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Daisuke Niwa has a bit of a strange family: ever since he was a baby, his mother has been training him to be an excellent thief by putting traps all over the house. However, he never understood why until his fourteen birthday. After telling his crush, Risa Harada, that he loves her and being rejected by her, he turns into Dark Mousy, a phantom thief with an eye for fine arts. It’s then when his mom explains that this is a particular condition that all the males in the family have: whenever they feel romantic feelings for their crush, they transform into Dark. And the only cure is to have their unrequited love returned.
D.N.Angel, written and drawn by Yukiru Sugisaki, it’s a very peculiar manga. It started way back in 1997, and quickly became a fan favorite. However, it had to go on hiatus in 2005 and didn’t return to serialization until 2010 to end in 2011 with a total of 15 volumes. The interesting thing is that while it was on hiatus, there was an anime version and that also got a manga adaptation that was a bit shorter but kept the characters in the hearts of their fans.
Now that the manga is over, fans still want to read about magical boys, elegant thieves, chases under the moonlight and interesting romance dodecahedrons. So here we have a list of the 6 manga that may scratch the itch for something that is similar to D.N.Angel without being an obvious copy; we’re sure you’ll enjoy them all!
Similar Manga to D.N.Angel
1. 20 Mensou ni Onegai!! (Man of Many Faces)
- Authors: CLAMP
- Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Shoujo
- Volumes: 2
- Published: 1989 – 1991
Akira Ijuuin is the perfect son. While he is only a nine-year-old, he’s really polite, intelligent, and loyal to a fault. This makes his two stepmothers particularly happy, especially because he is also the mysterious thief known to the police as the Man of 20 Faces. This is not because they need the money, it’s just because they love fine jewelry and beautiful art, so Akira will go to any lengths to get those for them. One night, he ducks into the room of Utako Ookawa, a cute five-year-old who immediately falls in love with him and declares that she will one day be his bride. And that’s when Akira’s troubles begin.
While 20 Mensou ni Onegai!! Is far from CLAMP’s best work, it is a very enjoyable tale of a masked thief that makes the police look foolish at every turn. Just as D.N.Angel, it focuses a lot on the family life Akira has and how his extra-curricular activities are encouraged and supported by his family. And of course, there’s the romantic subplot that, granted, is less dramatic than in D.N.Angel because Utako and Akira do love each other from the get go. If what you want is a light read, 20 Mensou ni Onegai!! Is just what the doctor ordered.
- Authors: Horibe, Takeo
- Genres: Action, Mystery, Shounen
- Volumes: 2
- Published: 2003 - 2003
Akito Hayama last saw his mother six years ago when she left him telling him to be strong. Left in the care of his grandmother, Akito started a very proficient career as God Hand, an art thief who only steals true works of art. However, people don’t know that what he is stealing are not the originals, but counterfeits made by his mother, that he alone is able to recognize. When a mafia boss who wants him to finish the work his mother started when he kidnapped her -copying masterworks so he can steal the originals and replace them with the copies- is when Akito’s secret power wakes up, and now he has to find what is his true fate, hidden in more of his mother’s art.
Kannade shares a lot of the elements that make D.N.Angel enjoyable. It’s a lighthearted comedy with a bit of drama where an elegant thief that can fool the police steals works of art that aren’t what they seem. What separates the two stories is that Kannade doesn’t have a romance subplot, or a double identity. In fact, Akito takes so little care in hiding his identity, it’s a wonder the police haven’t caught him off work. Still, it’s a really fun manga, and a great entry in the “magical thieves” genre that you can’t miss.
3. Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne (Phantom Thief Jeanne)
- Authors: Tanemura, Arina
- Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance, School, Shoujo, Supernatural
- Volumes: 7
- Published: 1997 - 2000
Maron Kusakabe is a very chipper high school student who lives alone due to her parents’ divorce. What people don’t know is that she is also the mysterious Kaitou Jeanne, a thief that steals art pieces from the unsuspecting people in Japan. What the police that chase her don’t know is that those art pieces are, in fact, possessed by demons, and that Jeanne is the reincarnation of Joan of Arc, with the mission to hunt those demons and be God’s wind against the Devil. Her work gets a lot harder when another thief appears, Sinbad, who tells her he’s in love with her but that he’s going to stop her anyway. And that’s not counting her new neighbor, Chiaki Nagoya, who seems to know a lot about her identity.
Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne is a very good magical-girl-that-happens-to-also-be-a-thief manga. While the story starts very cute, with Maron and her angel sidekick Finn Fish, it does take a turn to the dark as it involves the origins of Jeanne, and the true mission of all the Joan incarnations. But if what you liked in D.N.Angel was the Dark vs. Krad sublot and the old family secrets , Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne will be perfect for you.
Any Manga Like D.N.Angel ?
4. 1001 Knights
- Authors: Sugisaki, Yukiru
- Genres: Adventure, Mystery, Fantasy, Shoujo
- Volumes: 10
- Published: 2012 – 2017
Naito Fuuga and Yuta Fuuga are twin brothers, even when at first glance they don’t look like it. Naito is small, polite, blue haired and very responsible, while Yuta is tall, rude, red haired and impulsive. Still, since they have been alone for a long time after their father disappeared, they’re very close. They go to high school, but at the same time, they try to keep the Fuuga Detective agency that their father founded open while hoping to find him. But when a family friend takes them to Dubai in order to be initiated in the order that their father worked for, their view of the world changes completely.
1001 Knights at first might seem very different from D.N.Angel, but once we scratch the surface, there are more than some similarities. The first one is most obvious: The art. Both manga are by Sugisaki Yukiru, so if what you loved the most from D.N.Angel was the art, here you can get more of that gorgeous linework. More importantly, both mangas have a very strong sense of family, and the relationship between Naito and Yuta is very similar to the one between Daisuke and Dark, with the difference that the former do not share bodies like the later. While 1001 Knights doesn’t include art thieves, you will be surprised when you see the true magic of their world, and you will probably love it as much as you love D.N.Angel and its own magic.
5. Cute X Guy
- Authors: Tateno, Makoto
- Genres: Comedy, Romance, School, Shoujo, Gender Bender
- Volumes: 4
- Published: 2004 - 2006
Sumi is a high schooler that’s completely in love. Unfortunately for her, her crush, Mitsuru, just doesn’t see her as a woman but as a friend. So no matter what she tries, he keeps her at arm’s length. Still, Sumi is nothing but resourceful and she will never give up. Believing that the problem is that she’s not a mature sexy lady, she decides to take an experimental growth hormone that her father has been trying to develop. After all, what could possibly go wrong? Well, everything from her point of view, because instead of giving her the curve-filled body she wanted, the medicine turns her into a gorgeous young man who does win Mitsuru’s friendship… but then she also finds out that Mitsuru loves another girl in his school.
Cute x Guy is a romantic story of mistaken identities, so if what you really liked about D.N.Angel was the love triangle between Daisuke, Risa, Riku, and Dark, then this is the manga for you. It doesn’t have capers or heists, as Sumi is not interested in using her new identity for that, but it makes up for what it lacks with the cute characters and really complicated situations our heroine must solve before she can find it in herself to stop using her dad’s medicine.
6. Shadow Lady
- Authors: Katsura, Masakazu
- Genres: Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Shounen, Supernatural
- Volumes: 3
- Published: 1995 - 1995
Aime Komori is a very shy girl who suffers from chronic clumsiness. It seems that no matter what she does, she ends up tripping over her own feet. However, that’s only during the day, because at night she uses a set of magical eye shadows given to her by Demota, a bat-looking demon, to transform into the outgoing, agile and very sexy Shadow Lady. With that energy and self-esteem, Shadow Lady uses her magical powers to steal works of art and humiliate the local police. This brings her to the attention of young detective and inventor Braito Honda, who makes her nights a lot more interesting when he tries to catch her no matter what.
If your favorite part of D.N.Angel were the police chases and the way in which Dark Mousy managed to stay one step ahead of everyone chasing him; or how Daisuke had a sort of friendship with Satoshi while Dark and Krad hated each other, Shadow Lady will absolutely keep your attention since most of it focuses on both how Aime and Braito seem to like each other, and the chases between Shadow Lady and the police. There’s also a lot of fun with the different eyeshadow colors and how they give Aime different powers. So in general, Shadow Lady is a great manga to read when you just want to have fun.
D.N.Angel is one of those manga that manage to mix the heist genre with romance and do it well. There’s no moment in which you think “gee, this part is getting boring, I want to get to the other subplot quickly”, because both are very intriguing. On one side, the romance between Daisuke, Rika, Riku and Dark is engaging and tragic, since one of the sides of the square doesn’t quite exist in the same plane as everyone else and we know that if Daisuke gets his love requited, then Dark will disappear until the next generation. On the other side, the heists themselves are harder every time, so we’re always guessing how Dark is going to get out of the trap this time. Finally, the true origins of Dark and Krad are an amazing mystery with a great solution.
So, of course, it’s hard to find manga that fulfill the same points. However, we hope that the manga on this list help to ease a little of the itch for good heists and great romance that D.N.Angel created. Let us know in the comments below what you thought of each manga on the list and if you can think of any other manga that are similar!