by Rebecca Silverman,

Dengeki Daisy

GN 11

Dengeki Daisy GN 11
Things have gone from suspicious to worse with Rena's fiance as he reveals himself to be both untrustworthy and unscrupulous. Teru and Kiyoshi are determined to save her from herself, but as teenagers, there isn't much they can do on their own. Luckily the entire Daisy squad has Teru's back on this one!

Since the major threat to Teru's life and general well-being was taken care of a couple of volumes ago, Kyousuke Motomi's Dengeki Daisy has undergone a subtle shift in plot. Where before the general thrust of the story was that Teru needed protection from her deceased brother's enemies, now the series has morphed into a tale about a gang of high-powered hacker/problem solvers who apparently protect teenagers targeted by unscrupulous individuals. It's frankly a little weird, but fortunately the story retains enough of the elements that originally made it enjoyable so that this new storyline remains worth reading.

This volume resumes the Rena plotline that began in the previous book. Rena, Teru's rich girl friend, has been affianced to the son of one of her father's friends. The man is significantly older than Rena and totally willing to marry her (in this volume he admits to thinking about how she must look in her school uniform), thus setting up a nice parallel between he and Kurosaki. Rena isn't certain that she trusts this man, and when Teru meets him and he forces her to come to dinner, she is also suspicious. As it turns out, the man doesn't just bear a passing resemblance to a weasel, he is one, too. He has motives for marrying Rena that have nothing to do with getting to have an attractive underage girl under his control, although he makes it clear that that is definitely an added bonus. When Teru and Kiyoshi figure out what is going on, the two mobilize Kurosaki and the rest of the gang, who are all more than willing to help.

Teru and Kurosaki take a definite backseat to Kiyoshi and Rena this time around (a fact Motomi comments on at the book's end), and while we may miss them, their story really has been mostly resolved: she loves him, he loves her, they'll wait till it's legal. Rena and Kiyoshi, however, have no such resolution, and in fact it is doubtful that one of them even knows that there's a whiff of coupledom around them. This makes for a more entertaining romance plot for the volume, simply because there's some tension surrounding it. Teru and Kurosaki are adorable, but there tends to be a reason why stories don't go beyond “happily ever after.” This is not to say that they are completely absent from the book, because they do still get some significant page time. But now their roles are slightly different than they have been up to this point. Teru, specifically, is more about being the best possible friend she can be to Rena, and that is heartwarming to see. In fact, Dengeki Daisy's eleventh volume really succeeds the most when it is showing us how much Rena and Kiyoshi have grown as characters since their introductions. Kiyoshi in particular has really evolved, and Motomi has spread it out over enough volumes that it feels fairly natural. Rena spends a lot of the book reflecting upon her past actions and how she would like to overcome them, a device that helps readers to she who she was and who she has become quite effectively.

Motomi's layouts and art are getting a little more crowded and tone-heavy as the volumes go on, but generally still make for fairly easy reading. There are a couple of instances where it is not clear what order the speech bubbles and narration should be read in and one spelling error, but overall this remains as fast a read as it ever was, which is fairly high praise given the fact that Motomi played out her main plot and managed to keep going. Particularly impressive is the way Motomi draws Chiharu Mori, the series' femme fatale – she is both recognizable and utterly different looking each time she appears, like a shoujo version of Lupin III's Fujiko Mine.

Dengeki Daisy began as a romance with some computer crimes thrown in and has morphed into an action story with some romance thrown in. What remains true, however, is that Kyousuke Motomi has created an interesting, fun story with memorable characters who do their best, whether it's for good or ill. Volume eleven gives us a new threat for Daisy and Co. to tackle with Teru, Kiyoshi, Haruka, and Rena in new roles, and even if this isn't the series we started out reading, it is still an awfully good time.

Overall : B
Story : B
Art : B-

+ Series maintains momentum in its new, more crime-based incarnation. Increased roles for Kiyoshi and Rena, showcasing character development.
Really? Again with the Jack Frost thing? Not as much Teru and Kurosaki, fiance's character design projects his personality in a way Motomi usually avoids.

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Production Info:
Story & Art: Kyousuke Motomi

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