Bad boy/good girl love stories are popular in shojo manga, and for those who enjoy a dash of cyber intrigue in their romances, Kyousuke Motomi’s Dengeki Daisy is worth checking out. Volume 10 has recently been released, and you can read on for the review. (Also, for those who are interested, you can click here for my reviews of earlier volumes).
The story centers on orphan Teru Kurebayashi, who, after the death of her beloved older brother, 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. One day, she accidentally breaks a window at school, and as a result winds up becoming a servant for Kurosaki, the delinquent school custodian. Although brusque and rude, he somehow always shows up in her time of need, and Teru finds herself increasingly drawn to him.
Back Cover Blurb
A powerful organization that was after Kurosaki’s “Jack Frost” virus suddenly falls apart, but Kurosaki can’t rest easy since Akira was somehow involved. Furthermore, Akira tells Kurosaki that Teru is still a target! Can Kurosaki protect Teru from Akira’s menacing schemes?
Fans who prefer lighter high school fare will enjoy the first part of Volume 10. Chapter 45 is reminiscent of the early Daisy-looking-out-for-Teru-the-bullied-scholarship-student chapters. Chapter 46 entails a bunch of shojo silliness as Teru’s female friends try to guide her in getting her relationship with Kurosaki to progress. But although neither of these arcs involves Akira, the threat he poses constantly lurks in the back of our heroes’ minds, and not surprisingly, the focus returns to him in the second half of the book.
I mentioned in my review of Volume 9 that with so many issues settled, Motomi-sensei would have to shake things up to keep this title interesting, and she does that with a shift in Kurosaki’s attitude towards Akira. Just before Akira reenters the story, Kurosaki comes to term with everything Soichiro did for him. In one sense, he’s able to put to rest the guilt he’s been carrying, but in another sense, he comes to see Akira with new eyes. Whereas Akira was simply the enemy before, Kurosaki now wants to save him, but given the elevator stunt Akira pulls in Chapter 48, redeeming Akira will be a significantly long project. By the way, Motomi-sensei admits in an author’s note that Kurosaki’s rescue of Teru is improbable even to her but offers the justification that her editor gave.
Another thing Motomi-sensei does to increase tension is introduce a new element of romantic angst. In the spirit of unlikely shojo romances, she throws together Teru’s two friends that fit that bill the best: Rena and Kiyoshi. The attraction forming between the pair feels forced, and to be honest, I’m less interested in how things will play out between them and more interested in the third person involved in their romantic equation, Rena’s fiancé. He injects a new bit of mystery into the story with his connection to Akira, and I look forward to seeing how he might manipulate Rena to achieve his goals.
Volume 10 serves up a couple of fluffy chapters where Teru’s main concern is high school finals and perfume before reverting back to cyber-related intrigue. While Akira’s psycho bad attitude is getting old, Motomi-sensei livens things in the intrigue department with Rena’s mysterious fiancé. Between him and the budding relationship between Rena and Kiyoshi, Dengeki Daisy looks as if it could go on for at least a couple more volumes.
First published at the Fandom Post.