Geneon // 2004 // 100 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // July 21st, 2005
Beautiful, desperate, and desperate for work...again.
Geneon brings us the further adventures of the Nereids, everyone's favorite (well, at least my favorite) band of mercenaries/bounty hunters. In case you've forgotten, the group consists of Rena (the leader), Shizuka (the nerdy one), Gloria (the crazy one who likes to blow up stuff), and Maia (the new recruit who is often in over her head but usually manages to come out on top). The episodes in this volume introduce Yu, a former Nereid who has just been released from prison. Yu is just as crazy as Gloria and isn't above a little (read: a lot of) bodily harm and property damage, although she prefers to use her fists rather than firearms.
This second Daphne in the Brilliant Blue collection contains four episodes; here's a brief rundown:
* Episode Five: "Call Me Roughneck"
Yu is released from prison, but Detective Yagi refuses to reinstate her as a member of Nereids. Rena orders to Maia to tail Yu. Maia invites Yagi to dinner. The detective suspects Rena plans to use her feminine wiles to get him to change his mind about Maia, and his suspicions are confirmed. Yu spots Maia, orders the young woman to follow her home, and later explains how she originally fell in with the Nereids. Gunmen hijack the cruise ship on which Yagi and Rena are dining; Rena offers to call in the Nereids to rescue them, but only if Yagi agrees to allow Yu to rejoin her former comrades.
* Episode Six: "In the Heat of the Night"
Maia goes to a café with her friend Tsukasa. While they are inside, thieves make off with Tsukasa's rented hover car. Meanwhile, Yu and Gloria are trying to track down an errant husband. They botch the assignment, but their failure somehow wins the Nereids the opportunity to hunt down the car thieves. They set up a sting operation, stumbling across the wayward husband in the process, and get a helping hand from some Ocean Agency operatives in their attempt to capture the thieves.
* Episode Seven: "All that Papa"
Assigned to write a paper about her parents' jobs, Yukari tags along to her father's office. Thing is, her father is Hanaoka, who just so happens to be the Nereids' branch manager. Hanaoka has his daughter believing that he is the brains and brawn of the team, so he bribes the Nereids into staging a fake fugitive takedown. When she discovers that Gloria and Yu are pretending to be dangerous criminals in order to make her father look like a hero, Yukari runs off. She is later kidnapped by a gang of penguin smugglers, a situation that allows her father to prove he's more than just a put-upon desk jockey.
* Episode Eight "The Speeding"
Maia and Shizuka attend a demonstration of a new high-speed hovercraft. This craft, which is one of two models in competition to be the centerpiece of the Ocean Agency's fleet, is being piloted by Shizuka's childhood friend Millie. Millie is injured during a crash, and Maia inadvertently allows herself to be drafted into becoming the new test pilot. Rena discovers that a saboteur has been attempting to destroy the craft during its trials; she initially refrains from telling Maia about the saboteur, but she has no choice to inform the young woman of the danger after she learns an onboard bomb has been set to incinerate the hovercraft during its final test run.
With the exception of Episode Seven, this is another batch of fast, fun, and funny bits of nonsense. So what's the problem with "The Speeding"? Well, it starts off fine (it's pretty funny watching Hanaoka attempt to domesticate Gloria and Yu), but it bogs down about halfway through. Once the penguin smugglers (who came up with that idea?) show up and snatch Yukari, the pace starts to crawl, and the ending is a little too saccharine for my tastes (it also doesn't really jibe with the overall tone of the series). Even the animation in this episode looks a bit off (maybe this one was rushed into production). On the other hand, the rest of the episodes are entertaining. You get Maia puking in the cockpit of the hovercraft she's testing, Rena seductively sticking her foot in Detective Yagi's crotch, a startled quarry almost peeing on himself, and Gloria and Yu beating the hell out of each other. It's fun for the whole family!
The technical quality of this disc matches that of the first release. The transfer is stunning, with bold, bright colors. The stereo audio tracks once again do their jobs well enough, but I'd still love to hear a full surround mix of this series. (I'm also going to once again advise against listening to the dub, as the voice acting is way off base.) Extras include the standard creditless versions of the show's opening and closing sequences, as well as previews for other Geneon titles.
Despite the minor blip that is Episode Seven, Daphne in the Brilliant Blue is still a very enjoyable series. Definitely recommended.
Review content copyright © 2005 Mitchell Hattaway; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Clean Opening and Closing Animation
* Official Site
* Anime News Network Page
* Volume 1 Review