Hokkaido: The Anime (Kita e: Diamond Dust Drops)

Have you found yourself wishing you could watch more anime based on Dreamcast games? Well you’re in luck! For this post, I’m going to talk about a mediocre dating sim anime that was based off a Dreamcast game and feels like one big Hokkaido commercial.

LA LA LA HOP

“Kita e: Diamond Dust Drops” was an especially interesting find for me personally. Before watching this anime, I had spent the previous year studying abroad in Sapporo, Hokkaido. The prefecture of Hokkaido just so happens to be the the location where this anime takes place, so it was interesting for me to see all of the major tourist destinations show up in this anime. Unfortunately, that also means that it’s been about five years since I watched this show, so I had to go back and rewatch quite a bit of it to write this post.

Hakodate night view picture I took in 2011
Screenshot of Hakodate night view in DDD
SOSHITE STEP

My first impression after watching this was that someone at the Hokkaido Tourism Organization was overly ambitious with their budget in 2004 and got the great idea to sponsor an anime, but as far as I can tell, they only “cooperated” with the creation of this anime. The early 2000s were experiencing a bit of an anime boom as the industry switched from cel to computer animation, so it wasn’t exactly a time when cheap adaptations of dating sims were a rare thing. However, I was a bit surprised to see that it was dubbed and released in the US.

The name Kita e: Diamond Dust Drops translates to “Go North: Diamond Dust Drops”. The “go north” part of the title makes sense, since Hokkaido is the northernmost island of Japan, but for some odd reason, English title changed “Diamond Dust Drops” to “Diamond Daydreams”. They explain during the series that “Diamond Dust Drops” are a phenomenon when the moisture in the air freezes and everything glitters like diamonds and if you wish upon the diamond dust drops, your wish will come true! It was a bit puzzling that they changed the title to “Diamond Daydreams” in English, but went on to call them “Diamond Dust Drops” in the dub.

KITA E JUMP
Even the juice has to be "Northern Tomato"
Even the juice says “Northern Tomato”

While this anime is lacking in most areas, the opening is not one of them. “Hop Step Jump” is a catchy upbeat song that doesn’t match the show in terms of tempo or mood, but it’ll be stuck in your head nonetheless.

The story itself spends a few episodes on each subplot, but none of them are tied together in any way. Each episode really does feel like it is blatantly promoting Hokkaido tourism, so someone please correct me if this turns out to actually be a Hokkaido tourism sponsored anime. The show goes out of its way to talk about different locations and events in Hokkaido multiple times per episode. I actually considered trying to list out the different locations referenced for this post, but there are way too many to be bothered.

Sapporo Snow Festival 2011
Picture I took at Sapporo Snow Festival 2011 – Another event featured in the show

This anime provides you with the opportunity to enjoy the amazingly unique plots of:

  • Runaway girl
  • Hospital girl
  • Movie director girl
  • Figure skating girl
  • Radio lady
  • Daddy issues girl
AND JUMP

I’d recommend this anime to you if you’ve ever spent any time traveling around Hokkaido or if you get some sort of enjoyment out of watching mediocre dating sim anime.

AND JUMP JUMP

Seriously, just listen to the opening:


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