Azumanga Daioh: The Very Short Movie

Movie (1 ep x 6 min)
3.577 out of 5 from 5,212 votes
Rank #4,654

Osaka is curious, she is puzzling, and above all she is clueless. On this particular day, her curiosity is focused on the cutest little set of pigtails you have ever seen. These pigtails happen to belong to the cutest little 10-year-old genius you have ever seen: Chiyo-chan! When Osaka just can’t stand it any longer she reaches up and grabs the pigtails, but much to her surprise they seem to have a mind of their own. Jumping right off of Chiyo’s head, the pigtails make a bouncing beeline towards the window and escape in a hurry! One very sad little Chiyo-chan desperately runs after them, but what adventures await her in a world where pigtails are so free and lively!?

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Chronologically speaking, the material for Azumanga Daioh:  The Very Short Movie is found in episode two of Azumanga Daioh:  Osaka's Day.  This episode revealed all the mischief the Kansai dialect-blessed character (or southern belle supreme, if you go the dubbing route) can get into.  One set dealt with the curiosity over the pigtails of the student sitting in front of her.  Pigtails which could give Chiyo the gift of flight or entertain the folks with the random twitching of the marvelous braids. Chronological speaking ... except for one thing.  The series Azumanga Daioh ran in 2002.  The Very Short Movie came one year prior.  So, you might say that this OVA serves as a pilot for the season that would amuse viewers the year following. You might say pilot ... except for one thing.  The first anime renditions of Azumanga Daioh were a web production of six episodes that was available for anime fans in 2000. Do I have to mention the manga that inspired all this loveliness? I appreciated the previous reviewers who liked what they saw, but what was it that they saw?  Just a neat version of Chiyo's magical pigtails which freaked Osaka by falling off, giving Chiyo a page boy which drove the girl to tears.  Osaka tries to reattach the locks, but they decide to bolt for the great unknown.  This prompts Osaka to take on that sacred quest to regain those fabulous strands of Chiyo's girlhood, traveling through mystic realms and other nonsense.  But, with six minutes to play with, we don't get much of a sacred quest.  Short story really shorter ... Chiyo gets the pigtails back. Just in time for the 2002 season. Strange to say, but the technique for Very Short Movie appears cleaner and more vivid than the 26-episode season, which followed a different course of story-telling which drew on simpler designs to garner just as many laughs.  Here we have a neat concept piece which proves that with a little imagination, you can produce a cast of characters which gives us a comedic glimpse into the zaniness called 'high school years.'

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