also known as: azumanga daioh
# eps: 26, apr 2002 – oct 2002
anidb rating: 8.56 (4575 votes)
my rating: 9.00
picked this up as a friend of mine (who isn’t a fan of slice-of-life anime) strongly recommended this to me, as he told me that this was one of those rare slice-of-lifes that he thoroughly enjoyed. despite having rather simplistic art (and a much smaller budget than other current slice-of-lifes, for instance lucky star), the strength of this anime lies in its excellent portrayal of the lives of the girls in a japanese high school.
i’ll start off with a brief history of this anime – azumanga daiou started life as a 4koma manga drawn by kiyohiko azuma in the magazine dengeki daiou, a shounen magazine (hence the name of the series). after the comic strip finished serialization, it was adapted as an anime series by jc staff – and to cut things short, this anime was successful not only in japan, but also in america (it was dubbed though).
its characters are so lovable, in the newtype magazine’s top 100 anime heroines of the year, osaka ranked 7th, chiyo 11th, sakaki 21st and yomi 78th! i guess that’s because this anime doesn’t have a “main character” – the anime focuses on how the 7 girls and the 2 teachers interact amongst themselves in a group or on their own, thus the viewer is left with a strong impression of all of the characters!
personally, i felt that all of the characters were lovable – if i were forced to pick one that i liked over the others, it’s sakaki. i do agree with kaorin – she’s just so kakkoii!
i guess i’d feel the same way if i were in kaorin’s shoes =P
while tomo-chan gets on my nerves sometimes, some of the lines that she spouts make me smile inwardly.
story-wise, as this anime is about the three years of high school the girls went through, it’s very realistic in dealing with issues that affect them at their age (i grin whenever yomi’s being over-conscious of her weight). azumanga daiou does have some episodes that are surreal – the most surreal one was the one on the first dreams each character had of the new year. it’s said that if one dreams of mt. fuji, a hawk or eggplant in their hatsuyume (lit: first dream), one’s bound to have good luck in their year. however the characters had an assortment of weird dreams, most of which involve chiyo-chan in unflattering situations =P this episode didn’t make sense at all, but it somehow still managed to be strangely omoshiroi at the same time =)
art-wise, while not top-notch, does have its share of surprises when detail is required.
never expected that we could read the exam script! on a side note, i find it weird that ticks mean “wrong” in japan – but i guess if i failed horribly i’d still be happy as my exam script would be full of ticks heh.
does this remind you of akira, from lucky star? =)
in summary – a great watch, relaxing and guaranteed to make you laugh, but don’t ever marathon it! best savoured in small bites.
ps biological fact-of-the-day: no one really knows why we hiccup – it might be to dislodge food stuck in the oesophagus, but why then do spicy foodstuff trigger hiccups?