Monday, August 5, 2013

Diamond Daydreams

 
Diamond Daydreams (otherwise known as Diamond Dust Drops or Kita e in Japan) is a 13-episode anime based off a visual novel of the same name, however the anime uses a fresh set of characters. Following the visual novel format, each of the 6 girl gets 2 episodes to play out her story, with the final episode being a wrap-up of sorts. Typical of a visual novel, all the stories deal with relationships or relationship problems of some sort (though not always romantic relationships).

Considering it's a romance-based series, there are some sweet moments.
 
Diamond Daydreams was for me a piece of nostalgia similar to Ai Yori Aoshi or I My Me! Strawberry Eggs, in that i've had a pin-up poster from the series since i was 12 or 13. In a similar manner, i viewed this series through a set of rose-coloured glasses, and was as such disappointed. It's not BAD by any means (*coughcoughStrawberryEggscough*), but it wasn't very good, either. Because there are 6 girls to 12 episodes, the plot arcs are short, not giving us much time to develop proper attachment to any one character. The girls are fairly well-rounded, though some do fall into some tropes on occasion. 5/6 stories also mention Diamond Dust, each one having a different intpretation of what it means.

Presenting Trope #15: The Successful Career Woman!

The animation style is typical of an early 00's series, and is rather average in quality, though some weird facial expressions, weirdly shaped faces, and voice acting hitches typical of the time period show up. some sounds are also out of sync with the actions, leading one to believe this may have been a budget production. not helping this assumption is the limited range of the sound track. there are few tracks in the collection, and all are too loud for their scenes, distracting from the story. they use some traditional asian instruments (such as the shamisen), but don't vary much from this pattern. The only songs that do are the opening and ending, which are characterized by the over-perky nature (opening) and over-dramatic nature (ending) typical to early 00's romcom anime. Out of the background characters, 90% of them are just awful at times. I have said on multiple occasions that "everyone in this series is a bitch". There is little rhyme or reason to this bitchiness, either, further putting me off the story.

I should mention that's her mother slapping her.

To its credit, the ending gets a bit less insufferable after episode 8. Some of the characters are likeable and their motivations relatable. The whole series (incuding the visual novel) is also set in Hokkaido, and it's refreshing to see the northernmost island of Japan displayed as something more than just "the countryside" or "snow land". In the dubbed dialogue, a few lame puns are also thrown around, leading to a rather cheesy appeal at times. Episode 8 also has a bloopers segment at the end, and episode 13 acts as a sort of wrap-up, where all the girls cross paths in one way or another, both nice touches.

Well okay then.

Overall, the series wasn't the best by far, but it wasn't the worst. Though honestly, there are much better titles out there, and unless you are overcome by overwhelming nostalgia or have some insane need to watch as many early 00's series as possible, i'd skip this one in favour of greener pastures. There are much more deserving titles out there, anyway.

I.....what?

If you insist upon it, Diamond Daydreams is available from Exiled-Destiny, F-B, and E-D. The series is also available on DVD in North America from  ADV Films.

Well that's not creepy at all.

2/5

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