Sunday, October 9, 2011

Commentary: Dengeki Daioh

(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

Monthly Comic Dengeki Daioh, 780 yen, 900 pages. This magazine is probably one of the easiest to categorize - school girls. School girl vampires, school girl killers, school girl psychics. There are several titles that should be familiar to most western fans. The majority of the artwork is topnotch, but often it's pretty cartoonish. It's obvious that the audience is younger men (probably college age) and the stories are either military adventure, SF adventure, or etchi adventure. Lots and lots of "reader service". There's no real porno, but a couple of the stories kind of push the envelop a bit, such as Mousou Shounen Kansoku Shoujo (Delusion Boys and Observation Girls). The primary reason for getting this issue was for the freebie - the Mikoto Misaka figure (swimsuit version standing in water).

Titles that western fans should recognize:
A Certain Scientific Railgun
Ef: A Fairy Tale of the Two
Gurren Lagann
Gunslinger Girl
Rewrite: Side-R
Shakugan no Shanna

(Rewrite: Side-R)

Of the group, Noritama and Yotsubato! don't really fit the mold, being simple lighthearted slice of life sitcoms. Gunslinger Girl and Railgun are much harder-edged and darkly violent. This range of controversial and simplistic story types does balance out the bulk of the magazine, (rather than being just one "kill-em-all" after another), but it can be kind of jarring to flip from a tale of a lost cat to a close-up spread of crushed body parts.

(Raising the World's Best Vampire)

I do like Gunslinger Girl for the military-esque artwork, Railgun for the action poses, and Noritama for the sight gags. I had watched the Shakugan no Shanna anime when it was on last winter but the manga's not as good. I tried reading Gurren Lagann, but I just can't get into the character designs. The real drawback to this magazine for me is the price. It's close to $10 USD, which makes it one of the more expensive monthly mags on the shelves. On the other hand, it is pretty good freebie-wise. Along with the figure, there's a two-sided foldout poster, and a Weiss Schwarz trading card. Either way, This is one publication that I'm not going to get regularly simply because it does cost so much.

(Weiss Schwarz trading card.)

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