Friday, January 13, 2012

Manga Review: Black Sun

This is one of those manga that keeps coming up in rec lists for BDSM themed manga, but one that I had been unable to find until a friend pointed me to Akadot. So I bought it, especially since I'd been seeing how much everyone loved it for so very, very long.

Right. Well.

First off, I found the art to be uneven. Meaning, sometimes it was very pretty and other times, especially when Leonard was in his Crusader helmet I hated it. Especially his face. It became the cliche shojo face of doom.

The storyline was predictable and nothing special. Admittedly, I will happily read the trope of captive falling in love with captor all the live long day, assuming that the story is well done. And this wasn't. Heck, I can even read a mildly well done plot if the sex is really gorgeous or well done. This wasn't. And that's one of the things that people kept saying, that the sex scenes were so explicit, so 'hot'. These people have clearly not been reading the things that I have been reading if they think those scenes were a) well done or b) explicit and hot.

And there were random things that completely threw me out of the story. The slip of the author, or perhaps the translator into calling Jamal, 'Jamal-sama'. Last time I checked Muslims in, well, let's face it, any time period at all in the Middle East, didn't use the honorific 'sama'. And the freaking mitten things that they apparently use on captives hands.What the hell are those? What? That's how much they bugged me, or maybe that just shows how little the story dragged me into it.

Everyone in this story felt like a cardboard cutout. Nothing special. Nothing to draw the reader in and make us care about the characters' lives. It's unsuccessful as a story and it's unsuccessful as pwp.

The single best part of the manga was the little side story at the end with one of the other characters' pet panther.

A second volume as just been released and I will definitely not be getting it.

2 out of 5

If you're looking for a *good* manga with BDSM themes, gorgeous artwork, and a well put together and thought out storyline with fleshed out characters, allow me to point you to the Finder series. My love of which has nothing to do with the hot mob boss trope. Nope. Not one little bit.


  1. Heh, I never knew you were into this sort of stuff Amber :P Then again, not the sort of thing I normally wander around and ask people about, so there. So, the second series you mentioned, is it any good?

    1. *laughs* True, it's not something you just randomly ask! "So, by the way, what are your feelings on ropes?" o.0

      Yes. Finder is incredible, but it does contain quite a bit of hardcore D/s action so it's not for everyone.

  2. Haha, I'm not sure actually. I definitely don't have anything against ropes, but I'm not huuugely into them either.

    Heh, I find I'm more okay with reading the hardcore stuff than I am with actually doing the hardcore stuff. IRL I much prefer softer domination.

    1. *laughs* You know what I mean though! Personally I'm a fan of ropes but that's neither here nor there. :)

      I think the difference, at least for a lot of people, is the level of trust that you have in your partner. For the hardcore stuff you have to trust them quite a bit more than for the softer side of domination. After all, they can do a hell of a lot more damage if something goes wrong. There's also the factor where just because we find something attractive in a fantasy setting doesn't mean that the reality will be just as appealing.

  3. Yeah very good points, I don't think I have ever been with anyone I trusted enough - to even tell, and I only started exploring even the softer stuff in my past two relationships.

    I think maybe for me, it's also part of having been brought up as a "good Christian girl", being told what to do helps me relax and let go :P It's not "my fault" :P hahaha

    1. It's such a cliche, but that doesn't make it any less true. BDSM, on whatever level you're comfortable with it, is all about trust.

      I think it's a terrible shame that we're (people in general) so out of touch with ourselves and ashamed of things that have been deemed 'out of the ordinary' in terms of sex that we don't know how to approach it.

      Me, I've clearly reached the stage of openness and acceptance of myself at least with that.

  4. "cliche shojo face of doom" - I love it! Yeah, "Black Sun" was quite a disappointment. I think they just about had everything I DON'T like in a manga in that one. Nonetheless, I'm tempted to get volume 2 just to see if it gets better. : / But then I remind myself that far better books are coming up soon ("Tyrant" 6!!!) and that they deserve to have my meager funds.

    1. It is! The overly pretty/feminized face of shojo DOOM! :D

      Resist the urge! It's not going to be worth it. Personally, I'm waiting for Tyrant 6, Finder 6, and Private Teacher 3. I'm also thinking of picking up Devil's Infirmary and Fallen Saint's Kiss as well.


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