As always, my Review FAQ is in my blog, check it out if you want to know more info on how I do my reviews.
There is very little plot to this anime (does life have a plot?) other than the overarching plot of growing older and experiencing life. Each smaller story segment has its own miniature plot, however, and so too many exist to make mention of.
Kiyohiko Azuma's characters are often considered to be some of the best and most realistic depictions of real people in anime and manga series. It is very easy to fall in love with the characters, even someone as creepy as the older male teacher Kimura. It is often difficult to pick out a favorite character until at least halfway through the series. (mine is Kagura, by the way.)
The only thing that I would consider a bit sub-par is the art quality. Remember though, this is an anime from 2002, the new cel-shading techniques hadn't come out yet, so it lacks the crystal-clear visuals of some of the newer anime. However, the score is saved somewhat by Kiyohiko Azuma's unique art style. His characters can be so expressive at times, it would seem they actually come to life.
With a brand new score by group composers/performers Oranges & Lemons, the Azumanga Daioh music tracks are quirky, fun, and very entertaining. A word of warning though; the tracks with words have nonsensical lyrics, even to a native japanese speaker. They are intended to be nonsensical, it is part of the fun. The music always matches the scenes, and I was never left with the feeling that there was too little (or too much) music.
PERSONAL CHOICE: 10/10
A very entertaining anime, and one of my favorites. I think everyone should watch it at least once.
Personal Choice 10/10
This is one of my favorite anime. A good blend of humor and seriousness makes for an entertaining combination, one that Azumanga Daioh never fails to deliver upon. I am left wondering what becomes of the girls after a few years; I think it would make a great anime, or at least a spinoff manga series.
WATCH AGAIN?: Most definitely