Manga Series Review – DearS

Written by Kei on May 15th, 2009

DearS (ディアー)

Summary:

A year before the start of the story, a UFO crash lands into Tokyo Bay. The aliens that were in the UFO looked almost exactly like human beings. Beautiful, talented, and friendly, they were accepted by humans and called DearS. Unfortunately, there was more to these new friends than it would seem. A year after the crash, Japan, the DearS’ host country, was getting ready to integrate some of the DearS into their schools as part of a Home-Stay program. Takeya Ikuhara, a normal Japanese high school student, doesn’t really care about the whole ‘DearS phenomenon’ and just takes life as it comes. Even though his high school is one of those selected to host a DearS, he’s not that excited about it. However, as he is walking home, he saves a girl from getting run over by a truck. She happens to be a DearS who escaped and has no idea about Earth culture. She kisses Takeya and ‘imprints’ herself onto him. Takeya doesn’t know the significance of this act, but this DearS has just chosen him as her Master.

Review:

This story revolves around a stranded group of aliens called DearS. In particular, it focuses on a DearS named Ren and a Japanese high school student named Takeya Ikuhara. The premise is pretty simple, and I really don’t want to spoil it for you guys, but it may be necessary to give a more accurate overview of the story. If you don’t want to be spoiled, even if it is just a little, I would recommend skipping to the last paragraph of this review. I’ll try not to mention anything there, but I can’t promise.

So going into a little bit more detail about the story, basically the DearS train to be slaves. They are genetically created to want to serve Masters. However, they try to hide the fact that they are made to be slaves because humans tend to disdain slavery. They are also a proud race, and therefore, they train very hard to make good impressions on the humans that are hosting them. With that being said, Ren, an escaped ‘defective’ DearS, is a big issue. However, Ren shows them something that is radically different than what they are used to. A DearS choosing their own Master; also known as the Gift.

The story uses this premise to shape the relationship between Ren and Takeya, which ultimately impacts the DearS and the humans. Though the story could’ve dragged on in parts, or even gone in a bad direction, the story holds out nicely and ends up being an interesting read. There are some slight inconsistencies, but they seemed more like elements that weren’t thoroughly thought through until later in the series. The story doesn’t have a serious overtone, but isn’t overly lighthearted either. I’m not sure what type of story this is exactly, but it focuses mainly on relationships (primarily the main characters) and how the differences between the two species can affect these relationships. The story is pretty consistent and, as I stated before, it is an interesting read.

The series is rated for teenagers and up (13+). This is a pretty accurate rating because of the intensity of the situations (or lack of) and the mild ecchi-ness. These are pretty much stuff that a typical teenager may run into, well minus the whole alien thing.

I’m not sure what type of art this would fall under. I’m trying to think in terms of shounen and shoujo art style. It is elegant and wispy, but not to the extreme of a typical shoujo manga. It really is nice art; in fact, I almost wrote ‘gorgeous’ in there, but I wouldn’t go that far. It probably leans more towards an elegantly drawn shounen manga than a shoujo manga. Either way, it’s nice. The character design is pretty good, and it seems the author attempts to really give the characters nice clothes (or at least, interesting ones). The background art is not awesome in any definition of the word, but it does help tell the story. There is this one scene where a room was filled with stuffed animals and frills. That looked painful to draw, but it turned out great.

Overall, this story is pretty simple and won’t become a classic. Then again, I’ve read stuff that people consider classic, and it makes me want to look up the definition in the dictionary to make sure I’m using the same one as everyone else. Off topic: don’t mind me, I just finished reading a so called classic and it was painful! I’ll probably write about it in the near future. In any case, DearS is worth a read. It’s focused and gets the job done in a couple volumes. Also, it’s pretty relaxing to read because of the lack of crazy plots and subplots. The lack of overly painful relationships also makes this a relaxing read. If you can get it cheap or from the library in a complete set, it would be worth your time.

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