Title: Azumanga Daioh
Genre: Comedy, School Life, Slice of Life
Anime Rating: 8.6/10
Manga Rating: 8.5/10
Summary: It’s not manga, it’s Azumanga! − smart, fun and totally addictive. Created by the iconoclastic Kiyohiko Azuma, Azumanga Daioh is strongly character driven, taking the reader through the daily tribulations of Miss Kurosawa, Miss Yukari, the wild Tomo, hair-triggered Yomi, ditzy Osaka, brash Kagura, cute Chiyo-chan and athletic (but girly) Sakaki.
Review: Azumanga Daioh is one of those typical random comedy manga/anime. A group of girls getting together and just living the somewhat-normal high school life. So what makes the anime so great? Well the comedy of course. I can’t say it is unique, but it sure brings a good laugh. I wasn’t looking for an in-depth story, major character development, or moral message. The series does well at what it is best at, making the audience’s day a little brighter. It does have some touching moments, but doesn’t that make their friendships all the better? The characters all play their respective roles from the misunderstood to airheaded. Probably the only “downside” (if you could call it that) was the art. Although it wasn’t fancy, or eye catching, it did fit the atmosphere of the anime well. If anything having a fancy art style would only pull away from the comedy. The funny faces would be lost in the world of pretty shading and detailed backgrounds. Probably the only reason I can’t give this anime is a better score is because you don’t get too attached to the characters. At the end of the series I did have a feeling of “Aww it’s over already?” but I figured any longer I may grow tired of it. As for manga versus anime? Well they are exactly the same except one is animated/colored while the other… isn’t. The anime followed the manga exactly, but I liked it just a tiny bit more because the animations seemed to make it better. Actually watching the girls fly away due to pig tails as opposed to imagining it through the still picture manga made me chuckle a little longer.
Final statements: Would I suggest the manga or anime? Either or to be honest. I know quite a few people who prefer reading manga because they can stop at any time and listen to music while reading. So if you like manga more than anime, read the manga. If you prefer watching anime, watch the anime! Whichever you choose both are a high priority for any comedy lover.