Di Gi Charat (call her Dejiko for short) and Petite Charat (Puchiko) come down to Earth, accompanied by their yellow ball-like companion, Gema. They dream of becoming the world’s cutest idols ever. However, Rabi~en~Rose, a random girl with bunny ears and dice in her hair, see them as a direct challenge to her dream of becoming the world’s number 1 idol. They all end up working at Gamers, a hobby store which attracts all sorts of otaku, gamers and general losers.
With the ever present friction between Rabi~en~Rose and Dejiko, combined with the assortment of strange customers that Gamers receives, each day holds a new laughable adventure for our cute heroines!
Di Gi Charat is a silly little show detailing the funny exploits of its lovable characters Dejiko, Puchiko, Gema and Rabi~en~Rose. This series has a large following and is reasonable popular amongst the older Otaku.
The series consists of a number of standalone 4 minute episodes, meant to be high on humour, short on story. Unfortunately, the humour isn’t all that good and the series tries to force humour by using its cute characters to act out of the expected nature of that character. The length of the episodes also pretty much means that an episode hangs solely on a single joke, and if that falls flat then the whole episode fails. Although this formula works in other shows, most noticeably Azumanga Daioh, it doesn’t seem to quite work as well here. The jokes are aimed at the slightly older audience and although not quite crude, it does try to tread on the border of political-incorrectness.
The animation is not of a particular high quality, with a lot of skimping done on background and background character designs. You could put this down to aesthetics and show design, but it is pretty obvious that it is due to budget constraints. The show tries to turn the designs into a humorous advantage, but this doesn’t always work so well.
The main characters are all cute and have their own distinct personalities. Though with such a short timeframe in which to live, character development is simply non-existent. On the plus side, the voices for the characters are well chosen and fit the cuteness of each character perfectly.
Overall, this show does provide a few cheap laughs, but they are few and far between. Perhaps I am a little jaded, but I find it difficult to understand how Di Gi Charat manages to achieve such a large following. Nevertheless, if you don’t have too much time available to you and you want a laugh or a quick anime fix, then give Di Gi Charat a quick spin.
(Historical Note: This review was written back in July 2004. Pleasingly my writing has improved a lot since then!)
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Di_Gi_Charat