Daphne in the Brilliant Blue Volume 4
Long into the future, the world is covered in the melted polar icecaps and the remaining humans are living on floating cities and the tops of the largest mountains trying to carve out a beautiful new world. Where humans are is crime, and owing to the overwhelmed police force there are various agencies that help to battle crime. One of these agencies is Nereids, and the past three volumes of Daphne in the Brilliant Blue have documented their adventures.
The usual activity continues with Volume 4 as we are treated to a blast from the recent past with a few enemies who manage to break out of jail – the ones who took Mia hostage in the first volume. This is with the help of their smart and evil sister, along with the submarine that she stole. In an attempt to get revenge on the Nereids team who manage to imprison the three male criminals they kidnap Maia. Naturally she is rescued and all is well and with that they steal the submarine.
To keep up with the maintenance of the submarine the agency have to take on more jobs and they manage to secure a contract helping out an old deep-sea fisherman. This job requires the group to deceive him and them try and keep his grandson happy with the results. Following this vain, children play a crucial part in the next two parts of the show.
The team are enlisted to try and save a rich child who has run away from home after being rejected by a girl that he likes. The wealthy child manages to escape to Siberia City, and naturally the team go to find him. Whilst there Maia bumps into one of Rena’s old flames who is still feeling very vengeful for what’s happened to their relationship. He too works at Nereids and does his very best to sabotage Maia’s efforts to find the young child as a form of revenge.
Unfortunately for him everything goes fairly smoothly and Maia’s soon aboard the airship taking the child home. However, terrorists have managed to sabotage a rich, evil man’s private jet and he has to take the standard plane along with the others. This terrorist group also take control of the Ocean Agency’s wave machine, which controls the ocean and is hell bent on destroying the world unless their demands are met.
Clichéd and a standard plot are made even more clichéd by the use of Maia being entasked to fly the plane after an accident occurs in the cockpit. Although this spoof from the Die Hard films will tickle some people’s interest, it did feel a little over done. Especially considering the amazing end to the episode and how everything, as always, was happily ever after.
A lot of the plot on this disc feels forced, and although the voice actors are really getting into their stride it would appear that a large part of these episodes were nothing but fillers. Fortunately this would not be the case on the most part as later Volumes will reveal how intricately made this show is. Although prior knowledge to this does not make the feeling of “filler” pass.
Visually speaking these episodes are easily some of the cheapest and best quality animation yet. With a lot of undersea action the colours are just as vibrant, but a little lazy when it comes to the deep sea; however, Daphne is no Ghibli film so a little laziness can be tolerated from time to time.
As mentioned, the voice acting work is great for the entire main cast – unfortunately the introduction of a new, “bad guy” female character isn’t great. She is typical along with the rest of the family of villains.
The plot is intricate, but drawn out. Ultimately this volume of episodes feels lazy and needs a finer balance between delivering the story and action scenes.