Di Gi Charat Theater - Dejiko's Adventure Vol. #01 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Released By: Broccoli Books
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 202
  • ISBN: 1-932480-14-5
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Di Gi Charat Theater - Dejiko's Adventure Vol. #01

By Eduardo M. Chavez     December 06, 2004
Release Date: October 13, 2004

Di Gi Charat Theater - Dejiko's Adventure Vol.#01
© Broccoli Books

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kiriga Yuki
Translated by:Ken Wakita
Adapted by:

What They Say
Dejiko's caused plenty of trouble with her Laser Eye Beam, but this time she's gone too far!

In an attempt to teach Rabi~en~Rose a lesson, Dejiko shoots her Laser Eye Beam, but crushes the popular Gamers store too! With the Manager fainting of shock and the store in ruins, Dejiko, Puchiko, and Rabi~en~Rose must go find the "secret treasure of prosperity" to rebuild Gamers!

The Review
Once again, with Dejiko's Adventure Broccoli Books shows why they set the North American standard in packaging. Broccoli uses the original cover art featuring Dejiko, Puchiko, Rabi~en~Rose and Gema getting ready to set on an adventure. The image is on a starry background and uses some of the same design patterns as previous DGC Theater titles - including paw prints in the logo and the same font for the subtitle and on the spine. Thy also use paw prints behind the volume number, as well. The opposite cover has the gang in cold weather wear working on a snow-cat beneath a short volume description. Consistently cute is something to applaud. Inside Broccoli has a full color landscape image of the Di Gi Charat in full Christmas mode, sleigh and rain-Gema included. That is followed by a brief synopsis of the DGC universe, a paragraph on the creation of DGC and a page of character bios. At the end of the manga, there is a thank you page from Koge-Donbo (creator of DGC), a three page long ato-gaki from Kiriga-sensei, a short preview of volume two, Dejiko paper dress up doll with six costumes, a listing of the DGC Collector Card Game cards, translator notes, and a short message from the mangaka. All of this was done with crisp clean printing on nice paper. The result is a GN full of extras that looks great from start to finish.

Kiriga-sensei's versions of Koge-Donbo’s designs are a unique blend of new and old. While her SD designs are almost perfect recreations of the original concepts, her regular designs are very different. Kiriga's characters tend to be longer and leaner. Characters like Dejiko and Usada look pretty tall for young teens and their slender physiques are a contrast to Koge-Donbo's cute rounder designs. Kiriga's lines are also much thinner which gives the illusion of length. But what really impresses me is how she is able to convey the personalities of this cast through expressions, visual gags and manpu.

Kiriga does not draw in her backgrounds much. This is expected, as this is a comedy title, however she replaces that void with a lot of manpu and an interesting layout. At times, the characters almost seem to interact with the panels and dialogue boxes, but with a title as hyper as this nothing less is expected. Panel sizes and positions come in a variety of sizes and perspectives. I have to say Kiriga’s art might be different from Kogo-Donbo’s, but it really does the humor justice.

SFX are all translated in subs that reflect the art used for the original SFX but in a smaller size. They were all very easy to read but ever so often, some of them were translated into actions instead of onomatopoeias. The translation here is very good. Nyo's, pyo's, nyu's and gema's abound and honorifics are left in as well. The translation is really simple but it does the job. And if there is any confusion in regards to DGC background history there are three pages of translation notes to help clear things up.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Di Gi Charat (better known as Dejiko) has moved to Earth to study and become an intergalactic idol. What she found once arrived was not glamorous and exciting; instead, it was full of hard work and bills to pay. That will not bring down Dejiko's hopes (for long), as she is the type of personality that can make child-labor fun! A laser-eye beam here, a few drooling fanboys and some broccoli hotpot and happiness is around the corner. Who cares if someone else gets hurt in the process, right?!

Well someone sure got hurt this time. Mr. Manager lost the Gamers home branch in Akihabara to the tremendous power of a Rabi-en-Punch and a laser eye beam. Moreover, Dejiko and Usada are now in trouble as they no longer have a source of steady income, and future idols need cash to keep their stars rising. So, in a rare bit of humility the Gamers staff agrees to go on an adventure, a business adventure, in search for a mystical source of infinite prosperity. What they will experience out there will likely be more exciting and fun than anything that might happen in the store. Moreover, while living on the road is full of struggle, hardships, and personal battles to be fought, there will always be moments full of not action and fun, which will make the most difficult times worthwhile. Whenever the time comes for them to find the treasure, they will find it, meanwhile its time for sleuthing, idol contests, exorcisms and a mandatory onsen chapter. Remember even when there appears to be no time for fun, one can make things fun with some creativity and some laser eye beams!

After a few anthology series Dejiko's adventure moves back towards the traditional one plot-line format, which is presented in an unconventional way. The concept of continuity does not fell right when I start to think about Di Gi Charat, but this is the first DGC title in English since Ironcat's Champion Cup Theater to have some sort of plot. As unique as that maybe, the way this manga is presented is a unique hybrid of all DGC manga that has preceded this. At times, it is drawn with a formal layout, with backgrounds and perspective techniques done in panels of all sorts of shapes and sizes. Then it moves to four-panel manga without missing a beat and maintaining the continuity. As strange as that sounds, it does not distract much. Actually, in some ways the transitions aided the changes in genre parody that each chapter covered. Some switches were smoother than others were and some of the genres were more appropriate for the DGC world but in general, each chapter was filled with fun and good violent humor.

People familiar with Di Gi Charat should expect more of the twisted humor that has made this title so popular. Cute young aliens and their friends go about their business trying to make it big in a harsh world, but the way they go about their troubles often parodies fandom with caricature and sarcasm. At times, it could be a little cruel and almost abusive, but Kiriga-sensei tends to keep her version of DGC on the cute and romantic side so while there is plenty of caustic wit, there rarely are major side effects. With Dejiko's Adventure Broccoli Books has once again shown how good manga can get out here, I only wish they could bring out more manga to enjoy.


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