D-Frag! Volume 05 Manga Review

D-Frag! Volume 05
D-Fragments 05

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D-Frag! Volume 05 Well, time for another dive into the insane comedy manga known as D-Frag volume 05. 😀

For the first story, Nao attempts to deliver a bento to her brother, but encounters Takao, then Roka, which leads to the bento being destroyed. Nao always looks so tough, but she’s really quite timid, much in the same way Takao is. Takao obviously wants to befriend Nao and have an in with Kenji. Alas, her efforts were for naught, especially after Roka got involved. I laughed out loud when Roka decided to sacrifice her “oneechan” bento from her little sister and give it to Kenji.

For the second story, a classmate tells his dream of Kenji, Funabori, and others, which combines several Japanese mythological tales. Were I better versed in Japanese mythology, I’m guessing this story would have had more impact to me. As it is, the chapter is amusing and fun. However, I always feel bad when I see Funabori tearing up for whatever reasons.

The rest of the manga is devoted to the third story. Here, the former head of the student council (Tama) takes Kenji hostage. This leads to a battle competition between current student council president Chitose and the rest of the Game Development Club (Temp), fueled in part by Chitose’s and Roka’s childhood feud with Tama.

While I called the fact that Tama-chan would make an appearance, I was way off on her role in the manga. Making her the former president of the student council is a brilliant move. Indeed, considering how incredibly powerful Tama is, it is surprising that Chitose was even able to depose her.

There are so many aspects to Tama that make her likable. For starters, she is the perfect counter to Chitose in terms of being sadistic. Only Tama often hides behind a smile rather than come right out and show her disdain. She gets a kick out of being addressed as Tama-chan by Kenji, when it is not appropriate. She’s totally nuts, like many of the characters in D-Frag, and thus one never knows what she’ll do or say next. That unexpected element adds to the humor of the character.

Another positive move on the part of Haruno-sensei is having Roka provide a flashback to recount Chitose and her history with Tama. We also get introduced to Chitose’s sadistic and sickly older sister through this. No wonder Chitose is so messed up.

While Tama is a very funny, sadistic, and awesome character, her character has like totally been turned into a valley girl ’cause “localization” is sooperly-dooperly totally tubular. In other words, its kinda like the bestest of the best. 🙄 I don’t know what kind of accent Tama is supposed to have (where are the translator notes?), but I’m guessing that this over the top localization (vs. a more normal adaptation that I read from the fan community) is attempting to portray an accent.

Then again, it may be that the adapter her thought that Tama looked like valley girl, so valley girl she is. I do know that some of Tama’s (and the other’s) lines are liberally treated at times.

Moving on, we get “Barfie” as one of Tama’s henchmen. She was introduced in a previous volume, though unnamed. Normally, I’m opposed to translating Japanese names, even nicknames, but in this case, every time they talked about Barfie or “Barfie-senpai,” I couldn’t help but chuckle. And yes, she barfs a lot, and it and the jokes around it are done in a very funny way.

The other two new characters introduced don’t have a huge impact on me, but they are nice side dishes to this battle story. The resolution to the battle had me grinning like mad. 😀

Takao is mostly relegated to the sidelines in this last story. However, her presence is mostly to continue enforcing the point that she really liked Kenji. She did get one moment to shine, when she assisted Chitose, Roka, and Sakura penetrate the floor where the 3rd year students are. When she thought her game phone strap that Kenji got for her was in danger of being destroyed, she showed her “Takao Power.” 😆

I also got a kick out of the teachers betting on the battle. Haruno-sensei makes a little Crystal Skull story that is better than the Indiana Jones one and in only a few pages of the manga’s story as well as a couple of omake pages. 😆

Finally, Haruno-sensei gives a small, omake manga chapter to Takao’s family again, centering on her mother. This time, Mom, Takao, and one of Takao’s older sisters are hauling 5KG bags of rice from another town on foot. They run into Kenji and Ataru. Takao freaks out about Kenji seeing her like this. Kenji and Ataru recognize Mom as the woman who abandoned them in a fire when they were kids. She recognizes them as the kids she abandoned. Hilarity ensues. 😆

Takao’s mom is yet another awesome character. I don’t think she purposely insults her small chested older daughters when she tries to encourage the large-chested Takao, who takes after her mom in the chest department. Yet insult them she does, and because it isn’t malicious, it is hilarious.

On the Seven Seas side of things, Japanese honorifics are used. I’ve already made mention that I didn’t care that much for the “localization” vs. just an accurate adaptation, but Haruno-sensei’s comedic writing is so good, it easily overcome my problem there. I still hate that there are no translation notes in these volumes.

In the end, D-Frag! volume 05 continues the insane, wacky comedy from Haruno-sensei that I so love and enjoy. I’ve very glad this series got licensed.

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