An animated series based off of the four panel managa of the same name, Azumanga Daioh is a whimsical, hilarious and very cute look at the lives of an ecclectic group of high school girls and their teachers at a Tokyo high school. As the series progresses, small bits of their lives are shown, slowly painting a bigger picture as the cast shares the ups and downs of high school life, revolving around a close-knit friendship and a lot of silliness. Written by
A wonderful Anime--great for those unfamiliar with the genre
My teen watches, breaths and lives Anime and Manga. And after hearing about Japanese animation NON-STOP for some time, I thought I'd give it a whirl several years back. As a kid, Japanese animation was synonymous with lousy production values and dull plots. Often this was not the fault of the original production company, but due to American companies cutting the shows to pieces and splicing it all back together in an awful and confusing mess. SPEED RACER is the best example of this. So, despite my predisposition to hate it, I did agree to try some Anime once again.
Some Anime, not matter how much I try, I cannot and never will enjoy--particularly ones featuring exploding giant robots ("mecha" anime)--I'm just not particularly interested in this style. And some I have enjoyed mildly (such as DEATH NOTE), but of all the anime I have tried, by far my favorite is AZUMANGA DAIO. Regardless of where it was made, it is just wonderful entertainment. What I particularly like is that unlike so much of the super-fanciful anime, this is about a bunch of high school girls--and most of their adventures are very mundane--no explosions, no Pokemon battles and no life or death struggles. It's so good because the characters are all so well made and endearing--you really come to love them. Unlike many other Animes I have watched, the girls on the show seem almost like real people (except 'Osaka'--who is just plain weird!). This really surprised me--I thought Anime was pretty boring up until I watched this series! I am a high school teacher and apparently this series is pretty popular among my students as well. For teens and adults not 100% "gung-ho" about anime, this is an excellent series that will surely entertain. If you don't enjoy it, then there really is no hope for you coming to appreciate Anime.
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