The knowledge that we won't be able to see someone or something we love anymore is a painful feeling. As I, and many fans of Azumanga Daioh watched the final episode the knowledge that there will be no more Osaka, Chiyo, Tomo, Sakaki, Kagura, Yomi anymore hit all of us fast and hard.
But lo, by a fortunate twist of fate, Azuma sensei released more chapters of Azumanga Daioh. These chapters are not the continuations of the main manga, but instead, they are a few chapters that show the lives of our beloved characters in various points during the three years. It may not be
much, but for those who love Azumanga Daioh, these chapters are no less than a blessing.
I won't beat around the bush. If you love Azumanga Daioh, read this. You can read this in any manga hosting site. For those who don't know what Azumanga Daioh is, go watch the anime. That is all.
A score of 10? Biased? You bet I am. The feels this extra gave me aren't to be taken likely.
Having a familiar feeling is a good thing—it makes you feel at home, as if you are greeted by a warm and cozy mood that sets you back on the right track. The mixed amount of nostalgia and getting to experience something as if it was fresh is a unique emotion all in all, and it's so calming to find it out of serendipitous chance.
Azumanga Daioh is an anime that is close to my heart, as it is one of the early shows of my childhood that were part of the lineup that my sister and I religiously looked up to—everyday we would tune in
and switch the TV station to watch it on weekdays—and continue watching even if it's rerunning. A few years passed, and I found myself going through the whole story again by reading the 4-koma, which I felt reassured my love for the series and its quirky characters. It closed with an emotionally satisfying ending that is more than enough to wrap up the high school days of the girls.
Hearing of the Supplementary Materials additional chapters were a surprise to me, and I immediately went and read it even if it was 3AM and I seriously need some sleep. Seeing more of the antics of the girls within their high school days brought said familiar nostalgic yet fresh feeling—much like meeting an old friend and talking to them after for so long. I appreciate the effort Kiyohiko Azuma has put into delivering three more chapters that brought about that similar feeling as before, mixed along with his new experiences from writing Yotsuba&!.
If there's one thing to comment about, it would be that the art style differs from its parent story—of course, seeing that the mangaka has been putting much effort into his current manga, there are bound to be some artistic similarites to Yotsuba&! more than Azumanga Daioh itself. That said, the two manga aren't even that different in terms of art to begin with, and it shouldn't affect one's overall experience with reading these side stories.
The Supplementary Materials serve as a reaffirmation for my love not just for the series, but also for the anime and manga medium—there are these countless stories that are the brainchild of someone that can be brought to life, and can impact someone else's life in one way or another.
I wholeheartedly recommend these chapters for one who has experienced Azumanga Daioh before and was enamored by its little charm; this goes as well to people who have enjoyed the series and would like to see more material.