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D.N. Angel Vol. 6- Ice & Darkness

ADV Films // Unrated // July 19, 2005
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by John Sinnott | posted August 10, 2005 | E-mail the Author
The Show:

The penultimate volume of D. N. Angel contains the first three parts of what I expect will be the final story line.  Things are sort of drawing to a close, though after the meandering path this series has taken, I'm not really sure what the overall storyline is supposed to be anymore.

Diasuke Niwa is a young boy who leads a fairly ordinary life.  Until he turns 14 that is.  On that day, a gene that all the males in his family possess becomes active and turns his life inside out.  This gene causes him to transform into a notorious thief, Phantom Dark, whenever he thinks about the girl he loves.   These transformations will continue until Diasuke's love is returned.  The only problem is that the object of his affections, Risa, doesn't like him, she loves his alter ego, Phantom Dark.  It's Risa's twin sister, Riku who is infatuated with Diasuke, but he doesn't seem to notice her at all.

The volume starts off with Diasuke getting into quite a jam.  He has a spell put on him by Freedert, the Second Hand of Time, which transports him inside of a painting that Diasuke had painted for his school's cultural festival.  Not only is he trapped inside the painting, but Dark has been left in the real world.  (Why he was separated from Diasuke is never really explained.)

Dark goes after Diasuke of course.  In no time at all, and with no real clues to guide him, Dark figures that his alter-ego has been taken into a painting.  (I hate when that happens.)  Diasuke had given the painting that he's been trapped in to Riku, so Dark flies off to steal it.  It should be an easy task for a Phantom Thief, but both Rika and Risa walk in on his theft, and all three get transported into the painting.

Once inside, Dark is able to find Diasuke rather quickly.  But will he be able to find a way out for the four of them?

This volume wasn't very entertaining.  After the first episode, which was very entertaining, this series has gone steadily down hill.  It hasn't been able to recapture the comedy and adventure that the first show had.  A lot of the stories in this volume were just absurd.  They didn't explain why anything happened, things just occur out of the blue.  Diasuke has a spell put on him, walks into a hidden chamber in a fountain, and gets trapped inside a painting he made.  What??  How did that happen?  Then Diasuke's rival, Satoshi, just happens to be walking by in the middle of the night and sees With, Dark's pet, waiting outside the fountain.  In a scene that would make the writers of the Lassie TV series happy, Satoshi figures out what happened to Diasuke based on With's mewing sounds.  I'm not sure which was more hard to believe the Deus ex Machina appearance of Satoshi or his communication with a rabbit.

Thing just seem to happen randomly, like they are making up the rules to this world as they go along.  The problem with this is that it kills any suspense that the story may contain.  You know that no matter how desperate the situation, there will be some spell or amulet that will save the situation.

The one saving grace is that this volume isn't filled with people moaning about their love lives.  It's a small consolation, but better than nothing.

The DVD:

This volume contains three episodes of the show, and comes in a clear keepcase with a reversible cover.  There is also an insert listing the episodes and extras.


 As is becoming the standard for anime, this disc offers the choice of a 5.1 dub in English, or the original Japanese audio in stereo.  I alternated languages while watching this and found them to be about equal in quality.  I like the Japanese voices a little bit more, they just seemed to fit the characters better.  I have to admit that I loved Jessica Boone's version of the bubbly Mio Hio.  Her 'valley girl' style was wonderfully comic.  A great job!  The English dub made good use of the soundstage though, with voices and sound effects panning both from left to right and front to back.  There were no audio defects worth noting.


The full frame image was pretty good over all.  There was a slightly larger than average problem with aliasing, causing fine lines to sometime shimmer and diagonals to have a stair-step effect.  Other than that, it was a fine looking disc, with the colors being reproduced faithfully and the image sharp and clear.


Like the other volumes in this series, this disc has some good extras included on it.  There is a commentary on the an episode with Kira Vincent Davis (Saehara), John Swasey (Daiki), Christine Auten (Second Hand of Time), and Sasha Payshinger (Freedert).  I'm not a big fan of anime commentary tracks, but this was pretty good.  This commentary was done by all of the minor characters in the show, and they have a good time with it.

In addition to the standard clean opening and closing there is D. N. Angel Talk 3 with actors Miyu Irino and vocalist Shunichi Miyamoto.  This 9½- minute segment has the two young boys talking about their personal lives; their nicknames and their siblings etc.

3D Scene Production Part 2 is a 9-minute featurette about how they create and use the CGI effects in the show.

The last extra is D. N. Angel Unplugged - True Light Piano Solo, a 4½ minute performance of a song from the show.

Final Thoughts:

As this series draws to a close, I can't help but thinking that I don't really care how it gets all wrapped up.  There hasn't been any sort of character development in the show, and the plot has changed emphasis so many times that it's hard to count.  Sitting through these three episodes, I found the number of illogical actions that the characters take rather humorous.  Things don't happen naturally in this show, they just occur because the writers what them to.  I keep hoping that the series, which has a lot of promise, will get better, but with only one more volume left, I think the chances of that are remote.  Skip it.

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