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Daphne in the Brilliant Blue (Japanese: 光と水のダフネ, Hepburn: Hikari to Mizu no Dafune, lit. "Daphne of Light and Water") is a Japanese anime television series animated by J.C.Staff and broadcast on TV Kanagawa from January to July 2004. The anime was originally licensed by Geneon USA. It is now licensed by Sentai Filmworks.
A manga adaptation, illustrated by manga artist Satoshi Shiki titled "I - Daphne in the Brilliant Blue" (アイ〜光と水のダフネ〜, Ai ~Hikari to Mizu no Dafune~), was serialized in Young King OURs magazine and serves as a prequel to the television series.
In the future, water has covered much of the Earth due to the effects of global warming, leaving the human race to live on neighboring floating cities. The orphaned Maia Mizuki, fifteen years of age, just graduated from middle school and has already applied for employment in the elite Ocean Agency, part of the futuristic world government. Only the best, most intelligent, and physically fit students are eligible for admission. Maia, the series' protagonist, is set to become one of the few.
But her ideal life quickly falls apart. To her disappointment, Maia unexpectedly fails her entrance exams despite her high grades. Making matters worse, she promptly gets evicted from her house, pick pocketed, taken hostage, then shot. She is "saved" by two females (Rena and Shizuka) that are part of an unorthodox help-for-hire organization called Nereids (inspired by the Greek mythological Nereids). With nowhere to go, Maia joins up with Nereids, taking jobs from capturing wanted criminals to chasing stray cats, often with unexpected results. Gloria and Yu later join up with Nereids.
"Daphne", Greek for "Laurel tree", in the title refers to the last words said by Maia's grandfather. "Brilliant Blue" refers to the fact that this is a world covered by water with almost no land. The world consists of vast oceans, a few islands, and floating cities. This subplot that starts midway into the series concerns Maia's journey to retrieve a time capsule of her past buried under a laurel tree in Elpida, an undersea city lost over a century ago.
In almost every episode, there is a recitation of a verse that Maia's grandfather taught her. She and others say it whenever her life is difficult or in danger - "A tree that is planted by water will produce fruit in due season, its leaves will never whither...". It is never identified as Psalm 1:3, "He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." (NIV)
The manga of the series is a prequel that takes place a century ago when humans were forced to live undersea when the cities were Greek named. Elpida means "hope." Now they're Russian inspired, like Kamchatka. Ai Mayuzumi, Millie's great grandmother is the protagonist of the story.