Monday, October 18, 2010

Dengeki Daisy Volume 2

By Kyousuke Motomi. Released in Japan by Shogakukan, serialization ongoing in the magazine Bessatsu Comic ("Betsucomi"). Released in North America by Viz.

Well, the 2nd volume of Dengeki Daisy pretty much gave me exactly what I asked for. There's not QUITE as much humor as in the first volume, and the more serious plotline is coming to the foreground, but this is certainly no We Were There, and the sweet, goofy relationship between Teru and Tasuku is still something we really want to see happen... but know isn't going to anytime soon.

Even better, Teru is smartening up, and is not quite the same naive girl we saw going to a love hotel to 'rescue' her classmate in Vol. 1. Halfway through the book, we get the standard 'come alone and don't tell anyone' plot, with admonitions from both Tasuku and Riko to NOT do that, and call them before she goes anywhere. Cut to her showing up, alone, to talk to her blackmailer. Not again, we groan. But no, this time she actually went and called them both before she went! It's especially interesting as Teru sees it as her going down a dark path, and being less trusting. Whereas I think Tasuku and the others would call it growing up.

Tasuku's desire for Teru (and it's pretty well shown to be a strong desire, without ever becoming explicit) is another reason to pick this up. He's already naturally conflicted by being older than Teru, who's still in school; as well as by his past with her brother, and we also have his dual identity as Daisy, and trying to avoid having her discover that. Really, he has enough psychological issues for several volumes, which is good, as Dengeki Daisy is 8 volumes and still running in Japan. But at least he and Teru know of their own feelings for each other in their own minds, even if they're light-years away from saying it. This is a refreshing change from clueless obliviousness or hardcore denial.

I do wonder if it will get more explicit later. Dengeki Daisy is a Shogakukan title, which already gives it a 75% chance of more sex than a similar title would for Shueisha. :D

The plot thickens in this 2nd volume, and we get intriguing pieces of the backstory, including finding that Teru's late brother may not be as sweet and wonderful as we'd expected. Riko is also a nice addition to the cast, giving Teru a mentor figure to discuss things with, while being another link to Tasuku's past (and getting carte blanche to kick him in the head, something Teru can't quite manage yet). There's a lot going on in this title besides the cute romance. I'm very pleased Viz has picked it up; one of their better new acquisitions.

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