The broadcast series DNAngel
plays like a junior version of X
crossed with Saint Tail
. Daisuke Niwa is polite, well-intentioned, and talented, but he's also physically clumsy and socially maladroit. He can't bring himself to confess his love to his pretty classmate, Risa Harada. On his 14th birthday, his weird mother and grandfather tell Daisuke that a family genetic quirk will now manifest itself, and he will transform into the supernatural thief, Dark Mousy. His grandfather's rabbit-like pet With turns into the dark, feathered wings that are de rigueur for this type of anime character. Despite the unfortunate name, Dark Mousy is what Daisuke would like to be: a tall, dashing bishonen
(beautiful boy). Risa falls for Dark like a bento box of rocks, but as Dark, Daisuke accidentally kisses her twin sister, Riku, creating an adolescent romantic triangle.
Having created a situation and several characters, the filmmakers don't seem to know what to do them. Many of Daisuke's adventures as Dark have little or nothing to do with his career as a supernatural thief, and the tone of the episodes shifts erratically from mawkish to silly to melodramatic. Although Daisuke supposedly transforms into Dark, the alter ego sometimes appears as an independent entity. Hard-core bishonen fans may enjoy Dark's sultry charms, but most viewers will grow impatient with the unfocused stories and poorly defined characters in DNAngel. (Rated TV PG, suitable for ages 10 and older: mild violence) --Charles Solomon