Welcome to Day 5 of Shorts Week, and the very last review. Please, hold the tears until after our review of Di Gi Charat, the original series from 1999. As always, beware of minor spoilers before we get started.
Now without further ado, let us begin the review!
Summary: Princess Di Gi Charat came from the planet Di Gi Charat given only a cat cap and an outfit to disguise herself. Unfortunately she came with no money, only her guardian Gema and friend Petite Charat. Luckily the three stumbled upon a manager of the store Gamers, who offered them a home if they worked at the store. However Di Gi Charat is a selfish young girl who wishes of becoming a star. -MyAnimeList
Di Gi Charat is a series we mentioned in passing while reviewing a spin-off of it called Winter Garden, of which we were not overly impressed. One issue was a relatively shallow plot line of Winter Garden. Well compared to this short, Winter Garden looks like a multiple book best selling series. Simply put, Di Gi Charat is excessively random and lack much plot. There is some plot and premise woven in that allows for the introduction of characters and to explain some things, but it is limited at best.
The best thing Di Gi Charat has going for it, and this is not saying much, are the characters. Besides them being hyper and at least defined (as far as the main trio of girls goes), their relationships with other characters is the thing that gives the anime heart. In some ways, the main character Dejiko is one of the most human anime characters. She has plenty of ambitions, but is not overly driven and can be quite petty. While definitely not a stock character, she is reflective of how many perceive celebrities today. Do note that these characters are probably the reason the anime got numerous sequels and spin-offs, among other forms of media.
As the show is older, the animation is dated a bit. It does look much older than it actually is, but if one is looking for the ’90s animation style nostalgia, Di Gi Charat is a good choice, at least for the main characters. Since there is so much randomness in general, the surreal human designs and bland backgrounds are forgivable.
The soundtrack is nothing really special, and honestly kind of forgettable. The opening is the only highlight, being especially catchy.
The randomness of the series has a habit of drowning out any significant themes, as does the general nature of shorts. The anime was actually conceived as an advertisement to begin with, so themes also were probably not on the writers’ minds. However, there are a few themes that can be picked out, notably the dedication one should show to your work and dreams. Other themes present might things such a friendship and fairness in trades (for example, Dejiko working in exchange for a place to live).
Final Score: 6.2/10
Final Grade: D
Di Gi Charat was simply put just bad. I had no clue what was going on throughout the anime. It was just a jumbled mess of random plot points and odd characters. This anime has so much of just randomness and any lack of a plot or anything to the point where it is hard to find something to say about it. The animation was a bit off mostly due to the age of the anime so that does not matter too much, but even for that time it is kind of bad. I think the animation may be off by choice, but I really can’t tell. Nothing about the plot is explained mostly because there is no plot to really explain and the characters have one thing they focus on. The characters aren’t really fleshed out and most of them seem pointless. Out of 10 I would give this anime a 3.5. If you want pure randomness than give this show a shot, if not I don’t recommend you watch this anime. – B-Ro
Di Gi Charat is a special kind of bizarre. It feels like I’m looking at nostalgia from someone else’s childhood, only through the lens of a fever dream. Its bizarreness doesn’t feel like it has a purpose beyond possible budgetary restrictions and the decision to just make it look surreal. It’s a short that’s really in its own little world, and to me it feels interesting and somewhat refreshing. As I mentioned in my Winter Garden review, I had actually already watched this show for research purposes, and wow did Dejiko do a 180 between this and Winter Garden. The rewatch of Di Gi Charat just emphasizes this. Though, maybe she just mellowed out with age. I mean, I remember being quite loud and energetic when I was a young cat eared alien hell bent on becoming an idol. But then I discovered tea and ambient music. Oh well… I definitely have my problems with the show. It seems to rely too much on immature humor, and by that I mean mainly fart jokes. Dejiko’s voice can also get annoying after a while (I would propose a drinking game for each “nyo” and “gemma”, but I’m seriously concerned for the health for anyone who would actually try this). However, I simply cannot hate this show, and had way too good a time watching it. It’s lighthearted, slightly surreal fun that I just ate right up. The opening theme is also pretty catchy, complete with a hilariously dated Y2K reference. Di Gi is indeed quite dated, but again, it gives the show this strange nostalgic appeal despite me not watching it as a kid. To be honest, there’s a really good chance that you won’t like this show (like my reviewer brethren above). But I found a strange and bizarre charm that somehow resonated with me. Give it a shot if you want something quirky.
Final Comments: Di Gi Charat was designed as anime that was meant to fun and random, and accomplishes this, but at the cost of a lot of elements that would make it much higher quality.
Thank you for reading the final review of Shorts Week. What did you think of Shorts Week? Be sure to comment below! Our next review in a few weeks will be Heaven’s Memo Pad. We will be closing out Shorts Week with an Our Favorites post as well.