Anime: Di Gi Charat

Official picture by Koge-Donbo*
Moe parody franchise about an alien Catgirl named Dejiko who is an aspiring Idol Singer, and her cute hijinks. The ultimate example of the Otaku-oriented series.

The franchise began with Dejiko being an Advertising Mascot for the "Gamers" store chain. The character proved popular, and the company decided to capitalize on her popularity by giving her a backstory and an actual personality.

In a huge subversion, however, Dejiko's personality turned out to be the complete opposite of the cutesy-innocent moe girl she appears to be. She does her best to appear sweet, but when provoked (and it doesn't take much) she can be vain, petty, argumentative, selfish, and downright violent. She often takes out her frustrations by physically abusing her guardian, a floating sphere named Gema, or firing eyebeams at those who annoy her. She does have a good heart deep down, though, and the show's borderline-surreal sense of humor plays her anti-social tendencies for laughs, so somehow Dejiko manages to be endearing despite it all.

The main characters, common to almost all the incarnations of the franchise, are:

  • Dejiko, aka Di Gi Charat, aka Chocola: The titular protagonist, princess of planet Di Gi Charat and aspiring idol. However, she is less than princess-like. Can shoot Eye Beams. She will use them any time, on any being who annoys her. She has a Verbal Tic and ends everything she says with "-nyo".
  • Puchiko, aka Petit Charat, aka Capucchino: Supposed sidekick of Dejiko and inhabitant of her planet. Her EyeBeams ability is weaker than Dejiko's, but she compensates with extra cuteness and a sharp tongue. Often Hypercompetent Sidekick to Dejiko. Another Verbal Tic here; she ends her sentences with "-nyu". She is a subversion of the quiet and shy moe girl, in that she is so quiet that she is often completely withdrawn from everything around her, and when she does speak, she tends to be quite rude.
  • Gema: A big floating yellow ball with a simple, tiny, upside-down face. Long-suffering Non-Human Sidekick and failed mentor, usually the victim of Dejiko's eye beam. He ends all his sentences with "-gema".
  • "Rabi~en~Rose": Real name, Hikaru Usada. Sometimes The Rival to Dejiko, sometimes a Worthy Opponent. A young human teenager, also an aspiring idol, with a bunny-like cosplay and a sob-story backstory that changes depending on the franchise's incarnation. One of the few characters who doesn't have a Verbal Tic. She is a parody of the typical "rival" character in anime, in that she's more sympathetic than Dejiko and often shows superior skill, yet she still loses most of the time because she's not the main character.

The universe of Di Gi Charat has been presented in the following incarnations:

  • The original TV series, which was basically a Gag Series and star vehicle, mind blowing on its own merit. It featured Dejiko as a penniless retail worker at a Gamers store, where all manner of ridiculous things occur.
  • The seasonal Specials and The Movie, that presented the real enemy of Dejiko (Piyoko) and expanded the universe.
  • Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat, that was basically a Prequel set at least 2 years before the first series. Mostly ditched the subversive otaku humor for cutesiness.
  • Di Gi Charat Nyo!, which just retold the first season without the commercial references, added the information given in Panyo Panyo..., and expanded the history of secondary characters further.
  • The Di Gi Charat - Winter Garden OVAs, which are Spinoffs in an alternate future and continuity, with the characters being ten years older and living a typical romance scenario.
  • Leave it to Piyoko an OVA series which was released on Nico Nico Douga with Piyoko as the protagonist and Dejiko as The Rival.
  • There is also a visual novel game called Di Gi Charat Fantasy.

There are also many volumes of manga. Some of them are collections of the original "Gamers Magazine" 4-panel strips, some are anthologies of short stories by various artists and writers, and some are longer adventures.

Di Gi Charat is generally silly fun, with characters who subvert the traditional kawaiiko (all of the main characters can be selfish, petty, or outright cruel at times), and lots of otaku in-jokes.

These series provide examples of:

- Waiting till the dinner is served and leaving without eating it: such is the way of evil, pyo.