Judge Mitchell Hattaway wonders why they didn't pick a more descriptive word for "blue," like azure or despressed.
Beautiful, dangerous, and desperate for work…
In the not too distant future (not sure exactly how not too distant, but all the cars fly), the Earth's oceans have risen and covered every square inch of dry land (not sure about the cause, but I imagine global warming led to the melting of the ice caps). A young girl named Maia dreams of joining the elite Ocean Agency, the Japanese government's prestigious ecological department. Unfortunately for Maia, things don't work out as she hopes, and she soon finds herself without a job or a home. So what's a girl like Maia to do? Accept a job with a group of scantily clad bounty hunters, of course.
This first volume of the anime series Daphne in the Brilliant Blue contains four episodes. Here's a brief rundown:
• "Maia's Longest Day (Part 1)"
• "Maia's Longest Day (Part 2)"
• "There's No Business Like Nereids Business?"
• "Chaka Chaka Bang Bang"
I have to admit that I wasn't expecting to enjoy this series as much as I did; in fact, I wasn't really expecting to enjoy it at all. I took one look at the case, assumed I was in for another "dumb babe saves the day" anime, and reluctantly sat down to watch it. I'm now happy to say that while it's no masterpiece, Daphne in the Brilliant Blue is a fun, funny, and fast-paced piece of nonsense. It's nice to see a young anime heroine who, rather than goofing around and falling ass backwards into success, is actually proactive. Sure, she's (illogically) running around half-naked much of the time, and quite often she's more than a little in over her head, but Maia is nonetheless a rather intelligent girl who gets things done. The fact that she carries a big freaking gun doesn't hurt, either.
The presentation here lives up to Geneon's high standards. The transfer is nearly flawless, with colors that are bold and vibrant. This series almost cries out for a surround mix, but the stereo options here do the job nicely. There's a good spread between the channels and a fair amount of bass activity. The mixes in the English dub and the original Japanese track are virtually identical, although the dub plays slightly louder. (Unless you're dead set against listening to the Japanese track, you should avoid the truly awful dub; the main characters are all made to sound like bubble-headed, helium-sucking bimbos, which is a definite mistake.) The only extras are a creditless version of the show's opening sequence and previews for other Geneon titles.
A lot of action, a gang of cute, gun-toting chicks, and a boatload of gags—a lot of similar titles are on the market, but Daphne in the Brilliant Blue is one of the few that actually work. Check it out.
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Scales of Justice
• Creditless Opening
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