Dengeki Daisy Review

Dengeki Daisy is a series that I started a full year and a half ago. It’s definitely been a while and I was wondering if the series would be able to finish as strongly as it started. It was a gamble because for a Shojo, typically the longer that you go, the more chances there are for things to go downhill. This is probably the most interesting Shojo title that I’ve read in a long time and it was a lot of fun, but one of the villains does manage to bring it down.

A long time ago, there was a virus created by a man named Daisy, which crippled systems around the world and was massively overpowered. Around the same time that the incident ended, Teru’s brother died. Years later, Teru is attending a school and basically having a happy life when she ends up working for a janitor after breaking school property. It turns out that the guy is a nice person despite acting like a delinquent. He can be gruff, but Teru is always chipper since she has texts with a guy named Daisy who sends her inspirational texts every day. Naturally, the Janiter is Daisy, but she doesn’t know that for a while.

At first, Daisy mostly just helps her behind the scenes by defeating bullies and keeping her out of trouble. After all, his mission in life is to keep her safe since he made a promise to Teru’s brother. That’s when a villain organization decides to strike. They want Daisy to use the virus or maybe they’ll open it up themselves. Unfortunately, this means that Teru is in constant danger. Daisy has to use all of the contacts that he has accumulated over the years if he really wants to keep her safe.

The plot probably sounds more than a little convoluted, but that’s because I covered the slice of life part of the series along with some of the plot. The series is 16 volumes so a lot of events happen as the series goes on. The best part was probably the first half as the slice of life time was cool, but I did like the action that was brought to the forefront in the second half. The only thing that dragged it down was one of the big villains.

His name was Akira. He has the ability to understand and memorize insanely large amounts of code. He can accomplish the same task as a super computer with ease so no math problem is too difficult for him. He can’t fight all that well, but he does battle Teru once or twice. While he could have been a neat rival to Daisy, he ended up being a bad character as his wanting to compete with Daisy angle was played up too much. He ends up attacking and taunting Teru when they first met up and it was one of the low points of the series as it was just a terrible scene and the generic stealing a kiss moment has never worked out well for any series. The fact that it’s played so seriously is also pretty bad as it wrecked any chance he had of being decent.

The other two big villains are certainly better. Chiharu is essentially in charge of Akira. While she acts like she cares about him at some points, the mission comes first for her and sometimes she does seem to just lose patience with him. It’s sad for Akira since nobody wants to help him for the majority of the series so he basically has no friends. She certainly can’t be counted as one although at least she has some honor as she helps the heroes out at one point since she owed them a debt. She can actually fight as well as she took out Matsuda in a fight. Granted, it was a shot from the back.

Antler is the main villain of the series though. Throughout the series, there were a lot of petty crooks and one shot villains who would always end up turning good, but Antler was the mastermind behind just about all of the main characters’ troubles. He was a fairly epic villain, but unfortunately, the series seemed to basically be cancelled before he could do anything. The ending was fairly rushed as the arc ended decently well, but plotlines were still around. Antler basically just threw the heroes a bone at the end and watched them sail away as he presumably blew up. This just made you wonder what the point of it all was. What was Antler’s end game? It seems like he was just testing the heroes, but that’s such an anticlimactic way to die. Just watching the heroes get away like that.

Similarly, one character died, which was too bad. Souichirou was dead before the series began, but he was actually the best character in the series. We mostly only see him through flashbacks and a bonus chapter at the end of the final volume. He was a really hardcore character and had no problem talking back to the villains. They didn’t dare mess with him and I still like to think that he could have survived somehow. The problem was that I figured he would end up being Antler, but they met in a flashback so it’s no longer possible unless he took up the mantle and I like to think that this didn’t happen. Either way, that’s probably for the best as Souichirou turning evil would have been bad for his character development. It’s a shame that he missed the series, but that didn’t stop him from easily becoming my favorite character in the series. He’s extremely brilliant and was still way above the other characters in terms of intelligence by the end of the series.

Matsuda is the boss of the group and he has a lot of government connections at his disposal. He’s very tough and helps to give the heroes that war experience that they needed. He’s a fun character. Matsuda doesn’t get a huge role, but he helps the heroes get a lead whenever the vilains are nearby and you can completely trust him through and through. I was surprised when he lost the final big fight after all of the hype, but I suppose that made the scene all the more surprising.

Another one of the supporting characters who helped Daisy and Teru through the whole adventure was Riko. Riko has been around with the team since they first created the group and she was very helpful during the arcs. She gave Teru a place to stay and also helped to get everyone’s heads back in the game after Antler hurt their feelings. She is certainly determined to see the mission through to the end and made for another great supporting character. For the most part, the series was good with that, but we had less luck when it came to the school friends.

Kiyoshi was a really terrible character and I never liked him from the start. He started out as a villain, but after the heroes crushed him, he decided to go to the other side. While he acts sincere about it, he was definitely willing to do anything as a villain and it’s hard to overlook it so easily. I’m glad that he decided to turn into a good guy and that’s great for his character, but I never became a fan of his. I could have done without him being in the series to be honest. More screen time for the epic dog instead would have been great. One of the villains who turned good had a dog and that was certainly epic. If the dog had appeared more to show everyone who’s boss, that would have been neat.
Rena is one of Teru’s other friends and Teru helps her realize what it means to have real friends and not to waste your life on frivolous pursuits. Teru also helps to save Rena from the villains at another point. Rena started off as a fairly shallow character who made a lot of mistakes, but by the end she was certainly a solid character and easily Teru’s most likable friend. She’s not as cool as Daisy’s friends, but a good character all the same.

Time to actually talk about the main characters! Teru is the lead and she’s a good heroine. Teru actually gets a few fight scenes, which was certainly unexpected and certainly helped me gain respect for her as a character. It’s too bad that she couldn’t have defeated Akira right away when they first met though. Teru doesn’t always win, but at least she always puts up a good fight. By the end of the series, her bond with Daisy is quite strong and they are able to rely on each other no matter how bad the situation looks. Teru always gives her friends good advice and tries her best to stay strong so that her allies won’t get sad. She’s definitely far better than the average lead.

As for Daisy, he’s also a pretty great lead. His origin story helped to give him a lot of development. He made a mistake, which haunted him for years and years, but he is finally able to get past that and worry about the present. He’s a character who managed to stay upright throughout the tough situations and you’ll be rooting for him by the end. He’s not afraid to throw a punch if the villains start to throw around insults and he has the strength to win just about any fair fight. As a great hacker, Daisy is also exceptionally smart. The series definitely had a strong pair of leads.

So, does that mean that I actually approve of the romance? Spoiler alert, I could have done without it, but that may not be a surprise to you. Still, luckily there isn’t a whole lot to worry about here. There is constant romance of course, but the shaprones are always watching Daisy and Teru so no funny business can happen and the relationship is typically given a lot of time to develop. The second half of the series starts to actually have the two accept their status of boy friend and girl friend more, but then the series gets ready to end. The romance is handled much better than a lot of the other plots that you will see nowadays. It’s not perfect and it could still be better, but it’s not enough to actually cripple the score.

Dengeki Daisy was also surprisingly epic for a Shojo. #ShotsFired. There are actually quite a few scenes with real danger and epic cliff hangers like when Daisy prepares to fight the big boss or when Teru attacks Akira. Some of the cliff hangers felt like something that you would expect to see in Shonen Jump! The plot involving the cyber virus was also very interesting as well since it was a battle of wits between the heroes and villains. Both sides would try to manipulate the other one into making a move so neither side could be confident that they were doing the right thing. The constant deceptions and manipulations definitely made this a real page turner.

In fact, I’d say that it was easily one of the most interesting and enjoyable manga titles that I’ve read in a while. It was just as much a page turner as Bakuman, Fairy Tail, Gamaran…okay, maybe not Gamaran level, but you get the picture. That being said, like Ant Man it did have some issues that stopped me from giving it a great score. The Akira scene is really what hurt it and of course, the romance also helps to put a bit of a stop in the way of a series. So while it could have easily gotten a solid 8/10, I lowered the score. That being said, it’s still positive and I still recommend it. While you’re reading the series, you just won’t want to put it down! It’s the difference between a good read and a great one.

The art for the series was quite good and definitely above average for Shojo. For any manga title, the art would certainly be able to hold its own and I’m glad that it was so good since it helped to make the action scenes more epic. This series did have quite a few moments that would leave you eagerly anticipating what would happen next and I like to think that the art always plays a decent role in something like that.
Overall, Dengeki Daisy was a very interesting manga and certainly more of a suspenseful thriller than any title that I’ve read in a while. As far as Shojo titles go, this may be the most epic one unless I’m missing something as there are likely quite a few others out there. This is also easily one of the best romance series that I’ve read. That’s good since I can use this as a counter if anyone says that I don’t like any romance titles! Of course, the score could have been higher without it, but I don’t have to necessarily mention that right off the bat! The writing was very well done and the characters were all developed quite nicely. It’s one of the few series where the flashbacks were about as good as the story in the present time. Even the filler adventures like infiltrating a lost tomb that Souichiro built turned out to be quite enjoyable. If you’re looking for a Shojo thriller, this is definitely a title that you will want to check out!

Overall 6/10

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