It’s a brand new year, and what better way to kick off 2021 then with reviewing some boys love manga! Hagi isn’t a mangaka who’s work I’m very familiar with but, after reading The God & the Flightless Messenger, I hope that we’ll be seeing more of their work published in English, as this manga is seriously cute!
In a holy mountain range protected by the divine powers of the Great Lord, a menagerie of lesser gods reside in peace and are loyally served by winged messengers. Shin is one such messenger, but he has yet to be assigned to serve a god because his wings are too small to allow him to fly. Due to his hard work, Shin has become agile and tough enough to carry out the duties of a messenger, regardless of his inability to fly, but he is still mocked and underestimated by his peers. Just when his frustrations are threatening to overwhelm him, the Great Lord assigns him to the mysterious god who lives on the 32nd mountain, right one fringes of the mountain range. Shin is over-joyed and dedicates himself to serving this strange god, who appears to be a giant, fluffy fur-ball with eyes. Shin can tell that his new master, who he names Baku, is a kind-hearted god, but there’s also something strange about him and Shin keeps having nagging flashes of memory of a boy whose identity he can’t quite seem to recall. Who is this boy and what is his connection to Baku? And why has Shin completely forgotten him?
The plot of The God & the Flightless Messenger gives off some real Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer vibes. The story follows some misfits who have been rejected by society and who find comfort with each other and, in the end, are accepted by their community when the exact trait that caused one of them to be cast out becomes vitally useful. Only in this story, the misfits leave after they’ve saved the day, instead of continuing to hang around with all the jerks who bullied them. That was kind of cathartic for me; I always felt like Santa and the reindeer who made fun of Rudolph were let off the hook a bit too easily in that story.
But enough of the Rudolph comparisons!
The God & the Flightless Messenger is about two people overcoming discrimination and finding the love and understanding that they crave in each other. It’s a very sweet love-story that has elements of mystery and suspense, as Shin tries to figure out why Baku seems so familiar and what has caused his memory loss, all while a creeping menace threatens to destroy the peace of the mountains.
Meanwhile, Baku is hiding a secret power from everyone – a, possibly, dangerous power that caused him to be cast out of the Great Lord’s presence, forcing him to slink around at the outskirts of the lord’s territory all alone. Baku’s abilities are frightening and confusing to the other gods and their messengers and no one seems to be able to look past how bizarre they are, except for Shin, that is. Because he’s always been pushed around due a physical difference that he was born with, Shin knows what it’s like to feel alone and misunderstood. He isn’t frightened of Baku’s power and doesn’t jump to conclusions; instead, he’s able to believe in Baku and see what a kind person he really is.
Shin and Baku make an adorable couple and this proved to be a warm and uplifting tale of romance. My only complaint with this manga is that I would have liked it if it were a bit spicier (the leads barely kiss), but, if you’re looking for a wholesome boys-love manga, then this fantastical love-story should be right up your alley.
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10
What did you think of this manga? Let me know in the comments!
For more information on this manga, visit Tokyopop’s website.
Be sure to check out some of my other recent Boys Love manga reviews:
- Manly Appetites: Minegishi Loves Otsu Vol 1 Review
- Birds of Shangri-La Vol 1 Review
- Canis: Dear Mr. Rain Review
- There are Things I Can’t Tell You Review
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