The OP for this really put me off. Before I started watching, I was expecting something like Bakuretsu Tenshi. And yes, it is like Bakuretsu Tenshi, except that all 5 of the girls in DBB are wearing less material put together than one Jo. Yet Jo is panned for wearing little.

Daphne in the Brilliant Blue, also called Hikari to Mizu no Daphne (The Daphne of Light and Water), is a 2004 production by JC Staff. It consists of 24 episodes with 2 bonus ones. The animation is alright, nothing to shout about and it’s more or less a slice of life series with a bit of action and comedy thrown in. The titles, both Japanese and English ones, sound cool and were the main reason I started watching. That, and the 1/6 PVC figurine recently released by Alter.

It turned out to be a good decision, for the series was worth the time watching. Find out more!

Background
In the world of DBB, the earth has become completely submerged in water. After a long period of living in underwater cities, mankind finally surfaced about 100 years ago and converted their underwater cities into floating ones, joining up with what little remaining land masses still above sea level. The heroine of DBB, Mizuki Maia, is a 15 year old girl who lives in one of these floating cities called Kamchatka.

The setting is very nicely done. In fact, the main story is closely linked to the concept of the surfacing cities.

The world is pretty much policed and governed by the Ocean Agency, which is a pretigious organisation that serves the public, performing deep sea salvages and rescue ops among other things. The story begins during the entry test of the Ocean Agency. Maia badly wants to join the Agency and she’s quite the elite and creative student, performing top in her class for both written and practical tests. Her friend Akira, however, is pretty average.

Of course, things always go wrong for Maia and she fails the test for unknown reasons (of course I now know the reasons yeah).  And she was so confident of getting in that she didn’t apply for any safety school and even sold her house off, thinking she could live in the agency dorms. Maia ends up wandering the streets alone and seeking a job that offers boarding.

Maia gets kidnapped and assaulted but is rescued by the Nereids girls. Nereids is a multi-national service company that offers a "We’ll do anything for money" service. She’s forced into working for them at the Kamchatka branch. And so the story begins…

Plot
The first half of the series consisted of mainly episodic slice of life encounters, which serve to show up inept and pitiful Maia is. A few characters are introduced such as Gloria the incredibly brainless gun maniac, and Yu, the strong and silent fighter. The general formula would be Maia getting kidnapped or in trouble and her colleagues will bail her out. This is the boring part. Other than a few great episodes like Yu’s new baby, the everyday episodes weren’t too interesting. There are two bonus episodes which are quite good though. Maia almost loses her virginity in one, heh heh.

The fan service is pretty intense at the start, but once you get over the ridiculously skimpy costumes which make those from Burst Angel lool like fur coats, there isn’t much service. Or rather, you’re oblivious to it already.

The second half of the series is where the fun starts. There is a flowing story and many mysteries are solved. I was really shocked at the final plot twist.  The ending was bitter-sweet, and I actually felt very sad for Maia.

DBB is really less of an action and fanservice show, than a feel good slice of life series. It is actually ARIA the animation, but a cruder version which should appeal to more males.  Notable action scenes are the hover car racing ones. The core of the show is Maia’s journey of self-discovery, she learns her past and creates her future.

Characters
The character design is slightly different from the norm. The girls have very thick lashes, which look a bit shoujo or 90ish and Maia has a big head. The costume designs are shocking too.

DBB is centred around Mizuki Maia. She’s the only important character and the rest are merely there to aid her. No one else has any character development save for Maia. She’s an elite student when it comes to exams but Maia’s really shy and naive nature gets her into a lot of trouble in the real world. Luckily she has a few talents like driving hover-cars and bikes and diving. But when it comes to Nereid missions, she’s the most useless.

Maia is cute and petite. Her twin sidetails are pretty ugly and she looks a lot better when she lets her hair down. Her work costume is this teeny bit of white cloth that would get the wearer arrested for indecent exposure. But normally, she’s in a fashionable pink dress.

Maia’s seiyuu is Nakahara Mai and she sounds really high pitched and whiny here, which is suitable for the character. Most people’ll hate Maia in the first few episodes, but the amount of growth she goes through, her sincerity and kindness won me over. She always has the look of a frightened rabbit. In fact, she’s the female version of Hanatarou, the medical shinigami from Bleach.



Maia in her pink dress


I can only show the top. The bottom is indecent!!


In the first ep, Rena Honjou rescues Maia and then makes her work at Nereids. Rena, at the time of appearance, seemed destined to be a major character but she fizzles out. Rena probably gets the least screen time of all the five girls. Rena is the leader and master tactician. She has no qualms about using her body to achieve her goals and the show explicitly shows her bedding at least 5-6 different guys for various reasons. She’s cold and calculating but deep down, does have some humanity left in her. And no, she’s not tsundere.  Voiced by Oohara Sayaka.



She’s the sly sexpot of the group.


That is officially the skimpiest piece of clothing ever seen on a woman.


Hayama Shizuka is the mecha otaku megane girl with big boobs. She’s good with machines, but her best skill is eating. Shizuka can eat tonnes literally. She shows her emotions normally unlike Rena and is pretty normal except for the eating part. And her aim with a gun is so bad, she couldn’t hit a thing at 2 yards. Voiced by Ueda Kana.



She’s boring actually.


That’s her Nereids costume. It’s quite conservative relatively.


Gloria is the sharpshooter/clown of the group. She’s invincible in combat, second only to Yu. Gloria has the IQ of a small tortoise, and loves money to an obsessive degree. She pounces on stray 10 yen coins that anyone drops. The main comedic force of the show when coupled with Yu. Voiced by Asano Masumi.



She’s the only one that doesn’t need to change costumes in battle.


Never goes anywhere without her guns!


Park Yuu is the melee fighter. THE melee fighter, since she slaughters everyone in combat. All the dangerous Nereid missions would probably fail if not for Yuu and Gloria. The rest just can’t fight at all. Yuu barely speaks, only punches and kicks. She has a special relationship with Gloria and is the first to react to any of her crazy antics. By smashing her face. Besides Maia, I like Yuu most. The episode where she gets a baby is sweet and funny. Yuu is also a dog lover and was in prison for assault when Rena got her out  and into Nereids, so Yuu is loyal to Rena. Her seiyuu is Kaida Yuko.



Exposed G-strings are passe.


Don’t mess with her… but the costume really is weird.



Animation
So-so. There is a blue colour scheme that permeates most of the settings. The idea is that humans couldn’t see the sky for a long time, so now they try and take it in as much as possible. The blue sky and sea are really beautifully animated. The combat, especially melee battles by Yuu, are lightning quick and you can sense the sheer force of her fists.

Music
The OP song is great and the ED isn’t bad either. The BGMs were really fitting but I can’t remember how they went. I remembered that in general, the music was great.

Verdict:
Daphne in the Brilliant Blue is an above average show. I marathoned it over 2 days and I wa really satisfied by the ending. The first half wasn’t too good but it picks up rapidly. Give it a try!

Plot: 8
Character Design: 8 (the costumes score a 4)
Characters: 7 (Only Maia scores a 10)
Animation: 8
Music: 8
Enjoyability: 8


2 Responses to “Anime Review: Daphne in the Brilliant Blue - Go Go Mizuki Maia!”  

  1. 1 T_T||| 396 comments

    The last costume looks like Spiderman’s, just a lot shittier.

  2. 2 Mariana Luz 41 comments

    OK… Their costumes… … … …

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