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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
[Yomi answers the phone]
Hello? Oh, Yomi? We're getting on a rollercoaster now! I'm gonna broadcast to you live!
[Yomi gets mad, hangs up, and goes to sleep]
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I usually try to avoid hyperbole - I've studied enough English to know how overdone it can be. And in this case I will avoid hyperbole as well. I can quite honestly say that Azumanga Daioh is the best anime I've ever seen, and probably the best show.
Scratch that, actually. The number of *things* of any form which can match Azumanga can be counted on the fingers of both hands.
In every single episode, I found myself laughing out loud, going "Awwww, sooo cute!", and smiling with just... happiness. This is an idiosyncratic show, but also an incredibly poignant and touching one. I can think of nothing else which touches me so deeply that it makes me cry a tenth as often as And does. In that sense, it is the best feel-good panacea I have ever come across, or heard of. It's possible I am forgetting a Norse myth which spoke of something better, but I doubt it.
The show is also, of course, incredibly funny. Whilst there is the occasional joke lost in translation, or which benefits from a little knowledge of Japanese culture, the vast majority of the humor is accessible to anybody who cares to watch it. It has more classic lines than anything except perhaps Monty Python.
Put simply, this show has everything necessary to be a classic. It is for Azumanga Daioh that anime and television and efficient, modern distribution methods exist. If you have any soul, any joy in your body, I cannot recommend this enough. Import it, track it down in stores, do whatever you can to get a hold of it. Well, anything except theft. Everyone involved with the creation of this masterpiece deserves every penny they are paid, and several edifices to their greatness besides.
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