Dengeki Daisy 1 by Kyousuke Motomi: B+

From the back cover:
After orphan Teru Kurebayashi loses her beloved older brother, she finds solace in the messages she exchanges with DAISY, an enigmatic figure who can only be reached through the cell phone her brother left her. Meanwhile, mysterious Tasuku Kurosaki always seems to be around whenever Teru needs help. Could DAISY be a lot closer than Teru thinks?

One day at school, Teru accidentally breaks a window and agrees to pay for it by helping Kurosaki with chores around school. Kurosaki is an impossible taskmaster, though, and he also seems to be hiding something important from Teru…

Review:
Dengeki Daisy, from the creator of the charming Beast Master, is the latest series to debut under VIZ’s Shojo Beat imprint. It’s the story of orphan Teru Kurebayashi, whose older brother recently passed away, but not before giving her a cell phone that will enable her to contact “Daisy,” who will always be there to protect Teru in her brother’s place.

Due to her status as a scholarship student, Teru faces bullying at school, but pretends like everything is fine when text messaging Daisy. Little does she know that Tasuku Kurosaki, the delinquent school custodian, is actually Daisy and has been watching over her all this time. When Teru accidentally breaks a window at school, Kurosaki uses it as an excuse to keep an eye on her while he plays mahjong on his laptop and she does all the work.

There are definitely some familiar elements to this story. You’ve got the impoverished heroine being called a pauper, the all-powerful student council, and the somewhat-jerky-but-really-kind male lead. What makes Dengeki Daisy stand out from the pack are the original twists Kyousuke Motomi employs. Student-teacher romances are fairly common, but I’ve never seen a student-custodian one before. I like that Kurosaki is in love, but Teru is oblivious (though she does suspect right away that he might be Daisy, which he denies). And I genuinely like the characters and the way they interact, especially Teru’s group of misfit friends and the scene in which Kurosaki wields an edger as a weapon!

I really don’t have any complaints about this volume—it’s light, cute fun—but I can see how Kurosaki’s protectiveness and occasional dispeasure with Teru’s actions could possibly be viewed as patronizing. It honestly didn’t come across this way to me, but I wouldn’t be surprised if others took issue with it.

All in all, I really enjoyed this debut and am looking forward to continuing the series. Thanks, VIZ, for bringing us something else from this talented mangaka!

Volume one of Dengeki Daisy is available now. The series is still ongoing in Japan—volume seven will be coming out there in a couple of weeks.

Review copy provided by the publisher.

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Comments

  1. I’ve been reading ahead in scanlations and this series has totally won me over by the strength and no-nonsense demeanour of its heroine. You need to get into it more, so you can review the awesomeness ^^.

    If you want to be spoiled let me know ^^. Needless to say I am now buying them as they come out.

    • No, no spoilers! 🙂

      I’ve read volume two, but thought it was a little clumsy in rolling out its new plot (I reckon she was uncertain about its longevity at first) and so decided to wait until volume three to review again and weigh in on new developments.

      • I actually think the plot as such is of little consequence, this is very much a character interaction story. All the connections of the various people showing up and how they tie into Teru and Daisy.

        And the Daisy-secret itself isn’t treated like in other shoujo manga. Everytime when I’m afraid she’ll go with something predictable she has avoided it so far (reading up to the beginning chapter of volume 6).

        I also love that Daisy reflects on his feelings for Teru and what they mean, not something you expect from the male lead in such a situation.

        • Because I didn’t review volume two, I’m not sure exactly what about it disappointed me, but I know that was the end result. Not that I’m giving up on it!

          • Well, you have so many other good manga to read, you shouldn’t have to read stuff that disappointed you.
            Although I wish you’d finish reading From Far Away and gave a review of that ^^.


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