BLACK SUN, SILVER MOON (Kuro no Taiyô Gin no Tsuki, “Black Sun, Silver Moon”) (???????) • Tomo Maeda • Go! Comi (2007-ongoing) • Shinshokan (Wings, 2002-2008) • 7 volumes • Shôjo Bishonen Occult Comedy Drama • 16+ (mild language, infrequent violence)
Because of his dead father’s debts to the church, good-hearted, black-haired Taki becomes the servant of Shikimi, a young, silver-haired priest who lives alone and who is the subject of disturbing rumors. But he soon discovers two startling facts: firstly, Taki’s job description includes killing the walking dead in the nearby cemetery; and secondly, Shikimi is slowly turning into a demon/vampire, and he wants Taki to stay with him and kill him when the time comes. Although a puppy and a few other characters soon join the priest’s household, Black Sun, Silver Moon is essentially a two-character drama, a bishonen (but platonic) story about the relationship with the two men and Taki’s role in the tormented Shikimi’s salvation. (”What I’ve wanted all along is someone brave enough to stand by my side as a true companion.”) There is a little comedy and even less action, but lots of dialogue and internal meanderings. Maeda’s shojo artwork is so stylized it’s almost abstract, which isn’t necessarily a good thing; the story uses a limited palette of fragile-looking, big-eyed faces and sparkling screentone replacing all other objects. Nonetheless, the series maintains a consistent mood and sticks close to its themes of need, friendship, love and sadness. Numerous side stories pad out the volumes.
Today’s winner (er, at least on the West Coast it’s still today… I’m a little late updating) is Ash B. of Pennsylvania! Congratulations, Ash! Hope you like the manga I’m sending!