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D.N.Angel: Stealing Hearts with the Unexpected

Written by: Nicole Castro

Published on: February 17, 2022 at 15:17 PHT (GMT+8)


Welcome to our post-Valentine's Day throwback corner! We hope you got to confess your feelings to true loves last February 14!


But just in case you got rejected and are open to having your heart swept away by someone or something you didn't expect, try some hope and inspiration from the 2003 anime D.N.Angel!


Daisuke and Dark | PHOTO COURTESY: Nefarious Reviews
Plot (anime)

D.N.Angel follows the adventures of Daisuke Niwa (CV: Miyu Irino), a seemingly average teenage boy who confesses his love to Risa Harada (CV: Masumi Asano) at the beginning of the story (his 14th birthday). After getting rejected by Risa, Daisuke undergoes a strange transformation inherent in the males of the Niwa family. Daisuke's mother Eriko explains he is able to transform into the famous phantom thief, Dark Mousy (CV: Ryotaro Okiayu), which is why Eriko has been training Daisuke in thieving activities since he was young.


The main antagonist of the series comes in the form of Daisuke's schoolmate and friend Satoshi Hiwatari (true name: Satoshi Hikari; CV: Akira Ishida). Satoshi is a genius police commander who is in charge of capturing Dark. Satoshi also houses the soul of Dark's other half, Krad (CV: Takeshi Kusao).


For most of the anime, Daisuke is forced to keep his alter-ego Dark a secret from his classmates while the latter garners public attention for his thievery. After getting involved in some of Dark's activities, Riku Harada (CV: Sara Nakayama), Risa's twin sister, learns about Daisuke's secret.


Riku and Daisuke become a couple at the end of the series while Risa, who gained a crush on Dark early into the series, gradually stops pursuing him as a romantic interest and is implied to be developing feelings for Satoshi.


Note: In the manga, the plot varies with Dark and Risa eventually developing feelings for each other.


About

D.N.Angel (stylized as D•N•ANGEL) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yukiru Sugisaki. The manga was first serialized in the Kadokawa Shoten shōjo magazine Monthly Asuka in November 1997. After two extended hiatuses, the series concluded in 2021. Kadokawa Shoten has collected the individual chapters and published them in 15 tankōbon volumes and 5 e-books. The manga series is licensed for English language release in North America and the United Kingdom by Tokyopop.


Xebec adapted the manga into a 26-episode anime series which aired in Japan on TV Tokyo from April 3, 2003 to Sept. 25, 2003.


For fans in the Philippines, D.N.Angel is memorable for airing on QTV Channel 11 (now known as GMA News TV Channel 11) from May 8, 2006 to June 12, 2006, and on TV5 from Jan. 21, 2009 to Feb. 25, 2009.

Throwback
1. Opening theme: 白夜 (Byakuya) ~True Light~ by Shunichi Miyamoto

This show is equal parts high school romance coupled with Renaissance-inspired art and the idea of sacred muses. We say the opening theme Byakuya ~True Light~ by Shunichi Miyamoto with its piano instrumental gives the show that serious emotional intensity and is balanced by the electric guitar for that teen, coming-of-age angst and character growth found in both Daisuke and Satoshi.


The show comes with four ending themes: Yasashii gogo by Minawo (episodes 1-12), Hajimari no hi by Minawo (episodes 13-23, 25), Caged Bird by Shunichi Miyamoto (episode 24), and Michishirube by Shunichi Miyamoto (episode 26).



2. Daisuke and Dark's wholesome brotherly bond
Daisuke and Dark | PHOTO COURTESY: Anime Manga Freaks

One of the most refreshing things about D.N.Angel is how the relationships between the cast stay wholesome and harmonious but the show still has plenty of action to keep us viewers entertained.


A perfect example of this is Daisuke and Dark's brotherly relationship. Daisuke doesn't spend the anime episodes getting all angsty and rejecting Dark's existence. Instead, he communicates with Dark on a daily basis and cooperates with him until the end to set things right between the Niwa and Hikari families. Dark is also always privy to Daisuke's love life blues. Meanwhile, Daisuke is always chastising Dark for his crazy stunts.


3. The Harada "Sacred Maidens"
(L-R): Rika, Riku, and Risa Harada | PHOTO COURTESY: MAL, Ani-DB, Less-Real

As Daisuke says in the final episode after kissing Riku, he thinks he has found the real Sacred Maiden: true love. This anime that initially focused on stealing highly valuable artwork gave us the [cheesy, but still true] realization that love is the most priceless treasure of all.


Just to jog your memory, the three leading men all fall for the Harada women. Dark fell in love with Rika Harada, the twins' grandmother, 40 years prior to the main storyline. Daisuke eventually falls in love with Riku at the end of the series, while in the anime Risa is implied to be developing feelings for Satoshi, also at the end of the series.


Summary

If you're looking for light-hearted romance, coming-of-age anime that contains elements of action and magic, D.N.Angel will not disappoint. It borrows tropes from Lupin the Third as well, so if you like Lupin, this will be a pleasant surprise!


#digest #anime #2000sanime #throwback

 

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