Daphne in the Brilliant Blue, Vol. 1 DVD

Film:
DVD:

Directed by Takashi Ikehata
Character Design by Satoshi Shiki
Music by Kô Ôtani

Features:

  • Clean opening animation

Dindrane's Anime Warnings:

  • Minor fan service
  • Idiotic, nonsensical uniforms
  • Follow the bouncing boobs< /li>
  • A lunatic we could all learn from

Released by: Geneon
Region: 1
Rating: 16+
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Get it if you like similar shows.

Daphne in the Brilliant Blue introduces us to Maia, who has always wanted to join the Ocean Agency, the most powerful arm of the government, and begins the first episode taking various tests to see if they'll accept her. Her friends seem more nervous than she does, given that everyone expects her to be a prime recruit. However, when Maia inexplicably fails her test, she also loses her apartment, due to her loss of "student" status, but has nowhere else to go. The only job open to her now is to serve as bait for the Nereids, a group of private agents who specialize in dangerous missions, like chasing violent criminals. Of course, when Maia joins, her jobs are more along the lines of finding lost cats, doing collections, and diving for lost necklaces.

The video quality and artistry are nice, especially with the skillful use of the color blue. The opening underwater scenes do a particularly nice job of depicting and introducing Maia's world. Facial expressions and character designs make the various personalities nicely distinct. The art is not the best part of the show, but the depictions of the future Earth are intriguing and logical. The minor technical details are fascinating, such as Maia's optical keyboard and the levitating buses. The costumes for the Nereids are a bit on the racy side, especially their wee crotch covers, but that's not too annoying, just inexplicable, uncomfortable in the extreme, and highly impractical.

The characters themselves are interesting, from the abused Branch Manager to innocent, clueless Maia. The two Nereids contrast nicely: mean ol' Rena, who is probably a lot softer-hearted than she seems (we hope), and Shizuka, from the wrong side of the tracks and with a heart of gold. The other new member is Gloria, who would rather play with guns than anything else.

The audio quality is also standard--Maia's voice acting in English sounds a little young, but so does her Japanese voice. There are a few places where the soundtrack music gets a little too loud, making it harder to hear the voices and/or necessary sound effects, but these instances are minor and do not take away much from the viewing experience overall.

The extras are minimal. We get a clean opening, and that's it. Given the cheesecake factor of the show, you'd think there would at least be art galleries or character design shots. But alas.

For all the angst, there's still a healthy amount of comedy, not to mention the adventure and action. This isn't a slapstick Bubblegum Crisis, but there is a small amount of silliness and additional ethical concerns from the rather cold-blooded agency. It's just too bad we never get to hear why Maia fails her Ocean Agency exam. Fans of futuristic police shows like Burn Up will appreciate this one, as will anyone interested in oceans, as water is almost a character itself here.

Buy it from Amazon.