Di Gi Charat Theater: Leave it to Piyoko Vol. #01 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: All
  • Released By: Broccoli Books
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 190
  • ISBN: 1-932480-17-X
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Di Gi Charat Theater: Leave it to Piyoko Vol. #01

By Eduardo M. Chavez     January 08, 2005
Release Date: December 06, 2004

Di Gi Charat Theater: Leave it to Piyoko Vol.#01
© Broccoli Books

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Hina. (Concept by: Koge-Donbo)
Translated by:Chinatsu Gallegos
Adapted by:

What They Say
Pyocola Analogue III, also known s Piyoko, is the leader of the evil organization known as the Black Gema Gema Gang. She came to Earth with one mission - to kidnap the princess of Planet Di Gi Charat, Dejiko, and hold her ransom!

Move over, Dejiko! Piyoko takes the spotlight in this two-volume series. Take a look into the daily lives of the Black Gema Gema Gang as they lay plans to kidnap Dejiko while trying to survive on what little money they have left. And now that Piyoko's loyal subjects - Rik, Ky, and Coo - are here, she needs to worry about more mouths to feed!

The Review
Broccoli Books is the current standard for packaging, and with Leave it to Piyoko they once again show why they are the best. Broccoli uses the original cover art featuring Piyoko and her Gema Gema drones. The image is on a brown background and filled with pills and medical devices. BroBooks does a nice job with the logo - which includes paw prints for Dejiko and pandas for Piyoko. The opposite cover has the ranking members of the Black Gema Gema Gang hanging out beneath the short volume description. Consistently cute is something to applaud.

Inside Broccoli has a full color foldout that holds five cutout paper dolls - one for each of the BGGG. That is followed by a brief synopsis of the DGC universe, a paragraph on the creation of DGC and two pages dedicated to character bios. At the end of the manga, a short preview of volume two, a gallery of DGC Collector Card Game cards, translator notes, and ads BGGG merchandise. 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.

Hina.'s art is great. Hardcore Di Gi Charat fans will remember Hina.'s work from the DGC anthologies from Viz and Broccoli. Her line work is subtle - mainly using thin wispy long lines to make her cast look a longer but just as cute as Koge-Donbo's. Actually, Hina.'s technique is a quite the contrast to Koge-Donbo (who uses thicker lines with much less detailing), but she renders these character designs beautifully. What I find most impressive is how well she is also able to SD her cast. As I read more DGC titles I have found that some do this better than others do (some do it better than Koge-Donbo) and Hina. appears to move between SD and not effortlessly.

Backgrounds are meaningless in the DGC world, so Hina. does not draw in backgrounds much. This is expected, as this is a comedy title; however, that is replaced in favor of an interesting layout. At times, the characters almost seem to interact with the panels and dialogue boxes. Panel sizes and positions come in a variety of sizes and perspectives. Very fun and active art overall.

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. Moreover, 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)
Being an alien has never been an easy job. There are spaceship rental fees to keep up. Maintaining resources to keep the ship and its crew in good shape can be difficult. Getting work visas can be almost impossible for beings of another planet. Then there are problems adjusting to new cultures that must be overcome as well.

In Leave it to Piyoko readers are given access to the day-to-day struggles of a newly immigrated alien as she tries to fit in to her new environment. For Pyocola Analogue III, moving to Earth has been an unrelenting test on her will and her ability to rule a small army of minions. Moving to Earth was one piece of a grand scheme that would eventually enrich the life of a whole planet; however, her underestimating the local economic climate has caused chaos amongst the rank and file. Moreover, desperation has driven some to begging and illegal activities to sustain themselves.

Evil comes in many shapes and sizes. Actually, in the world of Di Gi Charat evil is always around the corner. It has come from outer space and made its home in Gamers Akihabara, which now happens to be a vortex where evil converges and manifests itself into cosplayers! In this latest title in the Di Gi Charat Theater series evil is in the form of a tiny little princess with panda ears named Pyocola Analogue III, Piyoko for short. Piyoko is here to create mischief in order to pay off her planet's huge debts. She is willing to do anything - steal, cheat, kidnap, torture - for money. Obviously being a pre-teen inter-galactic criminal must be a rough life and Leave it to Piyoko illustrates the daily trails of Piyoko and her evil Black Gema Gema Gang. Evil has never been so cute!

Leave it to Piyoko is set up like Dejiko's Adventure in that there is one mangaka drawing the entire series. Nevertheless, it the way it is set up it is very much like the DGC anthologies where there is some time line that the manga follows but each chapter is completely separate from the other. Considering how this property became popular I would say this is episodic format is perfect for quickly delivering punch lines and it also guarantees a happy ending for each chapter. In the end, Piyoko ends up being much like the other DGC stories but obviously told from an evil point of view. Most of the stories tend to focus on Piyoko's naivety and her trying very hard to be a good leader. Each chapter is very cute and would likely be lots of fun for younger readers looking for some slapstick. All in all, Broccoli has done another fine job combining great presentation, a wonderful translation and a fun property to create another must have in their library of must haves.

Great stuff.


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