Japanese Title: Azumanga Daioh the Animation
Watched in: Japanese & English
Genre: Slice of Life Comedy
Length: 26 Episodes
- Not funny for a comedy.
- Clichéd characters (how are they still so lifeless?) meandering through an empty plot with no conflict.
- Forced cuteness.
- Waste of time.
Azumanga Daioh is one of those shows that I heard about when I first got in anime. I would hear how funny of a show it was and how it was so cute, and all that. At the time, I was in my early teens, so based on the character art alone, I knew it wasn’t my sort of thing. Now, over a decade later, when every show can be ‘my sort of thing,’ I decided to give it a go and write the review I couldn’t as a teenager.
My opinion of Azumanga is worse now than all those years ago. Truly, this is one of the worst shows I have ever seen. I have spent more time thinking of what to write about this anime than actually watching it. There is nothing to write when nothing happens! I will paste the notes I made during the viewing and see where we go from there. For other shows, I usually have pages of compressed speed notes, but here I couldn’t even manage a page.
- Forced cuteness. Not really cute.
- Nothing happens.
- Not really funny.
- Really, what is this show about?
- It’s just random crap with no conflict or tension of any kind.
- This is rubbish.
- Every joke falls flat. Are these even meant to be jokes?
- Paedophilic humour(? – not sure if joking)
- Every character is stupid.
- Episodes are about someone buying lunch, or cleaning a classroom, or other such rubbish.
- Really, NOTHING HAPPENS!
- This show is terrible.
- Such a waste of time.
- High school setting.
- Bunch of one-dimensional schoolgirls.
- Can’t remember any of their names.
And that’s it. All of it after 26 episodes. I could just leave it that, but it would be lazy. (I am being forced to pad content – I never do that!)
I understand that the genre doesn’t demand much in terms of depth and plot, but really, this is pushing the limits of shallow. Nothing happens in this story; there is no continuity and a distinct lack of character development. Even a day in the life of Earth’s most boring person would hold more intrigue than this. Each episode consists of the stupidest characters you have ever seen doing the most mundane of things: buying lunch, cleaning the floor, sitting in class, jumping in the pool, talking about how cool the tall girl is…
This must all be a mere jest, right? There has to be more, no? There isn’t. The characters start and end the same. No conflict is overcome, no tension is experienced. There is literally no drive or reason to keep watching. Now, if it was mind-blowingly hilarious, I could understand (yet, all the funniest shows have conflict). However, Azumanga doesn’t even accomplish that. I may have laughed once in this twenty-six episode run. The jokes are so bad that they aren’t even lame. I spent most of my time trying to find the jokes, questioning if that scene I just watched was intended to be funny or not. I assume the cuteness was to add charm and humour, but is so forced, so overdone that it becomes tiresome before first episode’s end.
In the end, I have nothing more to say than don’t waste your time with this show. Which, ironically enough, is more than Azumanga Daioh has to say. Characters and plot are empty, audio and video you have experienced before, and overall stupidity give no reason to try this anime.
Art – Low
The visuals are unremarkable. Generic. In the animation department, unsurprisingly it disappoints again with little motion and a low frame rate.
Sound – Low
Sound follows the footsteps of art like a shadow – unremarkable and forgettable. What music? These characters are so stereotypical that even the voice work sounds too familiar. There is the overly cute one, the quiet tall one, the annoying hyperactive one, the immature teacher, and the supposedly wise one. This entire genre seems to be a copy paste of the above, voice actors and all.
Story – Very Low
There is none. The characters have the same depth as the plot.
Overall Quality – Very Low
Recommendation: Don’t put yourself through this. After watching Azumanga Daioh, I can see why the original manga author refuses to allow his current and excellent series Yotsuba to receive an anime adaptation. 4-panel comic stories don’t convert well to full episodes.
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