If there was one word to summarise this entire anime, it would have to be 'Eureka'. No anime on the face of this Earth can come close to the hilarity and perfectly executed suggestive humour that IS Azumanga Daioh. This series could stand alone as being one of the most simple yet interesting animes' out there. Not only is it humerous and intellectually entertaining - it is completely random, and the only plot line I am able to obtain is 'Girls going to high school'.
Similar to Lucky Star, the overall story is explicitly random, each episode is divided into 4 short segments which are loosely tied together. Each section is a mini story on it's own and after the end of each scene I am pretty much expecting John Cleese to pop up and say "And now for something completely different!". This in my opinion makes the series even more enjoyable because you never know what will come next.
Solid colours, simple backgrounds and clean movement. Nothing in this anime is over complicated, making it easy to watch. I don't know about you, but giant crowds being simplified into white blobs with a black outline to me indicates more emphasis on the main characters. Which is who and what you are supposed to actually be paying attention to. Another thing about the simple animation style, it actually puts detail into the characters as a whole and animates them accordingly - rather than how much a small childs skirt can lift with a single jump.
Unfortuantely, the anime does get quite repetitive. Watching Osaka daydreaming for about 5 minutes takes its toll on your attention span, which could have been put to better use. But other than that, everything is good to go.
Pure Gold. The OST and OP/ED themes to Azumanga Daioh are a total feel good sensation.
The OST is a happy, upbeat and over the moon experiance and makes the anime even more enjoyable since you can't stop smiling. Something which many animes' fail to make happen.
'Soramimi Cake' is the opening to Azumanga Daioh, and personally I love it to bits. The lyrics, the song itself and the video captions are about as random as the anime. It's a perfect fit.
'Raspberry Heaven' is the closing theme and it also fits quite well. Personally I'm not a big fan but the song and the clips are relaxing and it makes you see the strong relationships between all the characters.
How many people can say they love ALL the characters in an entire anime. If you are one who can't, then prepare to be corrected. Not one character in Azumanga Daioh wouldn't make a special place in your heart. A child protegy, a big busted sports superstar, a wildcat high school girl, a smart ass and the mediocre foreigner. each holding their own seperate personality. Not to mention the main teachers. A normal woman doing her job, another witht he mind of a 5 year old and an insinuated pedophile. Can't get much better than that.
Azumanga Daioh has chosen a simple aspect of human life: The transition between adolescence and adulthood, and transformed it into the girls you see on the screen. making no attempt to add extra genres, the girls are just normal school girls with everyday problems and situations.
First off there is Chiyo Mihama, a child genius who was moved from Primary school to endure her early start in the senior years. She is generally good at everything she touches, except tasks that require height or atheletic ability. Smart, adorable, sluggish on the suggestive jokes and pretty much a replication of Bubbles from the Powerpuff Girls... Chiyo will win you over with cuteness.
Second best is Ayumu Kasuga. Early on she is dubbed 'Osaka', and it stuck... much to her discomfort. She is slow metally and physically, sleeps during class and has a mind that overthinks even the smallest things: Like if Chiyo's pigtails are detatchable.
Miss Sakaki. Tall, atheletic, beautiful and insanely well endowed. Her secretive nature has dubbed her the school's 'lone wolf'. She comes to school with bandages on her hands and withdrawn from classmates. Unfortunately, in her case she is incredibly shy, and those bandages, results from trying to pet the local cat. Her enclosed personality is actually a lot like Chiyo's... but it's quite hard to show 'cute and adorable' when you're six feet tall.
In addition to the group are two childhood friends. Complete polar opposites, Tomo Takino and Koyomi Mizuhara are more alike than they would like to admit. Tomo is the energetic wildcat high school girl who comes up with all the stupid ideas and Yomi, secrety obsessed about her weight and is usually the one who cleans up after Tomo's mess.
The 'rolemodels' for these girls are 3 main teachers. Yukari Tanazaki and Minamo Kurosawa are two high school besties who cannot let go of their youth. Yukari is constantly childish and much to her dismay a language teacher, however, Minamo is the 'Adult' influence and has taken the hearts of most the school students. Something which Yukari competes for. Constantly bickering and one sided competing, these two are inseperable at the hip. Lastly, there is the insane Mr. Kimura. Comedic relief and master of the suggestive jokes, he openly discusses his opinions and answers all questions truthfully. No matter what the subject.
This anime has definitely made an impression on myself and others I know who have watched it. It's simple, fun loving and just so random that it actually works. Unlike Lucky Star (Sorry for the dig here), Azumanga Daioh legitimately makes you laugh and enjoy the characters as a cast and as individual creations. It is a wonderful anime and if you are looking for a heartwarming experiance, Azumanga Daioh should be on the top of your list.