Daisy is quite an odd name for a man. It’s quite perfect for the text address of an elusive computer hacker who also acts as a girl’s confidante after her brother dies. A man heavy with the guilt of the past must fulfill the promise he made to her brother after his death to support her when he was no longer able to.
An orphan in the world Teru comes to rely on Daisy’s encouraging words. He inspires her, uplifts her, and champions her – all through his texts. Never a cross or harsh word passes through the phone. The manga Denkegi Daisy, written and illustrated by Kyousuke Motomi, starts when Teru turns 16 years old and she meets her school janitor after breaking a window. Tasuku Kurosaki is the antithesis of Daisy. He’s cold and hostile at first, making Teru into his assistant janitor to pay back for the window and get out of his own work.
The way he treats her could be construed as blatant bullying, but Teru is quick to defend herself. We quickly come to see that all is not as it appears as Teru doesn’t react to Kurosaki as you would assume. She reads the man underneath and see that his actions don’t match his “don’t care” words. Some might call this rape culture, and it’s the main reason I have a problem with such general labels. It’s clear from Teru’s interactions with Kurosaki and how kind and protective he is of her that his unpleasant attitude is a cover.
We learn that he doesn’t want Teru to fall in love with him, because he’s connected to the loss of her brother. He just couldn’t stay away any longer, but wanted to watch over her from a closer proximity. To me motivation matters. As Kurosaki’s aren’t about control he isn’t promoting rape culture. If we portray everyone treating everyone else how they ought to be treated we’d have no stories to do with race, sex or real life. One of the elements I love about manga is getting a glimpse of the Japanese culture.
I love this character because he’s a single character divided by extremes. We have his kind and compassionate side in Daisy; he knows Teru loves this side and relies on his text messages. And then we have Kurosaki who is harsh, sarcastic and denying of any emotional attachment. He smokes, drinks and has a ruthless streak running through him. He’s ready and willing to protect those he loves with his skills as a computer hacker and street fighter. He’s weighed down by guilt, fully realizing that he will probably have to sacrifice his happiness for Teru’s and he’s totally willing to do so.
Now that’s love.
This month I’m participating in a writing challenge to post everyday in April (except Sundays) called the A to Z Challenge. I’m exploring my love of characters, find the full list here. Read some of my other writing posts here. What characters do you love?