Dengeki Daisy Vol. #01 - Mania.com



Manga Review

Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translation Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 13 and Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 978-1421537276
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Dengeki Daisy

Dengeki Daisy Vol. #01

Dengeki Daisy Vol. #01 Manga Review

By Sakura Eries     July 08, 2010
Release Date: July 06, 2010


Dengeki Daisy Vol. #01
© Viz Media

An orphaned high school girl connected to a mysterious "guardian angel" through the cell phone left by her deceased older brother. 

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Kyousuke Motomi
Translation: JN Productions
Adaptation: JN Productions

What They Say
One day at school, Teru accidentally breaks a window and agrees to pay for it by helping Kurosaki with chores around school. Kurosaki is an impossible taskmaster though, and he also seems to be hiding something important from Teru...

The Review!

Technical
Despite the angst of the lead male and the difficult circumstances of the lead female, there's quite a bit of silliness and slapstick in this manga, and the front illustration reflects that lightness with a grinning Kurosaki tormenting an annoyed Teru. Behind them is a bright yellow backdrop with blue daisies, and above is a cheerful looking title logo. The back cover design is on the plain side; the story synopsis takes up most of the space, and along the bottom is a picture of Teru's cell phone and more blue daisies.
 
As usual, Shojo Beat has done an excellent job with replacing sound effects and text. Aside from a typo, the dialogue is satisfactory. The print tends to run dark, but the materials and binding are satisfactory. A 10 page bonus manga, embedded commentary, and end notes from the mangaka are included as extras.
 
Regarding artwork, backgrounds tend to be simple, but the action is easy to follow. There's a lot of screaming, pouting, frowning, threatening, and humiliating going on, and expressions are distorted accordingly. As such, drawings deliver impact (in a punchline sort of way), but very few depictions of the characters fall into the category of cute.
 
Content:
Teru Kurebayashi has it rough. Since last year, she's been on her own, scraping along as a scholarship student. Her only solace is the text messages she exchanges with DAISY, an enigmatic figure who can only be reached through the cell phone her brother gave her before he passed away.
 
Although DAISY offers her help, Teru is reluctant to take advantage of it. As such, when she accidentally breaks a window at school, she winds up working for Kurosaki, the delinquent school custodian, to pay for it. Kurosaki is an impossible task master, but strangely, he always seems to be around when Teru needs help. Is he connected to DAISY somehow?
 
The mangaka has set this story up such that the heroine's knight (albeit an unconventional one) always rescues her when she's in a pinch. She's hardly a pansy though. Teru is tough, much the way Tsukushi from Boys over Flowers is. She's the head of her class, stands up to the bullying of the rich kids, and is considered leader of the school misfits. As such, when Kurosaki lays on his particular form of abuse, it's comical because you know she can take it. At the same time, you wind up feeling for her when trouble strikes.
 
Teru is essentially an open book so all the mystery lies with Kurosaki. The connection between him and DAISY is revealed at the end of Chapter 1, so the real mystery for readers is why he's choosing to hide his identity from Teru and his connection to her brother. Teru’s scrapes in the first three chapters are more or less her own doing, but when her apartment gets burglarized in Chapter 4, it hints that something much bigger than the problems of one destitute scholarship student is going on.
 
Along with the mystery, we need some sort of romance for this to live up as a Shojo Beat title, and as in most shojo manga, the two characters that fight the most wind up together. Interestingly, most of the attraction is on Kurosaki's side (Teru just seems more confused by Kurosaki's actions than anything else). His feelings start out as sense of responsibility towards Teru but wind up turning into more. Although Kurosaki's age hasn't been revealed, the mangaka jokingly refers to him in the closing notes as a "lolicon." So even though Teru and Kurosaki have moments that make me think they'd be a cute couple, I also wonder if Kurosaki's going to be arrested for being with a minor...
 
Dengeki Daisy is a bit over-the-top (how long can it possibly take for Teru to work off ONE broken window???), but the characters' personalities are also on the extreme end, so it all works out.
 
In Summary:
If you like heroines à la Boys over Flowers -- impoverished but tough high school girls who end up in situations over their heads -- you may want to give Dengeki Daisy a try. School custodian Kurosaki is not your typical knight in shining armor as he comes to Teru's rescue time and again, but there's enough angst to keep the plot interesting and enough could-have-been-romantic moments to satisfy the shojo fan.
 
This manga is rated Teen Plus for swearing and violence (yup, Kurosaki can be a thug).

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