D.N.Angel Volume 7

Having chosen to stay behind in the world of the Second Hand of Time, Daisuke remains separated from Dark, but now the time has come for the Phantom Thief to obtain the legendary Wedge of Time and use it to bring him back. Even if the pair are reunited, however, one final obstacle remains- Satoshi’s father and Krad are about to put their endgame into motion, and the consequences could spell disaster for the entire town.

Throughout its run, DNAngel always seemed as if it would be better if it stopped trying to be a light-hearted romantic comedy, and aimed for something a little more serious. As the previous volume demonstrated, however, doing so actually made the series worse, a point which these last three episodes ram home with a vengeance.

The first order of business is to wrap up the Second Hand of Time story from the last volume, in such a way as to leave you wondering what the point of it was meant to be in the first place. Only then can the series move onto the final arc, a standard tale of a villain with unclear motives trying to unleash a great power. It is at this point that the series takes a distinct turn for the worse, somehow managing to misuse even the most well-known of cliché elements. The result is a rushed and messy storyline that makes little sense under close inspection.

That being said, there are a few positive points about this volume. We are finally given explanations about the origins of Dark and Krad, as well as the creation of the cursed artworks and the Niwa family’s commitment to stealing them. Unfortunately, whilst it is edifying to finally have some answers to these questions, it cannot offset the fact that the series would have done well to invest more time and development both in its main storyline and in a number of its supporting characters.

Visually, these last few episodes remain on a par with the rest of the series, offering a mixture of high quality character designs and jarringly poor CG elements. Those who have patiently waited for the inevitable action-packed showdown between Dark and Krad will finally get their wish this time around, although the action scenes favour the flashy and simplistic over anything more complex and well-choreographed.

In Summary

As it reaches its conclusion, DNAngel proves to be a series that could never decide whether it wanted to be a light-hearted comedy, a heartfelt romance, or an action-packed fantasy, and in the end, it can’t be said that it did a very good job at being any of them. With all of its earlier promise erased by this laughably poor conclusion, the only thing that can be said is that it offered viewers plenty of eye candy, a few memorable musical themes, and not a great deal in the way of actual substance.

5 / 10