A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, as anime goes, this show is relatively tame for school-aged kids (it doesn't have any of the dark psychological drama or sexuality that mark adult-targeted series), as long as you're OK with the frequent dueling and other forms of violence. Expect to see explosive, mystical fights as the Defenders throw their dice-like stones in the air. Characters get hurt, are threatened and kidnapped, and get fearful and angry; dialogue touches on death, destruction, and annihilation. There are also very mild flirtations between the four main male and female teen characters -- two boys and two girls -- who all bring their own unique skills and challenges to their team and work well together.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
DI-GATA DEFENDERS revolves around four likeable teens -- Seth (voiced by Noah Cappe), Melosa (Martha MacIssac), Erik (Dan Petronijevic), and Kara (Stephanie Beard) -- who have to carry on their parents' mission to save the RaDos realm from the evil Nazmul (Lawrence Bayne) and his minions. The show's appeal lies in these characters and their abilities to throw Di-Gata stones -- which look like explosive dice filled with mystical energy. The unfolding storyline has a relatively easy-to-follow plot (for anime), so missing an episode or two isn't that big a deal.
Is it any good?
The four Defenders work together, laugh together, sometimes make mistakes, and are always intensely loyal to each other. They function well as a team, but each also has his or her own individual challenges to face -- some of which affect battle outcomes. They're still learning about trusting outsiders and what they're fully capable of doing themselves. Their vulnerability makes them even more relatable for younger anime fans.
With an abundance of anime on the small screen today, there's a wide range of violence and darkness levels out there. Di-Gata Defenders fits the bill for school-aged kids who are interested in the genre but aren't nearly ready for darkness of Paranoia Agent or the sexual undertones of Samurai Champloo. (That said, there are still fight scenes in every episode, and characters are kidnapped, poisoned, and threatened.)
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the personalities of the four teens and why they work well as a team. What does each bring to the group? Also, supporting character Adam may prompt a good discussion with kids about teens who don't fit in. Adam doesn't fully mesh with either the Defenders or with the thieves. Does that make him relatable? Why? Why do you think he has trouble fitting in? Families can also discuss the popularity of anime. What's appealing about this style of show and animation? What sets it apart from other cartoons?
Themes & Topics
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