Xebec adapted the manga into a 26-episode anime series which aired in Japan on TV Tokyo from April 3, 2003 until September 25, 2003. The anime was later adapted into second two volume manga series, a PlayStation 2 video game, and a series of drama CDs.
D.N.Angel was adapted into a 26-episode anime series produced by TV Tokyo, Dentsu and Xebec which aired in Japan on TV Tokyo from April 3 to September 25, 2003. The series was directed by Koji Yoshikawa and Nobuyoshi Habara.
The series was originally licensed for release in North America and the United Kingdom by ADV Films. While in the UK the series is no longer licensed, in North America Discotek Media have announced the rescue-licensing of the series. The series is licensed in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment.
Five pieces of theme music are used in the anime adaptation. The song Byakuya -True Light- (白夜 〜True Light〜, “White Night -True Light-“), by Shunichi Miyamoto, is used for the opening for twenty four episodes. Vic Mignogna, the English voice actor for Dark Mousy, covered the opening for the English dub. For the ending theme, Yasashii Gogo (やさしい午後, “Gentle Afternoon”) is used for the first twelve episodes, and Hajimari no Hi (はじまりの日, “The Day It Begins”) is used for episodes 13-23 and episode 25. Both songs are performed by Minawo. Episode 24 uses the song “Caged Bird”, by Shunichi Miyamoto, for its ending, while the final episode of the series uses Miyamoto’s song Michishirube (道標, “Guidepost”).
- Anime: Miyu Irino, Tomoko Kaneda (younger version)
- Drama CD: Sōichirō Hoshi
- English Dub: Kevin Corn
Daisuke Niwa (丹羽 大助 Niwa Daisuke) is the series protagonist who, after turning 14 and confessing his love to, and being rejected by his crush Risa Harada, discovers that a boy called Dark lives within him. Afterwards he transforms into Dark whenever he experiences feelings of love or intimacy with the girl he loves, but Dark can choose not to come out if he so wants. Initially this is Risa Harada, but after she rejects him, Daisuke finds himself falling in love with her twin sister, Riku Harada, who does return his feelings after realizing how kind-hearted and gentle he was. Perceptive, athletic, and artistic, Daisuke is also skilled in dodging traps, picking locks, and other thieving-type activities, due to the daily life-threatening trials his family has him undergo when he gets up in the morning and returns from school in the afternoons.
Though he regularly argues with his alter-ego Dark, he expresses concern for him when he is in danger or in pain. He misses Dark when they are separated within the series through magic, and their dynamic is that of an older/younger brother.
- Anime: Ryotaro Okiayu
- Drama CD: Masaya Onosaka
- English Dub: Vic Mignogna
Dark Mousy (ダーク・マウジー Dāku Maujī), is half of the Koku Yoku, an artwork created by the Hikari family, who has appeared in the first male of the Niwa generation for the last 300 years. Once Dark appears, his host will change into Dark whenever he is around the person he loves or thinks about them a great deal, though in the Anime, Dark can choose not to appear at such times. At the start of D.N.Angel, Dark had lain dormant for 40 years as his previous host, Daiki Niwa, only had one female offspring. When Emiko’s son, Daisuke, reached 14, he became Dark’s new “tamer” or host. Known to the public as “Kaitou Dark”, (translated as “Phantom Dark” in the ADV Films dub of the anime) Dark steals the cursed art pieces made by the Hikari family, which the Niwa family then seals away to prevent them from causing any more trouble. He primarily uses With as his wings, as using his own true wings causes Daisuke’s body tremendous harm. Though he and Daisuke often argue over missions and Risa and Riku Harada, its apparent that Dark cares for his host, taking care not to harm him by using too much of his magic and protecting him when possible. For fun Dark often teases his host Daisuki. Their relationship is often that of older/younger brothers.
Candid and confident, Dark can also appear to be arrogant and something of a playboy, flirting shamelessly with girls. Dark is a notorious flirt, but there are very few he truly cares about. In the anime, he said that he is willing to kiss anyone since it is like a greeting to him rather than something meaningful. After Dark’s reappearance, Daisuke’s crush, Risa Harada, falls in love with him and begins to pursue him. He initially flirts with her, seemingly to annoy Daisuke, and goes on several dates with her. In the anime, Dark rejects Risa’s feelings after telling her that he was once in love with her grandmother and only humored Risa’s attraction because she reminded him of his lost love.
In the manga, Dark is instead more attracted to Riku (the sight of Riku caused Dark to transform into Daisuke) while Daisuke was interested in Risa (the sight of Risa would cause Daisuke to change into Dark). His feelings later change and he starts to like Risa more, while a relationship strengthens between Daisuke and Riku. In both the manga and anime, Dark’s romantic feelings are unanswered.
- Anime: Masumi Asano
- Drama CD: Sakura Tange
- English Dub: Luci Christian
Risa Harada (原田 梨紗 Harada Risa) is Daisuke Niwa’s friend and his initial object of affection. At the start of the series, she rejects his confession of love, feeling that he is too “normal” and only able to see him as her friend. After seeing Daisuke’s alter ego Dark, she falls in love with the thief and believes that he is the mysterious person she is destined to be with. Innocent, spoiled, and depicted as “girly-girl”, Risa is often seen as the opposite of her twin sister Riku, though both show the same stubbornness and tenacity, particularly when it comes to people they care about. She is initially confused with Riku and Daisuke falling in love, and so she becomes jealous, but realizes that she was more afraid of losing her older sister and her friend than wanting Daisuke for herself, and becomes supportive of their relationship.
Wanting to be with Dark, Risa begins taking great risks to try to see him during his thieving adventures. Dark initially accepts her affections, then rejects her when he realizes she truly loves him. However, Risa refuses to give him up and after noting that she has “become a lady” he agrees to go on a date with her. During the date, she is kidnapped by Argentine who takes her to his world and demands that she, as Dark’s “maiden”, help him become more like Dark.
Satoshi Hiwatari is also seen as showing a bit of concern for her in the manga, deliberately transforming into Krad—something he normally fights—to try and save her when he sees her falling from a tower during Argentine’s attack.
As the series progresses, Risa’s attitude and childish behavior dies down a bit, though she retains her girly nature. She has made several accounts of being more responsible than she was at the beginning of the series. Stated by Riku herself that her sister was just ‘too nice’, example being when they were children Risa gave up her bunny to Riku who had lost her teddy bear despite loving her bunny a lot. Risa also cares about both Riku and Daisuke, feeling that Daisuke has finally ‘got his act together’ and sees him in a new light. Risa has made many mature decisions and has shown that, despite her selfishness, she can be just as kind as her twin sister, Riku.
In the anime adaptation, Risa’s crush on Dark appears to die down towards the end of the series, because in the anime, Dark had already fallen in love 40 years ago with the twins’ grandmother, Rika. Instead, she finds an interest in Satoshi at the end. Not wanting to tarnish those feelings or end up as a replacement, Risa gradually stopped pursuing Dark as a romantic interest. In the manga, however, this plot does not exist. Her feelings for Dark still remain strong, even when Dark told her that he wasn’t human.
- Anime: Sara Nakayama
- Drama CD: Yuka Imai
- English Dub: Hilary Haag
Riku Harada (原田 梨紅 Harada Riku) is Risa Harada’s twin sister, and a friend of Daisuke Niwa. Athletic and intelligent, Riku is depicted as a tomboy, who is more serious, and down-to-earth than her sister. Though more outspoken than Risa, Riku can be shy and Risa notes that her sister doesn’t realize just how popular she is. Though the girls are different in personality, Riku is protective of her sister and they share a tight bond. When Risa is kidnapped by the Argentine, Riku falls into a coma.
Though Riku initially appears to only see Daisuke as a friend, its soon revealed that she harbors romantic feelings for him, though he initially can only see Risa. After her sister rejects him, Riku begins to see him less as clumsy and unreliable, coming to see his strengths and admitting to the feelings she herself had been denying. While trying to sort out her feelings, she remembers that they had met as children when he’d helped her retrieve her precious teddy bear from over a fence one night. Eventually she admits her feelings, but initially is disbelieving when Daisuke tells her he feels the same. Realizing he is speaking the truth, they become a couple.
Riku intensely dislikes Dark, feeling he is nothing but a thief and a playboy, however when Risa is in danger and he promises he will bring her back, she begins to soften her stance towards him. She also sometimes compares him to Daisuke, though she does not yet know that Daisuke is Dark.
In the anime adaptation, Riku is more uncertain of her relationship with Daisuke, temporarily hating that he calls both her and Risa “Harada-san”. She thought Dark stole her first kiss but it was actually Daisuke. When Dark was going to kiss Riku, Dark turned back to Daisuke. At the end of the anime, Riku is the only person not in the Niwa or Hikari/Hiwatari family to know that Daisuke is Dark.
- Anime: Akira Ishida
- Drama CD: Tomokazu Seki
- English Dub: Greg Ayres
Satoshi Hiwatari (日渡 怜 Hiwatari Satoshi) or Satoshi Hikari (氷狩 怜 Hikari Satoshi) is the police commander in charge of capturing Dark. He is extremely intelligent, Satoshi graduated from high school at the age of eight, and obtained a college degree at the age of 13. He enrolled in Daisuke’s middle in order to be closer to Daisuke, whom he knew was Dark’s alter ego. Calm and composed, he often pays little mind to those around him and rarely shows his emotions causing others to find him distant and cold. Daisuke seems unaffected by his distant nature, and insists on becoming his friend. Reluctant at first, Satoshi comes to accept Daisuke’s friendship, though later withdraws from school to try to distance himself from Daisuke again out of fear. He eventually returns to offer to aid rescuing Risa from Argentine. Satoshi is the last heir of the Hikari family, which created powerful artworks that the Niwa family has been stealing for years via Dark. In the anime version, Kosuke made a play on words with Satoshi’s last name being synonymous with light (also pronounced ‘hikari’), though the kanji for Satoshi’s family name actually means ‘ice hunter’.
Although he is just as capable of creating artwork as his ancestors have been, he avoids doing so. This is both to go against his fate and to avoid creating any more dangerous artworks. In the anime, he was shown painting in flashbacks of when he was a child and getting praise from his adopted father before the man became abusive.
After his mother’s death, Satoshi was adopted by the Hiwatari family. His adoptive father appears to be aware of the Hikari and in the anime adaptation attempts to use the power of the artworks for his own purposes, eventually getting killed by one of the artworks he tries to harness the power of. Satoshi is shown to have a strong dislike for his stepfather, and refuses to play along when the man tries to pass the two of them off as a close family.
Much as Daisuke houses the soul of Dark Mousy, Satoshi holds that of his opposite, Krad. Unlike Dark, Krad is homicidal and cares nothing for Satoshi, causing Satoshi to regularly fight to keep him inside. It is suggested that Satoshi wears glasses as a way of helping him keep Krad in check, as he notes that he does not actually need them and once they are removed he almost immediately feels Krad trying to emerge.
In the manga version, Satoshi and Daisuke are inconvenient but genuine friends who both try to protect each other from their alter egos, and their friendship is tested and strengthened by their mutual afflictions. However, the closer they grow to friendship, the more complicated their rivalries become. Satoshi has an intense dislike for Dark, similar to Dark’s dislike of Krad. It is told bluntly by Satoshi to Daisuke that if the curse continues as is, then Satoshi will be killed by Krad.
In the anime, It has been stated by Dark that Daisuke is the one who causes Satoshi to turn into Krad. Satoshi wants to be close to Daisuke despite the danger of Krad to both of them.
Several times in both manga and anime, it is made apparent just how little Krad cares for Satoshi. Whereas Daisuke is spared the pain of enduring the magic used by Dark via With, and Dark trying to keep the magic use to a minimum, Krad often uses the max amount of power he can summon, and when he takes over his white wings rip from Satoshi’s back causing him great pain, and leaving two narrow injures on his back where the wings once were.
- Anime: Takeshi Kusao
- Drama CD: Taiki Matsuno
- English Dub: Illich Guardiola
Krad (クラッド Kuraddo) is an entity similar to Dark, living inside his “tamer” Satoshi Hiwatari. He is Dark’s opposite in many ways, including his name (‘Dark’ spelled backwards), having blond hair, wearing white attire, and always speaking very politely using an extremely formal speech pattern. Krad is Dark’s and, by extension, Daisuke’s worst enemy, repeatedly attempting to kill them both. Though Krad refers to Hiwatari as Master Satoshi and as “his everything”, he shows little regard for Hiwatari’s wishes and well-being. He ignores Hiwatari’s repeated attempts to get him to leave Daisuke alone and regularly uses his magic without limit, causing Hiwatari to collapse in agony. Like Daisuke, Hiwatari has little control over his transformation though he can force Krad to go back inside his body at times.