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DVD Review

DVD cover

Daphne in the Brilliant Blue
Volume 3


Starring (voice): Kana Ueda, Mai Nakahara, Masumi Asano and Sayaka Ohara
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 12
Available 05 January 2009

At fifteen Maia could not have guessed that rather than joining the Ocean Agency that fate would lead her into the direction of the Nereids organisation, a collection of scantily clad women who work as help-for-hire, dealing with anything from finding missing cats to tracking down the most ruthless killer. Although she is temperamentally unsuited for such a dangerous profession, Maia is quickly learning what her new life really means...

Daphne in the Brilliant Blue (2004) is based on the manga by NeSKeS. The anime is directed by Takashi Ikehata, with fluffy music by Kow Otani. Volume Three sees us back, literally, in the bosom of the Nereids as they continue their private-eye business which is little more than a peg to hang the coat of this comedic science fiction, fan service, show.

What at first seemed to offer a little more depth than your average teen show is fading fast. Yes, there are still tantalising glimpses of a better show trying to wriggle out of its corset, but in the end maybe it was unfair to ask so much of what is designed for purely entertainment purposes - a show which will delight the young males in the family and disturb their mothers.

So Volume Three holds another four episodes, numbers nine through twelve, so at twenty four episodes we are half way through.

Only I Don’t Have Tomorrow, and following a routine medical the office manager gets the wrong end of the stick and thinks that Gloria hasn’t long to live, as her supposed cancer will kill her in one week. Gloria’s only last wish is to experience true love for the first time. With the clock ticking, Maia feels that her friend Tsukasa may just fill the bill. It’s a bit of a grim basis for what is a slight comedy of errors.

Siberian Super Vacation, and with the previous misunderstanding out of the way the group go on vacation to a Siberian spar resort. Gloria gets mistaken for a terrorist and  Maia starts to recover some of her memories.

The Long Stay, although the vacation is over Maia, Maia admits to the girls that she has amnesia and wants to stay to see if she will recover any more of her memories, however there are forces abroad that want to stop this.

The Day the Earth Floated Away and Maia is back with the Naiads, who this time are assigned to protect the Centennial Celebrations. For once we get a broader view of the world which Maia inhabits. The cities once sat on the seabed, eventually all of them floated to the surface, except one, which was destroyed in the process. Personally I’m thinking that there is a connection between Maia and the lost city.

The disc is the same as Volume One in that the show is presented in its original 4:3 aspect ratio with English or Japanese 2.0 with English subtitles. The print is crisp and clean and appears to be devoid of any problem. The disc contains no extras.

So another four episodes of harmless titillation and skimpy clothing. The animation is a little more variable on this disc, especially in the first episode. The overall story still is struggling to compete with the fan service and comedy.


Charles Packer

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