Sep 8, 2022
Since there are no reviews here yet, let’s talk about ‘Di Gi Charat’.
This comic anthology all started with the great Koge-Donbo, who is well known for her mangas ‘Pita-Ten’ and ‘Kamisama Karin’. It is apparent that ‘Di Gi Charat’ was solely created for slapstick humor for the magazine “Gamers” back in the 90s. However, this small comic idea became a hit and skyrocketed Koge-Donbo’s career.
At the time, “Gamers” magazine was featuring artists that drew doujinshi who were not so well known, but their contribution to this manga boosted their careers drastically. Various manga artists helped create this ‘Di Gi Charat’ anthology while Koge-Donbo
began her series ‘Pita-Ten’ in 1999. I absolutely loved seeing different artwork per chapter and how these artists portrayed the main characters. All of their styles are unique and were all able to set the humorous tone just right. Even though Koge-Donbo is the original creator of ‘Di Gi Charat’, and drew out the beginning chapters, it was really smart of her to not complete the series herself. The diversity of the artwork really served her well, and the series still became popular at the end of the day. There are many manga and anime spin offs ongoing till this day.
So who are the main characters?
•Dejiko, who is a princess from space, has come to earth to become famous. Her insensitivity and selfishness is really what makes her stand out; and honestly these character traits make her the funniest character (imo).
•Usada, aka “Rabi en Rose”, is a teenage girl from earth who also is seeking stardom, rivaling with Dejiko. Even though she’s always butting heads with Dejiko, she really cares about her as a friend. I enjoy how these two contrast each other despite their constant bickering back and fourth.
•Puchiko, another character from space, joins Dejiko on her adventures in servitude after being saved by Dejiko from an alleged near death experience. Her bluntness is straight forward and never sugar coats anything.
So, the story begins with Dejiko and Puchiko starting work at a store called “Gamers”, which is literally named after the magazine this series was published in. Throughout the manga there is a lot of slapstick humor in the store with various scenarios. There are at least three arcs where the story focuses on the main characters, villain characters, and fantasy characters. Mind you, there is really no “story” here; (besides the three girl’s experiences working for “Gamers”), the slapstick humor is the main focus in its entirety.
My only confusion with ‘Di Gi Charat’ is the arc that introduces fantasy characters. I don’t believe they are actually in the anime, but in the manga they appear around a time when Dejiko “loses her memories of earth and her time there”. Nothing was ever specified why Dejiko lost her memories and how this arc even began. There was no transition. Unless this was in the anime at all…these fantasy characters were pretty random and irrelevant. There is barely a connection displayed.
Another nitpick I have are the grown adult male characters who fetishize the main characters. These girls are between the ages 5 to 14. I’m aware that these fanatic dudes take a jab at otaku culture and how commonplace it was for these kind of people to obsess over girls in rising stardom (especially in the 90s), but it leaves a poor taste in your mouth at times reading this. I think this is what Koge-Donbo was going for when creating these male characters, so if you could take this with a grain of salt, that’s really the only way to get past those behaviors here. She clearly wanted to make fun of it otherwise.
Lastly, there is really no plot that keeps this “story” going. The last chapter ends abruptly. Basically, you should treat this series like you’re reading comics from the newspaper. As much as I love the characters, ‘Di Gi Charat’ is average at best. I would still recommend ‘Di Gi Charat’ if you enjoy outrageous characters and slapstick humor. I rate this series 5/10!
What did you think of this review?