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Azumanga Daioh Paperback – December 15, 2009
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About the Author
Kiyohiko Azuma is the bestselling creator of AZUMANGA DAIOH and the critically acclaimed YOTSUBA&! which won the Excellence Prize in the manga category at the Japan Media Arts Festival in 2006. The series was also nominated for an Eisner Award in the U.S. in 2008 and has been a regular New York Times bestseller.
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Anyways, this manga could easily be summarized as "cute girls doing cute things", because that's all there is to it. Azumanga Daioh chronicles the life of a group of Japanese schoolgirls as they make their way through high school. Yomi, the straight man, Tomo, the hyper goofball, Sasaki, an intimidating girl who's outer appearance contains her sweet nature, Kagura, a competitive sportsman, Osaka, an airheaded transfer student, and Chiyo, a 10-year-old child prodigy, as well as their teachers the child-like Yukari, and their gym-teacher Nyamo.
There's no overarching plot for the manga, as its delivered through gags in the form of yokoma, a 4-panel strip that could be compared to the Western Sunday Funnies. For the most part, Azumanga Daioh keeps a light-hearted humor that everyone can appreciate, although there might be times where it jumps into questionable territory, especially with the side-characters Kaorin, a girl with a huge crush on Sasaki, and Kimura, a teacher with an affinity for high school girls. Other stories include the bizarre dreams of our students.
I have to warn anyone who buys this that a lot of the humor is intended for the Japanese, and although the translators did an amazing job at bringing this to the masses, some gags and jokes may simply go over our heads. This is properly handled, however, in that after each volume (the book is a compilation of 4 volumes), there's translator notes fully explaining the jokes and gags that Westerners may have a hard time understanding. Even if some of the humor doesn't get you, it's still worth going over eveyrthing, if only to appreciate the adorable and simplistic art-style Azumanga Daioh has to offer.
As I said before, I may not be able to do this product justice, as the other reviewers have already done a great job at it. All I can say is that Azumanga Daioh is timeless, and it's an amusing read no matter how many times one goes through it. Due to it's plotless format, one can sit down, open any page, and get a kick out of it. From the moments you get introduced to our colorful characters, to the tear-jerking finale, Azumanga is a must-read for most, if not all, manga fans. I'm sure even people who have no interest in anime could learn to appreciate the book.
the main thing is that i was not informed that i was buying it used. so it comes in the mail with the spine all jacked up and curved. i was more than disappointed, thinking i was going to get a new item. considering sending it back
Couple that together with the situations they land themselves in and you've got a book that will have you grinning from ear to ear every time you read a few pages. Samples include the sports festivals, vacation at the Chiyo's Summer House, Chiyo and Osaka working at Magnetron Burger, the Culture Fest, the school trip to Okinawa. You get Sakaki's adventures with cats, Osaka's apparent obsession with Chiyo's pigtails, Miss Yukari constantly competing against(or sponging money from) Nyamo, Mr Kimura's creepy thing with young girls...so many humorous moments that will make you smile.
If you've seen the anime you'll love this. If you haven't, you'll still love this. Well worth the money.