We had singers, dancers, bands and stage girls so naturally the next step in “music girls with gay under/overtones” were…disc jockeys? Let us find out how this project went as we take a look at D4DJ: First Mix. “D4” is short for “Dig Delight Direct Drive”.
Genres: Comedy, Music, Slice of Life
Themes: Disc Jockey
Number of Episodes: 13
Plot Summary: Having moved back to Japan from abroad, Rinku Aimoto transfers to Yoba Academy where DJing is popular. She is deeply moved by a DJ concert she sees there, and decides to form a unit of her own with Maho Akashi, Muni Ohnaruto, and Rei Togetsu. While interacting with the other DJ units like Peaky P-key and Photon Maiden, Rinku and her friends aim for the high stage.
Put simply D4DJ is similar to most other “music girls” before it, meaning it is about cute girls coming together to form a group or band with aspirations of becoming musical legends. On the way they do cute, cool, fun, sexy and (depending on the yuri power) gay things in no particular order. While the goal differs depending on the anime this is the basic setup. Main difference of course is the DJ element. Initially viewers learn a bit about the basics of working behind the booth such as making remixes, controlling the beat and rhythm, the effectiveness of lighting on the dance floor etc. Later on this is lessened in favor of character development and new insert songs that cover different genres from techno, urban, classical rock and even rap.
Speaking of music let us go over the presentation before continuing with characters and narrative. The reason is because it is one of the highlights of the show, provided viewers are okay with Japanese CG, specifically the style introduced in BanG Dream Seasons 2 and 3. I truly believe the animation in First Mix is the evolution of the style, providing incredible moments such as the incredible spaghetti scene. Not to mention the excellent facial expressions. Yes, most of the time the characters move around 20-25 FPS, especially during performances, but it works for the show. Again readers okay with good JP CG are in for a treat. As mentioned in the last paragraph the songs cover a couple of different genres and are quite catchy. Definitely worth adding to one’s “music girls” franchise song collection.
Left to right: Muni, Maho, Rinku and Rei.
Let us move on to our four leads, which should not be long.
Rinku: Token genki protagonist. Not very bright but full of energy and the heart of the group who brings everyone together. Spent a lot of her childhood living in Africa, explaining her fish out of water beginning. Uses seashells as currency.
Maho: The levelheaded one with her own little quirks. She introduces Rinku to the world of DJs. Often has a hard time keeping up with her zany friends but usually does not lose her temper.
Muni: The tsundere. Her relationship with Rinku shares similarities with a certain other genki and tsundere musical duo. Good with video editing and has a stuffed kitty who may or may not be sentient.
Rei: The ojou-sama. Despite being spoiled by richness she is a prim and proper lady, eager to learn and relish everything the “common folk” do. The description may make her seem haughty but she is anything but. She is also my favorite character on the show whose cuteness is infectious.
Like many “music girl” shows the main draws are the characters, their interactions and music more so than the end goal as it is usually the same, to become a great group/band. D4DJ is no different, hence the journey being more important than the destination. Depending on how viewers feel about the anime archetypes each girl embodies they will either enjoy their antics or not. I found them a lot of fun to watch myself even though Rinku’s unbiased eagerness to go for broke no matter which group the gang went up against was a bit cumbersome. Eh. It is part of her character and her other positive attributes more than make up for it.
As of this writing the D4DJ series consists of six bands. First Mix goes over three of them while the other three make brief cameos or are mentioned here and there. The other bands get their own character development as well. Some members more than others. Both groups featured a leader and their (most likely) soulmate who got a lot of development, one member who was the live of the party and the “4th one” (Each group consists of four members) who was there. Both are pretty cool rival groups with one of the girls having an interesting worldview for viewers familiar with her condition.
I would say the yuri is slightly subdued for the most part but undeniably there with three pairings that stood out for me.
Overall D4DJ is another enjoyable “music girls” anime. The DJ element is new and welcome with some radical tunes and performances. The presentation is pretty good for JP CG and the all three featured bands are fun to watch interact and occasionally flirt. Recommended to fans of the Girls’ Club subgenre.
Here is hoping a second season featuring the other three groups is on the horizon but with a chibi shorts anime confirmed it is hopefully only a matter of time. I mean, BanG Dream got 3 seasons and a movie so why not D4DJ?