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Misao, the girl who can see spirits and demons, started getting attacked by demons when she turned sixteen. Later on, she is reunited with her childhood friend –Kyou, which little did she know, is a Tengu. She lately, discovered that she is the "Bride of the Prophecy" also known as, "Senka Maiden". If a yokai drinks her blood, their life extends. If her flesh is eaten, a yokai will have eternal life. If she is taken as a bride, it will bring prosperity to the yokai clan. All of the demons are competing to have her but Kyou, the tengu clan head who loved her protects her no matter what. As she learned more about the Yokai world, they had discovered the " Senkaroku" or the Holy Fruit Record which contains the record of the previous marriage of the previous Senka to the Kitsune Clan. They learned the risks and consequences of the marriage which restricts the love she had with Kyou.
This manga called Black Bird is illustrated by Kanoko Sakurakoji. It was serialized in Shogakukan's Betsucomi magazine from July 2006 to December 2012 and published with 18 bound volumes. This series as a Shojo manga category won the 54th Shogakukan Manga Award.
Sakurakoji did the best job of illustrating this kind of manga. It is well-detailed and also a kind of informative manga if you are interested in the supernatural genre of manga and animes. This manga also reflects the folklores and culture of Japan very well. Some details are tagged with (*), which have some explanations on the right side of the manga or sometimes at the bottom of the frames. The characters and events are illustrated very well which can leave you imagining some events and those handsome characters.
There is some other yokai mentioned in the story that take big roles also.
1. Kitsune - the fox clan to which the previous Senka had been married to. Their clan head leader is Kozunoha Tadanobu. He is a childhood friend of Kyou and an ally to the Tengu clan.
2. Shiro-Hibi - the white snake's clan which gave Misao the list of poisons and their recipes of antidotes. They are also an ally to the Tengu clan.
3. Nue - they attacked the Tengu Mansion by using illusions to lure out and kidnapped Misao but they failed when the tengu infant inside Misao gave her power to protect her. The Nue is captured and killed later on by Kyou and the eight great tengus.
4. Tsuchigumo - the clan of earth spiders that allied with Shou to capture Misao inside the Tengu Hometown.
5. Narukami - they are known as the "screaming Gods". They allied with Tsuchigumo to attack the Kitsune clan and steal the Senkaroku.
Shou - he is Kyou's older brother and one of the Great Eight Tengu –the retainers of the Clan Head. His character is a villain from the and almost at an end but even though he is seen like this, there is a twist discovered in his personality. He saved Misao from the landslide instead of himself although he is restored by his Mother's brother against his will. At his comeback, he brought chaos to the Tengu Village. Yet, all of those incidents that happen are just part of his plan to urge Kyou to kill him so that Kyou will appear as a hero and trustworthy clan head.
Sagami Ryou - he is the most loyal retainer of Kyou. He stands by Kyou's side and gives the best advice since Kyou is still a child until Kyou had a child. He helps Kyou with all kinds of troubles and problems. He also has been there to look after Misao.
Zenki - he will always pick a fight with Kyou on nonsensical things and throws statements that he didn't like him. Though honestly, he volunteered to be Kyou's retainer because he had seen through that Kyou is dependable on taking care of kids at the orphanage and is kind to all of his employees.
Tarou- the eldest of the triplets and is also a loyal retainer of Kyou. He always does his best to make Misao and Kyou happy even if the thing that he excels in is cooking and cleaning.