Diamond Dive tells the story of a girl who learns she is a witch and goes to a school to hone her magical abilities. While there she finds more than her magic, like new challenges, crushes, and obstacles to overcome in this girl’s love story.
Madamka’s Diamond Dive is the story of Karta Kloss, also known as Pinky, who is drawn to a magic school, Montgomery University of Witchcraft. While there, she meets a girl she falls in love with, and as the story moves forward, both are drawn closer together and become more attracted to one another. Although this webcomic is a romance mainly, it also has its wonderful comedic moments.
The story begins with a witch casting a spell, who learns about a “special one”: Karta, who was unable to get into a university, has parents who divorced, and a disbanding garage band. She has her own unique style. She hears a melody and learns that she is a witch, getting a stack of books. Karta thinks it’s a dream and then freaks out. She doesn’t tell her parents or friends where she is going. She does tests to figure out her magical abilities, is impressed by the school itself, and meets her roommates: a pessimistic girl named River Styxx and a more helpful girl named Kelpie “Kelps” Abott. The name River Styxx could be a reference to Styx, who is a deity and a river, in Greek mythology, which forms a boundary between the underworld and the surface world (Earth), or the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club song, “River Styx,” or something else entirely! In any case, River saves Karta on her first day from an enchantment prank by another kid.
Karta goes to the library to pick up school books, helped by a librarian, and meets a heiress named Bailey Montgomery. She soon falls in love with Bailey, trying to impress her with her magic skills, but ends up almost causing harm to herself and Bailey, with both being annoyed at one another. That soon changes as Bailey carries Karta to her room after she faints. She later has a dream about the future and learns she has the magic ability known as “Dream Dive.” She meets Bailey on her first day of class and invites her to coffee the next day. She picks her gem, a moonstone. We later learn about Bailey’s past trauma, her full name, and she agrees to meet Karta, claiming it isn’t a date.
Bailey later puts the gem on her necklace, and they spend the day together. Both realize it might have been a date, her friends at a coffee shop find Bailey’s real Instagram account, and Bailey confronts her mother, who threatens her into entering a relationship with Karta. Her roommates help her with studying, while River gets angry about Karta and Bailey’s date. Karta hilariously asks Harlow, Anne, River, and Kelpie for help in getting a second date from Bailey, i.e. “Operation High-Class Waifu,” with Kelpie letting Karta know there are rules to letting Karta date Bailey, learning that she needs to defeat Bailey before she can date her.
After Karta asks Bailey on a date, Bailey says that if Karta can stand her ground for one minute, then she’ll go on another date with her. Later, Bailey tells Yvonne that Karta is cute and wants to play it safe before she can be around Karta, so her mom doesn’t hurt her. And the story goes on from there, with many twists and turns.
Diamond Dive has compelling characters and storyline. Apart from Karta and Bailey, there’s Karta’s roommates Kelpie and River, and other characters like Yvonne Bisset, Ericka Rangulf, Annelise “Anne” Combe, Harlow Park, Cecilia, Karen, Nia, and Suzy. A good number of these characters are brown-skinned, like Karta and her roommate River, among others. This webcomic is not alone in this. Webcomics, like MagicalMashup!, Butterflies in Her Hair, Pandora’s Choice, My Demon Valentine, and Everywhere & Nowhere, to name a few, also have such representation among their cast.
In a recent Q&A, Karta revealed that she sees Bailey as “cool and mysterious” but easily flustered, while Bailey sees Karta as “full of life,” a go-getter, and wishing she could be “more like that that.” The comic was recently nominated for the outstanding fantasy category for the Webtoon Canvas Awards, with voting closing on October 31, 2021. If Diamond Dive makes it to the top 4 nominated series, which will be announced on November 29, 2021, then users would be able to vote for the series again between December 6 and December 12, 2021, with the winners announced early next year.
Diamond Dive, which has more than 50 episodes, is written and illustrated by Madamka. She is also known for her wonderful three-part webcomic entitled Her name was Sunny. In one of the scenes of the webcomic, the “Princess Prom” episode of She-Ra and the Princess of Power is mentioned, which is why that webcomic will always stick in my mind. In a recent Q&A, Madamka said the use of crystals in Diamond Dive was influenced by Hazel Raven’s book Sacred Crystals, and that the webcomic is two-thirds through season 1. She also noted that Yvonne is aromantic and asexual, Harlow is a homoromantic bisexual, Karta is bisexual, Max is polyamorous, and Bailey is lesbian.
In the same Q&A, Madamka noted that she is in a romantic relationship with fellow webcomic artist Soya S. Holm, creator of Susuhara Is A Demon!. She further described that artwork from Sailor Moon, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the King, Bayonetta, W.I.T.C.H., and Monster High served as influences on Diamond Dive, while saying that the character’s outfits in the webcomic are based on K-pop outfits, designer clothes, her own wardrobe, and other ideas. Madamka also described the comic as a mix of themes from Harry Potter, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Monster High, 1990s anime like Yu Yu Hakusho and Kiddy Grade. In another Q&A, she said that most of her character designs come from daydreaming, that her favorite anime is Yu Yu Hakusho, and explained the process of illustrating for the comic. I am excited to hear in that Q&A that Madamka is going to start a new project, whether a continuation of Diamond Dive, a magical comic, or a fantasy adventure focusing on a vampire and her apprentice.
Diamond Dive is one of the many recent stories which have focused on or featured characters with magical abilities. This includes characters in The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated!, dragons in Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, the witches in The Owl House, Frida in Hilda, and the protagonists of the Tales of Arcadia trilogy. However, this webcomic, in some ways, reminds me of Little Witch Academia, an anime series that had yuri undertones, even if they aren’t explicitly stated. Other webcomics like Tanya Tinks’ Tea For Two, Merryweather’s Everywhere & Nowhere, and Olivia Barone’s Calia Nova, to name a few, also include characters with magical abilities.
For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomics archives!