Saturday, May 2, 2015

Review: DENGEKI DAISY Volume 16


CARTOONIST: Kyousuke Motomi
LETTERS: Rina Mapa
ISBN: 978-1-4215-7771-5; paperback (April 2015); Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
192pp, B&W, $9.99 US, $12.99 CAN

Dengeki Daisy is a shojo romantic comedy manga created by Kyousuke Motomi.  The series began serialization in Betsucomi, a Japanese shojo manga magazine, in October 2007.  VIZ Media published the manga in North America as a series of graphic novels, and recently published the final volume.

Dengeki Daisy focuses on Teru Kurebayshi, an orphan who lost her beloved brother, Soichiro.  She is not alone, however.  Teru exchanges messages with DAISY, a mysterious figure who can only be reached through a cell phone Teru's brother left her.  Eventually, Teru learns that DAISY is Tasuku Kurosaki, a janitor who is always around when she needs him.

Shadowy government agents abducted Teru and took her to an uninhabited island.  There, a trap is set to lure Kurosaki and their real target, Akira, a mathematical genius who is deemed a national security threat.  Before the trio can escape, the island is detonated...

Dengeki Daisy, Vol. 16 (Final Chapter - “To Our Future”) reveals how Teru, Kurosaki, and Akira escaped.  Who helped them leave the island just in time?  The source of one bit of assistance is obvious, but the second is a big surprise, and only Teru knows the savior's identity.  Plus, what are they going to do with the rest of their lives, and what is Kurosaki's next big career move?

[This volume includes two bonus features:  “To the Tip of the Nails,” and “New Year's” and two Bonus Chapters: “Daisy Special Episode Part 1,” and “Daisy Special Episode Part 2.”  This volume also includes Kyousuke Motomi's debut short story, “No-Good Cupid.”]

The Dengeki Daisy manga comes to an end.  Dengeki Daisy Volume 16 brings the series to a close, although only one chapter in this volume is part of the main story.  The rest is bonus material, which includes creator, Kyousuke Motomi's debut manga, the short story “No-Good Cupid.”

Vol. 16 is a bit anti-climatic, but it has a feel-good ending.  I am so used to on-going American comic books, which don't end so much as they restart, that I am still adjusting to the fact that manga end.  They are finite comics narratives.  In my final analysis of Dengeki Daisy, I would recommend it to new readers, because it is different.  It is odd in that it is an off-kilter high school shojo romance and in that it also has a dark side in which death plays a prominent part.  In fact, romance in bloom and the specter of death are equal partners in Dengeki Daisy.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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