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Rookie police detective, Ichiko Hanamori (AKA “Wanko”), is newly assigned to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s Squad 6 Criminal Investigation First Division. She dresses in strange Lolita fashion and gets in the way of crime scenes, but her dog-like sense of smell sometimes contributes to the solution of difficult cases. Through the eyes of the young woman who struggles to become a detective, “Deka Wanko” takes drastic measures to reform this brutal society. Is it possible that this can this be a great touching story?
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I just gave up on this...
Well, to be honest, I did give this title a few more tries in the hopes it'd rescue itself. Too bad, it looks like the editor or publishing company tried to recreate the same kind of formula from Gokusen but it ain't working.
The lines have no punch, the jokes fall flat and even sound lame. Worst of all, the characters just come off as third-rate copies of Gokusen characters and have insufficient depth. Their characterisation is paper-thin and there isn't too much driving their motivations. Where's the tension, the character development, the plotting and so on? Well, I got bored and decided to drop it.
... Last updated on August 11th, 2012, 12:58pm
Not Gokusen - funny, kind of
Contrary to general opinion, I liked this better than Gokusen. But then, I had read Gokusen quite some time back - so may be a reread is in order. It is not that I didn't like Gokusen - I loved it, but I frankly didn't care about the romantic undercurrent (which, as I understand it, is what quite a few people are missing).
May be it gets more romantic as it goes along, but I really don't care. I am not a demanding person - sometime I just need a nice manga that is a fast read, and occasionally has nice visual gags.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Read till chapter 24. Till this point most arcs were short run, but a long one was just starting. However, I will not continue unless my Japanese proficiency really shoots up, it gets licensed in English or some group less focused on control takes this series up.
In my opinion, this is a really good manga. Even though the plot can be broad, it is still easy to understand. As for the comedy, I found myself laughing almost every chapter. I love the characters, escpecially the female lead. She's very cute and I lover her clothes. I can't say the male characters were particularly dashing though. Neverless, Deka Wanko is something to read if you have some free time.
Just as brid and ZL11, I started reading this series because I loved Gokusen <3, and was hoping for the author to create an equally great work with Deka Wanko. But it's not, it's sadly and indubitably not even remotly as interesting as Gokusen. I'm not gonna dwell on my review since basically everything was said in brid's and ZL11's commentaries below. I'm just wholeheartedly seconding their disappointment...
... Last updated on October 10th, 2011, 4:04am
It's definitely NOT Gokusen...
It's not as funny, the main female character isn't interesting (in fact, she's pretty useless), and the male characters are not as fleshed out or charismatic. The plots are okay, but the mysteries are fairly silly or simple. I don't know why I keep reading it, except that I keep hoping there's going to be some sort of change in the story. I want to root for the chick, but she's really stupid and mostly useless; in fact, she gets in the way more often or not, and constantly has to be rescued. It's probably because I DO like the guys in the squad, so I'm hoping for development... but, seriously, I'm not holding my breath. Gokusen was pretty well plotted, interesting, and funny. I liked Kumiko and Shin right away, and the way she kept trying to protect herself was fun. Shin's crush... it was great to see it develop. In comparison, there's NO real development in Deka, and I think that's what's annoying. Even if I had not read Gokusen first, I probably would have gotten annoyed with this story, because, although it seems to build on itself, it really doesn't. There's NO (believable) romantic attachments, and (seriously) the chick is annoying. Her saving grace is that she has that heightened sense of smell and she can talk to dogs. Anything really interesting happens to the guys around her, so I keep reading... and hoping... maybe this will improve... if it does... I'll change my tune.
It's No Gokusen
Gokusen is in my top 10 favorite mangas of all-time. It had everything that I love: action, comedy, likable characters, and most of all, it let the story do its thing and didn't hit us over the head with romance. Since Deka Wanko is by the same mangaka, and tries to use the same formula --quirky characters + action + comedy--I thought for sure that I would love it. But I don't. No matter who authored it, Deka Wanko falls down in several respects as an entertaining manga, most notably with its characters.
Whereas Yankumi was the major selling point of Gokusen, Deka Wanko's Hanamori is easily my least favorite thing about the manga. Hanamori's schtick revolves around three things: that she is utterly, hopelessly stupid (she makes even shonen manga protagonists like Naruto look like Einstein in comparison), that she is utterly, hopelessly weak (the manga underscores this point by making her wear the frilliest clothes imaginable), and that she has the smelling abilities of a police dog. All of this was rather amusing for the first 10 chapters or so, but then it began to irritate me. There's nothing to this character other than her nose; by design she brings nothing else to the table as a main character (street smarts, fighting ability, etc.) I can't take her seriously at all, and don't enjoy the fact that none of the other characters (especially her partner) take her seriously either. Kirishima, Hanamori's partner is another disappointment in that he is charmless, bad tempered, and almost as stupid as Hanamori. But he's a good fighter and a bishonen, which means we're meant to overlook his bad personality. Unfortunately, as Hanamori's partner and the very predictable choice for romantic lead, Kirishima is an impossible character to ignore, as much as I would like to. Worst of all, there's little hope of either Hanamori or Kirishima ever becoming smarter since the mangaka has included Yanagi, a genius character who solves all the cases Hanamori & Kirishima can't. (Brawn and a sense of smell can only get you so far in police work.)
Besides Hanamori and Kirishima, the side characters are at least occasionally good for some laughs, though they're generally nothing special as characters. Mostly they seem drawn straight out of a "police drama 101" handbook--genius super detective, tough as nails squad leader, wise older cop, etc., etc.--but I wouldn't mind reading a series just about them before Hanamori ever joined the quad.
If the characters are the manga's weakness, the plot is one of its stronger points since the cases are usually somewhat interesting, and often good for a few laughs, though they tend to be solved rather quickly and easily. (But at least they don't drag on!) Deka Wanko is primarily an episodic manga with no larger, overall plot. (Which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.) All in all, Deka Wanko is simply a mediocre manga: the plots and humor are all good, but the unappealing lead characters drag down the enjoyment factor considerably.
... Last updated on October 30th, 2010, 2:37am
I signed up here to say how much I love Deka Wanko.
Unfortunately, I got distracted re-reading the series for the 3rd time, and now I am too sleepy to express why I love it.
I will add info to this comment when I can, but basically if you can appreciate quirky humor with a heart, you'll love this series.
Also, the plot is driven by character interaction and the resulting character evolution, so if you want brain-teaser cases or [I fell asleep here] ...uh, lots of explosions or something, you can get that elsewhere. But you still might learn to love this series if you read through 2 or 3 cases.
I'm hoping I can give this a 10 before falling asleep on my keyboard again.
I really like this, actually! Yeah, the girl is dumb and physically weak, but she's still got determination and a good heart. And watching her sniff things and get all these weird expressions is just hilarious!! Kirishima, her partner, is just hot and the mystery cases are really really interesting. I'm looking forward to more chapters! (Oh, and she has a huge rivalry with a dog!!! LMAO!)
No romance, it is not really funny, the girl is not cute, non of the main male characters is even remotely interesting, and the cases are too simple, not to mention that the idea behind the manga is dumb (girl who has a dog as a rival? give me a break!)
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