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A look at Black God #11

10:00 PM on 02.04.2011 // Crystal White

This volume of Black God starts off with Mikami and Excel escaping from an apartment building only to run into Saishu from the Shishigami tribe. What occurs next is an violent fight between Saishu and Mikami, spanning several pages and with blood spurts all over with Excel cries on the ground. Near the end of the fight, Saishu has severed the muscles in Mikami's arms, and proceeds to rip off her shirt and grope her, and implies that he will rape her in order to break her down. Suddenly, the contract between Excel and Mikami kicks in and needless to say, Saishu and his cronies get a beat down, while Excel regains her memories. Later, Excel and Mikami agree to continue their contract so that Mikami might avenge her old contractee. After the fight, the story suddenly cuts to Kuro and Keita enduring their training together under Namu in order to open up their tera lines and make them more powerful as a contract team. The two have extreme difficulty doing this and Namu implies that there needs to be love between the two for there to be any progress. Keita considers this begrudgingly but starts to sympathize with Kuro and the two share a few sweet moments. The two continue their training until Aragi arrives, and begins to attack the pair, wishing to kill Keita and being ordered to take Kuro back to his organization. Aragi mercilessly attacks the two and begins choking them to death, informing them that whoever survives the longest he will let live. Kuro decides to try and bite her own tongue off so that Keita will live longer and be spared, when suddenly a mysteriously bright figure appears.

Hit the jump to see my impressions on Black God #11 and where I'd like to see the series go from here!

Black God #11 was an interesting experience to say the least. I had never been involved with the series before and was surprised to learn that it was not a traditional manga, but rather a manhwa instead, created by Korean artists but printed by Square Enix in Japan's Young Gangan magazine. Jumping into the series with no previous knowledge made it very hard to comprehend a lot of the terms like "contract," "synchronize," and "tera" as they're all specific to the story, so I had to look a lot of things up. While I felt the story was actually genuinely interesting despite my occasional confusion, I felt like the character designs left something to be desired. Another complaint I have is that often times speech bubbles do not have direction lines attached to them, so it can be very difficult to know who is talking in which panel. While the series does not lend itself to just diving into the deep end as I did, I admit I'm automatically interested in seeing where the story goes, and if a singular issue can do that, I'd say the series is pretty successful.

As for where I'd like to see this series go in the future, there's a few things I'd like to see happen. First of all, I'd like to see some real development between Kuro and Keita. Their relationship almost reminds me of Touma and Index in A Certain Magical Index, but without the strange age difference pedo factor. I don't want the relationship to be the typical shonen style "boy antagonizes girl but secretly likes her and will never admit it" sort of thing. I'd like a real bond to form. Along the same lines, I also really want to see Kuro and Keita be able to tap into their collective tera lines and really make steps forward in their training. I want to see their potential. Additionally, I want to see where the contract between Mikami and Excel goes, now that Excel has recovered her memories and seems to have done a complete 180-degree turn from the crying little girl she was to the hard and cynical creature she has become. I want to know more about Excel and how this girl is now strangely cold and calculating.

Are any of you a fan of Black God? While it may not have been the best manga/manhwa I've ever read, I was certainly entertained and wouldn't mind reading some more.

Crystal White,
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