Black God, Vol. 7
written by Dall-Young Lim
illustrated by Sung-Woo Park
Volume 7 of Black God kicks off with a tense meeting between Kuro, Keita, and a dark nemesis from Kuro’s past, Hiyou. In the previous volume, we learned that Hiyou was a deranged scientist who butchered people to experiment with interpersonal contracts. Originally, Hiyou was to be put to death, but we have since learned that Kuro’s own brother saved him and brought him to earth.
Like most villains, Hiyou reveals his plans. He’s gathering alter egos and planning to destroy the last remaining soul stone in order to release the egos’ negative energy in one giant burst that will engulf the world. Then he dumps Kuro and Keita into a pit with a pack of vicious tribal end dogs. Tribal ends may be weak when it comes to power, but these canines come with one special, and very lethal, power.
Meanwhile, Kakuma, who is overwrought with fear from Makana’s kidnapping, erupts in a fit of madness and attempts to sever one of Akane’s limbs in order to contract with her. Her grandfather intervenes and offers to contract with Kakuma in her place.
Eventually, both parties meet up at the cave of the last remaining soul stone, commencing the climactic battle between Hiyou, Kuro, and her friends. This volume also offers an extra story at the end about how side characters Excel and Steiner met, as well as a particular heartfelt event that occurred just before their demise in the previous volume.
As action-packed as Volume 7 is, Black God is a series that uses a lot of very specific terminology in its canon. The final page of the main story is a shocking revelation about one of the characters, but it loses its dramatic impact if you don’t grasp what the phrase is supposed to indicate. On one hand, the terminology makes Black God a unique universe that is superimposed on our own. On the other hand, it just gets rather confusing unless the reader really sticks with it.
Another slightly frustrating element about this book actually is an issue that some readers might take with several Yen Press manga, and that is the way that sound effects are translated. First, there is a phonetic subtext, but then the sound effect is translated again in parentheses underneath the phonetic to explain what that sound is supposed to be. Doing this under every single sound gets very distracting, and frankly, annoying. Readers are intelligent enough to figure out what’s happening from just the phonetic.
Overall, Black God has always been a pretty good quality read. It’s exciting and unique even though it can be a hair more gratuitous and immature than it needs to be. The series is recommended for older teens, but if you find an early teen reader looking for something more advanced and mature, it will also suffice.-- Courtney Kraft