Follow TV Tropes


Franchise / D4DJ

Go To

"D4 FES", a DJ festival that is the stuff of legends. Inspired by this festival, Japan too experiences a new dawn in DJ culture. As DJs become the main method for people to experience music, performers called "DJ Units" have begun to appear. As a culture that can be enjoyed by anyone, young or old, DJing has become an indispensable music genre. And now, 6 new DJ Units set their sights on this floor. Happy Around!, Peaky P-key, Photon Maiden, Merm4id, RONDO, Lyrical Lily. The story of these girls aiming for the greatest moment begins!

D4DJ (full title: Dig Delight Direct Drive DJ) is a media mix project created by Bushiroad. Following in the steps of projects like Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight and BanG Dream!, D4DJ is a multimedia franchise that is ostensibly centered around young women forming DJ units, although for all intents and purposes it's a Love Live!-esque Idol Genre series with a DJ aesthetic.

The main thrust of the franchise is a mobile game, D4DJ Groovy Mix, and several anime series which chronicle events leading up to and around the D4Fes depicted in the game. Additionally, there are manga adaptations and original songs, which come with their own live shows and music videos.

The various anime series include:

  • First Mix: A thirteen-episode series revolving around the three first-gen DJ units (Happy Around!, Peaky P-Key, and Photon Maiden) who attend Yoba Academy.
  • Petit Mix: A Super-Deformed Web Video gag series.
  • Double Mix: A single double-length episode following the three first-gen DJ units (RONDO, Merm4id, and Lyrical Lily))who weren't in First Mix.
  • All Mix: A thirteen-episode series starring all six first-gen units as they say "Hey, Let's Put on a Show" to revitalize their town together.

The official website for the project can be found here.

Has no relation to fellow rhythm game EZ2DJ.


Happy Around!

Peaky P-key

Photon Maiden



Lyrical Lily



Call of Artemis


  • Guru Guru DJ TURN!! (Anime OP ver.)note 
  • LOVE!HUG!GROOVY!!note 
    • KO3 Remixnote 
    • LOVE!HUG!GROOVY!! + novanote 
  • Petit Mix Party Night!note 
    • Anime versionnote 
  • Let's do the 'Big-Bang!' (Rinku ver.)note 
  • Kimi no ♡ (Love) / Your Love ♡note 
  • Give Me Awesome!!!! (LilyPichu ver.)note 
  • FAKE OFFnote 
  • Tenshi to Akuma / Angels and Devilsnote 
  • Around and Aroundnote 
  • Taenaru Hoshi to / Melodious Starsnote 
  • White Macaronnote 
  • Peaky Around!!note 
  • Delightful Partynote 
  • SUPERSTARnote 
  • Choose me Choose lovenote 
  • Doki Dokissnote 
  • Sekai no Yoake to Hanjuku Wonderland / Soft-Boiled Wonderland and the Dawn of the Worldnote 
  • Vs or vSnote 
  • CYBERPUNKnote 
  • Eight Tonesnote 
  • Gotoubun no Kimochinote 
  • Nante Colorful na Sekai! / What a Colorful World!note 
  • Ultra Relaxnote 
  • Sparklenote 
  • Happy Happy Friendsnote 

Solo Covers

  • Strike the Blood (Rinku Aimoto)note 
  • Fantastic future (Maho Akashi)note 
  • Tabun (Muni Ohnaruto)note 
  • Renai Circulation (Rei Togetsu)note 
  • HELLO (Kyoko Yamate)note 
  • Shiki no Uta (Shinobu Inuyose)note 
  • Ao to Natsu (Yuka Jennifer Sasago)note 
  • Fuwafuwa Time (Esora Shimizu)note 
  • Platinum (Saki Izumo)note 
  • Dear My Friend (Ibuki Niijima)note 
  • Fansa (Towa Hanamaki)note 
  • Let the show begin (Noa Fukushima)note 
  • The☆Peace! (Rika Seto)note 
  • Lum no Love Song (Marika Mizushima)note 
  • Kimagure Mercy (Saori Hidaka)note 
  • Itteki no Eikyo (Dalia Matsuyama)note 
  • Ankoku no Tsubasa (Tsubaki Aoyagi)note 
  • Tsukimisou (Nagisa Tsukimiyama)note 
  • Makasete Tonight (Hiiro Yano)note 
  • Kataomoi (Aoi Miyake)note 
  • Plastic Love (Miyu Sakurada)note 
  • Romeo to Cinderella (Haruna Kasuga)note 
  • Koukai no Uta (Kurumi Shiratori)note 
  • Shin Takara Jimanote 

This franchise contains examples of:note 

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: First Mix uses CG models for any character that needs to dance or wears the same school uniform as the main cast, while the unique but non-dancing characters—such as the café owner, Maho's siblings, and Happy Around! as kids—are traditional 2D animation. The environments also swap between dimensions, depending on whether there's going to be dancing in it.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • At the end of the first episode of First Mix, Maho is astonished to discover Rinku is some kind of DJ wunderkind, able to subconsciously mix tracks like a pro. Since Rinku immediately shifts to lead vocalist/dancer and leaves all the actual DJing to Maho, this has no bearing whatsoever on the rest of the series.
    • Rinku originally had a Stage Name as "Link"note  during her duo stint with Maho. From the third episode, however, Rinku drops this and uses her actual namenote  for the group with no apparent reason.
    • In episode 6 of All Mix Maho experiences a series of weird events following falling down the stairs, such as only being able to speak and write in English. Aside from that, she keeps getting stuck in small time loops at the start of the episode, crossing the road and walking up the stairs at school twice. However this stops happening without explanation after a few minutes, and the rest of the episode mainly focuses on Maho only being able to communicate in English.
  • Advertised Extra: First Mix focuses on the three groups who attend Yoba Academy: Happy Around!, Peaky P-key, and Photon Maiden. The other three units have cameos, but aren't relevant to the plot at all.
  • All Just a Dream: Zigzagged in "Daydream". At first, Maho wakes up and concludes the bizarre events of the episode were just a dream. But then she, the rest of Happy Around, and the whole audience turn into dancing zombies during the live performance and don't seem too put-out by it. Finally, Saki appears and tells the audience that it may or may not have been a dream.
  • All There in the Manual: All Mix makes reference to storylines from the mobile game like the D4 Fes. and Photon Maiden's producer resigning, so anime-only watchers are basically missing the middle chunk of the story.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Yuka of Peaky P-key is ripped, to the point she constantly posts pictures of her abs on social media. Instead of updates, she calls them "ab-dates". She also does air chair squats at the lunch table.
  • Animal-Eared Headband: Muni wears a bunny ear headband.
  • Animation Bump: Rinku's cafeteria scene in episode 7. It's twenty glorious seconds of Looney Tunes nonsense as she wolfs down three plates of food and almost chokes to death.
  • Anime Accent Absence: All four members of the American unit Abyssmare speak in fluent Japanese without any American accents whatsoever. While this could be chalked up to Translation Convention during scenes where they are talking amongst themselves, they don't seem to have any issues communicating with Japanese folks despite having recently flown in from the U.S. as of their introduction arc in Groovy Mix, and their songs have primarily Japanese lyrics with Gratuitous English at best. Even more strangely, Photon Maiden has songs with more frequent and more fluently-written and -sung English lines, and all four of its members are Japanese (like with all of the other units).
  • Art Shift: In "Because it's Cold", HapiAra become traditional 2D animation for the beach fantasy scene, probably because the studio couldn't be bothered modeling swimsuits that wouldn't ever be seen again.
  • Battle Rapping: Episode 12 of First Mix revolves around a rap battle that Rinku and Muni use to work out their feelings about their childhood friendship falling apart.
  • Bifauxnen: Aoi's androgynous good looks bring many female fans to the club just to see her.
  • Big Good: Ku Mitsuhashi, son of DJ unit producer and the Big Bad of the side:nova arc Sho Mitsuhashi, is the one who brought back D4FES. after an eight-year break, in order to help produce new and talented DJ units without his father's influence and to show that his competitive and greedy ways (notably, every unit or talent he's produced has developed a "become the best in the world" mindset to a toxic extent) are only hurtful to the music industry. If not for him, the side:origin units and UniChØrd would not exist in the first place.
  • Big "WHAT?!": The first time Rinku and Maho meet, after Rinku barges into the DJ booth at Yoba Academy.
    Rinku: Ah, my lunch! I left it out!
    Maho: Hah?!
    Rinku: What if the monkeys already got to it?!
    Maho: HAH?!
    Rinku: Oh no, oh no! (Naruto-runs away) Wait for me, monkeys!
    Maho: HAAAAAAAAH?!
  • Bland-Name Product:
  • The Cameo: The singer ZAQ, who did some work on the soundtrack, appears as one of the rap-battlers in "Childhood Friend".
  • Cast Herd: Since the franchise follows multiple idol (or "DJ") units, naturally they tend to stick together in distinct herds. Since All Mix has to contend with a staggering twenty-four characters, some episodes such as "Camera, Live, Action!" and "Freedom Freedom?" are little more than Vignette Episodes where each unit gets a three-minute chunk of time.
  • Cats Are Mean: In episode 3 of All Mix, the side:origin units are forced to look for a new venue after a rude and chubby cat, dubbed "Nyochio mk. II", causes damage to the one they had been using up to this point. When it's caught and made to wear a sign explaining its crime, it just has this apathetic and remorseless look on its face.
  • Champions on the Inside: After struggling to make it onto the Sunset Stage, Happy Around! bomb out in the first round. Still, they're just happy that they got to compete alongside Peaky P-key at all.
  • Continuity Nod: In "On the Holy Night", Muni chides Rei for putting pressure on somebody by blithely stating the obvious rather than leaving it implied. Maho then sarcastically refers back to the time Muni did exactly that in "Make My Song".
  • Contrived Coincidence: In "Dear Friend", Maho walks home worried Rinku will abandon HapiAra! for Peaky P-Key. Meanwhile, Shinobu is blowing her noise at her window when, all of a sudden, the wind whisks her handkerchief away and it lands flat on Maho's face just as she's passing the house, leading to a conversation between the two about Maho's insecurities.
  • Cool Big Sis: Hiiro acts this way to the rest of RONDO.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the other six units, RONDO's music is more melancholy in tone, and their motifs and costumes make extensive uses of blue, violet, and black.
  • Did Not Do the Bloody Research: In episode 13 of First Mix, Rinku flashes the "peace" sign at the audience. She then turns it around and accidentally gives them the two-fingered salute, a very rude gesture in the United Kingdom.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: As Rei walks home in episode 4 of First Mix, she crosses paths with RONDO playing shiritori.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: Every episode of All Mix revolves around the Rotating Protagonist coming up with a song that fits what the month represents. In "Daydream", Maho is tasked with musically representing June, but she flounders for ideas, while the plot becomes more unhinged and bizarre around her, culminating in Happy Around becoming actual zombies during their live performance. Then, Saki reveals to the audience the theme of the month was "midsummer's dream", and questions if everything we saw was just a dream.
  • Exergaming: Muni has a copy of Ring Fit Adventure, but she doesn't seem to use it. Rinku comes over specifically to train with it, and rocketed all the way up to level 50 while Muni's profile was still on level 3.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: A girl is guaranteed to show up with huge black bags after pulling an all-nighter working on a mix. "On the Holy Night" gives them to all the girls in HapiAra and Peaky P-Key after they agree to collab.
  • Expressive Accessory: In episode 3, when Muni strikes a horrified face at Maho's flier, Nyochio copies her expression.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Dance For Dangerous Jack, a first-person shooter that Muni plays. Its initials are, of course, D4DJ.
  • Gamer Girl: Muni can often be found playing anything from Ring Fit Adventure to hardcore military shooters.
  • Girl in the Tower: Invoked by Kyoko in episode 7 of First Mix, who constantly saw Shinobu sitting at the window in her room like an imprisoned princess.
  • Gratuitous English: All Mix episode 2 gives us some amazing Engrish, in form of a poster declaring "DRAM FESTIVAL FOR PERSON TO LIKE DRAM."
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: The assistant at the café Happy Around! frequent just so happens to be the woman who co-performed "WOW WAR TONIGHT", which inspired them greatly as children. They don't notice, and the series doesn't draw any attention to her at all, instead passing her off as a minor character.
  • High-Pressure Emotion: When embarrassed, characters will glow bright red from the neck up accompanied by a shrill steam whistle:
    • Kyouko in "Spring Storm", when she inadvertently does something kawaii and gets called on it by Airi and RONDO.
    • Shinobu in "Because it's Cold", after she bundles up in a winter coat and earmuffs and Rinku spots her, and again when the others tease her for snuggling up to Kyoko in the middle of the night.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Compared to past Bushiroad idol franchises, there are many more moments where the characters are wearing revealing outfits (like bikinis) or having gratuitous bath scenes. The unit Merm4id in particular is fanservice incarnate, with its members' stage outfits all showing off a lot of skin and strong "party girl" vibes in their songs and mannerisms.
  • Hypocritical Humor: A staple of Maho and Muni's conversations.
    • In episode 4 of First Mix, when the soon-to-be Happy Around! are waiting for the results of the contest, Muni chides the others for being too nervous while her hand is shaking so bad she spills her tea cup everywhere. When Maho calls her out, Muni yells it's just tendonitis, because "art gods get tendonitis!"
    • From the final episode of First Mix:
      Maho: Peaky P-key just praised us!
      Muni: Can you decide if you're a rival or a fan already?
      Maho: You're the last person I want to hear that from!
    • From "On the Holy Night":
      Rei: Does that mean that whether we collaborate [with Peaky P-Key] or not depends on the quality of the [beat and melody we come up with]? So this is similar to an audition?
      Muni: That's probably what they mean, but being explicit puts pressure on her, so you shouldn't tell the truth out loud.
      Maho: That's our cowardly oversensitive egosurfer. She knows exactly what words put the pressure on.
      Muni: I just said you shouldn't tell the truth out loud!
  • Indirect Kiss: In "Camera, Live, Action", Rinku offers to swap a bite of her bun for a lick of Muni's ice cream. Although Muni agrees to the trade, she steams up hotter than the bun itself after Rinku starts nibbling the spot Muni's lips just touched.
  • Insistent Terminology: After Maho comes to school with a huge pair of Exhausted Eye Bags, Rinku says she looks like a raccoon. Maho chides her for not saying "panda" instead.
  • Japanese Ranguage:
    • Rinku's name comes from "to link", since she's the one who brings Happy Around! together.
    • In episode 12 of First Mix, Rei says that rapping is all about "rhymes", to which Rinku responds with "Like the fruit?" Since "lime" and "rhyme" are only homophones in Japanese, that pun doesn't make sense in English.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: This franchise takes place in a setting where DJ units are quite trendy, but DJ units that are not part of the featured nine don't get character portraits nor are their songs heard by the viewer/player.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The characters only have a handful of outfits, because it's a 3D anime and there's only so much time they can spend modeling outfits. Whenever the characters are portrayed as children or are required to briefly wear a unique outfit — like the flashback to Photon Maiden's recruitment in "Brand New World" — they will opt to make the girls traditional 2D animation rather than go to the trouble of creating new clothes that will never be seen again.
  • Magical Security Cam: In episode 9 of First Mix, after attending Photon Maiden's concert, Happy Around! watch a video of the performance back. It's identical to the actual concert, with snap zooms, whip pans, and soaring crane shots right over the crowd's heads. While that sort of stuff is feasible at an outdoor concert with drone cameras and dedicated camera crews, this takes place in a cramped high school practice room.
  • Meaningful Echo: In episode 3 of First Mix, Maho is forced to fill for time at their planned concert while Rinku chases down the vanished Muni. When they reappear, Maho plays it cool and says, "A DJ's gotta bridge gaps sometimes, you know?" Later, in episode 12, Maho hatches a plan to reunite Rinku and Muni after they have a falling-out. When it works, and they bridge the emotional gulf between them, Maho plays it cool and says, "A DJ's gotta bridge gaps sometimes, you know?"
  • Michael Jackson's Thriller Parody: Happy Around pull out some Jacko moves in "Daydream", when they turn into zombies during the performance.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Initially, this was in-effect since Creator/Bushiroad typically relies on subtext and teases rather than explicit romance, as is the case with Muni's crush on Rinku. However, it was averted when the 2nd Anniversary Update for Groovy Mix introduces an official lesbian couple to the franchise.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Played for Laughs with the area conversation for Marika's birthday. Marika receives some nail polish sets as gifts from Towa and Haruna, who suggest that they visit her room to find a nice way to display them. Of the main charcters, only her Merm4id unit-mates are aware of how messy her room is, so Marika hesitates on an answer while Saori reacts with second-hand embarrassment, noting that the lack of any malice from Towa and Haruna just makes the whole conversation worse for Marika.
  • Older Than They Look: Nagisa has a petite build and is the same height as Michiru (a middle school student), but according to “4-koma mix”, she’s actually 20-21.
  • One-Gender School: Due to the nature of the (pseudo-)idol genre, there's not a lot of boys to be found. Yoba Academy, the school Happy Around!, Peaky P-key, and Photon Maiden attend, has zero male students, and Lyrical Lily comes from an elite all-girls academy.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The VA for American Laura Bradley grew up in Australia and speaks fluent English, but she can't quite shake her Australian accent.
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping:
    • In "Dear Friend", the day after Peaky P-Key invited Rinku on stage, Maho overhears Esora and Yuka discussing who they're going "put in next" and say they "tried them out". Maho suspects they're going to nab Rinku for Peaky P-Key and walks off in a huff. Then they reveal Yuka is trying to choose which handsome prince to use in a gacha game.
    • Later, she walks in on Rinku and Kyoko discussing something in the cafeteria, and again she turns around before they reveal what they're actually discussing: seashell accessories, given as a gift for Rinku performing on stage with Peaky P-Key.
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • In episode 4 of First Mix, Maho finally asks Muni what the thing on her head is. Muni simply states, "Nyochio," as if that explains everything. What follows is seventeen seconds of Stunned Silence and Squeaky Eyes as Maho waits for clarification from Muni, who's said all she needs to say.
    • In episode 6 of First Mix, the girls head to Rei's house for a study session but quickly get wrapped up in making dinner. As Maho relaxes in the hot tub, she thinks to herself, "Why did we come here again?" It's followed by a static shot of Maho smiling pleasantly at the ceiling for sixteen whole seconds, before the shoe finally drops.
  • Overly Long Name: "DJ Mash & Rinku with VJ Only + Togetsu Rei". They quickly decide to dub themselves Happy Around! instead.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: The penultimate episode of First Mix involves Rinku and Muni falling out over how their childhood friendship withered away.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: All the DJ units have VJs, but since "video jockey" isn't particularly relevant to what is an Idol Genre show/mobile game in all but name, they mostly turn into "another singer". However, All Mix episode 2 gives them a chance to shine when the DJ units decide they need a commercial to advertise their upcoming show. Muni stands up and rallies the other VJs by calling on them to use their video skills and whip some buzz up. This elicits hearty cheers from Hiiro, Kurumi, Yuka, Saori, and ... Towa, who isn't actually the VJ for Photon Maiden.
  • Product Placement: The DJ controllers featured in the series are actual products made by Pioneer DJ.
  • Production Throwback: Noriyasu Agematsu is the in-house composer for Peaky P-Key, and his frequent collaborator Nana Mizuki voices Airi Amano. Quite a few songs they've worked on together have been repurposed as cover songs for the various units, such as "Backlit Wings", "Synchogazer", and "DISCOTHEQUE". And, of course, the game reuses a lot of songs from sister franchise BanG Dream!, for which Agematsu and his label Elements Garden serve as the composers.
  • Recycled Animation: In First Mix, the animation studio keeps reusing that one single snippet of gameplay from Dance for Dangerous Jack where the player character trundles down a hallway and shoots a Mook.
  • Rewatch Bonus: In episode three, Rinku, Maho, and Muni watch a video by Jenny from Peaky P-Key and "Esoran", a frog puppet, explaining what a VJ does. It's not until later that we learn the green-haired girl in Peaky P-Key is named Esora, meaning she was doing the puppeteering under the desk.
  • Rotating Protagonist: All Mix has to juggle six units and twenty-four characters putting on a year-long series of concerts. Two early episodes, "Camera, Live, Action!" and "Freedom Freedom?" were little more than Vignette Episodes, with each unit having a small chunk of time in rotation. Later, it shifted to the units having collabs with each other, giving them a chance to pair off with each other.
  • Self-Plagiarism: "Electric Chaos Countdown" is just Noriyasu Agematsu recycling "Gyakko no Flugel" from Symphogear.
  • Sudden Video-Game Moment: When Maho and Dalia have a Karate match in "Daydream", it's done in the style of Street Fighter.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: When eavesdropping on Happy Around!, the café owner always tries to read the room and play something appropriate from his vinyl record collection. Such as Frédéric Chopin's "Funeral March" after they lose a contest.
  • Those Two Guys: The café owner and his assistant, who eavesdrop on the girls whenever they use the cafe for a strategy meeting. The owner always searches through his vinyl records for some Suspiciously Apropos Music, only for his assistant to chide him about interfering.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Maho is significantly more tomboyish than the other members of Happy Around!: she has Boyish Short Hair (though after the game’s first anniversary it’s grown slightly longer), wears shorts instead of a frilly dress onstage, and has an interest in sports and is depicted playing basketball in one of her cards. Meanwhile, Rinku is a sweet, bubbly Genki Girl, Muni is a Kawaiiko with a Sweet Tooth and a penchant for wearing pink frilly dresses, and Rei is a polite, graceful Elegant Classical Musician.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Abyssmare's members are constantly fighting amongst themselves, and Weronika even admits she joined so she could surpass Neo one day.

Alternative Title(s): D 4 DJ