A young high school girl loses her brother, her only living family member. She is given a cel-phone before his death and told that if she ever needs anything DAISY will be there for her. Now two years later, Teru Kurebayashi daringly faces up to high school bullies and ends up breaking school property. A poor scholarship student, Teru must work chores after school for the school janitor, Tasuku Kurosaki, in order to repay the debt. As Teru spends more time with the deliquent janitor, she begins to question DAISY’s identity, and his uncanny ability to come to her rescue. Meanwhile, Kurosaki struggles to hold back his emotions as he strives to protect and harass Teru.
The author states in a side bar that she almost named the book “Magical Daisy”. Frustrated I demanded, “So then what is Dengeki?!!” After a quick stint on Google, I found the answer, and I realized it’s the perfect title for this series. Dengeki means having to do with electricity, or being electric. So the translated title would be “Electric Daisy”. That makes a lot of sense, seeing as the persona of DAISY comes from a cel phone.
There is a lot I could write about, but I’m not big on spoilers. I really loved the set up and development of the characters in this series. The mangaka plays on emotions really well. The interactions of Teru, Kurosaki, and DAISY really flesh out the roles of the characters and what may lie ahead. I’m most interested to see what becomes of Teru and DAISY.
I found the relationship that Teru has with DAISY very intriguing. She’s never met that person, but trusts him or her. Although she’s being harassed at school, she only asks DAISY for help when it’s a friend that is in trouble. At one point her cel phone is stolen, and although she is delirious with fever, she is desperate to recover her only connection to DAISY. DAISY has been there to help her through her loneliness, and she relies on that connection.
Kurosaki, the janitor, is a charming character. He acts like a drinking, smoking delinquent, but has another side that he tries to hide from Teru. When Teru gets in trouble, Kurosaki comes to her rescue armed for bear. He can’t reveal his alternate identity, which puts him in some tight spots. He harasses Teru in hopes of irritating her, to keep his own feelings at bay.
The art has a nice mix of styles to fit the right mood. There are the scenes where Teru and Kurosaki are working after school and the characters are more cartoonish. Then it may come to a scene where there is strong emotion, and Motomi draws the characters more detailed and feathery. The paneling and layout flow smoothly, and the drawings are very attractive. It’s really enjoyable to read.
If you prefer shojo, then you won’t want to miss this new series from Viz. It won’t disappoint. Great characters, interesting storyline, and attractive art. Best of all – it’s a shojo that isn’t cliché.
Dengeki Daisy vol. 1 is available in the states from Viz media. Volume 2 will be released October 5, 2010. The series is currently running in Betsucomi magazine in Japan.