Dengeki Daisy Volume 3 by Kyousuke Motomi
Dengeki Daisy is one of those series that just keeps getting better with every volume. I put this volume down disappointed that I’m going to have to wait until April to read volume 4. The characters in Dengeki Daisi just seem to have both more depth than I expect, and Motomi’s slightly off-kilter approach to shoujo storytelling always ensures some surprising moments in this manga. One of the things that I find hilarious is the way Teru’s friends just casually accept the fact that she’s living with a older, supposedly lecherous high school janitor. As the volume opens she’s preparing to move in with her new friend Riko and she’s trying to come up with ideas for a parting gift for Kurosaki. She decides that she’ll cook a meal, but she has to ask Kurosaki to pick up the groceries because she’s so busy moving. I just love the interaction between Kurosaki and Teru. He orders her to restate her request as a servant and she says “Master, I would appreciate it if you bought the groceries…please” and flashes her belly button at him. He ends up cooking her farewell dinner and teasing her too much, so she starts crying. Kurosaki gives her a hug and the comforting words “You’re my servant, remember? I’m going to work you to the bone at school. And you can keep coming here to cook and clean for me.” She thinks “This is so cowardly…I won’t do this again. Putting the one I love on the spot with my tears and expecting him to do what I want.” Teru then leaves, in order to move into her new apartment right next door. The first chapter of this volume contained everything I like about Dengeki Daisy: character interaction, self-reflection, and a quirky twist.
I enjoyed spending more time with the main characters in Dengeki Daisy. I’m a big fan of shoujo heroes who look slightly dissolute, like Yoh from High School Debut with the horrible bags under his eyes. Kurosaki fits well with this character type, as he’s often snarling with a cigarette dangling from a corner of his mouth. He only seems to have unguarded expressions when Teru can’t see him, because he’s locked away the more protective and gentle side of himself into the personality of the mysterious person “Daisy” who Teru can only reach through her cell phone. As I was reading this volume I was wondering how much longer the secret of Daisy’s identity would last. Teru’s been on the verge of discovering that Daisy is Kurosaki so many times, it is hard not to wonder if her lack of knowledge might be a protective mechanism. For an orphaned girl who might possess a secret computer program her brother was killed for, she’s amazingly level headed even if she is subject to the normal amounts of moodiness any teenager would be expected to have.
Teru comes into her own in an unexpected way in this volume. Takeda comes after her, separating her from Kurosaki during an important cake shopping trip. Takeda tries to sneakily manipulate her into showing him her cell phone so he can search it for the mysterious software program her brother wrote, she sees right through him. Even though Takeda’s manipulations have caused her a ton of trouble, she ends up telling him that she wants to see him again the next time he wants to to go a cake shop. It is clear that Teru and Kurosaki have a deep emotional connection, but they aren’t ready for the push their relationship would get if it was revealed that Kurosaki is actually Daisy. Daisy functions as an emotional safety net, and if that communication mechanism were to vanish, Teru and Kurosaki’s emotions might be too difficult to handle. This volume tended to focus more on the emotional connections between the odd couple and less on the corporate espionage mystery that was featured more in the first couple volumes. At this point I’m happy to read whatever Motomi comes up with for the rest of the series.