Azumanga Daioh (Japanese: あずまんが大王 Hepburn: Azumanga Daiō, lit. "Great King Azumanga") is a Japanese yonkoma comedy manga series written and illustrated by Kiyohiko Azuma, which was serialized in MediaWorks' Dengeki Daioh magazine between 1999 and 2002. Three additional chapters were published in Shogakukan's Monthly Shōnen Sunday in May 2009 to celebrate the manga's tenth anniversary. The manga was first released in English by ADV Manga, and was later re-issued by Yen Press.
An anime television adaptation titled Azumanga Daioh: the Animation was produced by J.C.Staff and aired in Japan between April and September 2002, consisting of 130 five-minute segments compiled into 26 episodes. The compiled episodes were released on DVD and Universal Media Discs (UMDs) by Starchild Records, and an English-language version was produced by ADV Films. Prior to the series, a theatrical short and an original net animation were also produced. Several soundtrack albums were released, as well as three Azumanga Daioh video games.
Both the manga and anime have been praised for their humor driven by eccentric characters, with Azuma acclaimed as a "master of the four-panel form" for both his art style and comic timing.
Azumanga Daioh chronicles the everyday life in an unnamed Japanese high school of six girls and two of their teachers: child prodigy Chiyo Mihama and her struggle to fit in with girls five years older; reserved Sakaki and her obsession with the cute animals while certain ones seem to hate her; spacey Ayumu "Osaka" Kasuga with a skewed perspective on the world; Koyomi "Yomi" Mizuhara's aggravation at an annoying best friend; Tomo Takino, whose energy is rivaled only by her lack of sense; sporty Kagura and her one-sided athletics rivalry with Sakaki; their homeroom teacher Yukari Tanizaki; and her friend, physical education teacher Minamo "Nyamo" Kurosawa.
Secondary characters include Kimura-sensei, a creepy male teacher with an obsession with teenage girls, and Kaorin, a female classmate with a crush on Sakaki.
The story covers three years of tests, talking between classes, culture festivals, and athletic events at school, as well as time spent traveling to and from school, studying at Chiyo's house, and vacations at Chiyo's summer beach home and the fictional theme park Magical Land, concluding with the graduation of the main cast. It is generally realistic in tone, marked by occasional bursts of surrealism and absurdity, such as Osaka imagining Chiyo's ponytails being "unscrewed" from her head and an episode featuring the characters' New Year's dreams.
Soramimi Cake (Oranges & Lemons)
Raspberry Heaven (Oranges & Lemons)
|Azumanga Daioh: The Animation|