Monday, December 3, 2001

DNA² (Dokokade Nakushita Aitsuno Aitsu) Manga

Genre: Comedy
Parental Guidance Recommended
Credits: 1994. Masakazu Katsura (creator). Junichi Sakata (director). Powhouse.

Manga and Illustration Books
Original Soundtrack
Summary within review.

(12 tankubon)

Please, just end... >>> by Status
At first, I found DNA² to be charming. It had a clever setup -- a special agent goes back in time to thwart a 'mega-playboy' who's defective DNA causes a massive overpopulation problem, only to discover he's an absolute loser who literally pukes at the sight of anything suggestive. So within the first few chapters, how many suggestive situations do you suppose Junta winds up in? A lot, of course. The humor was very sharp, and I was really enjoying it at first.

The main characters are great, too. Karin is too caught up in dreaming about the 'sweet sweet home' she's going to buy with her paycheck to actually focus on her mission. Tomoko is an absolute tease who wants to do "something 'H'" with Junta. Ami is Junta's childhood friend who won't admit her feelings for him. And Junta - the poor sap caught in the middle of them - is only concerned with keeping his lunch down.

The artwork is really great too. Some of the splash pages are flat out stunning, and the action scenes are extremely clear.

So what hurts DNA²? It's too long. It's much too long. Without giving too much away, the plot and pacing is absolutely great until the 'final battle' about a third of the way through the manga. This gets drawn out for waaay too long, to the point I thought I had grabbed Dragon Ball Z by mistake. Then after that, instead of heading towards the logical conclusion to the story, new characters are thrown in to the fray. It's like they decide to include a sequel in the middle of the original story.

Once the unexpected second plot is resolved, you think you're finally going to see where the original story was going. But noooooo! Here's another would-be plot twist, only once again, it feels like they just wanted something to draw the series out a little longer.

What's left is a story that's just okay, when it had the potential to be excellent. The script really could have used another draft or two. So much wasted potential...

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 9; Story/Plot 6; Characters 9

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