A continuation of the gripping and cutting-edge Confidential Confessions, this series deals exclusively with the seedy underbelly of the sex industry. Using emotionally moving storylines and multi-dimensional characters, here is a shocking look into the hard-hitting issues that teens face today. Enlightening without being preachy, Confidential Confessions speaks to teens in a heartfelt, authentic way.
In a nutshell, Deai is a story about Japanese school girls who sell their time and underwear for money. Going on the amount of stories about this kind of thing, it seems to be a serious problem in Japan and not just fictional rubbish. The school girls in this story allow old men to meet them on dating websites and then, providing the men pay, go on dates with them. After the main character, Rika, nearly gets raped, she hires two male high school students as her bodyguards, and the group eventually grows into one with many high school females in it. All goes well
until some members of the group start to want more and try to blackmail some of the customers...
Confidential Confessions: Deai - Volume 1
The most obvious issue with the story of Deai is that the author has already covered very, very similar stories in her previous series. Whether it's a story about high school girls selling themselves or a story about high school girls accepting money for their time and/or panties, there isn't too much difference in all honesty. There were a few new aspects thrown in, such as blackmail, but I never felt like I was seeing totally new content when reading Deai.
Adding on to these feelings, the lack of variation in the art that was present in the previous series is also an issue here. I don't know why but it seems like the author can only come up with a few face designs, which resulted in every main character (and the supporting cast) from each of the Confidential Confessions stories looking near identical. Even though the art is very good, it gets tiring seeing the same characters with different names over and over again. It truly is a shame because the art is high quality and the eyes of the characters have an innocence that female artists seem able to capture so well.
If I was to ignore my issues with the author going over old ground then the volume was pretty good, though. The story didn't come across as unbelievable, it giving the same oh-so-real feel of the previous stories wrote by the author. I did feel that the story was dragged out in order for it to last longer than it should've but I had no trouble reading the volume in one sitting.
Overall, it was worth the read and worth the money. The first volume could've been better but it also could've been a hell of a lot worse.
Confidential Confessions: Deai - Volume 2
Sadly, however, the good section of the story was over once volume 1 had finished. I mentioned that believability was one of the strong points of the first volume, but that wasn't the case with the second volume. It had a thriller story that beats many Hollywood movies but it was far too silly to take seriously, and up to volume 2 the story had been what my mind accepted to be a realistic depiction of reality. Deai quickly dropped in quality, transforming from a hard hitting story to a standard revenge one, complete with a good guy turning out to be a bad guy at the end and stupid acts of revenge.
I'll give an example:
A girl is raped on a train by the man attempting to avenge his past by going on a random punishment spree against high school kids who did nothing to him. This train was full of people. The author tried to explain that no-one did anything to stop the rape because they thought it was a film scene...even though the attacker had to tape her mouth, cut off her panties and have two men keep the girls hands secure. Don't ask why two random men were happy to restrain a random girl and why there happened to be a man with a camera filming, all supposedly oblivious to the fact that it was real rape. And, as if just to make the whole thing even more silly, the attacker punched the girl after he'd finished and "helped" the girl off the train, with no-one on the train thinking it odd that an actress had been really crying during her performance and looked disturbed after the scene had ended. Maybe the author forgot she was supposed to be creating fiction based on reality?
And as for the nice, helpful guy turning out to be an evil guy right at the end, I saw it coming simply because it seemed like something that would happen in a Hollywood flick. His crime spree started after a push somehow resulted in him running after, hitting and stripping a high school girl who'd asked him for help, and he bizarrely decided that it'd be a good plan to traumatize all the kids he knew to have been blackmailing old men from that point onwards because of something that had happened in his past. You gotta love well developed bad guys and respect stories where the bad guys don't appear out of nowhere just to shock people.
It's too bad the author wasn't smart enough to keep the story going in the way it looked to be going at the end of volume 1. I thought it was starting to get a little far-fetched but I was still able to accept it, and I was looking forward to seeing how the remainder of the story would unfold. However, it seems the author hit her head and went down a more illogical path.
I'd describe Deai as a story of two halves. Read the first half if you want to see realistic manga and read the second half if you want to read a daft thriller story. It's too bad the author wasn't smart enough to keep the story going in the way it looked to be going at the end of volume 1...
Since I rated the first volume 6/10 and the second 4/10, 5/10 is a fair rating for the series as a whole. I rated the first Confidential Confessions series 9/10, so I'm a little let down by this sequel. It's not something you should go out of your way to read.