|D.N.A2 – Dokokade Nakushita Aitsuno Aitsu|
|Also Known As: D.N.A2 – The Someone He Lost Somewhere|
|Length: 5 Volumes|
|Mangaka: Katsura Masakazu|
|Intelligence Agency Report by: Lady Sage|
|Momonari Junta suffers from a rather unusual condition: whenever he gets close to a girl or sees one naked, he gets sick and vomits. Then things do a 180 when he meets Aoi Karin, a girl who claims to come from the future. According to Karin, he will soon turn into the Mega-Playboy and impregnate 100 women, causing a severe overpopulation problem…and she’s there to stop that from happening. But then she shoots him with the wrong bullet, causing his transformation to accelerate instead of preventing it…|
|Research Agent Report by: Lady Sage|
|(not an average)|
|Five volumes. That usually seems to be Katsura Masakazu’s threshold for quality. Video Girl Ai had five great volumes before it turned to crap. I”s was fairly solid for that length before it turned repetitive. By that pattern, DNA2 should be the best of the bunch, without time for the quality to wane, right? Actually, the short length just meant it skipped over the good parts and got straight to the bad.
Much of the failure can be attributed to the complete lack of sympathetic characters. It’s not that they’re unlikable; it’s more that they’re just so bland and unmemorable that they can’t carry the story. Every single one can be boiled down to one or two traits, and then does whatever is most convenient for the plot. Junta is allergic to girls and is really nice, but is he shy and awkward or outgoing and confident? Depends on what best furthers the plot at the moment. Does he like Karin, Tomoko, or Ami? Whichever would create the best dramatic tension, of course. The Mega-Playboy gene is possibly the most inconsistent element of the story. It turns Junta into the ultimate Gary Stu: strong, handsome, and capable of doing pretty much anything he wants. Although the Mega-Playboy is supposed to be the main source of conflict, it is more of a help than a hindrance until the very end, in a markedly unsubtle and clumsily handled switch.
The plot could have been entertaining, at least. But for some reason that I cannot fathom, Katsura decided to jam in three story arcs, where as one could have done a perfectly acceptable job and had some time to flesh out the characters. The first is a bizarre variant of Dragonball Z; the second, an unfunny story of a girl who farts whenever she’s nervous or embarrassed. The final arc would have done the best as the main story, but is stuffed into a single volume, throwing in new plot elements without a hint of foreshadowing or any non-hamfisted storytelling devices, relying on deus ex machina rather than things happening for a reason other than simple convenience.
Throughout the series, there is a bizarre dichotomy between Katsura seeming completely out of his element and him turning back to his old plot devices. Shounen action clearly isn’t his thing, despite the rather numerous action sequences, which come across as stilted and awkward instead of thrilling. The humor is distinctly fan service oriented and frequently flatulent. And yet, his old signatures are there: childhood friends harboring secret crushes, shy girls cutting their hair and instantly becoming more attractive, and so on.
DNA2 tries to do far too much. While that is not uncommon in shorter series, it rarely turns out as poorly as in this particular case. The horror is only exacerbated by the identity crisis the series seems to suffer from, weak characters, and pretty much anything that can go wrong in a manga. But hey, at least the girls are cute, right?