Posted by: Raws | July 18, 2011

Manga Monday: D.N.Angel

Way back before the expansive Internets we have today, the multiple online manga reading sites,  there were stand alone webpages dedicated to a small selection of manga.  Some only had scans while others only the translations.  There wasn’t one large site compiling all the work of others.  Manga enthusiasts would sometimes have to work hard to piece together new unlicensed manga.  We’d go as far as buying the Japanese volumes and printing out translations from the Net. D. N. Angel was one of the first I did that with.

Ten or more years ago my friend, Bailey, lent me the first volume along with the printed translations.  From then on I was in love!  I’ve been a total fan-girl of Yukiru Sugisaki’s work since then.  I’ve bought all the Japanese volumes, all the English volumes, some ASUKA volumes, the one art book I was able to get my hands on, and I’ve amassed 30MB of scans (or more).

The downside to loving D.N.Angel or the mangaka’s work in general is her tendency to go on hiatus and go work on other projects. But I’m never disappointed with what she puts out. The most recent chapter came out in January and been on hiatus since.  And now the North American licensor (Tokyopop) has given up the rights to publishing it, which means I’ll continue checking my usual site for any ‘updates’.

Because D.N.Angel was one of my first loves, I will always love the art style and everything else about it. No constructive criticism from me on that front.  Though, I will say, the art in the first couple volumes is not as good as the later ones. This manga does fall into the shojo category so it focuses mainly on the characters. But it isn’t as lacking in background details as some others out there.

The story is also interesting or I just have a soft spot for Phantom Thieves (or thieves in general like Lupin 3rd or PT Kid).  Dark may even be the first that stole my heart. ^.^  Just look at him stealing away!

But the main character isn’t Dark the Phantom Thief it’s Daisuke Niwa (or Niwa Daisuke if you want to be Japanese about it) who turns into Dark when he has “romantic feelings” for the girl he likes.  He is as loveable but in a cute puppy dog sort of way.  It’s nice to see him mature and gain more confidence over the course of the manga too.  D.N.Angel is definitely one part coming of age story.

 

Then there’s the “enemy”.  Satoshi is the stereotypical kid genius who just happens to be the go-to-guy on catching the Phantom Thief and one of Daisuke’s fellow students. He also has a dark family secret. ^.^ He also has blue hair and glasses so you know he’s the “villain”.

If you like snarky Phantom Thieves, cute animal sidekicks, teenage angst, tragedy, or awkward moments, then maybe you’ll like D. N. Angel.  Buy the english volumes while they last since Tokyopop has gone under.  Or read it online from one of the big manga databases.  Whoever picks up the rights to this one will be getting my money when they re-publish. I’m that dedicated.

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