Di Gi Charat Nyo! Vol. #06 - Mania.com

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Mania Grade: C-

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 24.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Di Gi Charat Nyo!

Di Gi Charat Nyo! Vol. #06

By Chris Beveridge     April 23, 2008
Release Date: March 04, 2008

Di Gi Charat Nyo! Vol. #06
© Bandai Entertainment

What They Say
It's not easy keeping up with all the crazy hijinks. Puchiko's feline friend, Hokke Mirin has given birth to kittens. Dejiko has decided that the house is getting too crowded and sells off all of Yasushi's junk. Her Majesty, Dejiko's mom, has come to visit Dejiko but where is she? Did she get lost in the Lucky Cat Shopping District? Oh no! We've been abducted by aliens planning on invading the Earth! Puchiko goes to search for the true meaning of autumn. Oh my god! There's a giant fish attacking the neighborhood and it just spit up another one of Dejiko's childhood friends, Mi-Ke Charat. Mi-Ke wants to inherit her father's fishing business but she must prove herself by catching the giant fish.

The Review!
The weirdness ensues with a few brief moments of amusement before descending once more into banality.

Bandai Entertainment has provided two language options with this release by having both the original Japanese stereo mix and an English stereo mix done by The Ocean Group. Both mixes are encoded at 192 kbps and serve the material well as it's mostly just wacky dialogue. There isn't a lot of music to it outside of the opening and closing and within the episodes themselves there isn't much need for placement or depth. As simple as the mix is, it does handle things well and suits the material. In listening to both language tracks we didn't have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Originally airing in 2003, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. Similar in design to past incarnations of the series, Mad House has animated something incredibly vibrant here. These bright bold colors come across beautifully here as they pop off the screen. So many areas are made up of solid colors that it's surprising to see practically no noise or break-up associated with it. Even aliasing is very minimal during the pan and zoom sequences. The opening and closing sequences are left in their original form with a full credit scroll following all of the episodes. This is a gorgeous looking full frame transfer that simply pops beautifully.

The illustrations continue with this volume once again though it's just of a single character as opposed to a group shot or a pairing. The soft colors and tight line work just shines here. Dejiko is done up nicely here as she's wearing a simple white summer sleeveless dress while holding a cute white umbrella to keep the sun off of her. The colors used with it blends well with the background and there is some great detail to it. Even the logo is nicely unobtrusive and fits in with the scheme overall with the color choices. The back cover carries over the background design and keeps it soft so that the information over it is easily readable. The summary covers the basics and several shots from the show highlight its cute factor. The episode listings are a bit disingenuous since it is admittedly eight episodes but a casual buyer may not realize they're half episodes. The discs features and production information rounds out the bottom as well as a minimal technical grid. No insert is included with this release nor is the cover reversible.

Bright and garish, the menu for this release certainly stands out and commands attention. With Puchiko in the center as multicolored rays of light shine forth from them, a bit of upbeat instrumental music plays along. The selections are sort of scattered about and you use a flower cursor to move over them which works well though at times it's not entirely intuitive which direction it should go in. Access times are decent and it's easy enough to set up selections in the navigation. The disc did correctly read our players' language presets and played in Japanese with full subtitles.


Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Try as I might with this show to like it, Di Gi Charat Nyo! manages to hit me with eight more episodes of its particular brand of humor. There are moments throughout where it's genuinely amusing - not out loud laughter - but they continue to be few and far between. I don't expect every show to be entertaining, especially shows aimed at younger viewers like this one is, but when even kids start to walk away bored from it I have to wonder if they're being too perceptive.

The sixth volume of the series really is just more of the same but with some minor twists called plot elements. Puchiko is a character for example that is a lot of fun at times since she's the straight man of the show, but even that starts to get old after awhile. Particularly difficult with her is when she's pretty much on her own, which happens during "Puchiko's Search for Happiness, Nyu" episode. She heads off into the town and the surrounding countryside in search of said happiness and discovers the joy and wonder of the autumn season. Some of it is certainly endearing, and it's a very slow episode considering the nature of the series in general, but after a few minutes of more of the same you really wonder what the point of it is. And that's just it; the point of it is to create atmosphere for that particular episode. That then has you questioning the rest of the series which is basically in it for the laughs. And the laughs just aren't there.

Di Gi Charat Nyo! does dip a bit into a full length story for one pair of episodes, though it's not quite so neatly paced as that. The last two episodes brings Mi-ke back into the picture as she's now on Earth undergoing her training to take over her father's fish restaurant someday. That means she has to pick up some good skills for that day and so she's spending her time fishing outside of the city. The downside is that she's trying to catch some massive fish which in turn are actually eating her and spitting her out in the city. Mi-ke is yet another classic ditz in the Charat sense so there really aren't any surprises here, especially when you add in her intentional forgetfulness. The one saving grace to these episodes is watching the District's defense force fly into action with some cunning plans that hurt the District more than anything else.

Dejiko does continue to be the main character that's focused on however and that's still a problem in this particular setup. What charm she did have in previous incarnations just isn't there this time around though she does get a bit girly on occasion. The arrival of her mother in the District is one such moment, though she's all panicked because her mother is lost and wandering around. The Queen doesn't have a ton of screen time here but she's one of the more amusing characters to me for some reason as she wanders around, eating food and spreading the love of food around to everyone she meets. It's like a Family Circus comic strip got animated into Di Gi Charat Nyo!

One mildly amusing episode has Dejiko and several others being kidnapped pretty much into a spaceship that then launches off to planet Geborigel in order to carry out some undisclosed mission. Other aliens - Chrome-Domes - are in hot pursuit of them and Dejiko is spending all her time trying to convince the Bathhouse owner that got caught up in it that they're really in space and that he needs to pay attention. There's a surprisingly cute if obvious twist to all of it as it plays out but it was fun to see something very different going on here for a bit outside of the usual shopping district gags and the general whining that some of the characters participate in. Similar can be said for the episode in which Dejiko acquires herself a new defender in the form of a suit of armor that's alive, though nobody by Gema realizes this which leads to some competition between the two. The surreal nature of it doesn't go into a weird direction which helps it to retain some of its humor as does the puns and verbal wordplay that enter it.

In Summary:
Once upon a time, I used to really like Di Gi Charat and the characters within it. This series has really diminished my enjoyment of all of them and will definitely make me leery of any new series that may someday come down the road. What's worse about all of it is that I know there are still a bunch more volumes of this to come and I cannot imagine how they can actually make it... well, enjoyable. There are some briefly amusing moments here and there but Di Gi Charat Nyo! is one of those shows that's just a chore to watch.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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