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.
I trudged through 4 episodes of this anime just so that I could write this review. Y’all better upvote my review so that I’ll know that those 80 minutes of my life weren’t a COMPLETE waste.
Basically, Dive is what you get if Haikyuu and Free had an illegitimate child – with none of the good looks or character development of Free, nor the long drawn technical jargon or complicated strategies of Haikyuu. Granted, that’s being a little tough on the anime, seeing how only four episodes have aired, but, come on! That’s a quarter of the show right there. You can *tell* that this
anime is gonna be another cliché fest and has been released only to satiate the eyes of fans. Why do I say that? Because of the cliché story, cliché characters and mediocre animation. Don’t believe me? Well –
The Mizuki Diving Club isn’t doing too well (Haikyuu) and is on the verge of shutting down (or so the students thought) when suddenly, this gorgeous hard ass of a lady, Asaki (similar to that one girl from Haikyuu with that typical shounen female strength and no character development) shows up as the knight in shining armour, promising to take the MDC boys to the Tokyo Olympics (Free). We have the star of the MDC, the tsundere Yoichi (who totes looks like Sugawara and is definitely gonna be the most popular guy from the series), the wide-eyed-tsundere-worshipping MC who suspiciously has the same eye and hair color as Haru (from Free), the bumbling manager (seriously, every sports anime is incomplete without one) and the side characters (who are there just for comic relief). In the second ep, we are introduced to a super a ripped dude (who could easily be 25) who previously dove only in the ocean but is now ‘forced’ to compete on a national level (again, Haru much?). So the Suga look alike tsundere and similar to Haru but 25 yrs older super tsundere have a problem with each other, but we don’t know why that is. Bc what’s better for fangirls and boys than two ‘hot’ dudes having it out for each other? SMH.
I also love how Asaki (the female coach) has huge breasts and wears shirts to school that are buttoned right from the point her cleavage ends…. because this is EXACTLY the kinda stuff a largely female fanbase is thirsty to see. WTF??? And my God, if this is how ‘good’ voice actors are, I’m glad I stick to dubs. Especially seeing how annoyingly high pitched every female is until and unless she’s portrayed as someone serious or someone who should not be messed with. A+ to the realistic depiction of girl/women’s voices.
The anime comes from Zero-G, an unheard of studio, and I’m not surprised they chose a sports anime as their ‘breakout’ anime. After all, such anime are unanimously popular among their fan bases. However, I have to say that even though I did not have very high expectations from this anime, its art was a complete disappointment. I wouldn’t give it more than a 5. Granted that Zero-G is a new studio that may not have a budget as big as KyoAni (remember Free’s gorgeous animation?), but guys, if you wanna stand out, being mediocre is not the way to go.
The biggest grudge I have from the anime, apart from its art style and completely cliché existence, is its body proportions. They are way off. The heads of all the boys in the MDC are too big for their bodies. Plus, how many 15 year olds can really have such rock hard abs? I know I’m not an expert in swimmers’ bodies, but come on! And then, there’s the fact that their bodies are SO well developed, but their faces are all baby faced…. I mean, when you have such a dazzling body, your face automatically loses all the baby fat and becomes sharper. But, nope! Plus, their teensy weensy swimming suits made me uncomfortable – I mean, why couldn’t they cover up their asses just like the Free guys did with theirs? In fact, Rin, Sousuke, Haru and Mako (the most popular guys from the series) had pretty much their entire thighs covered when they wore their swimsuits. But of course, I know this is a personal preference and a lot of the fans of the show wouldn’t want the Dive boys to wear anything longer, which is understandable. I’m just ranting here. Anyway, getting to the positive points – the 4th ep was by far the best ep out of all the ones that aired. However, by that time I’d lost interest in the anime. I'll continue watching it just so that I can write my final thoughts on it. Frankly, though, tt simply has nothing new to offer. I’d have appreciated good visuals to compensate for the lack of a genuine plot or even characters, but ah, I was hoping for too much.
The OP and ED are generic, the use of CGI was minimal, and the art is reminiscent of the early 2000s shounen/comedy anime. This anime was hyped up a lot, especially among the fans of the sports anime genre, and for those looking for nothing but fan service, you’ll be satisfied. But if you’re looking for something more, look elsewhere. The reason I gave it a 6 and not a 5 (which is my score for a mediocre anime) is because I’m glad more and more studios are creating content aimed at a largely female audience. This is definitely a step forward.
Side note: I think this is the first sports anime that I’ve seen where the MC accepts and then rejects a girl’s proposal. Hahahahaha. And we all know why that is, don’t we?
If you have seen any sports anime, there is one thing common in all of them, i.e., Adrenaline Rush. But I find it missing. Maybe it's because of a not-so-mainstream sports, diving.
Story(5/10): I thought I will watch it till 5-6 episodes, because 1st episode of any sports anime can't give you enough content and that feel which gives you a reason to go on with the anime. And guess what! I dropped this anime just after 4th episode. After watching those disastrous 88 minutes including OP and EP, i guess that mangaka thought about making a cool
and "different" anime.
"AH! What shoud we do? What should we do?... BINGO. let's make an anime about Diving about which no one gives a fuck and we'll also introduce some typical out-of-the-box lame characters." In the climax of episode 1, they mention Tokyo Olympics (not a spoiler, reconsider), so it indicates that there will be much in later episodes. But there wasn't anything except introducing some shit opponents.
Characters(3/10) : They managed to create good ART(7/10) but they tried to create unique characters, and mind you, UNIQUE is not always GOOD. Neither they developed the characters in a standard way, nor very different, so in a way, LAME!
Giving 2/10, but +1 for unnecessary but good Fan Service.
Sound (2/10) : OMG! The mixing of soundtracks with the voice acting is dreadful. I would say that voice acting was very natural but the mixing was awful Blame this new studio for that. Some soundtracks were directly copied from some metal bands, if you listen closely.
Guys may not like this anime, you'll know the reason when you'll start with it.
People are claiming that the story and characters are kinda plagiarized from anime like Haikyuu and FREE!
FINAL VERDICT : I have dropped this anime on 4th episode. If you wanna watch any sports anime, watch anime like Hajime No Ippo, Kuroko NO Basuke, Haikyuu, etc. This should be your last preference.
Dive briefly revolves around the Mizuki Diving Club that is on the verge of enclose the activities for financial problems (nothing original). Soon, a new coach emerges convincing the club's sponsor company to keep it open on the condition that the club send one of its members to the upcoming Olympics.
Well, first of all, I did not expect much from Dive, because the synopsis seemed to be nothing authentic, but an anime focused on the female audience with the sport theme. The first few episodes just introduced the characters, nothing too much, but the presentation was made so poorly that I found all the
characters (except the teacher) bad, bad developed and annoying.
The characters of Dive are clichés: the boy (Tomoki) who aims to win and be recognized by senpai, being that this is more a fanservice, served as a shipp. In addition, he treats his girlfriend badly as if she did something wrong and the script doesn´t explain the reason. In the end, I found the most stupid character (Tomoki). The senpai (Youchi) is the arrogant and cold boy, which made me angry, because is a stereotype much used in male sports. The weirdest thing is that the coolest and arrogant character (Youchi) is the most popular in the anime. The Shibuki is another character without charism that appeared in the second episode called by the teacher . I found forced his appearance and in my opinion it's just a way of serving as a fanservice. And finally, the best character, Asaki: different from many sports animes focused on the female audience, until I was admired by a strong female character and strong character rather than a silly and naive girl (as in the shoujos). Of course the female fanbase would never recognize a quality of Asaki, since what is important to them is the fanservice body male or fanservice yaoi / shounen-ai. Female characters not only in sports are always inferiorized and hated by them for no reason at all.
The opening and ending are generic, nothing too much. I'm not going to write much about the OSTs, since I found them poor and can´t see any quality on the soundtrack.
The animation is mediocre. The Studio Zero-G produced another sport anime, Battery and an anime ecchi, a new studio. However, in Dive there are many static frames and the characters have disproportionate bodies which makes the quality of the work obviously fall. Dive has a medium animation, but not so bad. The movement of bodies isn´t natural, but robotic.
As entertainment, Dive was ok. Dive is an anime to spend the time of the season. I dropped in episode 4, because I found it a waste of time and there are better animes like Ballroom & Youkoso, Princess Principal, Isekai Koshudou, Made in Abyss etc.
Entertainment ok or good doesn´t mean quality. Overall, the anime was bad within the proposal. I found few qualities and these few are overshadowed in the direction. The plot is superficial without any kind of character´s deepening and focus on the silly comedy or fanservice as in episode 4. I honestly wouldn´t recommend to be watched in a season, because there are far better works as I listed above.