Divergence Eve Vol. 1
At first glance, Divergence Eve seems like an anime that you might be able to pin down right away just by looking at the pictures and the description on the box and seeing some of the people behind it. With Divergence Eve, you might be partly right, but it won't give you the whole picture. For me, I can sum up Divergence Eve in one would and that is surprising. Though it had some of the elements that I was expecting, you can't take this one at face value.
For starters, Divergence Eve focuses on the actual sci-fi aspects of the story. There is some action, but for the most part it is heavy with dialogue and story driven. Most of the dialogue is fancy sci-fi jargon, but the show does have a lot of detail and twists. However, I'm still lost by the line "A place where people consider time in terms of sorrow." (Huh?) Now granted, sometimes it is difficult to take some of this seriously when you have characters that are going to have back problems by the time that they are fifteen, due to the size of their chests. This is something that we should get out of the way from the start. Yes, the characters have obscenely large chests, but that doesn't mean that the show is all style and no substance. This is where watching with an open mind helps.
The first episode actually takes place later in the story. Some shows have been able to pull this technique off well, Berserk for one, but I felt that in Divergence Eve, this was confusing, since this is an unknown sci-fi world and nothing is introduced at all. The episode, however, did manage to get me intrigued about the plot, so I guess that it served its purpose.
All of the following episodes begin with short clips of the past. I loved this idea. As the episodes progressed, the clips moved further into the future, getting closer to the actual time that the story takes place in. This does a great job of helping to explain how things got the way they are now by shedding a little bit more light on the past.
The first five episodes reveal to us a little bit about what this story is actually about. It's the 24th century, and mankind has learned a way to travel between parallel universes, so that they can travel great distances in very short amounts of time. The furthest outpost away is a place called Watchers Nest, where ten million people live. This is the place where ships arrive after they enter the passageway in Saturn's moon, Titan and pass through the gateway. However, a problem has appeared near Watchers Nest: unknown beings called "ghouls" have been appearing from the gate. These ghouls are causing problems by attacking Watchers Nest, and this is where our lovely cadets come in. Four women have been transported to Watchers Nest to complete their training, but as of now, none of them know exactly what they are preparing to fight. The ghouls that are appearing have been kept a secret from everyone, so only very few people even know about their existence.
The first volume mainly introduces the cadets to the audience and shows their training. The combat training is in bikinis, but who's going to argue that? Divergence Eve focuses on Misaki. She is a cadet that decided to join the army partly because she couldn't find a better job and partly because her father was killed on Watchers Nest in some accident. Her past, other than those facts, is very shady. Misaki is different from the other cadets because we don't know why she was picked to be a member of Seraphim, the elite defense force of Watchers Nest. The other three ladies were all picked because they were qualified, but Misaki was not very successful in her early training before being sent off. The show does reveal an ability that might have been a reason as to why she was selected, but as of now this ability that she has is a complete mystery.
At first, it seemed like we had a pretty basic cast. You have the ditzy lead, the tough commander, the girl that wants to be like the tough commander, the pretty girl with the accent (though all of the characters look relatively similar, so I'll take their word on it that she's the pretty one), the green haired one, the android, the old guy in charge, the girl with glasses, and the guy who's way too condescending for his own good. However, as the series progresses depth is added to the characters. You end up with a bunch of very likable characters that aren't all the same.
A big thing that stands out with Divergence Eve is that a lot of the show is CG, at times I almost felt there was too much. It's similar to VanDread, in that all of the space shots are CG and anything with their mech ships is CG. For the most part, it looks really sharp, except for a few parts here and there, but even that doesn't really take away from the overall quality. The same goes for the animation. It looks clear and uses some nice bright colors for the cadets in particular.
The dub gets the job done. They won't win any awards, but it's an enjoyable cast. The music is... there. It consists of basic instrumental pieces, ranging from light and cheery to more serious and jazzy. The show offers a nice opening with a mechanical/sci-fi/techno sound that fits the show perfectly, and the ending! Let me just say that it's a Misaki fan's dream with an extremely catchy, poppy, upbeat, bubbly sound.
Divergence Eve has a really nice release. You get five episodes on this volume and a good amount of quality extras, including a mini-manga and commentary, though the commentary is just some voice actors and producers talking about the dub process, where I prefer hearing comments being made about the show.
People should give this show a chance. Take my word for it; don't just take the show at face value. Divergence Eve actually hits a lot of different areas. It's certainly got elements of sci-fi and fanservice, but it also has action, comedy, horror, and in the last episode on this volume, the mood starts to get very serious. There is actually a very intriguing story here that can go in a number of directions, and since it's only three volumes, it's even more attractive.