Blue Drop: Tenshi-tachi no Gikyoku
Plot: "Mari Wakatake is the sole survivor of an apparent island tsunami disaster that took place five years ago; she has been raised and schooled by her grandmother from that day. But now, she has been sent off to a boarding school in order to grow and make new relationships; and it is there that she meets Senkouji Hagino, a mysterious girl who is liked by everyone – everyone except for Mari. But Mari soon discovers that Hagino is not what she seems to be, and as Mari struggles to figure out Hagino and fit in at school, an alien race is maneuvering in the shadows for their conquest of an unsuspecting Earth. Little does Hagino know that she herself holds the key to the truth of Mari's past, as well as the key to her future." (not my work, this is the site synopsis)
Story: The story is centered on a teenage girl named Wakatake Mari. She is the only survivor of an apparent island tsunami disaster that took place five years ago (related to the anime chronological time) but even until she grown up to become a high school student the circumstances of the tragedy remained unknown, the only assumptions made until then were only speculation and nothing certain. After the incident she was raised by her grandmother until the day she got sent to a girls only academy for a change of environment and to develop other relationships aside from the one she had with her grandmother. On her way to the academy she sees a weird and beautiful girl standing on a sea rock. She gets to meet her in the academy and her name is Senkouji Hagino a mysterious girl which is very popular in the academy. She is liked by everyone, everyone except Mari who struggles to understand her and to fit in the school. For a girl that never had friends since the tragedy she had a hard time fitting in the environment and in the dorms especially when she was assigned in the same dorm with Hagino. However an alien race is pulling some strings and intends to conquer Earth. Apparently Hagino belongs to that race but she is on a different side. She tries to protect the people from Earth from the invaders. Even though Hagino doesn't know that she is the key to Mari's past because apparently she was the cause of the incident that took place on that island. As the story develops Mari and Hagino are becoming great friends and they develop deep feelings. Even when Mari finds out that Hagino isnt human they still remained friends, even more their bounds got strenghthened. But what will happen when Mari eventualy finds out that Hagino is related to the accident that occured on that island back then? What made me watch this anime so badly was the curiosity for the ending which it is kinda dramatic but in my opinion suitable for how the story develops. I didn't really predicted the ending since former encounters of shoujo-ai shows ended up or unclear or with a happy ending but this one is slightly bittersweet. However it remains in my top 10 best anime i ever watched until now.
Animation and Sound: In terms of animation this anime is also excelent. The character designs are perfect, excelent very well developed. Nothing to complain here. Nothing to complain here either. The ending and opening of this anime are one of my favourite OST's and suits this anime. The background sounds also are very good.
Characters: The characters are very well developed.Hagino and Mari, the main characters in this anime, are developed in detail, revealing their past actions and their personality to the fullest.Also the secondary characters arent left behind also.
Overall: Excelent anime, a true masterpiece among the animes with shoujo-ai as a main tag. The combination between shoujo-ai aspects and sci-fi aspects is made perfectly and in a profesional way. There are no holes in the story developed nor in the character development.I place this anime in the underranked section. It deserves more atention from my point of view because its realy enjoyable with some deep romance/drama aspects and with a warm shoujo-ai aspect.
~Enjoy and Cya Around~
I watched the Sentai Filmworks English dub of this show via Netflix streaming. Visually, this show is absolutely gorgeous. The artwork is breathtaking, the ships in particular are very eye catching, especially the ocean scenes.
The voice acting is good; It's so nice to hear Hilary Haag (Mari) playing a lead role in an anime again. Hilary plays opposite Monica Rial (Hagino), who is my favorite English language voice actress of all. Tiffany Grant is good in a supporting role as one of the upperclassmen (and daughter of the Director) at the girls school. I love it when Tiffany voices characters that have that brassy New York accent and matching attitude...
This show is all about the characters and their inter-relationships.
It's not something to watch for the military/sci-fi aspects of it; The military/sci-fi aspects of this show are incredibly disappointing. As a ship commander, Hagino is pretty incompetent. Lucky for her the other commanders in her fleet are even less skilled than she is.
Ship#5 runs just fine on a skeleton crew (captain/first mate), having seemingly no deficits for lacking a full crew compliment, the way they SHOULD (taking much longer to effect repairs, for starters) if the shows creators actually cared about getting the military side of the story correct or at least believable. Hagino shows incredible lack of judgement, letting a rogue officer who blames Hagino for her lover's death have free reign of the ship. You want to do a *head-desk* when...gosh, sabotage?...who DIDN'T see THAT one coming, a few nautical miles away??
This reminds me a little of the show Starship Operators, which I did love, but was maddening for the same reason...the characters would do these incredibly stupid/naive things and then being surprised by the obvious results and I would be left doing a facepalm going "what the HELL did you THINK would happen???"
The story is interesting, and draws you in, but it does leave several mysteries open and unexplained at the close. I won't reveal any spoilers directly, but just know that the casting of Hagino as Joan of Arc in the school play isn't coincidence but foreshadowing; Art imitates Life, etc.
Story: 5 years ago, a horrible event occurred where all but one of the residents of Kamioki Island died. The sole survivor was Mari Wakatake. A girl who lost her memories of the disaster’s events, even how she survived. This unfortunate circumstance puts Mari as the focal point of the main arc, the mystery surrounding the events on Kamioki Island.
Mari is sent by her grandmother to attend school, something she has never done before. The school and it’s cast of characters serve as the backdrop for the story. Unbeknownst to most of the characters, the simple activities of life (e.g. shopping, schoolwork) slowly unravel the mystery.
Animation: Clean and tasteful. There are tactful uses of washed out colors, though the colors are bright when this technique is not used. The characters are well drawn and backgrounds have decent detail to them.
Sound: Above-average. The OP and ED are pretty and suited to the animation.
Characters: This is where Blue Drop shines. All of the characters are well rounded, each having strengths and flaws. The relationships between them are deep and provide an emotional attachment to the series.
The leading roles of Mari and Hagino have the most depth. Each has their inner demons to deal with, and you can really relate to them. As the mystery unfolds, so does their relationship and your feelings towards them.
The supporting cast is wonderful. Time is spent developing each and exploring their personalities. One is brash and athletic but wants to be a chef. One is artistic/creative but emotionally unsure. One plays the airhead but is strong and confident. You get the idea!
Time spent developing the supporting cast doesn't detract from the story. It just enhances it! This is done via developing the characters relationships with the lead protagonists.
Overall: The ship fighting scenes are not realistic. In typical uber-fantasy fashion, the good guy is indestructible while the bad guys are incapacitated with a single shot.
The science fiction element is not very imaginative either. “Radio” communication is magically etherial in one moment, and technologically based the next. Ships fire “big guns” and can warp around. So, this isn’t a reason to watch.
The story is well paced. The relationships and mystery are developed evenly, and not in fits and starts.
The real joy in Blue Drop is the characters and their relationships. This draws you in to the series and will be the reason you cannot stop watching.