by Rebecca Silverman,

Dengeki Daisy

GN 10

Dengeki Daisy GN 10
With feelings expressed and identities revealed, things are a bit calmer for Teru and Kurosaki. Now they have some relationship issues to work out while still keeping in mind that Chiharu Mori and Akira are still out there somewhere. It turns out that it's a good thing that they didn't forget – because Akira comes storming back onto the scene, and he still has it out for both Teru and Daisy. But what is his motivation? Who do he and Chiharu work for? And why does Rena's fiance seem like a bad bet?

With volumes eight and nine pretty much bringing what had been the main plot of Dengeki Daisy to a close, readers may have found themselves wondering just what Kyousuke Motomi was going to do to keep the story going. At first it looks as if the answer is “not much.” The opening chapters of volume ten are neither thrilling nor particularly sweet – Teru worries about how to express her feelings, Kurosaki blushes a lot when she's not looking, and overall there doesn't seem to be the level of progress that the events of volume nine would have indicated. There are some wonderful moments nonetheless, and both Teru and Kurosaki do spend some time telling the reader just what it is that they like so much about the other. It can get a bit cloying, making these chapters an odd mix of “too sweet” and “not sweet enough.” That said, there is very little real progress in their romance, which is either good or bad depending on how you feel about their age gap. The one thing that Motomi does show very nicely is how comfortable the two are together, all blushes aside. There is a very real rapport that surfaces from time to time (usually around a meal), and if nothing else, it lets us know that things are going to work out.

Fortunately for the plot, things pick up again in chapter 47, the third of the volume's five. This chapter takes us back to the relationship between Kurosaki and Teru's late brother Sōichirō, reminding us of the pull this absent character still exerts on everyone. Teru organizes a group visit to his grave, and she and Kurosaki get to open up to each other about Sōichirō's continued influence on their lives, as do the other members of his team. It's all very sweet...and then Akira comes back. It turns out that this is, after all, really just set up for the cyber plot to resume, and what appears at first to just be emotional content is actually Motomi getting us ready for more shady machinations. Akira, we learn, is not only still around, but he still has some serious hate for our protagonists. He's been moved out of sight for a bit, but when Chiharu sees he's getting bored, she offers to take him with her to a mysterious meeting. This affords Akira an unexpected chance at a confrontation, but more alarmingly, it shows us just how deep the ring of corruption goes.

This is also where the series begins to pick itself back up and delve into some more interesting territory. Teru's friend Rena, the caustic student council member, has played minor roles in the story thus far, but now it is revealed that she has allowed her parents to set her up with a fiance. Rena is understandably ambivalent about this and wants Teru to meet him, which is where we start to run into plot threads. The possibilities for Rena's increased role in the story are large, and a this new use for an old character has the potential to add a new urgency to Teru's interactions with Akira and his mysterious organization. There is also the possibility of some parallels between Teru and Kurosaki's relationship and Rena's with her fiance, given that the man in question is older than her. All in all, by the end of volume ten things are heading in a more promising direction, so readers would do well to stick with the let-down of the earlier chapters, because it looks like there will definitely be a reward.

While in general the humor content has decreased along with the action of the previous books, Motomi still throws in some entertaining moments and her chibis are always fun to look at. Readers may be surprised at her continual self put downs in her commentary, as clearly Motomi does not realize that she gets more mileage out of a fairly standard shoujo style than other artists. There are issues, of course – Teru's other girl friend is very generic looking and Akira at times can sport a lovely girlish figure – but for the most part, the art more than gets the job done. The translation is also as smooth as always, reading very naturally and with many of the bald jokes (and other similar ones) making an easy transition between languages.

Despite its somewhat Slow Start, Dengeki Daisy's tenth volume does manage to get back on track about halfway through the book. While the relationship between Teru and Kurosaki hasn't progressed a lot physically, the level of comfort that the two feel is abundantly clear, and with Akira's return, the story promises to return to its previous pace. The main plot of the first nine books may have wrapped up, but it looks like Motomi still has plenty of story left to tell us, so just settle back and get ready to keep reading.

Overall : B-
Story : B-
Art : B-

+ Increased role for Rena and the return of Akira herald a new storyline. Some very sweet moments.
Some of those sweet moments can get a little cloying, first couple chapters are very slow.

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Story & Art: Kyousuke Motomi

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