Digital Juice is a collection of terrible shorts that are largely not worth your time even despite their short length. Only two of the six are even worth mentioning, so I'll cover them right now.
The first is In the Evening of a Moonlit Night. It's the only good one, thus my 2/10 rating - only 1/6 of the shorts are worth watching, thus 1.67/10 rounded up to being a 2/10. It's a neat music video about a girl with a deformed chin and fingers for toes - in other words, pretty neat. Go watch it here and don't bother downloading the rest of the garbage shorts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5l2M5K5yk9s
The second is Chicken's Insurance. Chicken's Insurance, much like the other four bad ones, is a piece of shit. But it's worth mentioning because of the song playing in the background. It's some mediocre hip-hop song with poor vocal delivery. But I noticed one line in it - "come on, girl, let me rock your world". Right away this stood out at me as a line from the song "Iwatodai Dormitory" from Persona 3. But surely it's a coincidence, right? That sort of sounds sort of like a generic rap lyric, it's probably nothing. But then, one second later, I hear "triple brown, triple brown, triple brown meow". This is a lyric right from the song "Joy" from Persona 3. Here's proof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrL5hTIbQ7o#t=40
This clearly isn't a coincidence. At first, I thought Digital Juice had just lifted lyrics from Persona 3, but then I checked and the game came out in 2006, while this collection of shorts was released in 2002. What's going on here? I decided to investigate. After scraping about on the SMT wiki for a bit, I found out that one of the rappers that provided vocals for the Persona 3 OST was named "Lotus Juice". "Lotus Juice"? "Digital Juice"? There's something going on. It doesn't take a detective to see a connection here. But further research turned up nothing. There was no discernible link between Lotus Juice and Digital Juice, or even Studio 4C or any of its employees. Google came up dry. It seems that my search has come to an end.
What is the link here? Was Lotus Juice on staff providing vocals for Digital Juice, possibly even being such an influence to Studio 4C staff that the collection of shorts was partially named after him? Could it be that it's just a coincidence, and Shoji Meguro, Persona 3's OST composer, just happened to watch Digital Juice and lifted the lyrics from this random background music for some reason? Or maybe it's something I haven't even thought of yet. What really happened? The world may never know. If you ever find any information about this bizarre occurrence, please leave a comment on my profile so I can get some closure to this mystery.
But ultimately, what I'm getting at is this: if the fact that Persona 3 lyrics are in a short section of this short collection is by far the most interesting thing about it, it's probably because it's shit. Because it is. Don't bother watching this.read more
This 1 episode OVA is a compilation of various short stories. Each one of them has it's own world: it's own art style, it's own plot and it's own characters; they aren't related with one another at all. Due to the length of the stories, character development is basically null. The voice acting and the soundtrack suits it pretty well, too.
Essentially, Digital Juice is a collection of very short pieces of animation, each of which tell a story of some description. Unfortunately, most of these stories are mediocre at best. Let's Review:
Part One: KEIKAKU
This segment is basically some sort of trailer for some sort of samurai film. It has an incredibly unfitting soundtrack, is poorly animated, and is basically incredibly odd. Probably the worst segment.
Part Two: Chicken's Insurance
This segment is considerably better than the previous one. It basically consists of an old chicken attempting to sell insurance to two delinquent chickens. It doesn't end well. The animation was alright, but certainly not the best the studio has to offer. Overall, it's a fairly decent segment.
Part Three: TOJIN KIT
This is the shortest segment in the OVA, and honestly one of the best. It has no legible story, but is well animated, and very intriguing.
Part Four: In the evening of a Moonlit Night
Alright, this is, for me, the best segment, hands down. It has little story, but is basically about sexual awakening. The animation is exquisite, the song that soundtracks the segment is great, and the whole thing is enjoyable. Again, easily the best part.
Part Five: Table and Fisherman
To be honest, I did not really get this sequence. I will say that whatever plot it had was interesting, but that's about all I can really say that's positive about it.
Part Six: The Saloon in the Air
Again, I didn't really understand this segment.The animation is not very good at all, and the segment's plot is about a group of ...things in a bar. That's in the sky. Yeah. That's it. Pretty disappointing end, really.
So, all in all, Digital Juice is Decent. Decent. That's really all. I would suggest watching the better parts of it, like In the evening of a Moonlit Night, or Chicken's Insurance. I suppose the whole thing is worth watching, but it's really not the best thing Studio 4°C has to offer.read more
Overall, this was interesting to put the big Studio 4C productions next to modest projects like this one. Although it has very uneven content from each animators and clearly isn't their most interesting and intricate release, it was nice to see Osamu Kobayashi's Table and Fisherman - I suggest to watch End of the World by him on the Sweat Punch release, if you liked his absurd storyline and his character design - and my favorite definitely was Kazuyoshi Yaginuma's In the Evening of a Moonlit Night. Great discovery on that one.
I can understand that for some people liking more linear narratives and classic animation/chara design, this will be appaling and feel like a waste of time. However, if you're interested by experimental animation and something else than the more polished Studio 4C productions, I'd suggest to give it a try. It's less than 30 minutes long, and two of them, in my opinion, are quite enjoyable.
Worth watching because it is so short, but probably not a must-see.read more