Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
on September 16, 2009
Episodic? Sort of. Similar to Lucky Star, the Azumanga Daioh anime is compiled from 4-panel gag manga comics of the same name; either you get the joke, or you don't. The manga is wonderful, to see it in anime is exceptional. Azumanga Daioh has also been compared to, strangely enough, the U.S. sitcom "Seinfeld", because of the episodic feel... supposedly a non-story arc affair. But realistically, the character development and day-to-day life (in this case, three years of Japanese high school) IS the story arc. The repetition of comic relief is quite intentional, this stems from the characters personalities... which makes you grow closer and founder to them. Also, like Lucky Star (and Seinfeld), what makes this series extra special is the reviewable opportunities... you don't feel weighed down by a series that is story-arc driven, this is all about the characters. No matter how many times I hear Elaine bust out "Get OUT!" on Seinfeld, it does not get old; either does this anime.
I would highly recommend viewing the anime with Japanese DUB and English subtitles... mainly because of Osaka's character. The character is from Osaka, which regionally, would be considered "down south" for us in the States. And like the English translated manga, the character is obnoxiously portrayed as being from Boston, which is a far cry... the joke in the manga, is that even though the nicknamed transfer student Osaka is from Osaka, she's expected to be cutting-edge and city-slick cool by the other students when they first meet her... but in actuality, she's quite spacey and slow on the uptake which does NOT come across in either the English translated manga or the English dubbed anime. You'll get and understand the true identity and hilariousness of Osaka by listening to the Japanese DUB with English subtitles... the original dialogue is always portrayed/delivered correctly... dub is often... lost in translation as they say.
Another treat, on a personal level, is that the characters are all Japanese girls, with dark hair and dark eyes... none of the westernized and often whitewashed look or feel of other anime character design... with bright hair and eyes of every color of the rainbow... which is still quite enjoyable, but a breath of fresh air for this anime. If you enjoy this series, I would also highly recommend Lucky Star; although much more in your face fun, it's also derived from the same 4-panel gag-style of manga and isn't story-arc necessary.