The Complete Collection
Daisuke Niwa has decided to confess his love for the eldest of the two Harada twins, Risa. His plans fall apart when he discovers that he is possessed by the phantom thief Dark Mousy, a much better looking, purple-haired, young man who, unfortunately, has caught the eye of Risa.
Dark manifests when Niwa is overcome with emotion for Risa, at least in the beginning. As the series goes on, this gets muddled, and Dark starts manifesting arbitrarily.
Dark is the ‘dashing hero,’ and isn’t really developed beyond that. Granted, his personality is a subset of Niwa’s, so he isn’t given that much time to shine on his own. Despite being a thief, he has noble intentions. The works of art he steals are all in possession of a spirit (much like Niwa himself). Some of the spirits are malicious, others just sad. Either way, Dark’s duty is to ‘seal’ them away, though no one is aware of this secret mission, and think he’s just out to steal.
That, of course, doesn’t stop anyone from liking him. Dark is a kind of folk hero and media darling, which results in all his crimes turning into spectator sports. There’s not a lot of tension or risk involved in the crimes. Nor do they involve any cleaver capers. Dark just saves the day with his semi-magic powers every time. That said, there’s a decent variety of crimes and spirits, so it never feels repetitive.
D.N.Angel is set in Japan, but it has a kind of whimsical, fairy tale-style that makes it more reminiscent on old Europe. It’s nice, idealistic anime town where nothing bad ever happens and everyone is nice to each other, kind of like an ever-so-slightly darker version of Aria.
Niwa’s nemesis is Satoshi, a genius child who has been made the police commissioner for some reason. He, too, is possessed by a spirit, in this case, Krad, a sort of anti-Dark. Krad wants to stop Dark, but doesn’t seem to have much of a motive beyond that. Satoshi and Krad do not get along, although Satoshi, being the police commissioner, does share his desire to catch Dark.
The relationship between Niwa and the Harada twins plays out pretty well and develops naturally. In a nice twist, it comes to fruition about two thirds of the way into the series, rather than at the very end, this allows it to be explored in more detail than is typically seen in an anime series like this. That’s not to say that it goes any deeper than puppy-love induced whispers of ‘I like you!’ But it at least feels a little less clean and perfect.
The over all story arc is respectable. It takes a few pointless diversions, but it ultimately culminates in a satisfying conclusion which ties together a lot of the plot lines from the series. D.N.Angel is not one of the shows we’ll be talking about in twenty years, but it’s a well made and entertaining ten hours that you’ll probably want to watch again at some point.
The 26 episodes are presented on 5 DVD discs. The video is the same as was found on the previous ADV Films release, with the credits changed into English (and a slight drop in video quality when they are). This is a disappointment from Eastern Star, who had been dependably when it came to uncut video up until this release. There are no extras.