On a strange whim, I ordered a few volumes of DN Angel, as I loved the anime in my teenage years and used copies of the manga are available incredibly cheaply on Amazon.
What a great whim. I remember being frustrated when I tried to look up discussion of the anime and all I could find was people criticising it for not living up to the manga, but the manga really is a delight.
The third volume contains a little 'day in the life of Satoshi Hiwatari' feature, and it is just the saddest thing; it boils down to 'he wakes up at seven and goes to school without having breakfast and watches Daisuke and eats bread for lunch on the roof and goes home and eats dinner alone and does research until one in the morning'. His life is so monotonous and empty. No wonder he's so fixated on Daisuke and Dark; they're the only sources of spontaneity in his existence.
Satoshi is even more painfully in love with Daisuke than I remember from the anime. If you insist that Satoshi has no romantic feelings for Daisuke, and I've no doubt there are people who do (someone once commented on one of my Doctor Who fics to insist that Captain Jack Harkness was completely straight), you're wrong. You are factually wrong. It's as simple as that.
(I like that the mangaka seems determined to include them in a minimum of three homoerotic scenes per volume.)
The manga occasionally seems to hint at a future Satoshi/Risa pairing. I really hope it doesn't go in that direction; I'd be fine with them as friends, but the two of them sit somewhere below absolute zero on the metaphorical romantic chemistry thermometer. I'm generally quite relaxed when it comes to pairings; I'll happily accept most canonical couples, even if I don't 'ship them myself. Satoshi/Risa is one of the very few pairings I viscerally dislike.
I wonder why I have such an adverse reaction to the idea of Satoshi/Risa? It can't just be because of my fondness for Satoshi/Daisuke, because I like Daisuke/Riku. I think perhaps it's because some part of me is convinced that Satoshi needs to be alone forever. Giving him an attainable love interest uproots everything that makes Satoshi Satoshi. Sorry, kid. I do love you; I just... also happen to want you to remain trapped in your lonely, unhealthily obsessive life for ever.
I'd forgotten how ridiculously endearing Daisuke was. He's just so sweet! If the characters of DN Angel were ever locked down inside a school and instructed to kill each other to escape, à la Dangan Ronpa, he would be the Makoto Naegi of the group. (That scenario wouldn't really work, though; everyone in DN Angel is in love with everyone else, so it's hard to envision any murders actually taking place. It's almost a shame; Daisuke would make a great Naegi and Satoshi would make a great Kirigiri. On the other hand, it's probably best not to think about this crossover for too long.
My money's on Risa offing Takeshi.)
Any DN Angel fans out there? Or people on the lookout for manga featuring endearing characters, magical transformations and massive ridiculous love polygons? (If you like massive ridiculous love polygons and you're not familiar with DN Angel, you need to rectify this right now.)