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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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The yonkama was featured in MediaWorks’ Dengeki Daioh shonen manga magazine from 1999 to 2002 and the storyline focuses on the lives of several female high school students during their three years in high school before graduating. The story tends to feature a school year, may it be the school sports competition, the field trip amongst friends, friends sleeping over each other’s home, friends talking in class or their thoughts about the teachers or how the teachers feel about them.
But also panels featuring on each member as Tomo irritates everyone, Sakaki wanting to get close to a neighborhood cat that continually bites her, Chiyo wanting to fit in with her fellow students who are older, Osaka having the wildest imagination and more!
Prior to reading “Azumanga Daioh”, I watched the anime series which I absolutely loved!
Years later, I ended up reading the omnibus and for the money, nearly 700 pages for the price is magnificent. It probably took me about a month and half, off-and-on to read as it is one of those stories that you can read quickly but you want to savor the enjoyment of the series by reading several of the four-panels per day.
While there are some chapters that are in manga-like format, the majority of all pages feature a four panel storyline and I can’t help but laugh and just enjoy this magnificent series for its quirky characters.
Each have their own charm in their own type of way. Chiyo Mihama is a child prodigy that looks like she has two pigtails attached to her and because she is younger and smart but not as athletic, she is often teased by the older students and put into situations where she is made to look cute but is unaware if she’s being taken for a ride or not. Her naivety and her kind nature makes her a fun character.
Sakaki is the tall, athletic student with a hidden soft side. Her love for cats is quite huge and it’s something she doesn’t discuss with others. But as she tries to get close to cats, the keep biting her for some reason.
And while I enjoyed every character for their certain personalities, the person that bewilders me and that is why I consider her my favorite is Osaka. She is so unusual, naive and your absolute airhead. Whenever she speaks, you know that only hilarious things come from her mouth.
In one strip, she believes that she will pass her college entrance exam if she can break off a chopstick evenly. Each time she does it, she fails and thus, she thinks she will fail her test. Until Chiyo teaches her how.
She and also Sakaki have unusual dreams of Chiyo’s father, which looks like an alien cat creature. It’s not really mentioned why the two have these unusual dreams but they are hilarious when they do have them and Chiyo’s father in alien cat form shows up.
And then you have the Kimura the pervert who says the most perverted things to his class at the wrong moments or the teachers Yukari and Nyamo often engaged in arguments or some competition, with Yukari nearly as bad as Tomo.
But there are so many wonderful but quick four-panel strips in this omnibus. At nearly 700 pages, its thicker than my telephone books and for an omnibus, it’s the largest size that I have ever seen.
It’s important to note that while the manga is the same as the ADV Manga release in terms of storyline, the primary difference is the translations and added translation notes and color pages plus an index. So, in many ways, this version is much better for those who want to know more about the Japanese wording featured in the manga series. For example, when the group goes to Okinawa to eat Saataa andagii, at the end of the chapter, one can look it up and find out what it is.
The older ADV omnibus is a little taller by half an inch and there is translation notes but not as in detail as the one featured in the Yen Press version.
There is a good amount of translation notes that will make those who want to learn about Japanese culture, worth their while.
With that being said, in terms of translations, I think it will be subjective. This will be the case with the character of Osaka. In this manga series, it seems that the goal was to make Osaka seem she came from the country by using “ah’m” instead of “I’m”, instead of “I”, it’s typed as “ah” and instead of “them”, she says “‘em”. For me, I don’t think it was necessary to go that far. I do understand the translator trying to show the difference between Kanto and Kansai speakers but while different dialects, it’s almost like comparing someone from California and someone else from Alabama. The Southern twang in my opinion was not necessary. But I can see why it was done, so it’s subjective.
And for the most part, not everyone is going to buy both omnibus, so if you were going to purchase the “Azumanga Daioh: Omnibus”, it’s a great value for something this big at $25. And the added translation notes and index make it worth owning even more. But with that being said, the ADV Manga was still good sans the translation notes and because it was released several years ago, that version can be found used for a cheaper price.
Otherwise, the Yen Press release of “Azumanga Daioh” is fantastic!
An enjoyable series cool and hilarious characters, “Azumanga Daioh” is a manga series that is worth reading. And for its price and its delightful, fun storyline, “Azumanga Daioh: The Omnibus” deserves a 5-star ranking! Highly recommended!
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.
Most recent customer reviews
the main thing is that i was not informed that i was buying it used.Read more