Di Gi Charat proves to be continuous cute fun.
What They Say:
Dejiko is a perfectly normal princess from the planet Di Gi Charat, who arrives in Tokyo with dreams of becoming an idol. Unfortunately, girls with cat ears and a tail, and who can shoot ray beams out of their cat eyes, aren’t exactly what most prospective employers are looking for. But there’s one place where Dejiko does fit in perfectly: Akihabara, where a kindly game story owner offers a job to Dejiko, her sidekick Puchiko and their balloon-like protector Gema. But things still aren’t going to be simple, as Dejiko’s bunnysuit clad rival Rabi-en-rose wants to become an idol too. And when the notorious Black Gema-Gema Gang, led by Princess Piyoko of the planet Analogue, lands in Tokyo, it will be all Dejiko can do to keep up with Piyoko’s nefarious plot of opening a rival game store across the street! (She’s kind of on a budget, since her parents spent all their money unsuccessfully trying to take over Di Gi Charat.) Can an interstellar cat princess really find happiness on Earth in the music industry? Find out in the DI GI CHARAT ORIGINAL TV COLLECTION!
Contains all 16 über-cute episodes!
The opening is the nicest sounding thing on the set, as grating as it can be after repeatedly listening to it. But the dialogue is fine and incidental effects are minimal. The dialogue kind of sounds flat to me, while the opening is much more resonant. Both Japanese and English are presenting in 2.0, which is all you need for this.
There is a lot to be desired on the video quality of this DVD. It’s clearly an old series and, while I haven’t watched a VHS in a long time, cannot be much better than VHS quality. Imperfections are clear as day and it’s hard to ignore them. Despite this, the show relies on comedy and you don’t really need great video quality to enjoy it. So it’s not too distracting.
Like the Gatchaman set, the Di Gi Charat set is Spartan packaging. It’s got a nice enough case with cute images of the characters all over the front and back and no reversible sleeve. There’s also a few paws around the description on the back, which would normally be fine. One of them actually disrupts the flow of the words and slows my reading down slightly, but that’s a minor style thing.
The menu lists all 16 (über-cute) episodes in a row with the language and special features listed below. It plays the opening while it waits for you to make a selection. The opening is fine, but quickly grates on me. Perhaps their strategy to get me to watch the show faster. Nothing of particular interest here, but the language that is selected has a pair of bells around it, calling back to Dejiko. That’s kinda cute.
Just like the Gatchaman set, these reissues don’t have any extras to speak of. The “Also available from Sentai Filmworks” has a few shows more appropriate to the Di Gi Charat audience than the Gatchaman audience and the disc credits are, well, disc credits. Otherwise, nothin’.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Di Gi Charat follows the escapades of Dejiko, Puchiko, and Gema. Dejiko wants to be an idol, but ends up at an otaku shop in Akihabara. Most of the rest of the episodes don’t have anything to do with becoming an idol and more have to do with whatever thing is happening to them in three minute spurts each. The episodes are consistently funny, using a variety of visual gags to achieve eventual hilarity.
Other characters are few, but they all show up in several episodes. There’s junior high school kid and the bishonen with long hair and a few regulars from the shop. And, of course, perennial rival Rabi~en~Rose. Everyone else, though, is drawn as a cylinder in a single color with a normally colored and drawn face. The incidental characters were one of the first gags I thought was hilarious, and they never really got old for me since they’re just so dumb.
I don’t know if I have a favorite short, but the best gag for me was when Dejiko went to get something for the manager at the Something Store. I don’t know why in particular I found this hilarious, but I laughed simply at how blunt it was.
I don’t quite know how to sum up the series, since reviewing comedy is hard to do just by itself. And Di Gi Charat is so weirdly unique and Japanese that it only makes it harder to do. Despite that, I enjoyed these shorts well enough. I think they would serve better to watch a few at a time instead of the 60 minute marathon I did, as I was a little worn out with them by the end. They’re definitely fun, and worth checking out as a diversion.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Content Grade: B-
Audio Grade: C+
Video Grade: C-
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: D
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: October 22nd, 2013
Running Time: 65 minutes
Radeon 7850, 24 in. Vizio 1080p HDTV, Creative GigaWorks T20 Series II