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Name: Azumanga Daioh (73.33% in 3 votes)
Platform: Video
Company: Unknown
Release date: 2002
Reviewed by: Bata-kun

You have manga and you have Azumanga. Based on a 1999 yon ko ma (four piece comic) by Azuma Kiyohiko-sensei, J.C. Staff/Genco's Azumanga Daioh is a 26 episode series, condensed from 130 5-minute episodes. (It ran under a magazine called Dengeki Daioh. As a result of that and the author's name, you have Azumanga Daioh.) There is also a short movie that was shown right along with the most recent Sakura Taisen movie from the year before last year. The anime came out in April of last year. There are plans of a second season this year, but no details are set in stone as of now. As the plans go on this year, I don't know if there will actually be a second season. It can go 50/50. ^-^

I was actually introduced to Azumanga Daioh the Animation because of the Professor. The Professor said some interesting details about Azumanga. He said some statement about SNK's Yamazaki Ryuji as a naughty teacher in the series. Well, it turned out that Yamazaki’s seiyuu, Ishii Kouji, plays as the naughty teacher.

The series is focused on a bunch of high school girls. You have Miyama Chiyo-chan, the ten-year old genius who managed to get into high school at such a young age. There’s Kasuga Ayumu, who would later on be known as Osaka, since she transferred to the school in Tokyo from Osaka. There’s also the pair of Takino Tomo, the energetic girl, and Mizuhara Koyomi, the real serious talker, who have been friends since they were little, though their personalities are totally different. Then, there’s Sakaki, the cool girl who actually has a soft spot for anything cute, especially cats. Next, there’s Kagura who claims to be Sakaki's rival, since she is second in athletics to her. Finally, there’s the pair of Aida Kaorin, who is obsessed with Sakaki, and Inoue Chihiro, a friend of Kaorin and the rest of the gang. (The full names of Kaorin and Chihiro were really hard to find. Believe me. Now, we have to wonder about Kagura's as well as Sakaki's.)

Of course, I can’t describe Azumanga without talking about the weird, but interesting teachers. There’s Tanizaki Yukari-sensei, the funny, yet lazy English teacher. There’s also Kurosawa Minamo-sensei, the popular physical education teacher and Yukari-sensei’s long-time friend/rival. Yukari-sensei would call her Nyamo a lot, though Minamo-sensei doesn’t like being called that during work. Finally, there’s Kimura-sensei, the classics teacher and that naughty teacher I was talking about. He is the only male that gets attention in the series.

You want a fun series? Here's one. You can thank me afterwards.

Art - 10

When I first looked at this series, I said, “Wow!” This is a beautiful series. The girls look good as always. The teachers have good designs. Shoot, even the guys that never get any attention look good! My fellow anime and manga fans, this is about as good as the art can get. It can’t get any better!

Story - N/A

Okay. There's no story. So? This is not a series where you try to look for one.

Audio - 10

The music is silly, but it is silly in a good way. The songs fit the series and that’s what really matters. Both, the opening and the ending songs, Sora Mimi Cake/Ear Playing Tricks Cake and Raspberry Heaven respectively, are songs by Oranges & Lemons and they do blend in with the series. It’s definitely one of the best song duos right now if you ask me.

The group of seiyuu is remarkable. Each character has a seiyuu that really brings himself/herself to life. I can say this for many series, but not many series can do it as well as Azumanga or better than Azumanga. Whether you have Hiramatsu Akiko-sama as Yukari-sensei, Hisakawa Aya-sama as Minamo-sensei or Higuchi Chieko as Tomo, you have a group of seiyuu that will make your jaw drop. The group is that remarkable.

At the time, I did and I still do not see this series being heard in a different language (even though it has reached North America). Why? I'll list a couple of them. There are various scenes to worry about if one should dub it to another language, especially with one of the introductions of a certain character, if you know what I mean. Also, so much of the humor lies within the seiyuu. I hope that helps.

Fun - 10

Yes, the series gets a perfect 10 in the fun section, but it gets a hard working 10. So many series, especially comedy series, lose their flavor towards the end. Azumanga keeps it from the beginning to the end.

You have fun scenes with the students. You have fun scenes with the teachers. I wish I had a fun high school experience just like in Azumanga. I don’t want to say this for my high school experience only. I want to say this for my experience in school overall.

Azumanga's comedy is not the only reason why this series is fun. Azumanga carries a trait few other series have. It is a series that knows how to use both fiction and reality elements together. On the fiction side, you have elements like Chiyo-chan's tails in her hair and you have to see the series why I mention this. On the reality side, you will see the students get a bit older as time goes along and you can relate to them.

Yeah, you will have fun with the series overall. It is that good. Really!

Here’s where I mention the flaws in the series, a task I don't want to do, but, yeah, it's needed. First off, there is not enough Kaorin, Minamo-sensei and such! Seriously, as a whole, this is one of the few series in which I have to say, “You will either love it or you will hate it.” The series has comedy, which is not fit for everyone, but honestly, I love the series as a whole. There are also some scenes that could require a little explanation. Having some knowledge in Japanese culture and Japanese society can make the series more enjoyable, but I wouldn't say that it is a prerequisite. I mean, even though I barely have some knowledge, I understand a few of the culture and society jokes and I like the series. Finally, if you have read the yon ko ma, in which I am doing as I watch the anime, the humor has been cut down a bit here in the anime, but thankfully, the anime is as good as the yon ko ma.

Life - 10

You have heard me rave so much about the series already. I think that says a lot, ne? Ne?

Overall - 10

Azumanga is all that and a bag of Gummy. So what are you waiting for? Go and check out Azumanga! Anime or yon ko ma or even their games for that matter, go check out Azumanga! It is that good!


Spiffy art, humor that lasts and lasts, silly music, seiyuu nailing their roles with pure feeling, Azumanga Daioh daisuki yo!


Some scenes do need some explaining, the humor is cut down a bit from the manga, and you will either love the series or you will hate it.
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