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. This anime 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?
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 ;)
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.
Well, it's an anime. A sports anime. About diving.
I wish I could say more about it, but it hasn't left much of an impression on me, despite having watched all the episodes that have been aired at the time I'm writing this.
It's probably not the best idea to write my first review on this rather.. forgetable anime but hey, I can do what I want.
And that's what I'm gonna do.
Keep in mind that this is very subjective, though, and I don't mind if you don't share my opinions. But let's get this over with.
Story - 3/10
Sports anime often aren't anything new, and
that's okay. The story of some underdog team or player fighting their way to the top is good enough usually, but Dive!! really doesn't offer anything in that department. So the diving club will close down if they can't show results, a new coach comes to teach them, they've got their goals set on the olympics.
That's cool. And really, that's it. Nothing really... happens. Now, lots of sports anime either tend to show a lot of sports related stuff like matches or training sequences (Kuroko no Basket for example) or focus a lot of the friendship, rivalries and so on of the characters (Free! to name one). Some like to do plenty of both (Haikyuu!! does it well, in my opinion). Some anime try doing both, but kind of fail at it by cramming it into the too short timeframe (Yuri on Ice, I'm sorry, but you could've done better).
Dive!! doesn't really do either. Sure, there's some training shown, a competetion, the characters talk to each other, but it's almost as if the anime tries using those to hide the fact that a lot of the episodes consist of exposition (and not in the "Let's explain the sport to the viewers"-way) and... filler. It might just be me, but nothing really goes on a lot of the time. With a training-camp arc of sorts coming up, things might be get a bit of a jumpstart, but so far, the story itself just is... dragging by.
Art - 5/10
Where Free! and Kuroko no Basket have their colorful, attractive characters and Haikyuu!! and Ballroom e Youkoso have the interesting anatomy and more down to earth but charming (and no less attractive) designs , Dive!! again has... neither. It also lacks the dynamic animation those anime have.
The style itself is easy on the eyes, though the anatomy is somewhat weird to me. During the surprisingly well animated diving scenes, the characters' long limbs and lean muscle look good, but a lot of the time the characters just... stand there, lacking a lot of detail. The backgrounds however look nice, and I enjoy the somewhat realistic (in a sense of "This looks like a place that could exist") environments.
This might be my personal bias, but Dive!! has to offer some great voice actors. Which... is why I gave the anime a 7 on the sound department, because the rest of it isn't that great. The BGM is... also there, and it's decent enough. It offers a nice backdrop to the animation and isn't overly in-your-face. The OP's chorus is a little catchy, but the song itself is forgetable. So is the ending. But, I mean, the voices are mostly good, and the voice actors did a solid to good perfomance on most of the characters
Characters - 4/10
The good voice actors don't save the characters from being boring to medicre, though. None of them really stick out. Sure, it's nice to have the protagonist be more on the cute and introverted side instead of being brash, but ultimately, his character is pretty... flat. So is Yoichi, the stoic prodigy character who comes across as patrononizing without having much of a personality beyond that.
The coach is headstrong and strict (I guess to have the only important female be more than just squealing eye candy?) but doesn't really have much to offer either. The only character who seems somewhat refreshing is Shibuki (who's apparently sixteen or seventeen but looks like twenty-five to me), the wild young man who doesn't want to play by the diving-rules.
Overall, the characters are just... boring, most of the time. They don't really stick around in your head, and even I, who tends to latch on the characters for shipping reasons and fanfic, can't find much enjoyment in them. They lack the bond of friendship and comradarie present in most sports anime, and honestly, I don't even remember their names aside from... three of them, as compared to the entire casts of Free! and Haikyuu!!
Enjoyment - 5/10
I don't... hate it.
I don't really like it either.
Unfortunately, I still have to force myself to watch it by promising myself that I'll see the characters who's design I like and who I want to know more about. But otherwise, the anime unfortunately is so slow and mediocre to me, that watching it feels like watching TV and waiting for your favorite show to come on, so you watch whatever is playing before it to not be bored.
I will finish the anime, sure, and I'm hoping that it'll be more fun during the training-camp arc - cause hey, I like those!- but for now, it's just the epitome of mediocre to me. It's not so bad that it's good/funny or something I hate so that I can watch it and be mad. It just.. lacks impact.
Overall - 5/10
And that sort of sucks.
The first episode sort of promised a summer-y anime about a more uncommon sport, and it could've been good, but due to the slow progression and the long stretches of nothing happening it's ultimately just boring to me. Pair that with the one- to barely two-dimensional characters and often lackluster animation and you have an anime that tries to make you feel like going out and jump from a diving platform but fails to do that.
I might update this once the anime is over, and I might even read the manga to see if the writing is better in there, but for now, I just have to say that Dive!! manages to be a mediocre anime through and through. It's not bad. It's not good.
It's right there in the middle, watchable and passable. Nothing that deserves hate, just something that fails at really doing what it wants to do.
And that's too bad, because I feel like more could've been done with it.
It certainly sounded promising at the beginning and I was so hyped but honestly I just ended up being disappointed. From the first episode it was obvious that DIVE!! was aiming for a kind of Free! vibe where you have beautiful, muscular guys and a little bit of sport-related drama but this anime just went down the wrong path I guess.
The two main flaws are nonexistent plot line and poor character development. I mean plot is nonexistent even if you turn your head like 180 degrees. All characters do is talk talk talk. And no, they’re not explaining us diving rules or anything
about the sport. They’re basically only encouraging each other to be better and reach some major competitions like Olympics but ironically when the time for those competitions finally comes, anime just skips them like they didn’t even happened. So sometimes it’s really confusing. And sadly often is just the beginning of the jumps shown or how it ended. And I’m like did the character even jump? Is this really a sports anime? Also the characters are really plain and their development is so poorly done that sometimes it’s just frustrating to watch. Their main goal was to reach Olympics and everything revolved around that goal. It was of course nothing new and the story was similar to other sports anime but somehow it kept me interested. I was wondering how will they do it and can they even reach that level and so on. But then the main character went downhill towards the end of series and for some random reason just destroyed the whole point of this anime. I was at shock like wft just happened.
So if you’re looking for a quality sports anime with satisfyingly realistic factor or you’re just looking for something similar to Free! because you miss our Kyoto Animation's water boys, I wouldn't seek it here if I was you.
Dive.... what can I say about Dive?? I think that the producers looked at Free! and noticed how popular it was and decided to shit something out that was somewhat similar, only to be poorly executed. I don't even feel like writing out the exclamation points for this anime because I don't think it deserves it in my opinion! I am going to use Free! as a comparison to this anime when I write my review because it is EXTREMELY apparent that elements from Free! were manipulated and grabbed by the writers of this thing, with an addition of typical anime tropes that even Free
used, to gain attention.
(DISCLAIMER- I know that there was a manga series/novel that was published for this before Free! existed, but the fact that they produced this as an anime adaptation AFTER Free! does not sit right with me.)
For all of the beckoning irritations I have with this anime, one thing I will say is that the art style is pretty nice. Although I'm not the biggest fan of Tomoki's eyes, it is clear that there was a lot of effort put into the production. BUT, an art style should not distract a person from noticing a flawed story line and dull characters.
Can we also talk about the concept of this anime? Diving. It's like they said "hmm, what hasn't already been done for a sports anime? Let's take this old series and do something with it." And the fact that the novelist wrote something like this before Free! is astounding. Competitive swimming was an open field for this series, and they happened to butcher it to make the dullest, most boring thing! Congrats! Your character can jump off a diving board! No offense to divers, though. I think that real life diving IS truly enticing and marvelous. But, when people are trying to animate it, that message does NOT get across. In Dive, the animation for diving was extremely choppy and awkward. There was SO MUCH BUILDUP that got you going like shit!! this is gonna be Intense! But when you finally get to the point where he's gonna jump, it just leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. Almost like a betrayal. In Free! there was So Much Going On and they really used a lot of elements to express the competitive intensity of each character. But you can't really compare them I guess, since Dive had such a lacking concept from the beginning that would make it challenging to execute.
Queerbaiting. I mean, really! The most typical trope of sports anime. I will say, though, it was pretty interesting to see that whole Miu fiasco, which is something different, I guess. And there was a whole lot of build up that honestly kept me watching (I mean like, did you watch Yuri!! On Ice??), but it was just shut down. There is so much blatant fanservice that a lot of sports anime will use when it comes to queerbaiting, so I was not surprised that this anime would be the same.
Also, the storyline is super choppy. We get it, you want to add some personal elements to the characters to give your series some Angst, some Flavor!! And that's perfectly valid! But in this anime, it got downright confusing. Towards the end, it's like they realized they were going off on a tangent and forgot to assure a stable story line to its audience, so they figured they would cram a whole bunch of shit into the last few episodes! Not only is the storyline super choppy, but the actual production is! Transitioning to each part of the story left me with an unfinished feeling, like they cut parts of the scene to conserve time, and even the music felt off in a few places. This flaw was SO present in the diving scenes that it became a chore to sit through them.
Overall, I just couldn't get into this anime. I tried to hard. I sat through every single episode hoping that it would go somewhere, and I did not know what to expect. A lot of the characters just felt out of place or boring, and the concept of the anime did not help with that at all. There was barely a flow; it was all over the place!! The end left me extremely disappointed, and I will not watch the second season if they decide to shit one out. I can't believe I wasted my time with this, and you shouldn't either!
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!