Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Silver Diamond - A Fantasy-Action Manga With A Gay Romance

Silver Diamond by Shiho Sugiura

Silver Diamond is the modern-day fairytale of Rakan Sawa, a boy who mysteriously arrives in our world as a baby with his mother. Now a teenager and an orphan, Rakan hopes to lead a simple, gentle life with compassion and kindness. Adorable and happy but a little lonely, he lives alone, cooks, cleans house, and cares for the plants his mother loved. His world changes when rugged and mysterious Chigusa Senroh arrives from whatever place Rakan truly comes from. Chigusa is a freedom fighter and instantly recognizes in Rakan a potential ally in his struggle for justice. At first, Rakan is resistant to admit the magical, distinctly-non-normal implications of Chigusa’s existence, but over time, Chigusa’s kind soul, offers of protection, and unspoken need for companionship call Rakan to a shared sense of mission and, possibly, love. Secrets unravel around the origins of these two men as they face their destinies side by side and strive to save two worlds from destruction.

This manga is at once a powerful love story and a thrilling fantasy adventure. Its elements of magic and inter-realm politics are revealed through deep and suspenseful storytelling. Rakan’s struggles might be especially compelling to anyone who has had their “normal” life shaken by feelings for someone the world told them they weren’t supposed to love. His journey to understand and accept his true identity and calling is an inspiration to us all.

Admittedly, the portrayal of the romance between Rakan and Chigusa is sometimes inconsistent. Between moments of intimate connection are humorous scenes where Chigusa overtly pursues Rakan and is called a “pervert” for doing so. This inconsistency may indicate to some a negative attitude toward homosexuality, but I think it’s just an archetype in romance manga for the pursuer to be pushed away due to the embarrassment of the pursued. It is clear to me that the attraction between these boys is mutual. They are dedicated to each other and consistently treat each other with tenderness. My on-going hope as a reader is that the two will embrace their destinies and become a couple.

The series is composed of twenty-six volumes.

There are some swear words and violent scenes, innuendo, and Chigusa takes his shirt off every once in a while (swoon!), but there’s nothing too scandalous. I would have felt very happy reading this manga when I was thirteen-years-old.

Review by Aaron Walsh.  Add your review of any or all of the "Silver Diamond" manga series here in comments!

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