Geneon // 2004 // 100 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // September 8th, 2005
Beautiful, dangerous, and desperate for work -- yet again.
Those barely-dressed mercenaries known as the Nereides are back for more fun. This third volume contains the requisite number of fistfights, gunfights, chases, and jokes, but the episodes presented here also push the story in a couple of new directions and answer some nagging questions.
As was the case with the previous releases, four episodes are included on this disc:
* Episode 9: "Only I Don't Have Tomorrow"
The Nereides are subjected to their annual physical exams. When he returns to the hospital to pick up the results, Branch Manager Hanaoka overhears the doctor talking about a shadow on one of Gloria's x-rays; Hanaoka has a Jack Tripper moment and takes this to mean Gloria has cancer. The other Nereides suddenly begin fawning over Gloria, so she knows something's up. Gloria threatens to kill Hanaoka if he does not tell her what is going on, so he breaks down and spills the beans. Maia is chosen to convince Gloria to check herself into a hospital for treatment, but Gloria refuses the suggestion, saying she instead wants to have a wild, passionate fling before she dies. This leads to a strange day out at a local amusement park involving Gloria and Maia's friend Tsukasa, who is drafted to play the part of Gloria's dream date.
* Episode 10: "Siberian Super Vacation"
The company's annual trip takes the Nereides to Siberia City, a resort town located in a land of perpetual summer (Hanaoka's stupidity in the previous episode results in his being left behind). Gloria gets busted for trying to sneak her arsenal into the city. Rena decides to pamper herself, which involves a lot of drinking, massages, and sex. Yu takes photos of everything she comes across. Shizuka and a hapless Maia eat their way across the city. While patronizing a restaurant specializing in cloned mammoth meat, Shizuka is drugged by a couple of bad guys (Maia is also drugged, but she vomits up the tranquilizer after gorging on mammoth). Maia and Yu give chase to the bandits. Maia comes to realize she has spent time in Siberia City before, possibly during the period of her childhood which she is unable to remember.
* Episode 11: "The Long Stay"
Flashbacks reveal how Maia came to live with her late grandfather. Seems that she and her parents were in a hover car accident; her parents were killed and Maia was in a coma for almost a year. Maia's memory was a complete blank when she recovered; agents from the Ocean Agency helped rehabilitate her and also investigated the circumstances surrounding the accident, actions which led later Maia to apply for a position with the prestigious agency.
* Episode 12: "The Day the World Floated Away"
The Nereides are hired to provide security during their city's National Establishment Day celebration. For Maia this consists of doing little more than chasing a stray cat and reuniting a lost little girl with her mother. Maia also takes part in another hovercraft exhibition; her friends Tsukasa and Millie pilot the other craft in the trials. Millie later tells Maia she is moving to Alaska City in order to become a professional hovercraft racer.
The episodes included on this volume are the best this series has so far had to offer. We finally get some background into why and how the large aquatic cities were built, which is something I have been wondering about since the first episode. The flashbacks to Maia's past also help flesh out the story, while at the same time raising plenty of new questions; it also looks as if the mystery surrounding the show's title will eventually be explained. The elements that made the previous episodes so enjoyable are also at play here. The characters are extremely likeable, the action is fast, and the humor works (especially the digs at Mammo, the wooly mammoth mascot of Siberia City; he has to be the most annoying example of mascot inanity since the Atlanta Olympics unleashed Izzy on an unsuspecting world). Daphne in the Brilliant Blue isn't profound or revolutionary, but it certainly is entertaining.
The technical quality is again topnotch. The transfer is flat out beautiful; I honestly do not think I have seen another anime release with such gorgeous colors and shading. Both stereo audio tracks feature excellent channel separation; the English dub is a hair more dynamic than the Japanese track, but the voiceover work once again leaves much to be desired. Extras include previews for other Geneon titles and a gallery of what appears to be covers for the Japanese DVD releases of the series.
It's another fine presentation of a very enjoyable series. Daphne in the Brilliant Blue once again earns a hearty recommendation.
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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
* Japanese Cover Art Gallery
* Official Site
* Anime News Network Page