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Azumanga Daioh holds a special place in the hearts of many anime-viewers. It was an amazing anime that I whole-heartedly recommend to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. Seriously, find it. Heck, do yourself a favor and buy the Azumanga Daioh Omnibus they sell at Hastings or whatever your local manga-carrying place is… it is a massive tome with every single page of Azumanga in it. It is heavy with the weight of quality and you can then HURL it at friends who don’t know Azumanga.

One of the interesting things about the manga, by the way, was that it was done in 4-panel format. This is like the comics you see in newspapers… but most of THEIR cartoons suck. Not the case here, sirs and ladies, Azumanga Daioh is considered required viewing by some of the old anime fans who were alive through the entire 90s. Bleach is considered required viewing by some of those who weren’t but what do those kids know, right? Anyways, watch this opening. Chances are you’ve heard it or seen it before if you like anime. If not, you needed to see it anyway.

“Imagination Cake” indeed.

If you haven’t really pinned down what Azumanga Daioh is about from that opening, please, stop trying. Azumanga Daioh is about the lives of some high school girls and some of their teachers. Its about their fears, their goals, their dreams… seriously, a lot of their dreams… does that sound like any other anime you can think of?

This is Lucky Star and will probably get its own rant later

What separates Azumanga Daioh and distinguishes it, however, is the flow of time. Azumanga Daioh’s stream of time steadily flows forward. The girls start off as freshmen, the seasons progress in order… then they are juniors… then seniors… then they graduate. You watch them and grow to love them as characters within the flow of time. This is a marked difference from other slice-of-life sorts of anime, like Lucky Star, where time is nothing but a setting. It never really mattered what month it was in Lucky Star, outside of a few time-specific events. For the purposes of the anime, time would stand still for these girls. That wasn’t a bad thing, per se, it just sets Azumanga Daioh on a special level for me… Azumanga Daioh is a story in which people grow up and change over time. You aren’t just watching a weekly adventure through mundane life, you are growing attached to characters with LIVES ahead of them.

Ask anyone who has seen the last episode of Azumanga Daioh… that is powerful stuff. You weren’t sure what you were expecting, but somehow it wasn’t the powerful realistic feelings of separating from friends after years of being together… and then, at the very end… all the girls appear on screen and bow to the camera. That is when it hits you… you won’t ever see them again. You have to say goodbye to them, just as they have to say goodbye to eachother. For twenty-six episodes, you have watched these girls through highs and lows and now they are gone for good.

But the memories, the memories are forever.

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One Comment

  1. DAMMIT IT’S SO TRUE…


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