Reviewed by: Azure
Released by: ADV Films UK
Age Rating: PG
Region: 2 - UK
Volume 4 of 7
Length: 100 minutes
English 2.0 Stereo
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Risa and Saehara are caught in a trap set for Dark; Daisuke has to travel after them to a familiar place. Wild girl Mio Hio also joins Daisuke’s school and the moment she arrives she sets her heart on poor Daisuke who hasn’t get the faintest clue on what to do.
This volume of DNAngel is decidedly romantic in tone as Darks exploits as a phantom thief takes a backseat to Daisuke’s love life, which is getting increasingly convoluted as the story goes on. Things are shaken up somewhat by the introduction of the bubbly and cute Towa and the decidedly irritating Mio Hio. The gags about Mio’s fascination with Mio aren’t particularly new and call to mind Rumiko Takahashi’s Shampoo and Lum. Where Mio’s role is important is that she begins to stir up Daisuke’s relationship with the twins as they are forced to confront how they really feel about Daisuke. However, I found it interesting that even a comedy character like Mio has a part to play in the plot and there are several scenes where Mio switches to a cooler persona, or else gazes at a strange necklace which hints that there’s something more to come
The animation isn’t up to the high standards set in earlier episodes but it probably doesn’t matter as much as it might as this volume the story revolves around the characters feelings rather than grand landscapes or battle sequences. It also feels like the pace is getting ready to change, several key plot points are hinted at but it’s only at the end of the volume that certain plot points are confirmed and spoken aloud. It doesn’t really effect enjoyment as these episodes are all about feelings and actually work surprisingly well together considering DNAngel aired weekly in Japan. I have a feeling though things will change rapidly in the next volume, since 4 marks just over the halfway point.
This volume includes ADV voice actor commentary, the next part in the DNangel talk series as well as some music videos. The music videos seem mostly comprised of pans across the landscape with quiet piano music, but stay with it as there are several very sweet vocal songs at the end. Bewarned though they feature footage from later episodes that may be considered spoilers.
DNAngel at it’s heart is a sweet romance with a fantastic setting, the focus is on the feelings of the characters rather than action marking it out as a strong shoujo title. I imagine this increased focus on romance may put off some viewers who enjoyed Dark’s exploits, but that’s really missing the point. If you like romantic and sweet sit down with DNAngel, some snacks, perhaps a few tissues and enjoy. Fans of action and destruction look elsewhere.