Thursday, January 25, 2018

Manga Review: Dengeki Daisy by Kyousuke Motomi (Vol.1) *Spoilers*


Dengeki Daisy is an older shoujo manga.  Sixteen volumes, complete series, published between the years 2007-2014.  

But it feels like only yesterday that I was reading it for the first time -- it's a highly memorable story.

Regrettably, it never got the anime release it deserved.  And people don't talk about it much today, but it remains my favorite manga series. 



This story has it all.  
  • Comedy
  • Mystery
  • Romance
  • Action
  • Family drama
  • Hacking
  • Kidnapping


Personally, I have always wondered if the initial synopsis of the series is off-putting to potential readers:

Teru, a sixteen year old high school student, lives alone after her older brother dies.  Her brother's only parting gift is a cellphone with the contact to a mysterious figure named DAISY.   
DAISY will always be there to talk, so Teru need not feel lonely or scared in her struggles.
One day, Teru breaks a window at school.  She cannot pay for the damages.  As a result she must work for the cruel school janitor, Kurosaki. 
But soon, Teru realizes that the heavy smoking 24 year old is always there when she needs help.
Could the terrible Kurosaki also be Daisy?  And does that mean Teru loves him?


So if you can get past the whole high school girl is falling in love with the school janitor bit, you will discover that there is much more to this story.

Volume one opens up with plenty of school drama as Teru clashes with the student council and tries to help a classmate with the man she should never have been dating.

Teru gets herself into some dangerous situations, but Kurosaki manages to come to her rescue each time.


Teru contacts DAISY through her cell phone with her honest feelings about each situation.  And as the reader you can't help but wonder, OH GOD WHAT IF KUROSAKI IS DAISY?

People who knew her brother start coming into Teru's life.  These connections excite her.  But then her apartment is broken into, leaving Teru feeling her most vulnerable.  Her pen pal can't help her with this, so she turns to Kurosaki.

Really this manga should be marketed as:

Teru, who was once all alone with only her email friend DAISY, finds herself surrounded by the friends of her late brother.  They become like family.
But this new happiness comes with a price.  Teru is dragged into the dangerous world her brother & her new friends worked in before his death.  
There she will learn truths she never wanted, but also...potentially, the true identity of DAISY.



Much of the charm of the early volumes in this series lies in the bickering between Teru and Kurosaki.  They spar with words and pranks.  There's insult comedy, slapstick comedy, & some good old 'Will they? Won't they?" moments.

Yet, the more outside threats escalate, Kurosaki can hardly mask how protective he truly is of her.

What makes this manga such an enjoyable read are the multiple layers of mystery.

Each new mystery drags you deeper towards the ultimate conflict.  And each reveal unfolds in such satisfying ways at just the right time.


Just what was this group of people up to?  And will the ultimate end be happy for Teru & DAISY?

I really hope that you'll read Dengeki Daisy for yourself to find out!



Thanks for reading!
Manda

All photos taken by me
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