Archive for the 'Kisaragi, Hirotaka' Category

23rd Nov 2008

Dark Walker

Rating: ♦♦♦

I’ve been off of June’s paperback releases for a while. I don’t have the loathing for them that a lot of people have, but they’re not the easiest reading. This one, though, sucked me in by virtue of the fact that I’m a huge fan of the illustrator, Hirotaka Hisaragi. This is the artist behind the series Innocent Bird, which I found to be visually stunning.

Now, this book is based on the series of the same name that Kisaragi wrote. Only, Kisaragi didn’t write this book and new characters were invented. So, you could look at it as a bit of AU fan fiction. That being said, I did find a lot I liked in the book–and not just the illustrations. The idea behind the world is that certain people can fall into an alternate world, the Depths of Dreams, and there they can fight demons who want nothing more than to go to the human world and feast on humans.

The humans who have the ability to fall into the Depths of Dreams are called Dark Walkers. Dark Walkers also have the ability to fight the demons, though it’s a perilous task. See, if they kill too many demons, they run the risk of turning into a demon themselves.

One of our main characters, Yuugo, gained his wings in this way. He defeated a crow demon and stole the wings. This makes me very happy as I have a bit of a kink for boys with wings.

So, there’s this shadow world that our main character, Tomoki, knows nothing about. All he knows is that when he falls asleep, he’s taken by a mystery lover, someone who’s face he can’t see, but someone who begs Tomoki to remember him. This confuses the hell out of Tomoki, who’s pretty sure that he’s not attracted to guys, but is dreaming about being screwed six ways to Sunday.

Of course, this means that Tomoki’s a Dark Walker and his lover is charged with keeping him safe as he grows into his powers. It’s just getting Tomoki to realize who his lover is in time and learning how to harness these powers to keep them both safe that is going to be the challenge.

All in all, it’s really not a bad read. It’s just kind of stilted and of course having bits that make me cringe, what with the lack of lube and all, but that’s something that I’ve come to expect from BL novels. However, it just registers as a minor irritation now.

While I can’t say to run out and buy this one, I will say that it’s pretty as hell. It is something that I will probably read again the next time I need to scratch my itch for boys with wings.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦, Dark Walker, Kisaragi, Hirotaka, Yura, Hikaru | 3 Comments »

26th May 2008

Innocent Bird 1

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

My first introduction to this artist was from me picking up her artbook. I didn’t know anything about the artist, but I knew she drew pretty boys and drew them kissing. I was very happy with the images contained in the artbook, even though I had no clue who any of the characters were.

Then I found the scanlations of Innocent Bird. A renegade devil, trying to gain God’s favor and a tired, cynical angel who’s supposed to be convincing him to return back to hell. Boys with wings. Boys with wings who are angsting. Color me a happy girl.

So, we have Karasu, the cynical angel, and Shirasagi as the renegade devil. Shirasagi is not your usual devil. He wants to live as a human and a holy man at that. He spends his days teaching the children in the slum he’s living in about God’s love. Karasu just can’t bring himself to send Shirasagi back to Hell. It probably doesn’t hurt matters that there’s quite a bit of chemistry between Karasu and Shirasagi. Enough chemistry to get both Karasu and Shirasagi in quite a bit of trouble.

This release is a real treat. I still can’t get over the quality of the illustrations. There’s so much detail. Flowing, draping fabric, wings, long hair and just everything that makes me happy in a release.

Then there’s also the whole angel and devil getting together bit. I don’t know what it says about me and my Christian upbringing that makes me find the idea of corrupting the Christian ideal of pure angels with sexy angel-boys messing around hot. If it was up to me, there would be a lot more stories about boys with wings screwing each other blind.

I know I’m not the only one who has this fascination. There’s a lot to love in this release. I think a lot of people are going to be very happy with it.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Innocent Bird, Kisaragi, Hirotaka | Comments Off on Innocent Bird 1

26th May 2008

Innocent Bird 2

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Maybe it’s because I was raised in a Christian household, but I love the Japanese bastardizations on Christian mythology. We’ve got angels, devils, seraphim, angels questioning God and lots of pretty boys with wings. One thing I do notice in any series that borrows from Christian mythology is that Jesus is never mentioned. They will have all the levels of angels correct, know the arc angels by name and have them all paying homage to God, but never is there a mention of Jesus. It just makes reading the series that much more interesting for me.

When we last left Karasu and Shirasagi, they had barely escaped from the depths of Hell; Shirasagi having broken his vows as an angel and having his power sealed and Karasu giving up his dream of ascending to Heaven by using his demonic powers to help protect Shirasagi.

They’re taking refuge at an abandoned school where an old friend of Karasu offers them shelter and a safe place to plan their next steps. Problem is that there’s a vaguely sinister minister who’s got his sights set on ruining the small peace that Karasu, Shirasagi and the rest of the refugees have found.

There’s also a new character with a mysterious past. It seems that the parrot’s owner has come for him and has an answer to Karasu’s problems. He can be turned into a human, but at what seems to be a great cost. There’s a whole lot of posturing and bragging by heavenly creatures who are trying to convince Shirasagi to leave Karasu behind and go back to being a good little angel lackey.

Oh yeah, and by the way, when did seraphim ever adopt the EGL (Elegant Gothic Lolita) style as their uniform? They never appeared that way in any of my art history books. I would have paid a hell of a lot more attention in class if they did.

You know, I think the entire reason these releases are shrink-wrapped is because of the bastardization of Christian mythology. There’s really nothing else that anyone could find objectionable. I stopped reading the scanlations of this release, so I don’t know if there’s hot sexing in the third and last book, and they just decided to shrink wrap the entire series to save the headache of booksellers denying teenyboppers the ability to buy the third volume. Honestly, from what I know of this artist’s work, that doesn’t seem very likely.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Innocent Bird, Kisaragi, Hirotaka | Comments Off on Innocent Bird 2

26th May 2008

Innocent Bird 3

Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

Pretty, pretty, pretty. Now this is how boys with wings should be drawn.

Here we have the final fight for the fate of Karasu. On the plains of Purgatory, Koumori leads the way, but there’s more to Koumori than meets the eye. Throw in the Archduke of Hell coming in to help support the Distortion that is threatening to destroy not only Heaven but the entire world.

There’s a lot in this series that makes my little ex-Christian heart happy. It’s not that I’m anti-Christian, but it’s great to see another twist on the Christian mythos. All of the things that I was taught growing up, and have become locked into my psyche, come out when I’m reading this. Like all of those prayers that I learned and most likely will never be able to forget… The part that really twisted me up was when we find out Koumori’s secrets. Letting you in on the secrets would ruin that part of the book, so I’m zipping my lips. Just trust me, it’s worth it.

I’m really quite sad that this series is over. It’s not graphic, but it’s sexy, smart and all-around gorgeous. There’s something to be said for someone who knows when it’s time to end a story. There’s no point in dragging a story out for ten or more books if the story can be told in three books.

Go out and buy this. Then see if you can pick up the art book from JPQueen. It’s well worth your money.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦♦♦♦, Innocent Bird, Kisaragi, Hirotaka | Comments Off on Innocent Bird 3