Manga-ka: Tomo Maeda
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: April 2008
“As Taki finds out about Shikimi’a past, secrets of his own family come to light… leading him to actually strike a deal with Grey! How long can Taki keep his pact with Grey a secret from Shikimi, eve thought it’s for the priest’s own good?”
It’s back to the full cast in volume five of Black Sun Silver Moon. While previous volumes took readers into Shikimi’s past, this one returns us to present with Taki taking the spotlight with some revelations of his own.
One of the biggest pieces of information relayed to readers in this volume is about the Nightlings, the prodigy of a resurrected being and a human woman. Said to be born with the innate ability to kill undead creatures, and striking physical features such as blue eyes, it’s not hard to see where this news is taking the plot. It feels a little out of place, a revelation that (only now) suddenly seems so obvious to the characters, to be revealed this far into the series. It bugged me for a little while but the new possibilities it opens for future events, and some unexpected twists in back story, made up for it over the course of the book.
A little past halfway, the book shifts it’s attention to Laz and ‘his’ attempts to get romantically involved with Shikimi. Despite the whiny dramatics of it all, it was a sweet chapter and it was nice seeing the emotional effects the cast are having on eachother. Following that is a short, but chilling, story about a man who loves to paint and his nephew’s support when the unthinkable happens.
Along with being an interesting series full of mystery and drama, Black Sun Silver Moon is also a humorous one. Taki’s energetic reactions in contrast to Shikimi’s subtle responses make for fun interaction while Laz’s enthusiasm, and gender misconceptions, can prove entertaining (as can Grey’s teasing of Taki at times). But of the entire cast, no one brings a spark of comedy life to these more pages more than the little puppy. Cute, round and playful, the resurrected dog’s side-note commentary to situations always makes me giggle and keeps even the most uneventful pages interesting.
Tomo Maeda’s artwork continues to improve with each passing volume, becoming more solid and consistent. Certain parts where a character’s bare limb is exposed, only to be barely the width of their own hand, irked me anatomy-wise. Fortunately these scenes are few and far between. My favourite part of the style is the character’s expression, the manga-ka able to express a lot on the cast’s ever-animated faces.
After finishing the book, I wasn’t as enthralled with it as I have been in earlier volumes but it was still a good read with some compelling new information. It was great coming back to a good balance of light-hearted scenes vs. serious ones, a combination that felt off since the beginning of Shikimi flashbacks. With new little twists to the story in mind, I look forward to seeing where everything is going and now begin patiently awaiting volume six.
Review written May 12, 2008 by Lissa Pattillo
Book purchased from independant novelty shop (The Batter’s Box)