Cover of the first English volume of Black God as released by Yen Press
|Written by||Lim Dall-young|
|Illustrated by||Park Sung-woo|
|Published by||Square Enix|
|Original run||March 2005 – August 2012|
|Anime television series|
|Kurokami: The Animation|
|Directed by||Tsuneo Kobayashi|
|Written by||Reiko Yoshida|
|Music by||Tomohisa Ishikawa|
|Original network||TV Asahi|
|Original run||January 8, 2009 – June 18, 2009|
Black God (Japanese: 黒神, Hepburn: Kuro Kami) is a Japanese-Korean manga series written by Dall-Young Lim and illustrated by Park Sung-woo. Square Enix publishes the manga in Japan's bi-monthly seinen magazine Young Gangan . The story is initially set in modern-day Tokyo, then changes to the island of Okinawa in the middle of the story. The word "Black" in the title refers to the character Kuro (黒), as it means black in Japanese. "God" in the title refers to the fact that Kuro is a superhuman, or "Tera Guardian". In France and other French-speaking countries and territories, the manga goes under the name Kurokami: Black God.
The manga is created entirely by a Korean manhwa team led by both Lim and Park. They would occasionally make fun of the fact that none of them were fluent in Japanese in omake segments drawn at the end of each manga volume.
Black God was among four manga titles licensed by Yen Press along with Zombie-Loan , Alice on Deadlines and Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoningwhen it was announced by their panel at the 2007 New York Comic Convention. 19 volumes have been released in North America.
It has been adapted into an anime animated by Sunrise, and first aired in Japan and in the United States on January 8, 2009, while South Korea aired it on January 9, 2009.
When Black God was being created, written, and illustrated by Lim, Park, and their manhwa team, it was done entirely in Korean first before it would then be translated from Korean to Japanese, as it was meant to be published and serialized for the Japanese manga market and not for South Korea.The other works of Lim and Park had been done for the manhwa market in South Korea.
Keita Ibuki is a 19-year-old independent and struggling freelance computer programmer. The two biggest things on his mind are the death years ago of his mother, a few days after she and he had seen her doppelganger; and his project, with two of his friends, to develop and sell a video game program to a big-time video game company in Tokyo. He tries to stay afloat, survive financially and finance his video game project with money given to him by his 21-year-old childhood friend Akane Sano (In the anime, Keita is an ordinary high school student).
One night, he has a chance meeting with a high Tera Guardian named Kuro while eating alone at a ramen stand. He gives her his dinner, a bowl of ramen, and tries to protect her when she is attacked in an ambush by an unknown Tera Guardian. Keita loses an arm during the second round of that fight but Kuro is able to save his life by exchanging his arm for hers since she has enhanced healing abilities like all Tera Guardians (In the anime, his heart is injured and their hearts are exchanged instead). This creates a contract between them, which can make her more powerful than before. In the manga, Keita and Akane strongly disbelieve what Kuro is telling them until Akane grabs Keita's left arm and yanks it around to show that it belongs to Keita, and it comes off. Kuro tells them that during this process he must stay close to her as the host body until the arm is completely fused, or it will rot and fall off; and that because of the swap her power is temporarily diminished by 50%. Once they are synchronized, she will have 200% as much power (In the anime, Kuro warns Keita that they need to be together at all times because her heart will become necrotic if it is away from the main body).
As Kuro stays with Keita and gets acquainted with him while meeting with other Tera Guardians and their human masters, they are targeted by the strongest Tera Guardian clan of the East, the Shishigam Clan in an attempt to kidnap Akane and bring about the destruction of the coexistence balance, which Tera Guardians are supposed to protect. Meanwhile, Keita is determined to find out why his mother died after seeing her double as a young boy and to find out who is responsible for trying to destroy the coexistence balance on Earth.
The manga adaptation of Black God has been serialized with 19 bound volumes already released to the public by Square Enix in Japan and in magazine form by Young Gangan .In North America and in the United Kingdom, Yen Press has already released Black God in English with 19 volumes translated and released. Its first volume was released on October 17, 2007.
Black God has also been released in France and also distributed in French-speaking countries and territories by Editions Ki-oon, but it was marketed under the title Kurokami: Black God from its original name.It was also released in Taiwan and distributed in Chinese-speaking countries and territories by Ching Win Publishing Co., Ltd., translated in the Traditional Chinese language.
|Square Enix||Daewon C.I.||Ching Win Pub. Co.,||Yen Press||Ki-oon|
|『黒神』(Kurokami)||《흑신》||《黑神》||Black God||Kurokami: Black God|
|1||May 25, 2005||ISBN 978-4-7575-1443-0||June 30, 2005||ISBN 978-8952895530||November 1, 2006||ISBN 978-9861567518||October 30, 2007||ISBN 978-0-7595-2349-4||February 28, 2008||ISBN 978-2-35592-003-5|
|2||September 24, 2005||ISBN 978-4-7575-1528-4||September 30, 2005||ISBN 978-8959631513||January 15, 2007||ISBN 978-9861568133||February 5, 2008||ISBN 978-0-7595-2841-3||April 28, 2008||ISBN 978-2-35592-008-0|
|3||March 25, 2006||ISBN 978-4-7575-1644-1||March 28, 2006||ISBN 978-8925241364||February 15, 2007||ISBN 978-9861568423||June 10, 2008||ISBN 978-0-7595-2842-0||June 26, 2008||ISBN 978-2-35592-015-8|
|4||July 25, 2006||ISBN 978-4-7575-1724-0||July 31, 2006||ISBN 978-8925201375||March 15, 2007||ISBN 978-9861568638||October 28, 2008||ISBN 978-0-7595-2843-7||August 21, 2008||ISBN 978-2-35592-025-7|
|5||January 25, 2007||ISBN 978-4-7575-1913-8||February 15, 2007||ISBN 978-8925208787||May 1, 2007||ISBN 978-9861569208||February 17, 2009||ISBN 978-0-7595-2844-4||October 23, 2008||ISBN 978-2-35592-036-3|
|6||June 25, 2007||ISBN 978-4-7575-2017-2||June 30, 2007||ISBN 978-8925215952||September 1, 2007||ISBN 978-9862090862||June 9, 2009||ISBN 978-0-7595-3091-1||December 11, 2008||ISBN 978-2-35592-044-8|
|7||December 25, 2007||ISBN 978-4-7575-2184-1||February 1, 2008||ISBN 978-8925222233||February 20, 2008||ISBN 978-9862093054||October 27, 2009||ISBN 978-0-7595-3093-5||February 26, 2009||ISBN 978-2-35592-052-3|
|8||May 24, 2008||ISBN 978-4-7575-2279-4||July 30, 2008||ISBN 978-8925229249||July 9, 2008||ISBN 978-9862095164||February 23, 2010||ISBN 978-0-7595-3094-2||April 23, 2009||ISBN 978-2-35592-064-6|
|9||December 22, 2008||ISBN 978-4-7575-2447-7||January 30, 2009||ISBN 978-8925240626||March 16, 2009||ISBN 978-9862098035||May 18, 2010||ISBN 978-0-316-09765-9||June 2, 2009||ISBN 978-2-35592-081-3|
|10||February 25, 2009||ISBN 978-4-7575-2497-2||March 30, 2009||ISBN 978-8925243276||May 12, 2009||ISBN 978-9862098530||August 17, 2010||ISBN 978-0-316-10227-8||October 22, 2009||ISBN 978-2-35592-103-2|
|11||April 25, 2009||ISBN 978-4-7575-2546-7||July 30, 2009||ISBN 978-8925246000||July 7, 2009||ISBN 978-9862099308||November 30, 2010||ISBN 978-0-316-10228-5||January 28, 2010||ISBN 978-2-35592-122-3|
|12||July 25, 2009||ISBN 978-4-7575-2621-1||September 30, 2009||ISBN 978-8925250311||September 24, 2009||ISBN 978-9862560006||March 29, 2011||ISBN 978-0-316-10230-8||March 25, 2010||ISBN 978-2-35592-137-7|
|13||December 25, 2009||ISBN 978-4-7575-2756-0||February 26, 2010||ISBN 978-8925257174||March 20, 2010||ISBN 978-9862562215||June 19, 2011||ISBN 978-0-316-18821-0||June 24, 2010||ISBN 978-2-35592-172-8|
|14||May 25, 2010||ISBN 978-4-7575-2857-4||July 30, 2010||ISBN 978-8925264769||August 18, 2010||ISBN 978-9862564257||October 25, 2011||ISBN 978-0-316-18961-3||October 28, 2010||ISBN 978-2-35592-208-4|
|15||September 25, 2010||ISBN 978-4-7575-3003-4||November 30, 2010||ISBN 978-8925270982||January 21, 2011||ISBN 978-9862566367||January 31, 2012||ISBN 978-0-316-18962-0||March 24, 2011||ISBN 978-2-35592-252-7|
|16||February 25, 2011||ISBN 978-4-7575-3148-2||May 30, 2011||ISBN 978-8925279237||May 18, 2011||ISBN 978-9862567753||April 10, 2012||ISBN 978-0-316-20487-3||August 18, 2011||ISBN 978-2-35592-296-1|
|17||August 25, 2011||ISBN 978-4-7575-3343-1||October 30, 2011||ISBN 978-8925289090||May 10, 2012||ISBN 978-9863101765||October 30, 2012||ISBN 978-0-316-22535-9||February 23, 2012||ISBN 978-2-35592-360-9|
|18||January 25, 2012||ISBN 978-4-7575-3455-1||March 30, 2012||ISBN 978-8925296012||September 16, 2012||ISBN 978-9863103394||January 22, 2013||ISBN 978-0-316-23193-0||July 5, 2012||ISBN 978-2-35592-417-0|
|19||August 25, 2012||ISBN 978-4-7575-3705-7||August 30, 2012||ISBN 978-8967254797||May 8, 2013||ISBN 978-9863106043||May 28, 2013||ISBN 978-0-316-25089-4||January 24, 2013||ISBN 978-2-35592-439-2|
The anime adaptation of Black God was produced by Sunrise, directed by Tsuneo Kobayashi with Reiko Yoshida as the series' supervisor and Hiroyuki Nishimura as the series' animation director and chief character designer.
Among the Japanese voice actors involved in the Sunrise production include Noriko Shitaya, who played Kuro, and Daisuke Namikawa as Keita.Other voice actors for the production include Sayaka Ohara as Akane Sano, Yukari Tamura as Excel and Jōji Nakata as Steiner. Its title is called Kurokami: The Animation or Black God: The Animation. The anime aired on Japanese TV is on January 2009. Kurokami: The Animation aired first on January 8, 2009 simultaneously in Japan on TV Asahi and in the United States on ImaginAsian, followed by South Korea on January 9, 2009 in AniBOX.
The voice actors for its US broadcast include Jason Griffith, who played Keita, Laura Bailey as Kuro with Julie Ann Taylor playing Akane and Stephanie Sheh as Excel.
Bandai released the Blu-ray and DVD sets of the anime in March 2010. Following the 2012 closure of Bandai Entertainment, Sunrise announced at Otakon 2013, that Sentai Filmworks has rescued Kurokami, along with a handful of other former BEI titles.
Eye on Anime's review praised the manga due to its storyline, but has criticized Keita for having most of the reader's initial attention due to his arrogant and disrespectful attitude and character.Matthew Alexander of Mania.com noted Black God for having good character development and creative fight scenes, not to mention that it has an excellent and thrilling storyline for readers to follow into without any trouble.
About.com's review said that Black God was good for the combination of various genres including action, drama, suspense, humor combined with the theme of the supernatural in its story and at the same time, questions the need of having fanservice in the manga as the review insists that it is not necessarily needed in the first place.UK Anime Net's Review said that the art is "solid, imaginative layout. It never looks rushed and the paneling flows smoothly." Comic Book Resources pointed out that the fanservice being portrayed in the manga was rather amusing and not offensive as it was the main source of Black God's humor.
Comics Village criticized Black God heavily for having questionable aspects of the storyline being left out initially without being given the chance to have them fully explained to its readers, which can make them a bit confused.On the other hand, it singles out the art and character details at its strong side, with the latter being greatly detailed without being overdone with the "use of speed lines for action scenes and moments of emotion."
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