English: Dengeki Daisy
Published: Oct 26, 2007 to ?
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Shoujo
Authors: Motomi, Kyousuke (Story & Art)
I recall my initial thoughts on Dengeki Daisy as I first came across its information page: Another overrated shoujo manga with a simple plot and the cliche catch phrase
"I'll protect you".
Oh, how wrong was I.
Shoujo is known for its obscenely perfect guys as well as the air-headed heroines who fall for them. On the outside, our cast here seems to be no exception. However, the protagonists contain a surprisingly high amount of depth.This is something that you can expect more out of a shoujo manga. Not only the storyline is really interesting that is very attracting, it makes you want more of this manga. If you are the kind that hates crying and irritating female leads, expect none from this manga! *Time to rejoice*
The female lead (Teru) is a very very strong girl and has a very likable character, I really like her.
This is not your typical romance story where the two male and female leads get together in the first few chapters. There's more to it; that can make you happy, and sad.
The initial premise is this: Teru is an orphaned high school student who was given a cell phone by her brother before his death. The phone had one contact: DAISY. She began to text DAISY about her day and divulge her thoughts and concerns. He replied with considerate and heartwarming answers. These replies became her strength and helped her through all the tough times. Now, because she broke a window at the school, she is forced to work for the janitor, Tasuku Kurosaki. Selfish and lazy, he irritates her to no end. However, when a dangerous situation occurs, a few secrets are revealed to the reader, and even more questions emerge
The summary doesn't seem to be very enticing, does it? There are some obvious points, and upon reading the first chapter, I, too, feared this would be the classic shoujo formula where everything is completely cliche and Teru knows nothing and the reader knows all. And I will concede to the point that there are, indeed, a few instances where the cliche happens. However, what makes this series so special is that despite running into those standard gimmicks from time to time, the creator Kyousuke Motomi throws a wonderful spin, whether it is by taking the comical route or by revealing that, surprise: the characters actually think! And these two factors are what makes the series from the usual shoujo thing to an outstanding series.
As characters, Kurosaki shows enough immaturity and Teru enough maturity to bridge the age gap which might have some readers turned off initially. It is also emphasized throughout the series that despite Kurosaki's occasionally perverted comments, he is actually very careful not to do anything inappropriate (unless for comedic relief) to Teru.
Another very important thing to note about all the characters of Dengeki Daisy is that they are very intelligent. As soon as you think someone might freak out about this thing, they turn around and do what real people usually do: They consider and reason. What is the safer option? Would anyone be put in danger if I do this? Should I risk this? Was this thing I was told the truth? What are their motives for doing this? All these questions bring to life the characters and also makes them much more relatable and lovable. Even the minor characters show plenty of development: While at first the opening chapter may seem to be more of a solo story than part of a continuing saga, the characters from it do come back and gradually evolve, including a bully who is not quite the priss we think she is. This greatly enhances the storytelling by making it more novel-like and not so episodic.
The humor is what takes a rather depressing plot and makes the series a bit of a comedy. Teru repeatedly tells Kurosaki to "go bald" (note: he is twenty-four) and the art style resembles shounen (manga with a target audience more towards boys) artwork, thus leaving the series just enough romance to be swoon-worthy without having it drown in cutesy hearts and sparkles. It also gives the relationship between Teru and Kurosaki more maturity.
The plot is, without a doubt, original. If so, what makes it so special? To put it in simple words, it is the pacing in which the story progresses. While the pace of the manga seems trivial to it's overall enjoyment, it is one of the important elements that make Dengeki Daisy truly great. Instead of a sudden twist that tries to force the readers to gain interest, it discretely leaves us hints and slowly reveals the secrets that we are so dying to know. It does not unveil high amounts of information at a time, and yet it does not make us wait for it. The execution is flawless. In this manga, we start out knowing nothing. Conflicts continue to arise as we are given pieces to a puzzle which will explain just what exactly drives the characters to act as they do.
There is a reason this series has jumped to my favorites upon first reading and has remained there. The plot, which greatly picks up as the series goes on, is intriguing and answers many initial questions in an intelligent way; the characters are realistic and alternate between being touching and hilarious; and the humor itself saves the series from suffering the same fate as many a shoujo title. I highly recommend this series to any anime or manga fan.