Reviewed by: Azure
Released by: ADV Films UK
Age Rating: PG
Region: 2 - UK
Volume 1 of 7
Length: 100 minutes
English 5.1 Surround
Japanese 2.0 Stereo
Daisuke is in love with classmate Risa, he chooses his fourteenth birthday to confess his feelings but Risa doesn’t quite get the message. To complicate matters Daisuke’s family has a secret, every male in his family has a gene, which activates on their fourteenth birthday, this gene is then triggered by the object of their affections transforming them into the legionary phantom thief Dark.
I’d read a little of the DNAngel manga prior to watching this DVD and was interested in how the show would be executed. When the first episode began to play I was quite simply blown away. The visuals are simply stunning for a series, the animation is smooth and the backgrounds are beautiful, the town where Daisuke lives is reminiscent of the scenery from Kiki’s Delivery Service. Full use has been made of computer technology, which unlike many other cases compliments the action with some absolutely stunning camera movement. The music also really adds to the magical feel and it’s clear a great deal of effort has gone into it. I particularly liked the opening song, and there’s a short ‘making-of’ extra on the DVD following the recording process.
The romance aspect of DNAngel is hardly the most original magical transformations and teen love triangles are nothing new after all there’s even a cute mascot character in there, luckily DNAngel brings it’s own charms. Daisuke and his alter ego Dark have clear and distinctive personalities, which clash frequently. In fact one of the funniest scenes involved Dark eavesdropping on Daisuke thinking about the dream he just had and making his own observations. These first episodes concentrate strongly on Daisuke/Dark, but there are a lot of promising secondary characters, which I hope will get more airtime as the plot develops. There’s also a serious aspect to the series as well learn more about Dark and his past, most episodes further this aspect a little.
A lot of effort has been made to blur fantasy and reality, the town where Daisuke lives has quite obviously been influenced by fairy tales, yet he goes to what seems to be a perfectly ordinary Japanese style school. This gives a feeling that anything might happen, and ensures that the mystical goings on don’t seem out of place at all. After the explosion of post Eva hard hitting and often depressing shows it’s nice to watch something a little more uplifting, it’s a feel good anime worthy of attention.