The series revolves around the Mizuki Diving Club (MDC), which is on the verge of closing down after having financial troubles. The club's new coach persuades the club's parent company to stay open on one condition: that the club sends one of its members to next year's Olympics as part of Japan's Olympic team.
Well, where do we start? I guess from the begining. Dive!! is an anime about, you guess it, diving, but it does little to nothing to get you exited for it. As we all know, at least the ones that have already watched an spocon, you don't have to like the sport that the series is about, you don't even have to know about it's very existance to like the anime itself and that is one of the many things this show does wrong. The anime fails in selling you the sport, they barely explain how
the scores work and how the judges judge, and what the difference is between a good and a bad dive, an so on. So, having failed with one of the most important things of this anime genre we naturally proceed to take a look at the next most important thing, the characters. You would think that this is were the anime shines, but you'd be wrong, this is the worst part of the anime. But how? Well, by making them totally generic archetypes or worse, making them less than that. You have the protagonist which... likes to... dive? Yeah you don't know much about him other than that and the fact that he had his ex-girlfriend taken by his douchebag brother (yeah, you sure like that NTR shit). Ok, but we have a supporting cast right? Of course, we sure have! We have Yoichi which is the talented boy with no other trait, we of course have the underdog Okitsu which at first dislikes diving but... guess he starts to like it further into the series. And theeen we have the rest of the cast which are only there because the world is suposed to be habiteted by other human beings, but in this case you don't give a fuck. Now that we are done with the "characters" we can analyze this beautiful story. They want to go to the Olyimpics, that's it. Soooo, what else can i tell you? The artstyle is fine and so is the sound, but at this point you don't care about that.
In conclusion Dive!! is a bad anime, don't waste your time watching it unless you want to stack another anime to your list ;)
It's pretty hard to imagine that there would be a way to make an anime about competitive diving interesting. Dive!! does nothing to change your mind in that regard. What you end up getting is a very average, typical sports anime.
The story itself is okay but any efforts to add dramatic or comedic elements fail for the most part. The art is good although I do have a little gripe with how the reflection of light off the water's surface looks on the divers bodies. The best chance the anime had of drawing me in I thought would have been the way they chose to
animate the dives. With the exception of the final episode, I thought the animation was just about average. The soundtrack was good and it was utilized well throughout the series. The characters were okay for the most part although they were insufferable when it came to scenes that contained drama.
Dive!! isn't bad but if you're looking for new sports anime to watch, then it should be low on your priority list. The show has potential to have a better second season should that happen but to fully take advantage of that potential there should have been better story development.
I suggest to those who love sports anime, please take this as just another sports anime. If you're here to watch and compare Dive to other sports anime like Haikyuu, Yuri on ice, Free!, you'll be sorely disappointed. But if you take it as a normal sports anime, without holding any expectations or benchmarks, this is a very good anime that you can take quite a bit from.
The character development was great. I can say that this was pretty realistic in showing the diving industry in Japan especially if you're not very familiar with it. The characters all managed to change and improve in their
own ways. They're not super flashy about it but if you pay attention, you'll definitely see them grow.
The art was simple but beautiful and the OP and ED suited the anime very well, in my opinion.
I would say give this a chance. If you're someone who can appreciate a unique sport that is neither flashy nor dramatic, and if you can keep an open mind, I think you will enjoy this.
Dive!! is a sports anime that isn’t. Just a few glaring flaws:
- Not enough energy / adrenaline
- No explaination of scoring / scores
- Hardy any explaination of techniques + why they are difficult
- Lack of development of rival oragnizations
BUT I Dive isn't a sports anime. It is a character-driven story about the coming-of-age of our main characters – and it does this very well. Instead of a focus on one main character, the show introduces, and heavily develops multiple characters, showing them experience new things together and alone, growing as teenagers. It is a brilliant coming-of-age story with unique, no cliché characters, using competitive
diving as a prop for development. I see it quite similar to Yuri on Ice. It is not about a sport, it is about the characters playing the sport. If you come in expecting a sports anime, you will be disappointed. If you come in expecting a great cast of characters, good story and decent art, you will love the show.
Story: A super interesting take on the less glamorous side of high level competitive sports – discussing issues like fairness and touches on using connections to get unfair advantages in the selection process (in this case, the Olympics). Ending… :(
Characters: 10/10. Unique, uncliched characters, each of which is grounded in reality. It honestly feels like the characters are real, with real motivations, setbacks, emotions, and logic. I never feel that any character chooses to do something completely unreasonable, and I never feel the show uses any ridiculous coincidences to push their development. Instead, the show focuses on the coming of age of the cast and it is such a wonderful story.
Art and Sound: Eh. Decent art, although sometimes quality drops / some CG that looks slightly out of place. Music is nothing special, although shout-out to the voice actors, I think they did an absolutely amazing job of conveying the characters’ emotions and general feel.
Overall, I went into the show expecting a competitive diving sports anime and was sorely disappointed. Instead, I found a criminally under-watched story about the growth of a brilliant cast of unique characters that really made this show the hidden gem of the summer 2017 season. I would give it an 7/10, but I would 10/10 recommend giving it a shot!