Title: D-Frag! Volume 12
Author/Artist: Tomoya Haruno
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Noe usually tries her best to stay away from her brother’s wacky friends, but when Tama recruits her for a mission, she has no choice but to go along with it! Together with Tsutsuji and Sakura, Tama and Noe must face off against a rival school in order to get back a treasured action figure. Will the gang succeed, or will they need rescuing themselves?!
It has been almost a year since the last volume of D-Frag! landed, and I’ve been excited ever since this one was announced. Was it worth the wait? If you’re not a fan of the series as a whole, then no. If like me, you love Tomoya Haruno’s brand of silliness then absolutely, because this is more of the same crazy comedy you’ve come to expect.
From an art standpoint, D-Frag! offers up a nice mix of styles. The action switches between simplified chibi characters and regular size characters depending on the situation. Facial expressions are gloriously over the top, and the body poses match when the ridiculous moments kick in. Meanwhile, we get two full-colour pieces at the start of the volume; one of Takao in a bikini and one of Sakura lying down, playing darts on a water drip shaped board. The front cover follows the uniform style of the series, featuring one character front and center – in this case Sakura – and some others in the background in the chibi style, with the action spilling onto the back cover.
As far as the story goes, you know what you’re getting with D-Frag!. This is a collection of loosely linked skits. Sure, the ongoing story of Takao and Roka having moved in with Kenji and his family is still there, as is Takao’s ever-present crush on the spiky-haired snark master. Mostly though, it’s just plain fun. The first chapter deals with Takao trying to get her homework done so that she can join Kenji and Roka in playing the ultra-rare retro game, Ninja Kappas. From the designs of the playable characters to the villainous organization being known as The Head Band, it’s all a clear parody of the old TMNT games.
Chapters two to four see Kenji’s little sister being roped into a rescue mission. You see, Tama-Senpai’s former student council colleague has had his favourite anime figurine stolen by a rival school. Tama and her thugs can’t just walk in, so it falls to Noe, her friend Ogawa, Sakura, and Roka’s little sister Tsutsuji to sneak in. I loved this arc. Sakura has long been my favourite character in the series, so seeing her get some focus was great. Here, she showed a softer side too, when she called in the leads to save Noe.
After a brief bonus chapter, designed to commemorate there being one hundred in total, we get some more silly standalones, including the monthly appearance by Sean Connery. That leads into Takao’s main club discovering that she’s living with Kenji, an accidental fight involving VR helmets, and a shopping trip for stew ingredients.
It all jumps around like mad, and nothing is really taken overly seriously. Which is exactly how it should be. This is one of those instances where I really don’t mind not being able to say that everything weaves together smoothly into one cohesive tale. D-Frag! is just plain bonkers, and it’s all the better for it because the creator understands what he’s writing and just cuts loose.
If you’re looking for something that’s just plain fun, then I highly recommend the series. This is another great volume too, and I don’t hesitate to give it the full 5 out of 5.