D4DJ First Mix

TV (13 eps)
2020 - 2021
Fall 2020
3.778 out of 5 from 576 votes
Rank #2,414

Transfer student Rinku Aimoto finds herself back in Japan at Yoba Academy and meets Maho, whose passion for DJing proves contagious. Suddenly inspired, Rinku forms a DJ unit with her new friends and aims for the high stage with pulse-raising music!

Source: HIDIVE

my anime:

User Stats

2,332 users are tracking this. to see stats.

Watch online now

First Mix

Episode 1

First Mix

Next Step

Episode 2

Next Step

Only Me

Episode 3

Only Me

Make My Song

Episode 4

Make My Song

One and Only

Episode 5

One and Only

Fall Camp

Episode 6

Fall Camp

Holy Gifts

Episode 7

Holy Gifts

Dear Friend

Episode 8

Dear Friend

Encounter With Light

Episode 9

Encounter With Light

Brand New World

Episode 10

Brand New World

Voice of Evolution

Episode 11

Voice of Evolution

Childhood Friends

Episode 12

Childhood Friends

See all videos

If you like this anime, you might like...

Reviews

HKBattosai
6.4

Story Our story begins with the transfer student, Rinku Aimoto, freshly arriving from living abroad on a jungle island in Africa due to her parents both working professionally in the biological sciences. She makes a memorable first impression when on her very first day of school she not only arrives late but arrives at the wrong class! Is she embarrassed by this, no! Why? Because almost immediately afterwards we learn that she is a hyperactive, always positive, blunt, and never embarrassed individual, who also happens to love music. Later that day at lunch, a song gets played that reminds her of her childhood and she gets super excited. She leaves her uneaten lunch behind and makes a mad dash for the PA room, where the song is streaming from. While nearly running into two of the four other students that she will unknowingly form close bonds with later, she finally reaches her destination. Low and behold, enter Maho Akashi, the person who will introduce Rinku into a whole new world known as DJing. In fact, she explains that Yoba Academy is known throughout as a school that specializes and openly promotes DJing. Thus, the “DJ Mash & Link with VJ Only plus Rei” adventure begins. While nothing completely original, D4DJ First Mix does bring a new and interesting idea to the Idols genre of anime, DJing. In fact, the anime takes it quite seriously with regards to the explanations and details of what true disc jockeying (“DJing”) is truly all about, from the BPM, to fading, to remixing, and more. Additionally, nothing feels rushed in the details, which includes the story. Both the pacing and development are done nicely with each episode feeling mostly unique but with some continuity among them all. The specific integration of the music in the story is done very well, and it adds to it rather than taking away from it. If these are an indication of how the mobile game is, then the game sounds like it could be quite fun and maybe a little immersive. However, the story is not without flaws. Aside from the DJing, the concept is nothing new. A group of girls with distinctively different personalities get together, one or more at a time, to form an idol-themed group where some members know nothing about the subject matter, where one is an expert, and where others know certain parts, even if specifically unrelated to idols. Heck, Love Live! School Idol Project is the very first anime that comes to mind, which is an excellent anime in its own merits if you happen to like idols anime, but that is a different review; back to D4DJ First Mix. Some generalized, but significant examples where the story suffers are: Each episode ends on a performance (or near the end), just like one before it. It becomes predictable and feels forced at times, as if there needs to be a performance, otherwise, the episode is incomplete All the non-main characters’ stories take a complete backseat to the main four in Rinku, Maho, Muni, and Rei, especially through the first six episodes. They are the main protagonists, but they are not the only characters that play an important part in the story of D4DJ First Mix. Although, this does improve in latter episodes In the second half, the pacing quickens with select elements feeling rushed, and the over-arching story lacks as focused a direction as before, however, it still mostly works due to the unique DJing concept and interesting characters Still, there is a lot to like and enjoy about this anime. The four girls of “DJ Mash & Link with VJ Only plus Rei” are a pleasure to watch as their collective story unfolds together. Characters The high-energy, high-spirited Rinku is an Eternal Optimist with so much heart it is almost unbearable. She is a good character who reminds me a lot of Honoka Kousaka from Love Live! School Idol Project. She is the inadvertent leader of the group “DJ Mash & Link with VJ Only plus Rei,” who would later be known as Happy Around. The group decides on this name because of Rinku’s spirited personality and her favorite expression of spinning on one leg with her hangs up in the air while saying, “Happy around.” It is a compliment to her essentially being the creator and driving force behind the DJing group. Her random, sporadic and unpredictable behavior is often fun and quite entertaining. She is the ultimate star of D4DJ First Mix. Her first accomplice is found in Maho, an aspiring DJ at Yoba Academy. She is played by Karin Kagami for both the Japanese and English versions, which is awesome and SUPER RARE! I mention this point because while her English is quite good and clearly understandable, I think it is odd hearing her natural Japanese accent on the English dubbed version, although Maho’s character also feels more authentic because of it. It is kind of my own quirky enigma with it. Still, Maho is my personal favorite in the anime because of her dedication to DJing and her aspirations of getting better at it. In the last few episodes, her confidence is bursting, and she takes the primary lead in the direction of the group due to the growth and development of her as a character. She certainly did not start out this way. Upon her first impressions of Rinku, Maho is startled, confused, and slightly put off by her. She is quite a traditional Japanese personality regarding etiquette, behavior, manners, and cultural nature. Somehow, she gets pulled into Rinku’s world of energy and free spirit thinking and eventually is inspired by it. It is Rinku who allows her, unknowingly, to blossom in many ways. Plus, she slowly learns how to control Rinku’s spirited tempo similarly on how she would the musical BPM of her DJing skills. The two of them are an excellent one-two combo that both syncs and contrasts each other flawless most of the time. The third eventual member, Muni Ohnaruto, is a little suspicious of Rinku’s intent when they first cross paths, similar to how Maho is, but she quickly comes around after attending one of their performances. Afterwards, she finds herself helping out and eventually becoming the group’s video jockey (“VJ”), which is someone who provides visual accompaniment to seamlessly go along with the music that the DJ plays. Muni is a talented and serious artist by [high school] profession, so she is a natural fit for the job. Besides, it does not take her and Rinku to realize that they are childhood friends from before Rinku and her family moved to Africa. This does cause dome initial friction between Maho and Muni at first, but it only lasts a short time. The final member of Happy Around is Rei Togetsu, an extremely talented pianist, who would eventually become the group’s primary song composer when they decide to start making original music and not just doing remixes. She is the shiest and most reserved among her, Maho, and Muni (I do not include Rinku because there is absolutely nothing shy about her). She does get a moment where she takes over the vocals for one of their original songs, which takes place in episode #10. It is the best song of the entire anime. Like I alluded to prior, the other characters do not get nearly as much attention until later in the story. By that time, it is too late to start fleshing out their individual personalities and the associated DJing groups that they are members of. However, of the lot of them a few get enough screen time and character development that my interested is piqued a little, and it makes them feel like less of filler characters and more of pertinent and relevant to the overarching plot. The ones in particular to pay attention to are Kyoko Yamate and Shinobu Inuyose from Peaky P-key, along with Saki Izumo from Photon Maiden. Outside of those three, it is too little, too late for them. That is possibly the biggest problem with the anime; the large disconnect between the main four and the rest of the [barely supporting] cast. Art & Animation I cannot get into heavy doses of CG animation, which is what D4DJ First Mix is 99% comprised of. The art style is decent and colorful, but nothing more, while the animation itself is choppy and unrefined. This is evident from the very first episode. The only exceptions to this are when the girls are performing each episode. The animation done by SANZIGEN is more fluent and smoother looking than compared to the rest of the time. Still, the hand drawn scenes in Muni’s flashbacks are examples of a better art style and animation that this anime has to offer. It is visually more appealing than any of the CG work is. I will admit that the CG becomes more tolerable as the anime progresses, however, I still do not like it. 😑 Lastly, I will add that I found myself laughing-out-loud at certain moments throughout due to the CG. Let me explain. There are some non-performance scenes where music is playing in the background but there is no character movement on screen. None! Nada! Nothing! There will be multiple times where you will wonder if they are even still alive and breathing. That is how long the pause is sometimes. Then a sudden random movement happens, and it is a shock to the system. It is bizarre and funny, at least for me it was. Sound I am an avid progressive rock and metal fan, who, ironically, enjoys electronica music too, and this anime delivers in that department! The rave-style electronica music plays nearly throughout each of the thirteen episodes, and not in small portions of just incomplete songs, but many of the individual songs you will hear more than the 90 second average of an OP or ED equivalent. Speaking of them, The OP is a bag of mixed audio results as it fails in its attempts to cohesively transition from a song segment to another song segment. The ED is bland. It starts off promising but fades away into almost forgettable after the first 15 seconds. Its lousy visuals do not help it any. The good thing is that you do not watch anime just for the OP or ED. Commenting on just the sound aspects, you watch this because of the overall excellent music and musical performances in each episode. I will say this though; if electronica music this is not your preference or taste then this could be a huge disappointment and turn off to finding this anime entertaining and pleasing to the audio senses. Final Comments I typically steer clear from anime Based on a Mobile Game as they do not typically fair well. Plus, D4DJ First Mix is CG, which is not my preference either since most computer-generated anime of any kind tends to be awful, so it has both of those going against it. However, I am somewhat fooled after watching this since it proves that those two detriments might not be the case this time around. Although it technically concludes, the anime maintains a strong possibility of a sequel. Fortunately, one exists in the form of D4DJ All Mix. How it fairs completely depends on whether SANZIGEN can maintain consistency and improve upon the issues that I mentioned in both the story and characters. If not, at least we can enjoy First Mix for what it is worth, an above average feel-good anime that showcases both successes and failures equally, and how to persevere through the tough times and enjoy the good ones. The story and characters are decent, and the music is ear scintillatingly enjoyable throughout. Entertainment Score:  16 points Achievement Score:  +4 to Overall My expectations were Moderate, and it delivered Slightly Above those expectations. Age Rating:  TV-10 Additional Information: Video Format:  Streaming FHD (1080p) Audio Format:  English Dubbed Publisher:  HIDIVE Equipment Used:  Acer AN515-53-55G9 Nitro 5 Laptop

Nekus
6.5

Traditional yet unique D4DJ manages to both follow the tropes and traditions of the CGDCT (Cute Girls Doing Cute Things) genre incredibly close and at the same time feel refreshing and unique in a way that makes it stand out compared to many shows that might at first sight look identical. Story & Characters - Sticking to the formula“A young girl transfers into a new school, where she discovers a new passion and forms a group of friends to pursue it” Incredibly original right? The storyline is where this show follows the formula the most, with most of its strengths and weaknesses fully intact. If you watched any other CGDCT you will easily be able to tell how the entire plot will go and if you will enjoy it or not. The tone is mostly light and positive with the occasional heartfelt emotional highlights because of light interpersonal drama that end up contributing to the nice pacing of the show. For the characters, the main cast is introduced more slowly (compared to the usal CGDCT where you mean almost all the characters in ep. 1) and by the end of the show they actually end up being developed and interesting. Especially nice to see is how all four members have something of value to contribute to the group, and it simply wouldn’t be the same without even one member. Sadly the supporting girls get the usual “idol treatment” aka “generic stock archetype”. Out of the 15 or so supporting characters that are part of the other Idol/DJ groups only 3 or 4 get enough screen time to make me even consider them as real characters. And between those few none are interesting or do much outside of merely existing. Sound- Style and IdentityIt’s with the sound and music that this show starts to carve out its own identity from the mold it's based on. While the music genre of the show is indubitably J-pop, they still experiment quite a bit within those boundaries introducing elements like rap, music mashups, some dubstep and plenty of electronic elements and effects. While we mainly focus on Happy Around!, the other two groups have their own distinct style and we get to see them perform as well.Speaking of the performances and how they help this show stand out… Visuals - Full commitment to its visual aestheticPlenty of the most famous idol shows (like Love Live, Aikatsu and AKB0048) have settled for having traditional 2D animations and switching to CG animations during the performances of the songs. For a long time I found this choice to be extremely jarring, the switch never felt natural and often the art style didn’t translate well enough so some characters end up looking weirdly different. Not to mention that very often the CG animations itself fails to reach satisfactory standards (although that is recently changing, the latest season of Love Live for example had great CG performances) D4DJ fully commits to the CG animations, and while I won’t claim that it looks as good as Beastars, I still find it one of the most visually pleasant full CG anime I have seen and that is due to how they utilized it. All the characters are extremely expressive, with the models having expressions that were clearly created just for one particular scene. They take full advantage of what the technology allows them to do and have the characters constantly do stuff and move around while someone is talking (as opposed to the perfectly still blank soulless stares that low-tier anime made us used to).  And going back to the song performances, not only they feel more natural since the characters we know are performing them (instead of a weird 3D CG model alter-ego) but also because the show opted to put a focus on the visuals of the presentation by having one member of each group be a video-jockey. So all the lighting and visual effects that we see on the stage are the deliberate choice of one of the characters. A cool consequence of this is that the performances of the other groups not only sound different but also look drastically so. If you hate Idol/CGDCT shows I highly doubt this show will change your mind, but if you can appreciate them in any capacity I would recommend giving this show a chance. It’s free on YT after all, both subbed and dubbed.

Dubfan
7

(Spoiler Free Review) A diamond in the rough per se. Definitely an under watched anime, but enjoyable nonetheless. I ended up watching the whole story in one night. I recommend giving this show a watch. The anime is set-up as the friendship of high school girls and their shared interest in acoustics. I didn't know the effort that goes into becoming a DJ and mixing music. Its plot is continuous from start-to-finish and has a clear goal in mind (that is a important to note, because many recent animes do not have a clear goal in mind). Another benefit is that this story progresses at a steady pace, it's not too fast or too slow. Albeit, sometimes the dialog is too fast. All of the characters are what really makes this show. I must give high marks for excellent character development and growth. You can really feel attached to these characters and see how they change right before your eyes. Rinku Aimoto is so cheerful, kind, and optimistic; a truly wonderful character. I do want to make a note about the voice actors. Most of the voice actors for the main group are up-and-coming and do not have many previous roles. As all things come with experience and practice, it will be nice to see how their careers will progress from here. Something else to point out is that the voice actress Karin Kagami plays the role Maho Akashi in both the Japanese and English casting. It was clear to see that English is not her primary spoken language, but I still think it is incredible to be cast in both languages for the same character. As the story revolves around music, therefore the audio quality is top-notch. Standard CGI animation which is sometimes good or bad. However, CGI animation opens up a lot of potential for the future. (Next time you watch a non-CGI animation, look at the character hands. Hands are incredibly hard to draw, therefore many shows compensate by closely joining multiple fingers together.) In fact, the dance choregraphy was inspired by real concerts. If you got the time, then give it a chance and you'll see the potential.

See all reviews

Related anime

Characters

See all characters

Staff

See all staff

Discussions

Custom lists

See all custom lists