DVD Review: Azumanga Daioh The Animation Complete Collection (2002)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Sunday, May 5, 2013 0 comments

Azumanga Daioh is an animated comedy based on the 4-panel comic strip of the same name  about a group of high school girls just being normal teenage girls but with a comedic twist soldiered on to it.  Chiyo Mihama (AKA Chiyo Chan) is a 10-year old that got skipped ahead due to being super duper smart kinda like the character Harold from the classic comedy film "Revenge From The Nerds (1984)", Tomo Takino is a very energetic, mischievous and likes to compete in sporting events, Koyomi Mizuhara (AKA Yomi) is the straight-headed one but is also very weight conscious, Sakaki Mizuno is the tall silent one that loves animals but animals don't share the same feelings back, Ayumu Kasuga (AKA Osaka) is a transfer student from Osaka and is very slow, naïve and is always sleeping in class, Kaorin is a very sweet girl that has a huge obsession over Sakaki which adds some lesbian innuendo into the show (but you never find out if she is or not), and mid-way into the show we are joined with Kagura who is also very athletic that majors in running.

The show is written very well with a strong cast of characters (both main and supporting)  that are some of the most funny, charming, and lovable you will ever see in animation and you will find your butt falling out of your pants from laughter (one ass cheek per pant leg making it look like you have shankles).  Another thing I like about the show is that the story is very progressive with the show starting on the first year of their high school days and ends after their final year of high school and they also have the characters age adding extra detail (because you know how some anime characters never seem to age  past them entering the later years of elementary school).  A big gripe I have with this show is that this box set is rated MA15+ and yet this show is safe enough to show children of all ages.  You may find the odd adult joke here or there really isn't anything in here that you wouldn't see in Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon shows and at most this show should only be rated PG.
(From left to right) Osaka, Chiyo, Tomo, Kaorin, and Yomi.
Art-work is very adorable and fun adding extra cuteness and charm to the characters and the scenery while basic it looks very good.  Animation is pretty good for most episodes but there are some moments where you can tell they cut down the budget but for a show from eleven years it has aged very gracefully.  English dub is very good and did a good on making the comedy just as funny as the voices in your head from reading the comic/manga.  Soundtrack adds a lot to the show too and is just as memorable as everything else in the show.
What's the matter Sakaki? Cat got your tongue?
While there isn't many special features in this set you do get some good stuff.  There are the typical text-less credit sequences that are fun to re-visit, Great looking sketches from when the show was in production, and you get a bonus film called "Azumanga Daioh The Very Short Movie" and by short I really do  mean short with a total running time of six minutes.  Overall this is a very excellent anime that can be watched over and over again and should be in every anime/animated collection.  My only regret is that I can't express my love for this show even more than what I am in this review.  I Highly recommend this one.

This DVD set will make the cut with every fan of animation.

Title: Azumanga Daioh The Animation Complete Collection
Animation Studio: J.C. Staff
Genre: Animation/Anime, Comedy
Running Time: 650 Minutes (26 Episodes)
Distributor: Madman Entertainment (www.madman.com.au)
Rating: MA15+ (Adult themes, Coarse language, Low level violence, Sexual references)
Price: $49.95
Recommended: Yes


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