surrounding story. Everything is coming together for a climatic finish and readers will be challenged to judge what they believe a happy ending is.
The artwork remains consistent from the first two. The men are attractive but masculine, drawn with solid lines and adorned with flowing hair and pretty outfits. Each page is crammed with artwork and is at times a bit hard to follow what’s going on, especially when it comes to the action sequences. For readers who tend to skim the pages, things may suddenly seem confusing, requiring the need to backtrack a few pages.
For those who read the first two volumes and found them lack-lustre, you may be surprised by what volume three has to offer. With the plot summing itself up pretty well, and in a manner more linear than it’s predecessors, volume three is easily the strongest of the series. If you’ve already made it through the first two, it’s worth it to give the last one a chance and make it through to the end. Thanks to this volume, you may find it worth the journey.
Overall Innocent Bird isn’t the most memorable boys’ love title available today but beautiful artwork, a plot that doesn’t revolve entirely around the title characters’ relationship and some interesting takes on religious mythology makes it worth a read and patience will be rewarded.