Friday, November 22, 2013

Mini-review: Azumanga Daioh

As I hinted at back in the beginning of September I said I might do a mini-review on Azumanga Daioh when I finished it. Well, here it is!

Azumanga Daioh is a bit of a weird slice of life/comedy series. The pacing is a bit sluggish but it fits with the theme very well, as it is revolving around spending time with friends and taking it easy. For me it took some time to get used to the pacing and to get really into the series, but when I did it I got a lot more invested into this series.

Saying that though, it may not be just the pacing that will determine if you'll like it or not. You got to like the characters! A lot of the humor comes from the characters, and how they interact with each other. If you end up not liking one of the characters, it will most likely be detrimental to your enjoyment. This is where Tomo comes in to the picture for me.
"Time to annoy someone!"
As the series went on, she became more and more annoying. She would do stuff like throwing away house keys, annoy the other characters, and say rude things with no compassion towards others, and then act surprised when she hurt their feelings. She's also a slacker, despite being energetic! The only time she doesn't slack off is when she can do something that she knows will annoy someone, or make (what she thinks) is a good joke.

Kaori, unaware of the horror to come.
Employee of the Year?
I wonder if this is someone's OTP... O_o
Luckily though, this series balances out Tomo, with a magnitude of other great characters, like the teacher Kimura (which, for some reason has managed to not lose his job) and the student Kaori (often called Kaorin by Kimura). Kimura, despite being a happily married man, makes several (and somewhat creepy) advances at Kaori, like giving her a cute nickname, planting a sign in the flowerbed saying "Kimurin and Kaorin's flower garden" and dancing with her at the sports day festival, to name a few. This is luckily, all just played for laughs, and it is several times stated that he loves his wife and daughter.

Another great character I want to mention is Sakaki. She's tall (taller than many of the boys), and because of that has never considered herself as being able to be cute, and instead gives off an aura of "cool" in public. She loves animals (cats especially) but can't keep any because her mom is allergic. Seeing her luck with the cat she meets on her way to school several times, this is probably a good thing, as she gets bitten fairly often. This changes later on, when she is allowed to keep a wildcat, at another characters house.

"I've played GTA 5, I got this!"
The last character I'll go into some depth about is the teacher Yukari. Or rather, her driving skills. Yukari drives a car in the same manner as her personality is porttrayed. Reckless. Her car consists of dents and traded paint for the most part. She'll ignore traffic signs and pedestrians to get where she is going, fast. There's even a joke about how one of the characters got traumatized from riding in her car!

To wrap things up, Azumanga Daioh is a very good series that I'd recommend if you want something slower paced, and full of comedic relief, to take a break from the action or drama. If you enjoy the Slice of Life genre, this is a must watch, if you haven't already.

Final Verdict: 8/10

Pros:                                                                          Cons:
- Characters that work well together                               - Tomo can be annoying
- Clever and funny jokes                                                - The slow pace can require some
- Doesn't take itself too seriously                                     acclimatization

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