Review for Daphne in the Brilliant Blue - The Complete Series
I’ll be honest. This is going to be a quick review as I have a heap of other reviews to get through this week as well. Which is a little bit unfair because ‘DITBB’ is actually a far better series that the sum of its ample parts might suggest.
I remember reading Jitendar Canth’s reviews when he posted them some years ago when the series was released on six individual discs. Though I didn’t read them again until after I’d watched these discs and formed my own opinion, it was fun seeing an initially cold response slowly warm across the course of the series as it charmed him enough to forgive the numbing pointlessness of the so-called ‘fan service’. In truth I didn't mind ‘Daphne’ from the outset and understood that as long as I didn't question the scanty clothes, the knicker shots and the bouncing boobies, the series actually delivers up an entertaining premise. Full of good heart and a cheery positivism. And some laughs too. In other words, ‘Daphne in the Brilliant Blue’ is a perfectly acceptable, if unremarkable, anime.
Like me you’ll probably spend the first few episodes desperately trying to figure out which one is Daphne. Well, let me put you out of your misery on that score. None of them. It’s a line from Greek mythology (meaning laurel tree) and the contextual back-ground to the series is the idea that the earth’s land-mass has become completely covered in water yet society has adapted, creating buildings and cities on stilts. Having said that. Although the action occasionally spills (sorry) into the water, most is definitely land-based.
Orphaned Maia Mizuki (15 years old with a voice like a 12 year old’s) has graduated from middle school and has applied to join the elite Ocean Agency. Only the very best students will get a chance and during the first episode we see Maia score top points in a gruelling under-water challenge. Convinced she has a future at the agency she gives up her home which she has been sharing with her Grandfather who has recently passed away.
However, it transpires that she has been rejected and she now has the challenge of getting a job and a new home – not an easy thing to do. Whilst searching she gets pick-pocketed, taken hostage and then shot. She’s rescued by two scantily clad girls (Rena and Shizuka) who it turns out are part of a ‘guns for hire’ business called Nereids. She joins the group temporarily and before long is drawn into some of their missions, eventually proving her worth and becoming a fully paid up member. Most of the humour and action is based around the groups cool toughness in contrast to Maia’s little girl naivety.
Many of the episodes feature a group of brothers and cousins who are constantly locking horns with the group, leading to some fighting action which involves the girls stripping off all that inconvenient clothing and slipping into something all-together skimpier. I guess it’s not a million miles from super-hero garb and there is rarely any sexual innuendo which may account for its 12 rating.
It’s a light, fluffy, easy to follow anime that won’t challenge even the most uninitiated anime viewer. Maia’s voice (on the US dub at least) can get wearing if, like me, you watch a few episodes in a row.
But as my good friend Jitendar states in his excellent reviews, it ends up winning you over because it has its heart in the right place.
I enjoyed it well enough and buying the box set is a great way to get the series at a sensible price if it sounds like your thing.
There are very few extras on the discs – nothing actually until Disc 5 when you get a 12 image gallery. Disc 6 contains two bonus episodes which are fun.
Image quality is fine though 4:3 aspect ratio, making it one of the last anime’s to have been rendered in that format (I’m guessing). Not a problem for me but it may be a disappointment for some of you so please be warned (it means you’ll get a black bar each side of the image on a standard set).
Audio wise you can choose between DD 2.0 Stereo English and Japanese, with optional translated English subtitles or signs. The US dub is great with the exception of the whiney voice of our young heroine.
Please check out Jitendar’s brilliant reviews of these discs too (and see how he slowly warms to the series):
Read the Animeister’s review of Disc 1: http://www.myreviewer.com/DVD/110415/Daphne-In-The-Brilliant-Blue-Volume-1/110514/Review-by-Jitendar-Canth
Read the Animeister’s review of Disc 2: http://www.myreviewer.com/DVD/110545/Daphne-In-The-Brilliant-Blue-Volume-2/110723/Review-by-Jitendar-Canth
Read the Animeister’s review of Disc 3: http://www.myreviewer.com/DVD/111008/Daphne-In-The-Brilliant-Blue-Volume-3/111160/Review-by-Jitendar-Canth
Read the Animeister’s review of Disc 4: http://www.myreviewer.com/DVD/112283/Daphne-In-The-Brilliant-Blue-Volume-4/112454/Review-by-Jitendar-Canth
Read the Animeister’s review of Disc 5: http://www.myreviewer.com/DVD/113362/Daphne-In-The-Brilliant-Blue-Volume-5/113637/Review-by-Jitendar-Canth
Read the Animeister’s review of Disc 6: http://www.myreviewer.com/DVD/114152/Daphne-In-The-Brilliant-Blue-Volume-6/114357/Review-by-Jitendar-Canth