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Winter Garden: The best OVA you’ve never seen

Brian Chan   June 29, 2007

Around Christmas time last year, a 2-parter OVA from Broccoli sneaked under the radar and its simple brilliance probably was missed by many. I am talking about “Winter Garden”, a Di Gi Charat “gaiden” of sorts (non-canonical). *For those who are not familiar with Di Gi Charat, please see footnote*

Winter Garden

Unlike your normal Di Gi Charat, Winter Garden is not a nonsensical, plot-less random drivel (which we can all enjoy ^^); it is a well-told love story of Dejiko and, to a lesser extent, her relationship with her younger sister Puchiko. Note that these two now grew up to be (approx.) 18 and 16 respectively. I won’t spoil the story for you, you can do that on your own, but this little charming OVA contains some of the best laughs (particularly if you are a previous Di Gi Charat fan) and a bittersweet love story to boot. The best change of scenery from the original is that much of this is really believable and just seems like something that comes out of everyday life. If you have hours on end to watch hundreds of episodes of One Piece, Bleach, or Naruto (I hope you don’t watch that, ahem), you owe it to yourself to take an hour to watch Winter Garden.

What’s a Manabi review without seiyuu discussion? As expected, Asami Sanada and Miyuki Sawashiro reprise their roles of Dejiko and Puchiko (since 1998! Wow time flies, Di Gi Charat sure has been here for a while). But unlike their usual craziness in the original (required, because the characters are crazy lol), both are much more refined and sophisticated. Asami-san’s Dejiko sounds softer and more matured, and Miyuki-chan is at her sarcastic best as Puchiko. Top-notch seiyuu work, I’d say these two have come a long way since their debuts (I do believe both made their debuts in Di Gi Charat).

Puchiko mocks Dejiko in a yonkoma

Another great thing about Winter Garden is the music. Granted, it’s an OVA and there’s only a few tracks, but they are well-produced and very fitting for the mood of the series. Dejiko (ED) and Puchiko (insert song) each get a song, and the OP is done by Hiromi Sato. Dejiko’s ED, “Winter Garden”, is a really sweet song and generally sounds nothing like her (if you’re familiar with Asami-san’s roles, like the original Dejiko and Vita from Nanoha), which is a nice change-of-pace. Puchiko tries her hand in French for the entirety of the insert song, a valiant effort, but as a former French learner can tell you, she completely butchers the language. Oh well, the song is nice anyway. Hiromi Sato, well-known in the Broccoli circle for her many songs in Galaxy Angel, rounds out by singing the lovely OP, another warm and fuzzy rendition.

Winter Garden CD

All in all, if you’re looking for a light-hearted romantic comedy without much of the time-wasting crap of a 13-episode (or longer) season, then look no further, Winter Garden is a must-see.

*Di Gi Charat, created by Koge Donbo as a mascot for the anime/manga chain “Gamers” in 1998, became vastly popular and manga, anime, drama CD, video games, etc. sprouted into existence because of its popularity. Over the years, Di Gi Charat has remained a staple in the Gamers stores and periodically releases various products*

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Category: OVA Reviews

7 Responses to “Winter Garden: The best OVA you’ve never seen”

  1. Lenners

    Is it possible to watch this without needing to like Di Gi Charat? I can’t stand the art for Di Gi Charat (or Pita Ten).

  2. bd_

    Ah, yes, I remember that. I translated it, in fact ;)

    Don’t worry, you don’t need to know /anything/ about digi charat to understand this. Heck, they don’t even reveal the characters’ naemd to be Dejiko and Puchiko until ep 2.

  3. t0a5t http://tokihamai.amexd.com

    I concur with what Lenners says. Is there a way to do that?

  4. hashihime http://hashihime.blogspot.com

    Yes, Winter Garden is good: understated, simple, with true emotions. And it has a few scenes from one more voice actress you didn’t mention: Sasaki Nozomi, who was Nana-chan in the outstanding Bokura ga Ita last summer-fall. She has a unique voice that may be the most moe voice I’ve heard. Winter Garden was the first thing she did, recorded before Bokura ga Ita started, apparently.

    @ Lenners: you definitely don’t need to know anything about Di Gi Charat. I don’t, and I loved Winter Garden.

    The way it ended is open for more episodes, too.

  5. Lenners

    Having heard your “voices”, I’ll go watch it XD Thanks!

  6. Hinano http://www.minaidehazukashii.com/hinano/

    Lol what do you mean missed it, I was like the first one to blog about it =P I was all pumped to see this deredere Dejiko who wasn’t violent or shot laser eye beams XD

  7. Brian Chan http://

    So ya, to all those who asked, you don’t need any prior knowledge of the original series to appreciate Winter Garden. I would say Puchiko somewhat retains her personality (that is, after she grew up), but they can’t use “me kara beam” so it’s a “normal” universe we’re talking about.

    hashihime: I did not mention Aiko’s seiyuu, Sasaki Nozomi, since I did not know much about this newcomer. As far as moe-ness goes, she still has a long way to go to catch up to many great ones in the seiyuu kingdom.

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