Keith’s Anime Reviews: Azumanga Daioh

This is an anime for anyone who wants a break from the “usual” anime fare.

Azumanga Daioh is, in general, about a small group of high-school girls, telling the stories of their daily lives throughout high school. While that might sound a bit boring at first (and, arguably, it is) the beauty of this series is in its execution.

If this series was about “normal” girls, it would be pretty boring – thankfully, the characters in this series are anything but “normal.”

From Chio-chan the child genius to Osaka the… ummm… Osakan “idiot,” the cast of Azumanga Daioh is as colorful as the series itself.  Each character has their own unique quirks, and the combination of them all is likely to leave you in stitches from laughing so hard.

Some of the humor comes from over-the-top exaggeration, while other bits come from subtle non-sequiturs that may have you doing double-takes. From wacky dream sequences to a teacher who is a little too honest about why he became a high-school teacher, Azumanga Daioh is a series that is full of fun little stories that almost anyone can enjoy.

Because of the nature of the story (high school) the series is naturally limited – once the characters graduate high school, the story is basically over. So it’s not one of those super-long winded series that just goes on and on and on without any sort of end in sight. Another advantage of this shorter run (just 24 episodes) is that you can get the entire series in just 1 DVD box set (reasonably priced) and can even pick up the entire 4-volume manga set in one single large omnibus volume (although I recommend the individual books, since the omnibus version, by its very nature, shrinks the page art a little bit).

Overall, I highly recommend this series – as well as the manga on which it is based.