Daphne in the Brilliant Blue is a twenty-six episode anime series, set sometime in the future, where global warming has submerged most of the planet forcing humans to live on floating cities. The show’s protagonist is fifteen-year-old Maia Mizuki who is one of the unluckiest animated girls you’ll ever find. After finishing school Maia had set her sights on working for the prestigious Ocean Agency, but her dreams are dashed when she flunks the agency’s entrance exam. Poor Maia, I can so relate to you. I once dreamed of becoming a mad scientist, but I eventually had to settle for being just plain mad after flunking my chemistry A-Levels.
Maia’s bad luck doesn’t end there however. After the death of her grandfather she is made homeless, forcing her to venture into the seedier part of town in a desperate attempt to seek employment. Once there she gets assaulted by muggers, thereby completing a hat trick of unfortunate events. Thankfully for her, the scantily clad members of the Nereids group rescue her from the hoodlums. Her saviours sympathise with Maia’s predicament and offer her a spot on the team, which she duly accepts given that she is in no position to decline a source of income. The question is how will the meek teen adapt to the life of a gun for hire whose job description includes tackling dangerous criminals?
If I was in Maia’s shoes I’m not sure I would have accepted the job. A risky occupation is fair enough, but I have to draw the line at the Nerieds dress code that comprises of bikinis that leave nothing to the imagination. The justification for the skimpy garments is that in Daphne’s aquatic world the team are often called to leap into the ocean during a mission. Fair enough, but wouldn’t a more modest dry suit satisfy the business’ needs just as well? Ah who cares. This is an anime show. Fan service comes with the territory.
As the series progresses we are gradually introduced to Maia’s Nereid co-workers. First up is the team’s leader Rena who is a red headed femme fatale. Next up is the group’s tech whizz Shizuka whose defining character traits include an insatiable appetite along with the inability to hit anything with a handgun. If Rena and Shizuka are the brains of the outfit then Gloria and Yu are the muscle. Gloria is a loud-mouthed moneygrubber who earns her spot on the team thanks to her sharpshooting skills. Yu on the other hand is the silent and serious type who is without rival in melee combat.
My rating for Daphne in the Brilliant Blue would have to be four stars out of five. It’s a show that won’t win any awards for deep storyline or fleshed out characters, but I had a lot of fun watching it. For the most part what you get are one off action packed episodes dealing with the Nereids group battling against lawbreakers. Throughout the series there are however hints of a conspiracy revolving around Maia’s past that ultimately gets resolved in the finale. Even if the series isn’t perfect it is easy to overlook its flaws as it doesn’t take itself too seriously and delivers on rib tickling laughs. In a way it harkens back to the nineties when a lot of the animes I watched consisted of predominately female teams kicking arse. I would best describe it as a tamer Burn Up Excess. Recommended for action fans and anyone who appreciates swimwear made of dental floss.