It’s been awhile since my last Substandard Shoujo Spectacle, but I do wish to try and continue this column, even if some of the manga are getting downright painful to read *looks at Suki Shite Sadist* The theme for chapter 5 of both Black Bird and Sadist seems to be more of the same. Black Bird is continuing down the “Nice Guy” justification it started up in chapter 4; and Sadist is continuing to pile up on cliches and shallow mellow drama.

Black Bird

  • This manga sure likes reminding us of Misao’s predicament. The little blurb about her fate has been repeated in almost every chapter so far. Oh, Black Bird‘s author, have a little faith, I’m sure most of us are smart enough to remember this obviously crucial information without you repeating it at the start of every chapter.
  • Um, do the students not find it strange that the new transfer student (our dear third wheel) is whispering stuff to the teacher? If I had seen a fellow classmate whispering with a teacher during class, I’d find that really odd.
  • Rival tries to kiss Misao “as a joke.” Hahaha, right?
  • By the way, when Misao kisses a monster, it gives him energy. I wonder if this works on female monsters too? Not that we’d see any yuri in a manga so intensely heterosexual in its smut. But it does make one curious.
So damn hot.

See, Kyo’s such a catch because he hasn’t raped Misao yet.

  • Just to let us know once more what a darling Kyo really is, the author makes the rival pin Misao to a wall and threaten her by saying he won’t wait for her feelings. Once Kyo is gone, he will make her his bride. Also darn it, I love how “bride” is being used here as a code word for sex slave. Black Bird sure loves these little code words. Demons want to “marry” Misao and make her their “bride”. My if I didn’t know better, I would think these words are being used so that the reader won’t be utterly turned off by the idea of being a magical demon sex slave.
  • Guys more reasons why Kyo, even though he’s a possessive jerk that can’t keep his hands off Misao, is so much better than rival: The rival attacks Misao to make Kyo take the blow! See, he’s a coward and cowards are so not hot.
  • “No matter how much you hate me…Misao, I’ll protect you. I won’t hand you to anyone else!” – Kyo. SWOON MY LADY HEART! SWOON! He is possessive because he cares! Nothing like that cowardly rival!
  • Guys see! That stunt he pulled back in chapter 3 is ok because he cares so deeply for Misao that he risked his life and doesn’t want her using her magic blood to heal him. He doesn’t want to see her hurt physically, but I guess emotional scars are a-okay? Cause he basically scared her half to death in chapter 3.
  • “If I don’t have you, then there’s no meaning in living” -Kyo *cue major Twilight flashbacks* Also am I the only one that finds this creepy? I’m always a bit put off whenever a character, male or female, is depicted in a way that suggest their lover is the be all and end all of their existence. Yes, love is important, but it’s not the *only* thing of importance to a person’s life.
  • Monsters are a-coming, so Misao you better become mine. Romantic~

 

The Silver Lining?

The more creepy behaviour has been regulated onto the rival now, who is shown in a pretty negative light. Also there are the beginnings of a consensual relationship here (Misao actually kisses Kyo this time), which even with how terrible chapter 3’s stunt was, does make me feel slightly better about this series. Hell if it can make Kyo grow up and make Misao a tad more assertive, it won’t be half bad. Problem free? No. But then most fictional works aren’t and I’ll just be happy if it develops in a better direction. I can look past a few questionable things if the ultimate goal of the story becomes turning a dysfunctional relationship into a functional one since I do understand that there needs to be some sort of conflict and some kind of character development to keep a character heavy romance going. Although I do wish the whole, “become mine” thing was dropped. She isn’t a possession. It’s not romantic.

Rating: B-

Become Mine and Nobody Else’s. Come on Black Bird, you’re losing momentum here. You’re transferring all the negative aspects on the rival and we all know the rival will never be with the heroine! Although great job on continuing the send the message that Kyo is a freaken hero for not raping Misao.

Suki Shite Sadist

  • Strong and wise Naoya knows exactly what to say to comfort the distressed Aya. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought Masaya was Aya’s brother and not vice versa. But well that’s to be expected cause the men need to be in control and stoic at all times and only the womminz are emotional and cry.
  • Masaya is unusually forthright with Aya and asks for her reply. Aya, as per usual, is much too passive to say yey or ney. Oh but what if he’s no longer my friend, she worries. Then he wasn’t really a friend to begin with if this is all it takes to break his friendship off with her. The worries, in short, are shallow.
  • Oh, but he quickly recants his question and apologizes, like a good beta doormat should! Crisis averted!
  • “I can’t believe it…Naoya is willing to watch a movie with me!” -Aki There is something deeply troubling about this. Perhaps it’s the fact that she thought it normal for him to flat out refuse any of her suggestions. Or maybe that she’s fine with his usual way of treating her. No, it must he because Naoya is acting too nice! We want them jerks!
  • “How do I put it…He’s really gentle…” -Aki Because he bought you a drink? A drink you never asked for? Maaaaybe I’m crazy here, but true consideration would require that he ask her if she even *wants* a drink and what kind before making all those decisions for her. But of course, infantile little Aki needs Naoya to make all those big hard decisions for her.
  • Something is fishy though. No way a Mayu Shinjou manga has such a nice love interest and no way he just suddenly changed for the heroine. Something is definitely up.
  • Oh god, the cliches continue. He calls out after her and the birds scatter around as she turns around. And he embraces her from the back.
  • OH OH HERE IT IS! Naoya was being all nice to Aki because he intends to step aside and give her to his brother. This was his farewell to her. Ah, so romantic, especially the part where he treats her like an item to be given to his brother and not a person who decides whether she loves Masaya or not.
  • But of course we GOT to make Aki as thick headed as possible. She doesn’t get what he meant? Only a complete idiot wouldn’t understand the significance of him saying she is precious to Masaya and then saying good bye. Please, please, please, may I have a heroine with more than 10 2 brain cells?
  • “Even if he bullies me and says “bye bye” … It’s alright” – Aki RRRRRRRRWAGHHFDKJFNDKVFCVNCXK *Sigh* I give up.
  • So the first girl to make an appearance outside of the heroine is her rival. Lovely! And Naoya seeing Aki is watching him and the girl, agrees to go out with said rival. Man, oh man, cliche mellow drama OVERLOAD!
  • The only thing Aki can say in reply to all this? “It’s a lie.” Man, you couldn’t make her any more pathetic if you tried!
  • So the thing I don’t get is why Naoya was kissing her in the movie theatre when he was resolved to give her up. Oh right, cause he’s the biggest egotistical jerk that ever existed in shoujo manga and only thought of his needs when he went and did that.
  • Cliche #468: Aki cried her eyes out all night and comes to school with swollen red eyes. Classic!
  • Cue more silly melodrama. Poor poor Aki, she can’t control dem womminz emotions. She looks at him and knows it’s useless. Oh woe is me, I am beyond reason!
  • Oh but when poor pathetic Aki is falling down the stairs, Naoya, epitome of manliness, rushes and saves her from falling. Oh and this is cliche #493. He also calls her a “silly girl”. All she can manage is to apologize.
  • I could be here all day writing out the sheer silliness of the quotes and how utterly cliche they are like Aki commenting on Naoya’s “strong arms” but eh I can’t be bothered. It’s far too boring. I’m forcing myself to read this now. It’s not even funny like Devil Within, it’s just plain old boring. I haven’t been this bored when reading a manga in a good while. Heck, I think it can give Lucky Star a run for its money in terms of boring me to tears. And I never thought anything could get as boring as Lucky Star.
Because interactions between girls and women always amount to antagonism.

Because interactions between girls and women always amount to antagonism.

  • Cue jealous other girl, whose sole purpose is to be the jealous other girl, trying to take Naoya’s towel and do his laundry. Naoya, however, arrives and snatches the towel from her and orders her to “return to the classroom now!” Yes orders!
  • Then we get a childish display of Aki threatening to quit as manager and Naoya telling her not to quit until he tells her to do as she likes and she dramatically dashes off yelling she will. God, is this kindergarten? Because you could have fooled me.
  • Ugh, and of course she cries on the other guy’s (Masaya’s) shoulder. Cliche #523

The Silver Lining?

Help meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. This manga is literally boring me to tears. Sure this chapter avoids any more sexual assault, but my god that is literally the only good thing I can say about it. It’s extremely boring, and by far the most cliche thing I’ve read, and the heroine lacks any semblance of thought. How could she not understand what Naoya meant when he said good bye to her? HOW? *slams head on desk* Honestly any Mayu Shinjou fans out there want to tell me what’s so good about her manga? Because as far as I can see, she is a lazy story teller relying heavily on cliches and prevalent character tropes. She doesn’t even have an interesting hook or plot. At least Hadashi de Bara wo Fume has some sort of plot that keeps me from feeling like I’m reading some thoughtless trite drivel.

Rating: C+

Mindless Stupid Drivel. Yes, Suki Sadist, please continue to produce such high quality story telling that takes into consideration how intelligent your readers are. They clearly won’t notice how absolutely boring you are, nor how you rely on petty cliches and shallow mellow drama to invoke tension in place of an actual plot and likeable characters. But let’s see more of that possessiveness from Naoya, because that’s where you really shine.

–SW

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