Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat Vol. #3 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 85
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat

Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     September 09, 2004
Release Date: August 31, 2004

Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat Vol. #3
© ADV Films

What They Say
It's a ghostbustin' good time for Princess Dejiko as she takes on poltergeists, goblins and her arch nemesis Piyoko! Later the Di Gi Charat crew becomes bodyguards for a pop diva and a visiting prince. Then it's time to enjoy your favorite fairy tales Di Gi Charat style. Get ready for a hilarious good time as the super cute crusaders fight crime once again!

The Review!
The cute and wacky material continues as the girls and Gema get into more adventures across the twelve episodes here.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to the first half in its English 5.1 language mix and the second half in its original Japanese 2.0 language mix. Both tracks come across pretty strongly with both dialogue and sound effects, though there is a touch more crispness to the English track since it's getting a 5.1 mix and the directionality across the forward soundstage is more precise. Dialogue is clean and clear in both and we had no issues with dropouts or distortions.

Originally airing in 2002, this volume has twelve of the forty-eight episodes made split into three "episode" chunks. Each episode runs roughly just over six minutes in length, and each of the sets roughly encompasses a particular small arc, so it works out pretty well in how things are laid out. Each of the episode sets has the opening and ending sequences around them. With the transfer itself, this show uses a lot of really bright vibrant colors and large swathes of solids throughout in various shades of pastels and more. The background problems of the first two volumes seemed to mostly disappear during a lot of this volume but it may be attributable to the new player we're using. The shading looks great, cross coloration is virtually non-existent and I'm hard pressed to find much in the way of aliasing, even during a number of the panning sequences. This is still a good looking and enjoyable print pretty much all the way through.

Continuing with the brighter covers, this one goes lime green and only gets more colorful when all the characters are placed on it in various little strike-a-pose moves. It's a busy cover but it's a busy show and it first perfectly. The back cover goes more pastel oriented with shades of pinks and purples for the fairy tale castle backdrop and the Deji Devil looking all cute. The series premise is given a couple of small paragraphs and we also get a nice cast list with headshots above the production and technical information. Unfortunately it looks like this series missed the boat on the technical grid since it's all spread about along the bottom here. There's no insert included with this release in the traditional sense but we do get a cute sticker sheet with MeeK and Deji Devil pieces.

The main menu further reinforces the cute fact as it's an animated musical piece that has the four lead characters doing a little two-step in a row with some of the instrumental music playing. Even Gema's floating above and sharking his arms in rhythm with the episode numbers dancing. Combined with the color changing backgrounds this is a very cute menu that is maddeningly addictive when played over the course of an hour and doing other things. Access times are nice and fast and easy access to individual episodes is available. The disc also scores well here for reading our player presets and using them.

A mix of old and new is here. The usual pieces include the clean opening and ending sequences and a new round of production sketches. For English fans, Cynthia Martinez provides a commentary for an episode. Also included are a couple of character description pieces that go for a couple of screens per character, giving their vitals and talking a bit about them.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In a number of ways, this series scares me. Mostly it scares me since this is supposedly the mildest and least offensive of the various versions that are out there. The show continues to be insanely cute and very amusing as it goes about with each block of episodes dealing with a particular genre or gag.

The gags for this volume are just as much fun as the previous ones. The opening one has the gang and Gema dealing with a variety of different kinds of ghosts in their short stories. There's an amusing one right from the start with a ghost that eats anything and everything so they force it to eat all the trash in the town so that it stops eating the girls doughnuts. Watching the thing grow and participate in a musical number is just hilarious as it eats and eats and eats. Another has some of the nastier types of ghosts that just try to cause trouble and this leads to a couple of the girls to dress up in faux Ghostbusters outfits and play out that kind of experience. There are a bunch of good little gags like that throughout the episodes and it's cute watching them deal with so many different types of ghosts.

Another running gag that I enjoyed is when the girls dress up in their detective outfits and change between doing jobs under that hat or acting as bodyguards. They do a lot of bodyguard duty in this volume and there's some really amusing material with it. One of the bits has the group guarding a pop idol named Eiri, who Gema just happens to be a huge fan of. Their job to protect her is fairly normal, but what really made this episode shine is in the English version where they have Eiri singing and the voice actress actually gets to sing. Jessica Boone did a great job with it and basically nailed the song just right in my book. The episode with the visiting prince from another planet was also very cute, even though you could guess the main bit about it right away. There's plenty of quick situational comedy with it as the girls serve as bodyguards for him but there are also a couple of really sweet little moments where Dejiko and the prince really get a chance to relate in a way neither expected.

In Summary:
With some good gags just from those episodes and a slew of very amusing ones in the form of warped fairy tales and the like rounding it out, this volume really just had a lot of good material throughout that kept the pace moving very fast and the gags hitting right on mark. Though the various characters that make up the group really don't get much to do own their own other than a few small bits here and there, it's a group show of just a lot of weird stuff happening and things happening. Visually it continues to be just as much of a treat as well, especially when Piykoko is on the screen! Good stuff and a nice change of pace from a lot of other series.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Voice actor commentary,Production sketches,Clean opening and closing animation,
Character Introductions

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 1080i, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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