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Dengeki Daisy, also known as Hetakuso Cupid or The Hopeless Cupid, follows Teru as she lives her life and is cheered on by ‘DAISY’. But who is DAISY? Whoever it is, they might be closer to Teru than she realizes..
Author & Artist: Kyousuke Motomi
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Romance, School Life, Shoujo, Slice of Life
Published: 2007 – 2013
Number of Volumes: 16
Number of Chapters: 75
When Teru Kurebayashi’s older brother dies she is left without relatives and support, except for the cell phone her brother gave her which has a contact called ‘DAISY’ on it. Her brother assured her DAISY will support her throughout her life and help her out when needed. Teru messages DAISY often, but often paints a prettier picture than what is really going on in her life, she leaves out being bullied by the rich kids, for instance.
After accidentally breaking a window in the back garden, Teru finds herself in debt and has to work this off helping out the school janitor Tasaku Kurosaki. He is a rude, but handsome, guy who makes her do his chores. After he appears the bullying abruptly stops.
Teru confides in DAISY about her situation, but who really is DAISY? Whoever it is, are they closer than she thinks?
Kyousuke Motomi clearly put a lot of work into Dengeki Daisy. The characters have a lot of background to them and there are a few unexpected twist, but also quite a few ones that the readers see coming, but the characters don’t. This love story is filled with beautifully illustrated moments and has a positive ending to it.
Teru, her search for DAISY and her other relationships are the main focus of Dengeki Daisy, as expected. It is first and foremost a romance manga, as most of the mystery around who DAISY is quickly gets revealed to the reader. In this manga you get to know things way before the main character does, which can make it a bit frustrating when it takes her several chapters to realize the same thing. But it doesn’t take away the surprise of how she finds out or how she’ll react once she did uncover it.
The story itself focusses a lot around software engineers, like Teru’s brother was, and hackers. Although it mentions these subjects quite a bit there isn’t much explanation about how the hacks or programming are being done, probably because it’s too complicated to explain simply and briefly. Still, as someone who’s interested in the subject, I would’ve preferred a little more than the general ‘it’s magic’ approach.
When it comes to the genres this manga does fit into all of them, or maybe all but a few. As mentioned above its genres are Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Romance, School Life, Shoujo, Slice of Life. Personally I felt there wasn’t a lot of drama in this manga, or rather it gets resolves quickly. As do most of the mysteries in the story.
Initially Teru’s love for DAISY seems a bit shallow and selfish, as DAISY helps her out a lot and she isn’t able to do the same for him. But as time goes on you realize she loves him pretty much unconditionally, she isn’t just in it for her own gain.
Teru comes across as a pretty selfless person, helping out someone who bullied her even if she has to put herself into a dangerous situation to get it done. She doesn’t seem like someone who ever sees themselves as a victim, she isn’t sad very often even when she does get hurt. Teru doesn’t blame others for her misfortune and tries to smile and ignore people who bother her, or better yet end up befriending them.
Tasuku on the other hand comes across like an uncaring, rude and abusive guy who wants nothing more than to be left alone or, if someone bothers him, make people pay. However this is not his full personality. There are different sides to him, which you’ll discover when reading and which makes him a well-rounded character. It’s interesting to watch his actions as he struggles to keep his feelings a secret and tries to look out for Teru’s wellbeing.
The two grow close over time, but their dynamic is definitely comedic most of the time. They both clearly care about one another.
Dengeki Daisy shows quite a bit of backstory of its characters, including the two main characters. The relationships between characters often gets explained, either by the character themselves or by flashback scenes.
While the style of this manga is definitely not ugly, I’m not a huge fan. The shading in particular is very harsh and dark. I’m more a fan of overly pretty or cute drawing styles myself, but this manga was enjoyable nonetheless. I also have to add that all the romantic moments were beautifully portrayed in this manga.
Kyousuke Motomi is also responsible for other well-known manga such Beast Master and Mitsuai Celeb, which have a very similar drawing style.