Otaku USA Magazine
Di Gi Charat Ultimate [Anime Review]

Di Gi Charat

One of the zaniest and most entertaining series of the 1990s

When it comes to 90s anime, Di Gi Charat stands with the best as one of the zaniest and most entertaining series of the decade. It follows an adorable catgirl named Dejiko who serves as the mascot of Japanese media company Broccoli’s chain store Gamers. After using the character in a TV ad for Gamers in Akihabara, the well-received Dejiko received a series of her own—16 episodes long, at that—and a whole new cast to hang out with as well. If you were looking for a way to gather each episode of the first series of this iconic anime together, this is a great way to do it.

The fun, lighthearted series was more like a collection of three-minute shorts, which are now collected on the Di Gi Charat Ultimate Collection Blu-ray, which gathers all episodes, the Summer Special, Christmas Special, Flower Viewing Special, Summer Vacation Special, Winter Garden Special, and Rainy Season Special in one place—no need to jump between releases to have them all in one place. This handy collection gathers Dejiko, her bizarre protector Gema, and little sister Puchiko as they hang out at Gamers while working together.

But Dejiko is actually an alien princess—that’s her back story, anyway, and upon her arrival on Earth, she wants to become friends with a famous idol. She has no money or home to go to and has to find part-time work … at Gamers, thanks to a kind Manager who ends up offering her a job. Working at Gamers is a lot different than what Dejiko expected, but she does her best to make it there as a reliable retail worker … even if some of her clientele are “hot dog men.”

Di Gi Charat

Gamers invites a wide range of otaku customers that often frustrate Dejiko, but there’s one customer she befriends despite their rivalry: Rabi~en~Rose, also known as Hikaru Usada. Through short, rapid-fire exchanges we learn more about planet Di Gi Charat, Dejiko, and Puchiko and laugh along with their wacky hijinks—and there are plenty of them.

The print looks great on this particular set, with crisp fidelity that trumps the previous “all-in-one” set that still omitted the series’ numerous specials. It also sounds fantastic, with a dub rife with familiar actors and, as usual, a remarkable Japanese cast that brings each of the strange yet adorable characters to life—except Gema. In both English and Japanese, the character’s voice is utterly grating, though so is Gema in general, to be fair.

There’s nothing terribly complicated about this set—it’s a fun throwback of a show that’s affordable, high-quality, and easy to get your hands on. It showcases the work of iconic artist Koge-Donbo beautifully. Dejiko, Puchiko, Rabi~en~Rose, and the rest of the crew are funny and endearing in both English and Japanese. If you need a fun little weekend pick-me-up or just want to surround yourself with awesome 90s charm, the Di Gi Charat Ultimate Collection is well worth under $20, even if it’s just to have “Only One, Number One” playing on repeat with a clean opening in your Blu-ray player. Ah, they really were simpler times back then.

studio/company: Sentai Filmworks
available: Now
rating: 13+

This story appears in the February 2020 issue of Otaku USA Magazine. Click here to get a print copy.