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August 2, 2012

Anime Review: D.N.Angel

So, you have this awesome split personality inside you that turns you into an awesome phantom thief of the night that is capable of awesome powers. What do you do? You steal artwork of course!

D.N.AngelSynopsis:

Niwa Daisuke is your average teenager, until his fourteenth birthday. He tries to declare his love to the girl of his dreams, but fails. Suddenly, whenever he thinks about this girl he turns into the legendary phantom thief known as Dark Mousy. Daisuke's mother, very much aware of this, makes him turn into Dark and steal valuable works of art for a purpose unknown to Daisuke. As the story unfolds, he learns why, and about his classmate who seems to have the same ability. 

Review:

I thought that D.N.Angel had a lot of potential to expand and explore the lore of this anime, but, I found it disappointingly linear and bland in the end. For me, I couldn't really tell what kind of genre this anime is portraying because somehow it mashes action, comedy, fantasy, romance, and slice of life into one. There were plenty of times where I was expecting something cool or awesome to show, but nothing really happens. Also, for the first half of the anime was rather repetitive in structure; Niwa turns into Dark Mousy, goes off to steal an artwork, encounters problem, solves it, returns home all safe and sound. This was pretty tiresome to go through as the story really doesn't take off until much later towards the end of the series. The second half of the anime seems to be full of slice of life, comedic relief, filler episodes that seem to rather fill in time than inform us of any story or character development. I was pretty relieved though that the final few episodes actually were continuously related to each other. The story was a hit and miss at some points, and since this anime is more for the younger teenager, there was plenty of cliché dialogue and corny moments.

Since the anime was aired in 2003, don't expect to watch it in high quality. For me the art was pretty average. The characters all looked a bit childish to me and took some seriousness away from the anime in my opinion. The looks of the characters felt a bit too generic to be uniquely different to other anime. Some background and sceneries were well illustrated, however I noticed some heavy reuse of imagery in some scenes that made the anime feel a bit low-grade. The characters didn't have enough expressions and so there faces were pretty bland to whole way through expect for some emotional/crying moments.

So, the theme songs were decent and suited the theme of the anime well. That aside, I felt the character's voices just felt wrong somehow; as if their voices didn't exactly matched their characters' appearance. There was little background music to enjoy and sound effects were rather limited to just some scenes. Either the development team had a tight budget or felt that the less sound the better.

As previously hinted, the characters were rather generic and a bit plain and boring. None of them really appealed to me much as their characters were not explored in-depth. However, there are some basic explanations that do make sense and you have no choice but to except the characters as they are. Niwa seems to have a rather boring personality. He doesn't really show extravagant expressions or outward feelings. A love triangle seems to form during the series, and things get quite complex. With the addition of Dark Mousy and a couple of other characters, the situation gets quite messy indeed.

Overall, it felt like a childish anime to me. The lack of a in-depth explanation of the characters, the magical powers that inhibit the artworks, the lore of the anime, and overall presentation of the story resulted in a pretty linear, corny anime. Perhaps if you have a wild imagination or just into these type of anime, then I would say go for it! For the average anime viewer, this anime may feel a bit boring and predictable. You may find some comfort in the comic relief scenes, but they are usually dry.

STORY: 5
It started off with so much potential, then it came crashing down only to save itself at the last minute.

ART: 6
Some elements were well animated, others were just reused, plain, and boring.

SOUND: 6
I question the selected voice acting for these characters. The theme songs were average and sound effects were rather limited to some scenes only.

CHARACTER: 7
Rather generic and expressionless. Well, you could say that in this anime, the mysterious characters are the most interesting to watch.

ENJOYMENT: 6
Some episodes didn't completely continue on from the last, and so you are left guessing what happens in some situations.

OVERALL: 6
Was a decent concept and story, but the result was a poor execution of a storyline that had plenty of potential.