Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Innocent Bird, v.1

by Hirotaka Kisaragi
Published in the U.S. by Blu

Slugline: Angels and demons renounce their allegiances in favor of being human -- and maybe a little boy-love somewhere down the line.

Since this title is published by Blu, I'm assuming there will be some boy-love in the later volumes, but right now it's strictly early relationship drama. Karasu, an angel, and Shirasagi, a demon, both have their fallings-out with the entire angel/demon bureaucracy and declare their independence. And then, for whatever reason, there are two chapters of an entirely different story at the end of the volume.

I have no problem with most of the wild variations on Western mythology and Christianity that turn up in manga -- it's just that some of them are so far off base that the author is only confusing me by using familiar names. Innocent Bird takes some liberties with angelic mythology (I'd call gay romance a bit of a liberty) and puts its characters in some interesting situations. Shirasagi has not only given up being a demon, he's gone through seminary. And Karasu doesn't just talk back to his superiors, he cuts a deal with a devil to rescue his friend.

The filler story is quite good, and I like the clean artwork and messy blood spatters. Though these angels have the same problem as most winged people in manga: from the amount of feathers flying around, they must be constantly molting, the poor things.

Innocent Bird is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Miranda

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