English: Azumanga Daioh: The Animation
Synonyms: Azumanga Daiou
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 9, 2002 to Oct 1, 2002
Producers: J.C. Staff, Genco, ADV FilmsL, Lantis, Imagica, Azumanga Daioh Production Committee, TV Tokyo Music, Cosmic Ray
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 8.181 (scored by 56782 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagscomedy school school life slice of life
Sep 12, 2010
Story : This is a slice of life anime, and what that means is, there generally isn't any story. But I'll tell you what there is. Skits. Alot of skits. Hilariously over the top skits. Such as their teachers terrible driving, the way the other students see the beautiful, athletic and mysterious Sakaki, without knowing of her love of cute animals, Tomo's innuendo and curiosity about the "love life" and Kimura sensei's love for minors. But there are realistic events as well. The new years, studying for exams, trying not to fail school, athletics, snowball fights. This show can be completely realistic or mind bogglingly over the top.
Art : Originally, I wasn't too fond of Azumanga Daioh's artwork. But as I watched the show it grew on me, and then I began to recognize how brilliant it is! The artwork in this show is clean while remaining detailed. But most of all, it's hilarious! Seeing the expressions of the characters as they react to the situations they are in is incredibly funny! The way the artists portray the situations in their clever style is always fun to watch.
Sound : The music in Azumanga Daioh fits every situation very nicely. The music is very unique. It is a nice combination of surprising instruments that I certainly didn't intend to hear. But they all work, and they make the situations funnier. There is also an odd use of a car horn that lasts throughout the show... The "ding ding" noise whenever someone realizes something, or Ayumu's slow, sleepy voice [They honestly couldn't have chose a better voice actor], are all used properly and to humorous effect.
Characters : The characters is where this show really shines! From the grudging Yukari, to the cute and innocent Chiyo, to the energetic instigator Tomo. The characters in this show are varied, and all very likable. Even creepy Kimura is likable! Honestly though, as anyone who has watched it will tell you, the real star here is Ayumu. Anything she says is funny, no matter what the context, where she is, or what she's doing. She often makes a mistake doing such trivial things, has incredibly weird daydreams (she once dreamed that Chiyo's ponytails controlled her and gave her the ability to fly) and has probably one of the best voice actors I have ever heard matching a character. Honestly, there couldn't have been a better voice actor. Every single character in this show is likable, no, LOVABLE, to the point that you will be thinking about them years after this show has ended.
Enjoyment : You will watch this show over and over and over again and still laugh!! The jokes are all well thought out and hilarious. Even when the characters are just standing around, not talking and staring at each other you will laugh. Why? Because the way they are set up is just so brilliant! The gang of Azumanga Daioh will forever be in your heart after this show, and that is exactly why you should watch this show. I can't recommend this enough to fans of the slice of life genre and comedy genres.
*At the time of this writing, it has been months since I have watched this show, I plan on re-watching it soon, though. read more
May 12, 2013
It's hard to believe that 11 years have passed since this breathtaking series came along and became the staple for anime comedy for the past decade. You can tell that shows like Nichijou, Lucky Star, Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou, Acchi Kocchi, and many other anime comedies were built around the realistic high school sketch comedy that this series has inspired. Going into this series, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it since I didn't particularly care for the animation style, but I soon learned that this series goes far beyond it's cheap animation.
Azumanga Daioh's plot is rather simple. It revolves around the everyday lives of six high school classmates and their misadventures together as well as with their high school teachers. However, what really makes this anime go is the characters and scriptwriting. This anime is a staple of how to create great characters. Of the six classmates, you have Chiyo, the adorable, cheerful child prodigy that skipped five levels right to high school, Sakaki, the tall, athletic, and quiet student that secretly loves cute things, Ayumu (Osaka), the airheaded transfer student from Osaka whose mind always seems to wander, Tomo, the eccentric personality of the group that seems to cause trouble, Yomi, the smart, childhood friend of Tomo who's the brooding sense of reason, and Kagura, the athletic rival of Sakaki who seems to always misunderstand Sakaki's thoughts and intentions. Overall, it was a hilarious group to watch interact with each other because of how radically different each character was. Even the supporting cast was downright hilarious with Kaori, the outsider with an enormous crush on Sakaki, as well as the three teachers Yukari, the selfish, self-centered teacher, Kurosawa, the thoughtful, caring teacher, and Kimura, the creepy, possibly pedophiliac that creeped out many of the female students (especially Kaori and Yomi). The adventures that all these characters shared together was a delight to watch and constantly made me laugh...while at the same time, would become emotionally touched toward the end of this series as it came to a close.
I found the last three episodes to be extremely well done for this series, doing a great job of expressing the emotions all of these students went through as their high school lives came to a close. I found Chiyo, Kagura, and Sakaki's arcs to be remarkably emotional during this stretch.
It's hard to believe that this is a J.C. Staff production considering how remarkably well done its storyboard and characters are developed. Although, I'll admit the animation was far from great. While it fit the mood of the series, it still felt a bit lazy and cheap at times. Still, I can hardly complain about the production since I'd call it one of J.C. Staff's best works.
As far as the weaknesses of this series, as I mentioned, the animation is nothing notable. Luckily, it fits the tone of the series so it isn't a big weakness, but it is still glaring at times. Personally, I wish it would've done a little more in developing some character back story with each character. For example, Tomo and Yomi are childhood friends...but we never really got to see why they act the way they do with each other. Or perhaps delve a little bit more into each character's own traits. Another example being Osaka sleeping during class and the friends mentioning that she must not sleep much at night. She never really does say "why" she doesn't sleep at night so I'm curious as to what her late night hobby is. It was little things like these that bugged me at times and wish the series would've went more into this rather than repeat a lot of comedic gimmicks like the sports festival, culture festival, or the summer home visits. Another one of the unfortunate bits about this series is, some of the comedy is EXTREMELY hit-or-miss. One example being the dreaming episode. Not to spoil too much, there's an episode where the series jumps into the dreams of some of the characters. I found it to be a pretty acid trip filled episode that generally wasn't all that funny. It wasn't the only episode, but it was the one that stood out the most. Some people will enjoy that style of comedy while others might be a bit turned off by it.
Overall though, I have no qualms in saying Azumanga Daioh is one of the best anime comedies I have ever seen. I absolutely loved the character interactions of this series and I'd even go so far as to say it was one of the best written scripts I've heard in an anime, as well as the seiyuu work to go with it. I was remarkably sold at how well both these production elements went hand-in-hand. I am really a huge fan of Azumanga Daioh's style of comedy and as I stated, it was really nice that this was the series that paved the way for high school sketch comedy to become so popular in the mainstream. If you really like the aforementioned Nichijou, Lucky Star, Acchi Kocchi, or high school sketch comedy in general, I highly recommend this series. read more
Mar 27, 2008
The story is basically a slice of life anime basically meaning it a Seinfeld-esqe sitcom surrounding high school girls. Theres no real story element, and thankfully no multiple part episodes are around here. Just short simple and hilarious situations that can be finished in 30 minutes ^_^ Even the oav's are hella short! But at least they get the points across and they do it hilariously! The way they create their characters are really one of a kind. You'll actually want to know more of how these girls happen to befriend each other before/during high school.
Character progression is really good. Each character has their own role to play for every other character and you can really tell by how they react to eachother and try (or don't try) their best to make it past high school.
Animation is very simplistic as are most high school comedies are. Most of the time, they'll only draw the girls and make silhouettes of all the other students. Theres tons of emotes abound in this show as each girl gets embarrassed, frustrated, scared, etc. The emotions animations are very simple as well yet for the most of the times, they REALLY get the point across. Even so much that you'll pause the show just to stop laughing. I never realized not adding color or drawing people all squiggly would be so funny. They'll also flip back and forth between normal anime to chibi anime quite alot. Some times the chibi-ness isn't needed but for the majority when its implemented it makes the scene that much funnier.
The seyiu are great in this show. Even tho some sound like you've herd the same before but with the animation and the little sound effects here and there make the entire experience an enjoyable one. And the music is pretty simple but you'll be singing the op over and over again because of the catchyness of it. Speaking of the op you'll also realize most of the scenes in the op will make sense after about ep22 ^_^ But overall the sound is your usual high school sound effects... crowds in the cafeteria, groaning in unison in the classroom, and cheering during sporting events. All the usual sound fare :)
All in all everything about this show SCREAMS mediocre from the sound to anime to even the characters. But this is proof that just as long as you have a killer story and a staff that can illustrate the desired effect your show will be a runaway hit ^_^
Azumanga daioh is one of the funniest anime i have ever seen PERIOD! 9/10 read more
Jun 19, 2007
It wasn’t so bad story wise – usually I’m all for “anything goes” anime. The problem I had with it was that it wasn’t as funny as I thought it would be. I had a few laughs now and then, mostly thanks to Osaka, but there were times when I thought the jokes were too corny for my taste. Even thought I’m not a fluent Japanese speaker, I got the jokes, but I didn’t think they were that funny (I definitely saw funnier before). I guess it’s a matter of taste, and it must be a huge hit in Japan.
Every time I would watch it I kept waiting for it to get better, since for the first few episodes I didn’t think it was funny. I kept wondering why people like this anime so much, and why they speak so highly of it. I seriously think it’s not that funny, like I said there were a lot of corny jokes, and sometimes the jokes lasted too long. There were scenes wherein there was nothing but silence. Some people may think that’s funny, but if it lasts for about a minute I tend to get bored.
I like the characters though. My favorites are Kagura, Osaka and Chiyo. Kagura’s just one cool chick. Osaka is weird but funny, and Chiyo’s adorable. Seeing her in that penguin (?) suit made me squeal like Sakaki armed with 100 furry and friendly cats and Speed. Tomo was a bit irritating, and I can’t help but think in a few years she’ll end up like Yukari-sensei. I didn’t like Kaorin either. She’s like some annoying extra and I felt her character wasn’t that important. Kimura-sensei is one of the weirdest characters I’ve ever seen. His mouth is open all the time, and he has a dirty, school girl lovin’, mind.
The character is simplistic, and for this anime, simplicity was the way to go. It wasn’t as detailed compared to other JC Staff series I watched in the past (although it did have at least one buxom character, like all JC Staff series I’ve watched). I like the fact that the characters all had different body types, which is in a way, realistic. I like the colors too. They were really nicely done and contrasted nicely. There were no clashes in color whatsoever.
The voice acting was done well, because the characters’ personalities were brought out through their dialogues effectively. I like Kagura’s (Houko Kuwashima) tomboyish tone, Osaka’s (Yuki Matsuoka) soft Kansai-ben accent, Tomo’s (Chieko Higuchi) loud and upbeat speech and Chiyo’s (Tomoko Kaneda) tiny voice. I was also surprised to find many well known names among the cast, such as Rie Tanaka.
Despite the fact that the opening song made barely made sense, it was still catchy. It really fit the anime’s mood, which was carefree and random. I liked the ending song better, I thought it had the charm of a folk song, I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s because of the instruments used and the singer’s soft voice that was sort of telling me a story. Generally, the BGM was nicely made and beautifully crafted. A lot of the tracks were upbeat and fit the mood of the series.
My one sentence review would be “I yawned, I laughed, and I’m glad to have watched it.” While it may not be the best for me, anything that ends in a heartwarming beat is good enough for me. read more
Mar 21, 2009
Being that this is a mix of school life, comedy and slice of life-- one shouldn’t expect too much from the actual story and plot. Basically it opens up as one of the high school teachers is in a hurry to make it to her class, which ends in her stealing one of her own student’s bikes in a aggressive manner. And at this point most will get the idea of where this anime is going. Each episode pertains about the lives of six high school female students. And like with any good comedy series a roller coaster of laughs ensues. However the way this particular series does it is what makes it such a great series. Many of the joke and puns have a big amount to do with Japanese culture (though not nearly as much as Lucky Star)--all the while adding a good amount of random gags to the mix. For example: some of the episodes have to do with dream sequences, which have to do with a girl being able to fly with her pigtails, to one of them being a super hero, to another having a cat as a father (however they end up being carried out and/or implied even in the real world as well). The dialog is also very funny, whether it be about jokes dealing with food, to school uniforms, to even a few Sakaki boob jokes here and there. Gags like these abound in Azumanga Daioh, most of which seem to come out of nowhere, and will leave many viewers scratching their heads afterward. Now I know most would be thinking at this point: "Oh, so it’s just about random gags with no sort of plot or story then!" Nothing could be further from the truth, because Azumanga Daioh mixes random gags with an actual story. Granted there is no real overall plot to this as mentioned before, other than the girls simply trying to make it through high school. But it does go by an "episode by episode" plot. Whether it be the girls trying to win the sports festival, doing their summer homework, to relaxing at the beach. Despite the over the top humor of the series, it also can do it in a quite relaxing way too, which should satisfy most slice of life fans out there. Now that doesn’t mean the story is all peaches and cream; some episodes seem to get a bit slow paced at times, with not too much happening going on, and some scenes tend to drag on a bit. But I think my biggest grip with the storyline, is that a number of episodes seemed to be recycled over from past ones (ie: two sports day episodes, two summer home episodes, and two dream sequence episodes). The latter are still quite funny, it’s just a shame that they couldn’t have given us a bit more of variety. Since there is no real plot in mind, I would say that the ending is appropriate, though I think that it could have ended a little better. Even so, with Azumanga Daioh it’s all about the comedy, and that is what makes this anime so enjoyable!
Being that this series tries to capture a more realistic high school in Japan (most of the character’s hair are black and/or dark colored), the characters themselves also look very cutesy! They all have bigger eyes than most anime you will find, and look quite un-proportional compared to real life Otakus. I feel this was made intentionally however, as to show the audience that this anime does not take itself seriously in the least. However, this still doesn’t change the fact that the art style over all looks pretty simplistic, and the backgrounds can range from decent looking-- to no backgrounds at all. Nothing too bad, it just leaves much to be desired at times.
I actually had the pleasure of experiencing both the English and Japanese version, and must say that both felt quite comfortable to listen to. The opening and closing themes were quite catchy and fit the goofiness of the series. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy watching random Japanese animated women fly through the sky without a net? Or even wings for that matter? It’s pretty much saying: "this is your brain on drugs!" Which is what a lot of people will probably be thinking while watching this show. The background tracks do contain a good portion silly and sincere sounds, though I wish there could have been a little bit more of it!
Considering that this is a comedy anime, and therefore doesn’t concentrate too much on depth, Azumanga Daioh actually has a pretty fleshed out cast of characters. Not only from the six main female leads, but also from the teachers and staff workers as well. Such as "Koyomi, " the girl who is on a never ending quest to lose weight, to "Sakaki, " who has an unhealthy addiction to cats, to "Kimura, " the perverted school teacher. I wouldn’t go as far to say that they are the most deep cast of characters you'll see in an anime, but they do interact with each other very well, and you get a good amount of time to get to know each ones likes and dislikes. They're funny, interesting, cute and definitely the back bone of the series!
The well done merger of comedy and actual storyline really made Azumanga Daioh a winner for me! It’s something that is very hard to do in an anime, but this series proves that with a little love and care; anything is possible! I just couldn’t stop laughing in so many parts while going through this!
I feel Azumanga Daioh can be enjoyed by most comedy fans out there. Some viewers might find its humor a bit redundant and too silly at times, which can be seen as a turn off. Even so, if you are a big fan of comedy anime like myself, and have 25 minutes of free time to spare on a good laugh, then this series should fill that time quite nicely! read more
Jan 20, 2009
Azumanga Daioh is a show about nothing, literally. Think of it like Seinfeld, but with high school girls and as much hilarity, and you've got all the bases covered. The episodes revolve around six girls and their daily life at a high school, which always ends up being random in some way.
The comic formula is hilarious. Many scenes will make you scratch your head and wonder "eh?" while simultaneously laughing, while other scenes make you laugh by repeating the same thing over and over and over and over, far past the point where you think it should have just stopped the joke. The best comic relief was definitely the male teacher who was always hitting on the girls, who had a trademark jaw drop constantly. He would randomly be thrown into the episodes very spasticly, making anyone with a sense of humor laugh out loud. So really, don't go into watching Azumanga thinking you'll get any sort of a plot. There are only a few episodes that are linked somehow, but the rest do follow a timeline (the girls making their way through three years of school, up to the satisfying conclusion).
The animation is really simple and clean which fits the style of this anime, but I don't like this kind of look. There's nothing too impressive about it.
The music in this anime was alright sometimes bordering irritating, I wasn't too fond of the opening it just sounds irritating with the high pitched voices but I suppose it goes with the show. The background music started rubbing me the wrong way after a while.
But from what I recall it's mostly silence since they have such long silences after a "joke" which I didn't find that funny. They would have these ridiculously long pauses after a joke and I'm just sitting there still bored to death and I'm like was that supposed to be funny? Is someone supposed to be rolling on the floor laughing from that?
The seiyuus all did a good job portraying high school girls and especially Chiyo-chan.
The character development was basically non-existant, yet I still gave this section a 9. Why? To put it bluntly, Azumanga Daioh has some of the most hilarious characters I've seen, who all fill their incredibly exaggerated role perfectly. Chiyo is the little girl who is the epitome of cuteness. Her voice helps with this persona, as well as giant watery eyes when she gets upset, and her little girl ways of doing things. Sakaki is obsessed with cute things and is super quiet, and always blushes whenever she sees a cat or dog, yet (for the comedic effect) she always is bitten when she tries to pet things. Tomo is the most obnoxious character by far and is always yelling and pissing people off. Yumi is probably the least developed character -- her one quirk is that she is obsessed with her weight. Then there's Osaka, an extremely slow and stupid girl who tends to always make you laugh with the idiotic things that come out of her mouth. And finally, Kagura is athletic and competitive. These six characters are fairly extreme to begin with, but them morph into super extreme characters by the end of the series.
The entire series is about pushing the limits of comedy, and the characters help out with this immensely.
8 / 10
Azumanga is a great watch for any fans of comedy. Out of all the random series I've seen, Azumanga definitely has the highest concentration of randomness and laugh out loud moments, combined with hilarious characters and wacky moments alike. If you like comedy series, I can't see why you haven't watched this yet! And if you haven't, pick it up right now, since you'll surely like it. read more
Sep 8, 2010
Azumanga Daioh follows the adventures of Chiyo, Osaka, Tomo, Yomi, Kagura, and Sakaki. There is very little plot besides "The Girls Go To School", but that really isn't an issue. This series is about its characters, and the characters are great. Chiyo is a ten-year-old genius that skipped several grades to get into high school. Despite this possibly being a series in and of itself, she's mostly there to look cute (and she does so stupendously). Tomo is a loudmouthed spaz and general agent of chaos that constantly stirs stuff up. Yomi is the snarky straight man to Tomo and is constantly worried about her weight (for no apparent reason). Kagura is a typical sports-obsessed jock, but is actually a very sweet girl. Osaka is a spacey girl. That's about it. A lot of the show's humor comes from Osaka's odd perspectives and non-sequiturs. Sakaki is a tall, athletic girl who only wants to surround herself with cute things. Unfortunately for her, cats hate her, and she intimidates everyone around her. The series also follows the girls' teachers: Yukari-sensei and Nyamo-sensei (who are, essentially, adult Tomo and Yomi, respectively) and Kimura-sensei. Kimura-sensei is an Ephebophiliac (HE LIKES HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS, THAT'S WHY!). Yeah. [size=85]Also, there's Kaori, who has a lesbian crush on Sakaki, but I'll speak more on her later.[/size]
Luckily, a lot of the charm is the manga is retained. And that is, how easy it is to relate to the characters and events. Who hasn't had a frustrating bout of hiccups, or had to work on a class project, or went to an amusement park with friends? The characters are likeable (even Kimura), and Mr. Azuma's humor shines through enough that the series doesn't go too long without a laugh.
Mr. Azuma has a way of taking the everyday laughs that we all enjoy and putting them to paper extremely well. Unfortunately for the anime adaptation, the series works best that way. On paper. While the gag-a-day routine works excellently in what amounts to a Japanese newspaper comic, it sometimes doesn't translate well to the Small Screen. For example, many jokes in the manga rely on beat panels. This translates to a lot of awkward silences throughout the series which quickly becomes monotonous, especially since this delivery is very hit-and-miss. Two or three panels of silence is a lot easier to tolerate than thirty seconds of characters staring at each other. Another problem is that while repetitive panels in a comic are fine, using the same animation over and over is much more noticeable and much more grating in a cartoon. J.C. Staff (the production studio) cut as many corners as they could, and it shows.
Another problem is the character focus. Sakaki gets WAY too much screen time. The joke that cats like to bite her gets old really quick. And the joke that she practically orgasms in the presence of cute...anything comes up way too often. Maybe if she was more two-dimensional, her screentime would be justified. But it isn't. Another character with too much screen time is Kaori. In the manga, she only shows up rarely. In the anime, she practically becomes a main character. Again, if she had some more varied jokes, it would be tolerable, but she doesn't. She is a lesbian. ISN'T THAT FUNNY? The creators of this anime seem to think so.
And then, here I am, at the granddaddy of all of this show's problems: CHIYO'S "FATHER". They guy shows up everywhere. Every time he is on screen, it is a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment. He's creepy, and despite the Nightmare Fuel that is the scenes where he interacts with Sakaki in her dreams, the show keeps trying to convince us that he's cute. He isn't.
There are other problems, but most of them are just nitpicking.
In short, this is a good series. It is funny without being crude, and touching without being sappy. It just pales in comparison to the masterpiece that is the original manga.
Voice Acting: 7/10
FINAL SCORE: 7/10 read more
Mar 13, 2013
[Note- I wrote a Mari-mite review right before this one so it was still on my mind...these reviews were originally intended for my blog]
This show is rather genius in its simplicity. It’s just a simply drawn show that is simply about a group of high school friends from when they enter high school to when they graduate from it. The characters are great and their personalities all play a part in making the show very funny. I admit that I find Chiyo and Tomo to be grating sometimes…but considering how often they get beaten up with great comedic justice; it evens out in the end. My favorites are Kagura, Osaka, Kaorin, and Sakaki. Kagura is just lot of fun, Osaka is bizarrely odd, Kaorin is a poor beleaguered lesbian fangirl, and Sakaki is the cool girl who longs to be cute.
The opening and closing songs are delightfully weird and catchy and will stay with you long after you finish watching the show. The BGM is also enjoyable in its strangeness.
I can’t give this anime enough praise, it is by far my favorite comedy anime series and it even manages to make me tear up at the end because I hate to see them go after graduation. For the two of you out there that haven't seen this anime yet: you need to rectify that immediately. This should be required watching for all fans of anime.
Azumanga Daioh just makes me happy and that feeling in and of itself is the reason I love anime so much.
Recommended for: EVERYONE!
Not recommended for: People who hate awesome and hilarious things (maybe emo kids?) read more
Sep 23, 2010
Now granted, to say that a "perfect comedy" exists is a lot like saying that a "perfect flavor" exists. This is because comedy is by and large the most subjective genre in terms of enjoyment and thus most difficult to review; this also means that the more "purely comedic" a title is, the more murky its value becomes and the more divisive its reception is. Nevertheless, I have noticed certain "patterns" which the most successful comedies almost always have in common. It is therefore primarily the brilliant and nearly flawless execution of these basic patterns which makes Azumanga Daioh such a comedic masterpiece.
First, and perhaps most importantly, is the balance between realism and surrealism. Often times an anime will veer off towards either extreme, and thus quickly become unfunny and boring. Too much realism and one soon feels like they are simply watching 24-hour candid camera footage, complete with all the rather mundane and unfunny activities of daily life (eating, sleeping, etc): Lucky Star is a perfect example of this. On the other hand, too excessive the absurdity and one begins to feel alienated in watching what is fundamentally no more than a bunch of ungrounded, directionless noise ("random crazy stuff"): for good examples of this, see Excel Saga or most SHAFT comedies. Azumanga Daioh, on the other hand, has both these elements in near perfect harmony, lending itself effectively to neither extreme. It is grounded in plausible, physical reality in the sense that everything which happens within the show is, technically speaking, "possible" (i.e. giant alien robots do not come out of people's foreheads, characters do not die and then suddenly come back to life, etc). At the same time, being a cartoon, it is fantastical in the sense that most of the show's events are stylistically exaggerated to some degree or another, e.g. Kamineko's huge mouth when he bites Sakaki or Osaka's hiccups which last a whole day. At the same time, Azumanga does of course have a strong sense of the downright absurdist and surreal ("Chiyo's Father" and the "detachable pigtails" gags), but these events are all placed within the realm of dreams and private fantasy, making them believable while still highly amusing. It is in this way that an endless string of "ordinary" situations become hilarious--that is, when they are mixed deftly with just the right amount of ridiculousness. In summary, one could say that Azumanga bends the rules without breaking them; it has a sense of the absurd while still essentially "playing it straight."
The second defining aspect of Azumanga Daioh is that it is a fundamentally character-driven comedy. I say "character-driven" as distinct from something like a sketch comedy in which most if not all humor is merely "situational" (hence, "sit-com"). In fact, Azumanga Daioh, like most slice of life anime, is quite the opposite of this in the sense that the "situational" aspect of the show is by itself rather bland and uninteresting. What makes this character-based delivery so effective is that it allows the producers to create diversity by putting the exact same handful of people, strange personality quirks and all, into myriad situations and having them react in completely unique ways which are at once both familiar and unexpected. It is also in this way that certain "running gags" remain fresh and funny, with no two instantiations of the same joke ever being exactly alike. In fact, the show's structure is rather ingenious in that regard, insofar as it begins by introducing the a basic joke or personality quirk and then gradually over the course of time adds greater and greater layers of complexity, combining it with other jokes and quirks as it goes on. Now to the last point: where the show's character-driven comedy really stands out, and this is key, is not necessarily individuals interacting with situations, but rather these same individuals interacting with one another in addition to their situations. Therefore while Azumanga's ensemble cast are all memorable and basically likable characters in and of themselves, what is truly fantastic is the way in which this show allows these personalities to bounce off of each other in a seemingly "random" fashion while still remaining completely believable and entirely consistent. We get to see aspects of the girls' personalities clash and overlap, talents and interests mesh or collide. For example, the six girls can be grouped into smart (Chiyo, Sakaki, Yomi), stupid (Tomo, Osaka, Kagura), athletic (Kagura, Sakaki), and competitive (Tomo, Kagura); Chiyo might share Sakaki's love of cute things, but not her athletic ability, whereas Kagura shares her athletic ability, but certainly not her love of cute things, and so on. The only place where this falters somewhat in execution is the fact that the relationship between Tomo and Yomi is almost identical to that of Ms. Yukari and Ms. Kurosawa, albeit the difference being that Yukari's vices are more specifically "adult" (e.g. alcoholism, fanatical driving, and general social irresponsibility). However all in all, this character interplay is truly the show's most prominent point, thus your love or hate of the characters will undoubtedly determine your love or hate of the series in general. The aforementioned relatable-yet-“twisted” sense of realism plays out extremely well in this respect, with the Azumanga girls often resembling either parts of ourselves or people whom we know.
Finally, Azumanga Daioh demonstrates mastery in a variety of comedic styles and devices. That is, it has verbal as well as physical humor, word-play jokes as well as slapstick, and more or less everything in between. This comprises anything from Osaka's bizarre and ever-irrelevant internal monologues and Kimura's sudden "pedophilic" outbursts, to Kamineko's assaults on Sakaki's hand and Tomo/Yukari's near-constant physical abuse of Chiyo. What this show executes particularly well in this regard is its sense of comedic timing and rhythm. In particular, I have yet to see a better use of strategically-placed, long, awkward pauses (either with very little to no movement and/or sound), demonstrating that the animators understand fully how a well-timed 10 seconds of silence can be just as hilarious as speed-lined Tomo intentionally flinging herself into chairs. In fact rarely did I laugh as hard as I did during a five second still frame of Osaka nonchalantly staring out a classroom window on a sunny day, backed only by the ambient sounds of springtime. I can think of more than a few anime comedies which could have been greatly benefited by these simple, yet effective techniques.
On the aesthetic side, Azumanga Daioh is lovingly animated by J.C. Staff and remains probably one of the best and most surprisingly effective adaptations of a manga I have ever seen (especially for one which was originally a four-panel strip), perhaps even surpassing the original in some regards--with all due respect to comedic genius Kiyohiko Azuma. As is typically the case with J.C. Staff's productions, the animation is consistent but nothing outstanding, resulting in a pleasant, mid-budget median between choppy and liquid smooth. The backgrounds are relatively simple yet still well-detailed and colored, with the only hint of "laziness" being the all-white stick-figure-esque "crowds" of students, although I found this actually works to the show's advantage. As per the original character designs, the girls are attractive but never overly sexualized, being drawn in a realistically proportional way. Nearly everyone in the series has more or less naturally "Japanese" hair and eye color, with the exception of a few cases of a very subdued shade of blue, as in Sakaki's eyes or Ms. Kurosawa's hair. For a slice of life series, the soundtrack has been surprisingly memorable, catchy, and all around fun to listen to, with the music actually being played with real instruments (including drums and woodwinds), rather than a few forgettable, synthesized notes, as is often the case with the genre. Unfortunately, the English dub does not fare quite as well. While all the characters are played competently, with the best arguably being Chiyo, Tomo, and Osaka (I actually think Kira Vincent-Davis' controversial "Texan" Osaka is one of the dub's high points), I found that in particular Sakaki's reserved, "cuteness is serious business" attitude and Yomi's snarky sarcasm and irritability tend to come through much more convincingly in the Japanese. What's more, it should be no surprise that none of the show's "Engrish" dialogue carries over whatsoever in the dub, thus forcing the English script to incorporate these lines typically using some sort of American "foreign-language-equivalent" (usually French or Spanish), which is simply never as funny for native English speakers. This setback in fact destroyed one of my favorite scenes: Chiyo's Father speaking with Osaka in a "study" dream. The dub is nevertheless entirely watchable, and certainly not one of the worst, but I believe the fullest appreciation of this series does require the Japanese language track.
Ultimately, in spite of these more objective patterns which I have mentioned, there is still something about Azumanga Daioh which fundamentally appeals to my particular sense of humor; it is something, or perhaps a smattering of little things, which pushes it above and beyond the norm, even the best, and which is at the same time impossible to generalize. This show contains so many instances of little humorous sight gags (for example, the way Kamineko looks falling off Sakaki’s hand when he is finally karate-chopped by Kagura) which will probably go unnoticed by most people and which I find much more hilarious than the animators probably ever intended, and I feel as though I ought to mention them at least in defense what undeniably remains this show’s strong subjective appeal.
Finally while Azumanga Daioh is, to be sure, a comedy series purely and simply, that is not to say that it is without a certain kind of emotional sincerity which is not often found in this type of show. Granted, this is not really “seriousness” in the ordinary sense, and certainly not melancholy, but rather a conviction of genuine, unbridled joy, the likes of which I have rarely seen in anime (with the exception perhaps of Cardcaptor Sakura and Aria). There are “downtimes” in the show’s otherwise relentless stream of humor when it is not setting you up for some epic gag, instead showing the girls simply having fun, say, playing jump-rope or throwing snowballs at each other set to a jovial tune. In addition, despite the manga being considered a shounen title and having a character cast consisting almost entirely of women (the only recurring male characters being Mr. Kimura and Chiyo's Father), Azumanga Daioh is a series for which I see no reason why it cannot appeal to all genders, as well as virtually all age groups. With only the occasional foray into lewdness, like a good Disney/Pixar film it is at once appropriate enough for older children while at the same time never feeling stupid or pandering from the adult point of view. Indeed, I have a hard time seeing why anyone, unless they are totally joyless and have a heart of coal, will not enjoy themselves to some degree with this series, although to be sure, few will consider it a masterpiece. Then again, we all have our ultimate "guilty pleasure" for which there is no equal. Azumanga Daioh just happens to be mine. read more
May 9, 2010
Story: 7 (Stories there is no per se, there are separate inserts, pictures which becomes interesting to watch this creation)
Art: 10 (I'm not fussy to affectation, and to the left in general, only a good impression)
Sound: 8 (to the music I'm fond of, if I did not like I can reduce the anime to score, but rarely are funny OP and that is all I can say is good = ()
Character: 10 (This anime was done for the sake of humor, character and good humor, which is Cio-chan, Osaka, Bravo!)
Enjoyment: 10 (I would not say that this anime is closely linked to the side of "interesting", but if we judge only of humor, then 10 points)
Overall: 10 (Although the overall assessment must be exactly 9 points, I put 10, because, for me this anime will be in terms of humor masterpiece) read more
Aug 25, 2009
(I would also like to let readers know that I've seen half of this anime. I may not have watched it all, but I did give it a chance.)
Even those who loved it will agree that there's no plot. I can extend that and tell you that, if you're looking for something with depth, don't look here. I didn't find any; and I looked pretty hard. The focus is instead on repeated jokes and silly/dumb/immature characters (Osaka anyone?) getting into "amusing" situations; none of which I found that amusing...
I found all of the characters a bit grating, aside from the taller girls (who didn't really talk). Their childish demeanours made it feel like I was watching something aimed at young children. Despite there being a couple of underlying truths about (some) people in the ways the characters acted, I can't say I identified with any of them.
Comedy is what this is praised highly for, right? Well, I couldn't understand why... Not only did it not work on multiple levels; the repeated jokes (e.g. one character getting bitten by a cat; flapping pigtails making the girls fly) just felt unwitty and chidlish. In short, they did nothing for me. At the end of each episode I couldn't help but feel it had all been a waste of time and money.
So what're its redeeming qualities? Uhm. Well, the animation itself is pretty nice. Each character has been designed well physically to match the personality of their character. The quality of the DVDs is good... There's a choice of dubs and subs, although whether that's a good thing depends on who you are. Apart from that... I can't really pinpoint any. read more
Oct 26, 2008
The story was simple, but great. It follows a group of high school girls, each with their own little quirks, as they go through every day school life.
The art was mediocre, but it didn't lessen the overall value of the anime. It served its purpose, and looked pretty decent.
The sound was actually nice; some of the BGM actually sticks in your head. There were some catchy pieces that were fun, and some light-hearted violin pieces that totally suited the mood.
The characters were amazing and unique and totally funny and lovable. No two were alike, and they had amazing chemisty. Which is such a refreshing thing as most anime with large casts forget that them being able to work together on-screen is something important. All of them were totally quirky and great, and I think that you'd definitely find some favourites among the group of girls.
This was a brilliant school comedy. Not an unfabulous scene in its duration.
Watch it, it's awesome. read more
Mar 3, 2007
While the characters may, at times, seem to be immature it is more than obvious that they were created by geniuses. The mature and ageless true-to-life humor will bring all ages together into childish ecstasy. Whether you adore Chiyo's over the top cuteness; Sakaki's satirical mysteriousness; Yomi's pragmatic level-headedness; Tomo's volatile irrationality or Osaka's notorious enigma, you're sure to fall face first into this everyday and uncanny familiarness that is school life.
The music in Azumanga Daioh is possibly the best suited track ever created for an anime. It's gentle and nostalgic flute and trombone melodies are as important as Tomoko Kaneda's contribution as Chiyo's voice. The seiyuu and music brings the series together into perfect harmony which is concluded by the aptly fluffy ending animation (song titled 'Raspberry Heaven').
If you're looking for random, if you're looking for eccentric, if you're looking for kawaii, Azumanga Daioh is your answer. If you haven't figured it out yet Azumanga is my personal number 1 favorite and I rank it as a Masterpiece on any scale. I've re-watched the series four times and laughed at different places every time. The amazing thing about Azumanga is that even though it has accumulated millions of fans in Japan and the West alike, a sequel is really not necessary or appropriate. A true Masterpiece is when there doesn't need to be more to satisfy the fans, it's when the conclusion is the end and the end is the best part. I hope that the magic honesty in Azumanga Daioh entertains everyone the same way as it entertained me. read more
Nov 13, 2008
Who should watch it?
Anyone who wants to relax with slowly paced story and silly jokes. Anyone who'd like to get back to high school, just to do crazy stuff with his friends. Anyone who has enough of magic, sci-fi, violence and romance in other anime.
Who shouldn't watch it?
Those who love action - there's very little. Those who are impatient - the show goes really slowly. Those who watched first episode and didn't like it at all - all eps are like that, so stop now, watch something else.
Now I'll deal with detailed review:
Meh. Nearly none. But, because of randomness of the show, it's no issue. It's all about classmates, as they spend their time during high school education. The story covers 3 years, during which there's many things happening, but it cannot be considered enough for anything higher than 5/10.
Not bad, although the creators love to use super-deformed forms, and the art isn't detailed. Nothing unusual, nothing original, but also nothing lame.
The opening and ending song are representing two main properties of this show - funniness and nostalgia, respectively. The voice actors do their job well. In the show, you can hear many catchy tunes. Nothing bad. (Yeah, I wrote some nonsense here, but I don't care about either art or sound. It's the story that matters.)
Well, after you see Osaka/Chiyo/Tomo/Sakaki, you'll have to agree. Each character is original, and many of them change during high school. It's all about the last period of the childhood and entering the adulthood. And about craziness and silliness, too.
It was simply nice. Not as much funny as nice. It is one of those shows you watch totally relaxed, knowing there's nothing to destroy the happy atmosphere of the show.. It's just random craziness but in low speed. Pretty nice for the evenings, when you have no energy for following a fast paced story.
Overall: 9/10 read more
Feb 22, 2011
After having finished the first episode, I felt that anime can be easily to pick up and appreciate. For this reason, I think Azumanga Daioh is an excellent entry-level anime for people 'afraid' of the differences between Western cartoons.
The intro theme song is catchy, corny and absolutely has no message or meaning whatsoever, which makes it special in its own right. The art style is simple and calm, no flashy colours or general hyperactivity. In films, series and video games, I like familiarity, and Azumanga Daioh often uses recurring music cues which greatly add to that familiarity. Same applies to the characters, each of them having their distinct talents or lacks thereof.
There wasn't much story to Azumanga Daioh, and most of the episodic themes were forgettable, however, the characters, and especially "Osaka" were not. read more
Oct 8, 2008
Azumanga Daioh is a hard anime series to review as so many of the jokes and references are visual that trying to do them justice with only the written word is impossible. Therefore I shall stay away from telling you about the jokes and just urge you to try and get hold of the anime as it is very funny. In fact it is probably the most consistently funny anime series you are likely to watch. But whilst the jokes are funny, the series would still not be the success it is without a group of well rounded and interesting characters for the audience to get involved in. There are six key characters with a host of smaller characters that our main protagonists socialise with and interact with. To understand the series better I shall give you a run down on some of the characters featured in the series;
Chiyo - A 10 year old genius that has been moved up from elementary school early. There is always a fine line between cute and vomit inducing sweetness, but thankfully Chiyo tread's the line perfectly and is a great central character.
Osaka - Is a student from Osaka (hence her nickname) and is permanently zoned. She struggles to concentrate and is continually forgetting things and being late. Whilst the concept of the character is nothing original, the way she is handled makes her very refreshing and definitely one of the stars of the show.
Tomo - Is seriously hyperactive and has a very high opinion of herself, she is also best friends with...
Koyomi - Who has been in the same class with Tomo since elementary school, but unfortunately finds Tomo very irritating.
Sasaki - Is a very quiet and somewhat mysterious character, she loves animals but she seems to have a problem with cats, or more accurately cats have a problem with her. As she is one of the most mysterious characters, she is also one of the most interesting and intriguing.
Kagura - Is very keen on her sports and is always very competitive with Sasaki, even if Sasaki is not always aware of it.
Whilst these characters appear in nearly all the episodes, there are a host of smaller characters that appear throughout the series which include;
Yukari - Who is the form tutor and English teacher in the school. She is a seriously dangerous driver and is also very competitive with another teacher called...
'Nyamo' - Who is the P.E. teacher at the school and is liked by all the pupils, she also went to school with Yukari. Kimura - Is a perverted male teacher who only chose his profession because of the school girls. None of the characters like him, but there is a deeper and more complicated side to his personality which is uncovered throughout the series.
Kaorin - Is in love with Sasaki and she could even be classed as a stalker in some of the episodes.
The series characters appear at fist glance to be very one dimensional and shallow, however as the series progresses the audience learns more about each character and occasionally new questions are raised about each of them. This gradual introduction to the true personalities of the characters is a very effective method of keeping the audience hooked and the way in which each character relates to the people around them provides a very interesting, varied and balances set of cast members which makes it hard to single out any particular one as the star of the show.
Visually the series is quite distinctive. Whilst for the most part it looks like any other anime series, many of the characters will go off into dream worlds where the visual style changes, often to reflect children's drawings and black and white silhouettes. The changing between the styles works very effectively and is in perfect keeping with the manga the series is based upon.
The soundtrack is perfectly acceptable but at the same time it is nothing special. The music fits in well with the animation but is never particularly memorable, but thankfully the vocal talent from the series is perfect with each character sounding exactly as you would expect.
Azumanga Daioh is without a doubt one of the greatest anime series ever produced. Whilst some people may not get it as much as others, I do believer everyone will find something they like in the series, be it a particular character or joke. The series does have a lot of cultural references and jokes based on kanji etc, which I admit most went over my head, but there are enough jokes and visual gags to keep complete anime novices happy.
Pick up the manga, watch the anime and immerse yourself in the world of Azumanga Daioh, just be warned, you may never want to leave.
Mar 6, 2013
People often say that Azumanga doesn’t have a plot, which isn’t true. Or perhaps ‘plot’ isn’t the right word, but there is a very strong narrative running through the show. You know the way Japan has this idea that high school is the greatest time of your life. There’s a whole load of societal reasons why this time period is fetishised to this degree, from the oppressive lifestyle that is working salaryman life to the widespread culture of idolising youth in general, but it’s a big part of why 99% of anime are set in high school. Anime fans take issue with this, but that’s because anime fans are nerds and therefore high school sucked for them. Western culture likes to idolise college life because it’s seen as when you finally get freedom to get away from your parents, drink alcohol legally and have lots of sex, which again comes down to a whole load of cultural reasons.
But anyway, Azumanga is selling this idea of this idolised highschool life, and does this by presenting it through the eyes of a 10 year old girl. It’s similar to the author Kiyohiko Azuma’s other work, Yotsuba-ampersand, which takes the view that you can enjoy even the simplest things in life if you view it through the eyes of a 6-year-old. The other thing that Azumanga does is, while events are certainly suger-coated in that nobody in the show suffers severe repercussions from their crippling social anxieties, child-molesting teachers, or closet lesbianism, it’s also not like everyone is wonderful to each other all the time. A nice subtitle for the show would be “Teenagers bully a 10 year old girl: The Animation”.
The first half is more about setting up the various characters and giving them their single defining trait that will make up every single bloody joke they’re involved in for the entire rest of the goddamn show, but the second half leans way more heavily on the high school life portion. This is largely because the characters are leaving school and everyone becomes introspective about how their friendships formed and what they’re going to do with their lives from now on. It’s about the importance of the relationships you form and how each person’s eccentricities make up the entertaining concoction that is your school life. But equally it’s about this being the last portion of your life where you don’t have to make any serious choices that effect your career direction. It’s about the characters coming to terms with what they like and making those decisions by themselves, but also about hoping for the best for your friends and giving them support, even if it’s as dumb as giving them charms to take into exam.
The inclusion of the teachers as major characters is fascinating, because in many ways their constantly reliving their high school life. Apart from still physically being in the school, they spend most of their time together reminiscing about high school. They also are made face the decisions they made at the end of highs chool to become teachers in the first place. That episode in particular was weirdly poignant. It came before the rest of Azumanga got more reflective and was mostly a dumb comedy, so the teacher’s hard thinking about where they were in their life and whether they made the right choices was a perfect mirror to hold up to the same questions the girls had once the final batch of episodes kicked in.
The comedy in Azumanga isn’t particularly clever or anything. Its connection to the overarching narrative of girls growing up and forming relationships gives it a bit of weight at least, but as singular jokes they’re hardly the height of social satire. There are a few occasions where it slips into the surreal, in particular an episode focused around each character having bizarre dreams involving Chiyo and her cat-dad. Those episodes are brilliant, both from a surreal humour perspective, and the way they tie how the other character’s views of Chiyo. Chiyo is kinda surreal in her own way, being this ball of cuteness so concentrated that it forces you into a fever dream that distorts reality around her, so seeing that presented in the form of dream sequences was fantastic.
But those surreal sequences are few and far between. Most of the rest of the humour is the same gag for each character repeated to breaking point. Sakaki is the worst in this regard. At least when Osaka is dopey, she’s dopey about a different thing every time. Sakaki is so single minded about cats that she basically has nothing else inside that head of hers. Yomi is even worse, to the point that they struggle to come up with any personality trait whatsoever and in the end make a half-hearted attempt to have her weight issues become something more character defining. The comedy gets by mostly on its timing, for which it has the best comedic timing for anything anywhere anytime. There was a scene where Osaka runs after her friends with her hands above her head yelling “CAKEEII~”.
By itself not particularly funny, but the pause they did before where Osaka’s brain clunks into gear before she realises that there’s cake to be had is so perfectly timed. Osaka is usually the recipient of these pauses, which work brilliantly because you can practically hear the rusted gears inside her brain whirring as she comes to some nonsense conclusion. Generally though, the humour’s quality wanes alarmingly quickly because there’s so little to it and it repeats itself so bloody much. The show’s depth doesn’t truly appear towards the end, so the occasional surreal episode and cuteness of Chiyo are left trying to hold up the rest of the show by themselves. They do a surprisingly good job of it though. Only towards the 3rd quarter did some of the episodes really start to bore me.
As I was watching this show and formulating these thoughts about Azumanga’s depiction of high school life, I realised that I had seen these exact same arguments made about another anime: K-ON! This idea that you’re watching the characters form relationships and live their high school life, coupled with that same depressing feeling when you reach the end and watch them leave school together. That is exactly what I got from Azumanga through exactly the same format with exactly the same genre construction. Which got me thinking as to what the hell it was K-ON did wrong that caused such an internet backdraft against it? Perhaps I could blame the fact it came once the moe boom was in full swing, or that it came after Lucky Star ruined that genre forever by being literally Hitler. But Azumanga’s jokes are fairly repetitive with stupid characters and leans heavily on cuteness too. I didn’t enjoy Azumanga as much this time around, but I still certainly enjoyed it. Maybe I should try watch K-ON aga-
NO SCAMP BAD SCAMP DON’T DO THIS QUICK GET OUT BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!! read more
Mar 16, 2010
When I first dove into Azumanga Daioh, I fell in love with the characters. Each character was unique and drove beyond the normal thoughts of high school girls, or teachers, and went straight for original and strange. Certainly Chiyo could first be seen as a Mary-Sue, but it's later seen that she has several weaknesses that make her a believable and straight forward character. Other characters, like Tomo, show their weaknesses at the beginning, but slowly show their strengths over time, which is a bit surreal, but I liked the appeal that the characters had because of that.
Unfortunately, the characters were the only thing I loved unconditionally. From there, everything else kind of lacked. Although I did like the story, and it was easy to follow, I didn't really like how some of the characters interacted through the story. Also, many plot points were made just for humor, not for character development. Speaking of, there wasn't a lot of development in the characters through the story, which is understandable, but it's still high school. A lot of growing and developing happens during high school, and there wasn't a lot of that.
Even the art had strange occurrences sometimes. Normally art wouldn't deter me from anything, but the animals just looked to weird, especially the cats. They would grin and I would get reminded of a dark horror movie with a killer that was given sharp teeth and a cat costume to murder in. I felt they were too creepy for the show and it often took away from some scenes with Sakaki. Another art problem was with some of the expressions that Osaka gave. Osaka's expressions changed, but some looked strange and gave questionable impressions through the series.
Finally, there's the music. I'm not sure what it was about the music, but I didn't like it. At all. Sometimes the music would mask the drama in a scene, or something like that, and become a distraction for me. Plus, the same tune being changed over and over again with no real change in the mood of the music is just irritating and gave the repetitive expression in anime that I dread watching, or listening to.
Overall, the show is cute and very character heavy. It's unique and interesting, but the lack of plot and change in music makes me turn away from the series again and again. It was good, but I don't think that I'll watch the entire series again. Azumanga Daioh just doesn't offer enough for me to dive into it a second time. read more
Mar 13, 2008
So what exactly is Azumanga? Azumanga is a gag anime, designed to get a quick laugh out of the audience. They use an ensemble of students and teachers with distinct quirks all of which are female (except one). We watch the characters go through a variety of normal everyday situations. Through the characters quirks and exaggerated expressions, we get most of the humor in the show.
The character's quirks and jokes are very funny. That is until you watch a few more episodes. Then the jokes get old and very repetitive. How many times did the same cat bite Sakaki? How many times does Koarin obsess over Sakaki? Yes, we know you are a freak that likes high school girls. The repeated use of the same quirks makes many of the characters seem shallow and one-dimensional. I mean is there anything else beyond the two, three word description you can give to each character (ie "airhead" "pervert" "smart/cute" "athletic" "energetic"). The jokes did not come from the characters, the characters themselves were the joke. What breaks this anime for me is that even the situations are repetitive. How many times did we have a Sport fest, culture fest, and beach episode? By the time I was at the 5th episode I was getting bored, ok I’ll admit there was the occasional funny scene.
An interesting thing about this anime is its pacing. Azumanga is not the fast, hyperactive anime that most AMV's will lead you to believe. In fact, many times it’s pretty slow paced and requires you to be in a certain mood. Perhaps the use of still shots and repeated animation gives this feel. The use of "still shot" sometimes help establishing the mood similar to Neon Genesis Evangelion did, but for comedic purposes. In turn, the use of repeated animation can get tiring and boring fast. Perhaps its a pet peeve of mine concerning repeated animation.
The animation was bright and very vivid albeit fairly simplistic. However, the animation in general was not really note worthy.
Azuamga's greatest strength was its nostalgic mood and feel it often invokes. It reminds us of a more carefree time, especially since there are no real conflicts. My favorite scene was one that invokes a strong nostalgic feel. That scene was in the end of episode 9 were the main characters were walking and laughing in the field of clouds.
Perhaps I’m being too critical on Azumanga, the source, a 4 panel comic can’t really give that much substance, right? However, I think about Lucky Star, also based on a 4 panel comic and realized how Lucky Star is superior to Azumanga in every possible way. In addition, the jokes come from the character in Lucky Star, not the character themselves being jokes.
Aug 13, 2009
The story itself is virtually non-existent (hard to tell a story based on normal daily sequences) however that is why this series shines in this category because they kept the story on a ad-hoc basis you get to enjoy many of the characters unique notions and quirks.
To me this is the story. You are following round 6 High school girls that range from delusional paranoia to complete absence of reality to down to earth someone you may have know in your High School click.
I enjoyed the artwork to this series as much as the story because the art was styled according to the mood of the story. Having these out of sync always produces disastrous results. Why nto a 10 or 9? Basically the elements used didn't truly warrant them as that wasn't the artists goals although the Very Short Movie would be a 9 for cleaning up the panels significantly.
If I had to watch this without sound I truly wouldn't be able to enjoy this series as much. Most of the unique quirks come out through the sound in the series to really make you remember funny parts. I cannot say how many times at work I started laughing just by remember funny bits and pieces from the show.
This is a very causal laid back show however when I ws watching it I couldn't seem to put it down. Normally watch a few episodes and that is it; not with this show. had it been a weekend I may have not left my home... ^_^;
This is a great show and definitely warrants a good shot. If you need a slice of life or just want something different in your line up this fits the bill nicely.
Azumanga Daioh is Zer010 Approved read more