Written and Media by Paul Anderson.
I picked up the first volume of the D.N. Angel manga series a little over 8 years ago based on a recommendation. I wasn’t initially impressed, but decided to give the second volume a shot. I was hooked ever since, collecting the 13 volumes released in the US, and the 26 episode Anime series adapted from the manga.
The series is a romantic comedy at its heart, but also falls under the category of fantasy drama. On Daisuke Niwa’s 14th birthday, his dream girl Risa Harada rejects him. While lamenting the rejection later on, Daisuke begins to transform. Daisuke learns a genetic mutation causes the men of his family to transform into a legendary phantom thief named Dark. After they turn 14, the Niwa men’s romantic feelings activate the transformation. Dark’s romantic feelings cause the transformation to reverse. This has enabled the phantom thief to steal art for generations.
The one thing to note about the series is that the manga, though it is still ongoing currently in Japan, has been on extended hiatus for several years. It’s not likely to be completed anytime soon, if at all. The US publisher, Tokyopop, shut down its doors a few years back, so the remaining volumes won’t be translated and released. In other words, there is no closure from the source text that the series is adapted from. Though I much preferred the presentation of the manga, the anime is the only way to get a distinctive ending to the series. It may not have been the author’s intended ending, but if you thrive for closure in a series like I do, the anime is the best way to experience the series.
To be perfectly honest, this series isn’t overwhelmingly spectacular; it isn’t likely to dethrone your current favorite. It might not be the best anime you’ll watch, but it’s still pretty darn good and definitely worth a watch. The story is fairly unique; I can’t say that I’ve found anything quite like it. The character interactions are engaging, and the characters are all very enjoyable. The series also provides closure, having a distinct ending, which not all anime series do.
D.N. Angel has been one of my favorite series for a long while. It’s a very light hearted, and innocent anime. If you aren’t a fan of much language or fan service, D.N. Angel will be a perfect fit. It’s also a good jumping off point if you’ve never watched an anime series before. It isn’t a groundbreaking series, nor is it life changing, but if you take it for what it is, you’ll more than likely enjoy it. I give D.N. Angel a solid 8/10.