To have fun Black Chook’s fifteenth anniversary, here is a glance into how this supernatural romance impacted the shojo style.
This month marks the 15th anniversary of the darkish fantasy romance manga, Black Chook by Kanoko Sakurakoji. Most shojo readers are aware of sophisticated highschool love triangles, comparable to Boys Over Flowers, and younger characters remodeling into magical ladies, like in Sailor Moon. However Black Chook pushed the boundaries of shojo, showcasing extra critical feminine adolescent points referring to relationships and rising up.
The story facilities on the connection between a teenage woman named Misao Harada and her childhood pal Kyou Usui, who occurs to be the chief of the Tengu clan. Misao can see supernatural beings and on her sixteenth birthday, demons viciously assault her, however Kyou saves her.
Misao quickly learns she is the “Bride of Prophecy” who holds immense energy. Demons need to eat her blood or marry her as a result of she is alleged to deliver prosperity to a demon clan. Kyou vows to guard Misao from different demons, and so they finally fall in love. Black Chook might sound like your typical supernatural romance, however its 2006 publication proved very important in rising the recognition of shojo manga globally.
Misao is depicted as docile at first, however whereas she lives in Kyou’s family, she learns to adapt and assert herself right into a patriarchal system. Kyou was initially overprotective as nicely, however quickly after, Misao learns to talk up for herself and her wants inside their relationship — particularly when she will get pregnant with Kyou’s little one. Black Chook doesn’t draw back from actual relationship points as its story explores mature themes like intercourse, abortion and marital values.
Other than romance, Black Chook additionally introduces Japanese folklore to worldwide readers. The manga was revealed at a time when supernatural romances had been trending in mainstream popular culture media. Western feminine audiences grew to become followers of vampires and werewolf love tales comparable to Twilight and Teen Wolf, which led to a possibility for the publicity of supernatural anime tales as nicely. Black Chook appealed to western followers by introducing a mysterious and sensual male protagonist, Kyou, who’s just like Edward Cullen of Twilight. Kyou showcases his caring and protecting facet towards Misao by preventing towards different demons that search her blood. But there are moments when he additionally expresses his flirtatious intercourse attraction to Misao, which favorably caters to feminine readers’ need for fan service.
The Black Chook manga introduces readers to a supernatural entity from Japanese people faith: the tengu, an anthropomorphized bird-like creature with an extended beak and avian wings. Kyou and his clansmen look principally human, however they nonetheless retain the black wings and use long-beaked masks to characterize the tengu. Though Black Chook doesn’t go in-depth concerning the tengu lore, the manga does nicely in sparking readers’ curiosity about Japanese folklore. Many darkish fantasy shojo romances inform tales about nine-tailed foxes, whereas the tengu is usually solid as a supporting character. Nevertheless, Black Chook positions the tengu as the primary legendary creature, displaying readers there’s extra to Japanese folklore than the traditional fox.
Black Chook gained widespread success each in Japan and abroad. It gained the 54th Shogakukan Manga Award within the shojo class and was the sixth best-selling manga collection within the US for 2011. Extra importantly, it pushed the boundaries for shojo, paving a path for different supernatural romances, like Kamisama Kiss and Kakuriyo: Mattress & Breakfast for Spirits, leaving an indelible mark on the style for years after.
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About The Creator
Ederlyn Peralta (66 Articles Printed)
Ederlyn Peralta is an Anime & Manga Options Author for CBR. She has an MA in Comparative Literature from San Francisco State College and a BA in Japanese from UC Berkeley. She spends her time enjoying with tarot playing cards, gathering crystals, and consuming an excessive amount of popular culture leisure. She runs a personal blog and you could find her on Twitter @lynlynsays.