Joe and Jenny recommend: D.N.Angel
Our review this month is of D.N.Angel, a manga published by TokyoPop. This story centres around the misadventures of Daisuke Niwa, who on his fourteenth birthday finds out that his family legacy; when he experiences feelings of love he transforms into the legendary master thief Dark. According to family tradition, he must steal valuable artefacts from museums right in front of the police to make them look incompetent. The only way Daisuke can prevent himself from transforming into Dark is to have his feelings returned by the girl he loves. This story starts off very much as a romantic comedy with loads of inconvenient changes between Daisuke and Dark, made more complex by the fact that each of them are in love with a different twin. Things get a bit more serious with the introduction of the mysterious Satoshi, a special commander of the police force who is determined to thwart Dark.
Joe’s Opinion: To start off with I found this manga was a bit too silly and slapdash. With Daisuke changing into Dark because of a girl he likes seemed a bit weird but as the story progresses it starts to get intriguing when you learn a little more about Dark’s history and the reason he steals the artefacts. Some of the romantic moments can make you cringe but equally they can be pretty funny too. One of the most random things about this manga is Daisuke’s pet Wiz. This bunny like creature just so happens to be the lifelong companion of Dark and can make him fly and mimic Dark’s (and Daisuke’s ) appearance. I kind of think Wiz was thrown in to add more to the cuteness factor of the manga and to fill some holes in the early plotline.
Jenny’s Opinion: I had mixed feelings towards this manga, as I found it a little hard to get into in the first and even second volume, with the plot feeling a bit disjointed and unclear in places. However once I got further into the series, the storyline seemed to become more focused and became more intriguing. I particularly enjoyed the situations involving the character of Satoshi, whose mixed agenda of attempting to apprehend Dark but trying to protect and befriend Daisuke made for some interesting interactions between the two. I feel this is a manga that is slightly let down by a weak start, but has the potential to become interesting as the story progresses.
If you like this series, we suggest you take a look at Pita-Ten, Fruits Basket and Full Metal Panic.
We give this series 3/5 wings!
[Jenny and Joe work at the Central Library and they LOVE manga and anime! They are going to share their favourite books and films on the Swindon Libraries blog, so watch this space for more great reviews in coming months!]