Manga Mondays: D.N.Angel

Minitokyo.D.N.Angel.114887D.N.Angel follows a not-so-normal boy, Niwa Daisuke, and his epic crush on Harada Risa. Daisuke’s family has raised him inside a booby-trapped house that tries to kill him whenever he comes home from school and wakes up for breakfast in the morning, leading Daisuke to be a very active and physically capable fourteen-year-old boy. A true sign of love from his family, I’m sure. But the men in the Niwa family have a strange genetic mutation, one that turns them in a phantom thief called Dark Mousy. And to top it off, this transformation happens because of hormones. So whenever Risa is around—or if he thinks about her too much—Daisuke will transform into Dark. However, in order for Dark to change back into Daisuke, the same must happen, and Dark has his own little crush on Risa’s twin sister, Riku.

Oddly enough, though Dark is aptly named, as he’s a phantom thief, his main antagonist is an angel of light, Krad. Krad is more or less and exact opposite of Dark. Whereas Dark is a lawbreaker with a heart of gold, Krad is the genetic mutation of police commander Hikari Satoshi and he repeatedly attempts to murder both Dark and Daisuke.

D.N.Angel is a cute little story that deals a lot with crushes, love interests, and the difference between light and dark.

This is more or less a good story, though not really my cup of tea for all the romance. And Satoshi doesn’t really transform into Krad around his love interests, but some of his earlier transformations take place around Daisuke, after the love-interest problem is established for Dark. So I spent a good part of both the manga and the anime for D.N.Angel trying to figure out whether or not Satoshi likes Daisuke.

And to be honest, in terms of Satoshi’s character, the story is a little ridiculous. Satoshi puts Sherlock Holmes to shame. Like Daisuke, he is only fourteen, yet he finished high school when he was eight, and recently graduated college only a few years before the start of the story. And now he’s a commander on the police force.

But despite all of that, Satoshi still feels the need to attend school.

D.N.Angel has an anime to go along with its manga, and it the anime, while also enjoyable, kind of suffers the same fate as Fullmetal Alchemist, in that it has progressively less to do with the original story arc as the episodes go by. The anime is short, compared to the manga, but it does wrap up the story, whereas the manga hasn’t finished and has been on hiatus for the past few years.

But though the manga doesn’t look to be finishing anytime soon, it does feature plenty of chapters that didn’t make it into the anime adaptation. And though the manga also has tendency to become rather confusing, it does delve into all the characters more, which is nice, because some of them are really interesting.

D.N.Angel is one of those stories that I don’t know whether or not I hate. It’s got some cute jokes, and some cute interactions between the characters, but sometimes it’s just too cute. At other times, the fights between Dark and Krad are really engaging, and their relationships with Daisuke and Satoshi are very interesting. So it does break from the overbearing cuteness when needed.

I would recommend reading the manga for this one, if only to explore all the characters more. But if you’re looking for some closure, the anime will give you that. You just might not like the ending it provides. I know I wasn’t too impressed with it.

Oh, and the ending song is not that great either.