Author: Dall-Young Lim
Manhwa-ga: Sung-Woo Park
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: June 2008
Synopsis: “Discovering that his new enemies are actually allies, Keita receives the guidance necessary to take on the evil behind the false alter-egos running rampant. But he must also revisit the painful memory of his mother’s disappearance when this new battles takes him and Kuro to his mother’s hometown of Okinawa. Will the strength gained from his new friends be enough to help him through this gruelling journey?”
In this volume of Black God, Akane is again the target of mysterious sources, out to capture her in relation to the sudden, unexplained deaths happening around the city. Two of those that Keita and his partner-of-sorts, Kuro, had fought against are now revealed as allies and are able to shed some light on the increasingly grave situation. Keita struggles to unravel the mystery behind his mother’s disappearance, people’s deaths and protect Akane all while trying to discover and understand more about his ability to aid Kuro in fights.
A big part of what helped make this book a nice read was the lead character, Keita. While his involvement wasn’t too extensive in this volume, minus some understandable traumatization and stress, I found him likeable and he didn’t feel like he fell into every stereotypical lead male character archetype.
Kuro was a cute female sidekick who obviously has a lot about her I don’t know (having just hopped into the story here at book three) but would certainly like to. Akane is a little less interesting, more of a damsel right now, but as a plot device I’m intrigued to see how they explain her. The other two lead characters of the book, the now allied with the main cast duo, with a questionable (though fixed with one line of dialogue) relationship, are also a pretty cool team and I’m happy it seems they’ll be sticking around.
One of the strongest parts of this book was undoubtedly the artwork. I loved the proportions the artist used, which don’t feel as over exaggerated as some. The rounded faces were cute on the females and the artist used different facial structures for different characters, helping to avoid a common style flaw of similar appearances. Where the art really shone however was in the action sequences, where I enjoyed the creative use of perspective shots and fast paced, beautiful executed violence and movement. My only quip with the style is that at times I felt it seemed a bit heavy, having a lot of black and dark screen tones. Overall, however, the dark style suited the story with much of it taking place during the night.
The production quality from Yen Press is really high in this release. It’s a thick book with a really nice weight to it, helping to make it look and feel as substantial as it actually is. The paper is nice, the interior translation is well written and I didn’t come across any major gutter issues as I have in their other books. I did find the addition of sound effect translation placed in next to the originals a little distracting though, especially during fight scenes.
Come the end, I really enjoyed Black God, volume three. The art is really nice, the story is interesting and I’m genuinely curious to see how things turn out for the heroes, anti-heroes and soon-to-be-introduced bad guys. While volumes one and two are now a must-read for me to completely understand what’s going on, there was still more than enough here to pique my interest in the series.