This series was surprisingly refreshing. It shows us a pivotal point in the lives of six young women (age ranging from 15 to 20-something), most take 2 episodes. The connecting theme of these stories is the 'Diamond Dust': frozen particles of moisture that glisten in the air -- there are various legends surrounding this phenomenon, and those legends/rumours play a role in those pivotal events.
You see, this series is set entirely on Hokkaido, the north island of Japan. (klik says it's the Friesland of Japan, based on what we saw of it in Figure 17) This means that we get to see some other part of Japan than just Tokyo -- and the series makes clever use of major landmarks and local traditions which most Japanese will associate strongly with Hokkaido. During the eyecatches, we are treated to photos of several of these landmarks. It gives the series a nice grounding in reality.
And realistic, that's what these stories are. The first story is about a girl who has to help her mother in her family's stall in the fishmarket, and how she copes with the news that the bank wants to foreclose on her family's debts. Another story is about a girl who needs to have an operation to her lungs, but is afraid of the operation itself.
There are no world-shaking events in these stories, it's all rather down-to-earth. As such, it's good the stories last only two episodes, because I don't think they would keep the viewer interested much longer. The short length does force the writers to pack some powerful storytelling in these episodes, which is good.
Designs are so-so, music is nice but there are only three songs used, so nothing special either. But what is up with the voice actors blabbing away about their down jackets, or the vegetables they like to eat, or uninteresting, everyday stuff like that!?
- Varied stories;
- Powerful storytelling;
- Good change of scenery;
- Completely over-the-top genki 'hoempa-pa' opening song;
- In-episode music gets repetitive;
- Designs not awe-inspiring;
- Fairly episodic.
I'll give it an 8.