Depending on the translation it’s either Migi and Dali or Migi and Dari. I like the name Dali better so that’s what I’m sticking with.
Some of you might have heard that this manga is going to have an anime adaptation so if you’re curious about my thoughts on that, I’ll let you know towards the end of the post. I should also make it clear that this isn’t a first impression. I read the entire series. I am going to be very careful about spoilers since this is a mystery thriller and reading/watching it when you know what happens does change the experience a lot.
Why I Picked up Migi and Dali
This is a case where I got really fascinated by the cover art. I do like Nami Sano’s art style a lot and seeing these two identical and very eery-looking boys just drew me in. Drew…
Under the table is the angel’s secret.
The boy’s name was Hitori. A stork brought the angel into the lives of a middle-aged couple who were not blessed with children. His parents were kind, his house spacious, and his meals hot. But to protect the happiness he had received, Hitori continued to hide an important secret from his parents…
My First Impression
I don’t know what to think…
First of all, let me put it out there that I have come to accept that the conclusion of most mystery thrillers tends to go in one of three ways. Either the author is so set on surprising the readers that they just throw in some utter nonsense for the sake of unpredictability. The answer is fairly obvious, and a part of the audience will hold it against the story for being logical. Or the author attempts to get the best of both worlds by following a generally logical outcome but adding in a whole bunch of ridiculously exaggerated stuff. As such I have come to expect that most mystery thrillers are about the ride and not the destination. At least for me. And I still really like the genre so there you go. For the record, I put Migi and Dali in category number 3…
Another thing I want to make clear is that Migi and Dali is a thriller and not just a simple mystery. Often times the atmosphere is tense and I did worry about the characters (all of them) rather consistently throughout.
Fairly quickly though, I noticed some things that just seemed silly or ridiculous and I wasn’t quite sure if Migi and Dali was a parody. The tone was consistently serious, and even dour although there are plenty of moments of levity. But sometimes in the middle of a serious scene, you will get a panel that just makes you guffaw. I looked it up and the author, Nami Sano, is best known for Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto and that explains a lot.
At the end of the day, Migi and Dali is an odd story. The tone wavers a lot and the characters are eccentric in a way that makes it fairly difficult to relate to anyone but to me, it works. The excesses and the silly moments played with a straight face were much more interesting in this hybrid genre. It should be said that I never got into the Sakomoto anime but I have not read the manga. It’s possible that I would have liked it a lot. In any case, the funny moments in Migi and Dali mostly landed for me. And occasionally, especially towards the end of the series, the story became genuinely touching which also worked well for me. At the end of the day, I would call Migi and Dali a mystery thriller with parody elements. I’m not sure I can think of any other manga or anime to apply this description to.
However, I should warn you that if you do not enjoy the parody elements, you might find that the story gets way too silly or extravagant at times. And the characters occasionally become so dramatic, operatic really, that it can get grating for some.
Somehow, the balance worked out for me though. I was intrigued the entire time and finished the series over the course of just a few days because the pages just kept turning themselves.
SO They ARE MAKING AN ANIME
For those that are new here, let me give you a bit of context about myself. In general, I prefer the anime. In fact, almost always. I can pretty much count on one hand the instances where I preferred the manga version of a story. And one of my most common statements in manga reviews is, I hope it gets an anime adaptation.
So please take that into account when I say, I’m not sure if Migi and Dali can work as an anime. It really is a very odd story with unusual pacing and peculiar characterization. I think the manga itself is lightning in a bottle and I am very pessimistic about the chances of this story working on screen.
I’m still going to watch it of course. And I really hope I’m wrong. But I am personally going in with very low expectations.
Migi and Dali is a lot of things, and a lot of these things are unique to it. But it’s also not for everyone. In fact, it’s the type of series I would probably not recommend to anyone unless they specifically told me they wanted to read a manga just like it.
So many things about this manga are strange or a little off-center. For me, the balance worked in a way that makes Migi and Dali a rare gem but I can so easily see someone else just hating it and it’s so precarious. If just one of these characters gets on your nerves a little more than it did on mine. If you don’t feel like parody when you are reading it or if you don’t want anything too heavy. If you think a mystery necessitates a lot more realism or if you want a manga with more fantasy. Any tiny deviation and I figure the manga goes from good to awful just like that.
Well, this is a useful review… I can’t tell you if you would like Migi and Dali. But I can tell you that I have not read another manga like it. So if this post didn’t scare you off, then by all means try it out. And that way, we can both watch the anime together and see if I was right!