Azumanga Daioh

Azumanga Daioh

Azumanga Daioh is yet another school life comedy featuring a group of high school girls. The series has been praised for its off-beat humor driven by eccentric characters.

Chiyo Mihama is a genius in every sense of the word. She skipped five grades, entering high school at age 10. Despite the huge age gap, she gets along well with her older classmates, and is a very nice person. Chiyo is also very short, and absolutely inept at sports. Her ponytails are of particular interest to Osaka, who often daydreams that they come off, allow her to fly, control her mind, and other stuff like that.

Tomo Takino is absurdly energetic and competitive, but is a real slacker. She never considers the consequences of anything she does, and generally irritates the rest of her classmates. If given the right motivation however, she can be quite capable of things.

Koyomi Mizuhara is a grade-school friend of Tomo’s, despite having drastically different personalities. She is the most serious member of the group, and often the most irritated by Tomo’s antics. As you can probably guess, their clashing personalities make for lots of Comedic Situations.

Sakaki is very tall, and soft-spoken. Being shy, she rarely speaks, and her demeanor is often misinterpreted as ‘cool and mysterious’. She is very good at sports, and holds a secret desire for all things cute. She especially loves cats, but they rarely allow her to pet them, and bite her instead.

Ayuma Kasuga, commonly called Osaka, is often slow, inattentive, and stuck in her own world. One time, she was so intensely focused on something, that she didn’t notice all the papers, chairs, and even desks flying through the air during Tomo’s attempts to exterminate a cockroach from the classroom.

Kagura is a dedicated member of the school’s swim team, but is a good athlete all around. She tries to outdo Sakaki in everything, but rarely succeeds. Like Tomo, she is very energetic, but is not prone to impulsive outbursts and irritating behavior. She does, however, share her lack of interest in studying.

Yukari Tanizaki is the girls’ English teacher. Depending on her mood, she can be a loving teacher, or merciless tyrant. She will often hit her students with blunt objects if they annoy her. For those unfortunate enough to ride in her car, the event leaves them emotionally scarred for life. The one exception is Tomo, who shares a lot of similarities with her.

Minamo Kurosawa is the school’s gym teacher. She is a high school friend of Yukari’s, and their relationship is similar to that between Tomo and Yomi. She is a lot nicer to her students than Yukari is, and is much more sensible and in control, despite being constantly insulted by Yukari.

The story covers three years of classes, tests, culture festivals, and athletic events at school, as well as time spent traveling to and from school, studying at Chiyo’s house, and summer vacations, concluding with the graduation of the main cast. The plot is generally realistic in tone, but with occasional bursts of surrealism and absurdity.

Azumanga Daioh: The Complete is available on DVD at Amazon.

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