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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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Due to a linking error this page was linked to the new release of the "omnibus edition of Azumanga Daioh"(ISBN:0316077380) as the library binding format option. Please note the product description on this page is not the 672 page 'Omnibus' edition of the entire series. The omnibus release from the new distributor Yenpress in library binding format is not available from this page.
If you ended up on this product page looking for the library binding format of the new omnibus release from Yenpress go back to the privious page and order the paperback format. If you order from this page you will get the 168 page vol. 2 of the series in a nice library binding.
I hope Amazon will correct this linking error but because all of the responses from them have been worded in ways that ignore or deny any mistake and do not indicate any intent to fix the problem I am placing this review to inform anyone that wants the new omnibus release of Azumanga Daioh to buy the paperback format or wait for Amazon to correct the link for the library binding format.
But despite those odd facts, this delightful little series is one of the few schoolcentric manga that I've read and enjoyed -- a comic exploration of the oddball lives of a gang of young high school girls and a few equally eccentric young teachers. "Azumanga Daioh" doesn't delve too deeply into characters' lives or anything non-fluffy -- Kiyohiko Azuma's stories charm just by being adorable and a little strange.
High school has begun, and there's a crop of new students -- among them is the quiet, tall cat-lover Sakaki, ten-year-old genius Chiyo-chan, the impulsive and freakishly energetic Tomo, the sensible Yomi, athletic Kagura, and a spacey transfer student from Osaka named Ayumu (but who is always called "Osaka" instead). The assorted teens are taught (I use the term loosely) by their immature, mildly bipolar teacher Yukari, and her exasperated gym-teacher buddy "Nyamo."
Over the next four years, the students and teachers must deal with all the normal stuff -- biting cats, contemplations of teen life, ball games, field trips, working at a thinly-disguised McDonald's, swimming woes, visits to Chiyo-chan's summer house and the beach, running for class president (Tomo nominated herself! Aiee!), footraces, the right way to separate chopsticks, random trivia, the Necoconeco, hiccups, Sakaki's secret vice, talking to foreigners, horrendous driving, Chiyo's massive dog, Mr. Kimura's creepy love for teen girls, a sports festival and a stuffed animal exhibit festival.
And to add to all the weirdness, we occasionally see inside their dreams -- think serving penguins, big weird cats, flying parasitic pigtails, and (most implausibly) Tomo getting better grades than Chiyo.
"Azumanga Daioh" isn't really like any other manga I've seen -- it has a couple of "normal" chapters, but most of the time it's rendered in vertical four-panel strips, like daily comic strips. It also has only a few running storylines (such as Sakaki and the little endangered cat), although it does have some fun running gags -- and though there are a spattering of male characters on the sidelines (including the ghoulish Mr Kimura and a horde of nameless boys), it's almost completely focused on young women.
But despite having pretty much no plot, "Azumanga Daioh" is adorable and charming fluff. Azuma takes the ordinary stuff of everyday life (like chatting at school) and gives it a delightfully offbeat twist (poor Chiyo having graphic flashbacks to Yukari's driving). She has a knack for finding the goofy stuff in fairly ordinary life (various methods of curing hiccups) and amplifying it just a little -- while inserting some sly jokes as well.
And the cast of characters is pretty fun -- Sakaki is especially endearing, since she seems imposing and distant, but is actually shy and sentimental (especially about cute stuff); Chiyo is endearing thanks to her short size and conscientious worrywartiness. And the insanely energetic Tomo and surreal-minded space cadet "Osaka" make nice accompaniments, as do Nyami and Yukari, who are sort of a Japanese educational Odd Couple. Except with pillow stealing and payday dances.
It's worth noting that this omnibus is not a rerelease of the previous omnibus edition. The old one was by ADV (who have since sold their rights), and this Yen Press release is an entirely new translation that sticks closer to the original Japanese in many ways (f'rinstance, people refer to yen instead of dollars).
This omnibus -- which contains all of "Azumanga Daioh" -- is simple, fluffy, and all the more charming for being so. It's not so much a slice of life as a hundred delicious little crumbs.
There's not much of a plot, it simply follows the lives of some high school girls from their first year to the last semester. It's funny, lighthearted and every page is a joy to read. I once heard Azumanga described as feeling like a "you had to be there" sort of joke. Explaining the humor of the series can never do it justice, but as you're reading (or watching the wonderful anime adaptation) you feel as if you're in on the joke.
I own both the Yen Press and the now out of print ADV Manga version. I have to say that the Yen Press version wins hands down. The translation is much better, and the notes at the end of each section are helpful for those who may not get the more "Japanese" jokes. As a bonus, many of the illustrations are in color in the Yen Press version, which is a nice addition.
Azumanga Daioh may be a 'slice of life' manga, but it's certainly not boring. The pace may seem slow for some readers, but things do happen in this manga. Hilarious things. :D
This omnibus edition comes from Yen Press, and at well over 600 pages, it's a pretty big volume. :D
At the end of the book, there's an index listing(if you want to find a particular story), and throughout the book there are informative translation notes(such as explaining word puns, pop culture,etc). The quality of the paper is really good, and thus the b/w artwork is represented well.
NOTE: This 2009 Yen Press edition has translation that is different from previous releases(when the Azumanga Daioh manga was licensed/released by ADV).
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the main thing is that i was not informed that i was buying it used.Read more