Black Bird is a shoujo manga by Kanoko Sakuraouji. It tells the story of Misao Harada, an ordinary girl who can see ghosts, spirits and demons, and her relationship with Kyo, the head of a Tengu (bird demon) clan, who she befriended as a little child. Thanks to her Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday, if a demon makes Misao his bride (which is implied to have more to do with sex than it does with nuptials), their clan would become prosperous; on the other hand, if a demon eats her flesh, it will gain immortality. Poor Misao is therefore caught between Kyo, who wants to marry her (against her will, if necessary), and various other badnasties who want to eat her. Romance, uh, ensues.Not to Be Confused withThe Beatles song of the same name from the White Album.
Tropes used in this work include:
All Men Are Perverts: especially including Kyo, who thinks erotic ukiyo-e artwork, a book of 48 hot sex tips, and a laid-out futon is the best way to celebrate.
Always Save the Girl: Kyo's entire reason for everything he's done for the last ten years, all the destruction, death and rebellion to take over his clan, was quite simply so he could marry Misao, he doesn't really care about anything else. He will always save Misao.
Amnesiac Lover: Most of Misao's childhood memories of Kyo were sealed away by Sho before the story began. She still had enough to remember Kyo and be completely disappointed when he didn't meet her expectations and turned out to be a dirty pervert.
Antihero: Kyo is not a good guy. He will kill, steal, lie and destroy his way through anyone if he has to for Misao.
Bastard Boyfriend: Kyo, whose 'love' is expressed by constant sexual harassment - up to taking secret photos of his, uh... beloved.
There's also the time he lifted her up several stories and threatened to drop her, all so he could train her body to become dependent upon him.
That was less trying to make her dependent upon him than it was him trying to show her that if he does not protect her, she will be killed and eaten by some other demon. There were probably better methods with which to do it, but his intentions weren't malicious.
Really, YMMV. While Kyo is undisputedly a bit perverted, and hot tempered, he turns out to be far gentler to and protective of Misao than this trope would usually suggest. The cover art is misleading; the relationship between the two is far healthier and kinder than the vast majority of Shojou manga. The Fanservice definitely appeals to BDSM-fans, but the actual substance of the relationship tells a very different story. Note, too, that the examples above are from early in the series—the first couple of volumes. The relationship gets a bit better as the series goes on.
Berserk Button: Don't touch Misao in front of Kyo. And only try to hurt her if you have a pretty sincere death wish which includes some fairly painful methods of dying.
Belligerent Sexual Tension: Invoked in Chapter 27. Kyo calls Misao a Tsundere, and claims that he likes that. Then Misao reflects on their relationship, thinking about how "We argue over the littlest things" and "He does mean things to me" but they "laugh together and fall in love all over again."
Bishōnen: Pretty much every male character, but especially Kyo, whom Misao mistakes for a pretty girl upon seeing him as an adult.
Butt Monkey: Misao comes up as this, and it's NOT Played for Laughs. She can see spirits, which is already scary enough, and used to be harrassed or hated because of that. Then, she gets caught in the wars of the Tengu and is under attack many times. And while some Tengus are sympathetic to her plight, the most powerful ally she has among them is... a Bastard Boyfriend.
Chekhov's Gun: Kensuke gives Misao a bottle of Whitesnakes' poison which comes in handy when she's later trapped alone with Soujou.
Genre Savvy: Misao's reason for going through with the birth that may very well kill her. If Kyo willingly kills his heir, the child in her, he will be kicked out of his position as clan leader and be forced to go on the run with Misao. Eventually, no matter how hard he fights, he will be defeated by the demons chasing them and Misao will be stolen, raped to produce a heir for a clan, or eaten alive.
Good Is Not Nice: Kyo can be an incredible Jerkass but he's the only thing standing between Misao and a messy death.
Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Averted. Misao's reason for not aborting her fetus is because doing so would likely set off events that would cause Kyo's death and her either rape at the hand of another clan, or being eaten alive.
Hair Reboot: Justified in this case, as Misao gets hair extensions after her close shave with Sojo. Although she doesn't tell him, she does it because she notices Kyo looks sad everytime he sees her short hair.
Kick the Dog: A literal example: in his youth Sho beats a puppy to near death.
Sho does a lot of Kicking The Dog. First off, Misao when she was a little girl, then Tarou and his brothers, then Misao again...
Nice Guy: Dojouji Kensuke. Despite being a snake demon, Kensuke is quite possibly the only gentleman in a cast full of misogynist assholes in that he never lets his physical attraction to Misao override his concern for her feelings. Ironically, this is the very reason why he has no chance in hell of becoming her primary suitor.
Wife Husbandry: Kyo's father met Kyo's mother when she was only seven... and he was eighteen. It's even creepier when you find out that she is essentially betrothed to him and is supposed to become his wife ten years later. Of course, the worst part is Kyo's father's thought: 'I couldn't wait for the child to become a woman.' Squick.