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Anime Discovery V2: DAPHNE in the Brilliant BLUE
Speaking of the opening theme song sequence, I might as well talk about it right now to get it out of the way. It is a very standard J-Pop song with an aqua-style bubbly underwater tone and it is listenable for a while and I didn’t have the need to skip over the opening song and the ending theme has more of a softer tone that does go along with the show’s more serious episodes but kind of distract it from its’ comedic episodes and the show does often focus on the comedic elements in the first half but delve into the main storyline in the second half.
The plot starts off In the future, water has covered much of the Earth due to the effects of global warming, leaving the human race to live on neighboring floating cities.
The orphaned Maia Mizuki, 15, just graduated from middle school and has already applied for employment in the elite Ocean Agency, part of the futuristic world government. Only the best, most intelligent, and physically fit students are eligible for admission. She was set to become one of the few people but unfortunately it all falls apart as she fails her entrance exams despite her high grades.
Okay, I always wonder why do anime like this got to have the main character failing an entrance exam. I feel like I seen this situation one too many times and that does gets a little old there.
Oh yeah, it gets worse. She also gets evicted from her house, pick-pocketed and taken hostage (which is one of the running gags of the show) and eventually she is saved by an unorthodox help-for-hire organization called Nereids and ended up joining them, taking jobs from capturing wanted criminals to chasing stray cats.
Here’s a little info on the rest of the Nereids crew:
Rena Honjo (the one in Red) is the de facto leader of the Kamchatka branch of Nereids. She is capable and elegant when doing her business and uses her sharp instincts to know the weaknesses of other people and she also seduces others for manipulation, weapon use and sometimes sex. However, she does come off cold at some times and one of the running gags involving her are deducting pay from salaries under the slightest pretext.
Shizuka Hayama (the one with purple hair, glasses & busty physique) is the smart mechanic of the group who has a friendly and casual personality among the crew and is very trusting towards people (albeit on a later episode, she needs to know when not to trust anybody) and she has a very voracious appetite for food, as in the girl can eat and damn, she can eat. The flaw about her is that she can’t aim or shoot worth an s**t.
Gloria (the blonde one) is the loud, spontaneous, tomboyish, and reckless trigger-happy marksman and weapons specialist. She often clashes with Rena all because of deserting her on a past mission and occasionally bothers her about her pay although it has something to do with her being greedy with money, as in, if one coin dropped on the floor, she’ll get to it in a flash.
Yu Park (the blue-haired one) is the silent, brooding, nihlistic, and a loner who specializes in being a strong fighter and hand-to-hand combat specialist, especially since most of the time I don’t feel worried for her since we all know she’s going to kick some ass. The best thing about her and Gloria being paired up on assignments is the fact that their pairing as boke and tsukkomi to each other is actually hilarious in my eyes.
Other side characters include Tsutomu Hanaoka, the branch manager of Nereids but he is more of a pushover to the girls and especially towards his daughter; Tsukasa Takagi, Maia’s best friend who got accepted into the Ocean Agency despite having average grades and promises them both they would work with each other; Millie, Shizuka (and later Maia’s) friend, who’s a skilled race car driver inspired by her great-grandmother Ai Mayuzumi and of course, the Wong-Chang-Lee brothers with their sister May, which they are the only recurring criminals on the show who usually take Maia as hostage and their goal is to find the treasure of Elpida, which is the part of the subplot that happens midway that concerns Maia’s journey to retrieve a time capsule to find about her past.
Now I got two questions about this series and the first one being:
Why this show is called Daphne in the Brilliant Blue?
The word, "Daphne", Greek for "Laurel tree", in the title refers to Maia's grandfather last words. "Brilliant Blue" refers to the fact that this is a world covered by water with almost no land. The world consists of vast oceans, a few islands, and floating cities.
Okay, and also this question:
What the hell is with those outfits they’re wearing?
It looks like they’re nothing at all, especially from Rena & Shizuka and maybe Yu to an extent. Gloria’s choice wardrobe is well, not risqué, but still skimpy and Maia’s outfit……well, what do you say when a 15-year-old dress like this during her mission?
But, seriously, it isn’t much of a problem because the show doesn’t always ogle at them dress like that nor does it get too in-your-face about them being dress like that. Its fan service but its tolerable and sometimes subtle fan service, which is actually sexier than just shoving it front and center and speaking of fan service, guess who did the animation for this series?
Oh, hello, J.C. Staff, I haven’t heard you since a month ago and so far, this animation………is slightly better than their usual shtick of anime. It is very vibrant and bright with some fight scenes looking decently animated even from the opening sequence, although the second ending sequence does better in the animation than the first since it’s mostly a zoom-out picture of what I assume is Maia’s in the ocean floating.
As for the voice acting of the English dub (yes, I watch the dub of this), it is an okay dub by veteran voice actresses Wendee Lee, Michelle Ruff, Megan Hollingshead & Erika Weinstein. Carrie Savage was decent but the whole “cute/shy girl voice” does get a bit irritating and that is mostly Savage’s bread and butter in her earlier gigs. She’s still an okay voice actress but that shtick can wear out. Don’t believe me? Try watching the dub of another show she did by the same exact animation company that was distributed by a former anime distributing company.
Also, there is only 24 episodes in the series and 2 bonus episodes on DVD release, which the episodes is mostly the comedic ones that have nothing to do with the plot.
FINAL VERDICT: At times, this is a fairly good show with some decent comedic moments happening in between them with a subplot that doesn’t go underway until the near end of the series’ run. Characters are fairly decent and likable with some human-like and medium flaws and I did laugh at the funny moments throughout this. The fan service isn’t distracting or irritating but I did notice some and honestly, it didn’t stick out. But would I recommend this to you? Well, for those who want something that isn’t an ecchi-fest but still has a few fan service moments, this is it for you.
I give DAPHNE IN THE BRILLIANT BLUE an
PLANET TYRO RATING: SOLID B.
And until then, I’m MAK2.0 aka HybridMedia, bringing all the elements in one format.
DAPHNE IN THE BRILLIANT BLUE – animation by JC Staff / distributed by SENTAI FILMWORKS (formerly distributed by GENEON)
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