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Review: Black God (Vol. 06)

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo

Author: Dall-Young Lim
Manhwa-ga: Sung-Woo Park
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: June 2009

Synopsis: “Kuro opens up about her life before she came to Earth, that of a carefree princess in her family’s haven of pure tera. But factions emerged among the mototsumitama, and now the violent betrayal that destroyed her clan drives her search for the head of the Shishigami family. The mutual tragedy of their pasts draws Keita and Kuro closer together — this fight has become personal for both of them. But will their bond of trust give them the strength to take on the Kaionji Group as Kouei’s sinister plot unfolds in Okinawa?”

Most of my proverbial prayers were answered here in volume six. The previous book had left me discontent with the direction of the story, or lack there of, and I was quick to learn it’s hard to muster interest in a story that seems to be failing at even interesting itself. Thankfully the first half of this volume seeks to give the story a more solid direction as it takes readers back to Kuro’s life before she arrived in the human world.

The world of Pure Tera where Kuro grew up is portrayed as nothing short of paradise and Kuro’s loving relationship with her kind Mother and doting brother is just as intentionally rosy. Everything is positively cheery and bright until Kuro stumbles upon a madman performing gruesome experiments on kidnapped humans and Mototsumitama. His goal is to force the magical bond that can be created between the two species through the exchange of their limbs.

The drastic change in tone of the story, as it goes from prospering utopia to the bloody carving of a young woman in a cave, is certainly an impacting shift, as well as one that boosts this usually 16+ series  to earn an 18+ rating. It also sets up another of the until-now-hidden-in the-background-characters, and though his connection to Kuro feels contrived, it definitely makes Kuro’s stake in what’s happening feel more potent than the story has been able to achieve until now.

Unfortunately despite the flashback, the book didn’t offer as much about Kuro herself as I’d have liked, past the easily deduced fact that she’s been cute, naïve and energetic long before Keita met her. I’m still not sure why Kuro speaks the way she does, especially now that you see no one else where she comes from speaks that way. At some point I chalked it up to her not being able to fluently speak Japanese but now that no longer seems the case.

Volume six isn’t a book that I’ll look back on as an especially notable part of the series but for fans of the series up until now, the Kuro back-story was long in the coming and did offer up some beautiful visuals. Marking the series at its current halfway point, Black God seems to be finally gearing itself up for a climax that will see the combined cast brought together for an inevitable showdown, and this book does see some surprising developments that will alter the way we’d expected it would play out.

However, despite it’s scattered moments of intrigue, at this point I’ve predominantly got my fingers crossed that the series can salvage what’s left of the compelling pace that made the first few books so interesting, because despite a plot that’s trying hard to move forward, I still can’t shake the feeling it’s trapped standing still.

Review written June 7, 2009 by Lissa Pattillo
Book provided by Yen Press for review purposes

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Kuriousity.ca. Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.

Kuriousity does not condone or support the illegal distribution of manga online.
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