Secret Santa 2013 – Combo Pack

Azumanga Daioh

Image Source: Episode 26

Azumanga Daioh is one of those old shows I never got around to watching simply because it wasn’t very high up in my priorities. But now that it’s on my Secret Santa list, it’s as good a time as any to give it a go. For those who don’t know, Azumanga Daioh is a comedy based on a 4-koma. In fact, it might just be the 4-koma comedy adaptation which set the standard for all such ensuing shows. But don’t quote me on that because I’m no animanga historian. Basically, your typical 4-koma adaptation consists of several short segments per episode as opposed to the traditional two-part episode format. And moreover, these short segments are not necessarily connected to each other; in fact, they often aren’t. But if you’re a regular anime viewer or manga reader, you already know this. So let me cut to the chase. If I had watched Azumanga Daioh when it originally aired, I get the feeling I would have enjoyed it more simply because I wouldn’t already have so many other similar 4-koma comedies under my belt. But unfortunately this is the circumstance in which I find myself, so I can’t say the show stood out too much for me.

Image Source: morichan

I will say that I enjoyed the sketches for a while and found the slightly slower-paced humor a nice change of pace from the breakneck speed of most current comedies. But after a while, the show just got less and less entertaining, and by the end I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as I would have liked. Part of the reason for this might be the fact that I did marathon most of it in a few sittings as opposed to watching an episode a week as I would have done if I were watching the show while it aired. But even so, I feel that a sufficiently well-done comedy would have pulled through regardless of the viewing experience. I’ve marathoned other such shows in one sitting before and still found them amusing from beginning to end. Yet another problem might be the length of the series, as Azumanga Daioh is a full 26 episodes. Quite unusual for a comedy nowadays, and I concede I might have fallen into the modern short attention span mentality, but my argument that a truly excellent comedy would stand up to the task in any case still stands. Anyway, all of this negativity doesn’t necessarily mean Azumanga Daioh was bad. If it were, it would have left a corresponding impression in my mind. Instead, it only turned out to be unfortunately forgettable, which isn’t too bad when you consider most other shows are forgotten before long anyway.






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14 Responses to “Secret Santa 2013 – Combo Pack”

  1. AllenAndArth says:

    hmm…Solid State Society seems nice…i’ll give it a look

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Out of what’s shown here, I’d go with Whisper of the Heart because of my loyalty for anything made by Hayao Miyazawa and Solid State Society. I saw a few Ghost in the Shell episodes on Toonami and fell in love with the show.

  3. zztop says:

    I hear Masamune Shirow mostly draws pinup girls for ero manga magazines nowadays.
    Apparently it was more profitable for him, or so I hear.

    • Sumairii says:

      Knowing the evolution of the Major’s character design (not including Arise since that was someone else), I can see why he went for pinup girls in ero magazines… There certainly was criticism for the sexualization of her character between the original film and the TV series.

  4. Foshizzel says:

    Awwweee yaaaaa Azumanga Daioh! My only experience with that is in dub format and the same goes for Solid State, but Azumanga was so damn fun to watch <3

  5. Highway says:

    Yeah, of these four I’ve only seen Azumanga Daioh, and had about the same reaction. The jokes just kind of peter out, and while it’s interesting seeing them all eventually graduate, and it’s also good that they feature Sakaki more, it’s just not as funny or captivating later. Some things just get *too* weird, and other things just get old.

  6. anaaga says:

    Holy boobs I’m amazed you can watch all 4 in such a fast amount of tine

  7. […] reviewed Azumanga Daioh, Whisper of the Heart, Planetes, & Solid State Society as recommended by […]

  8. akagami says:

    The knife season in Azumaga Daioh is ingrained in my memory (I burst out laughing at that scene). I enjoyed Azumanga the first time through, but it’s not one of those series that I would watch more than once (there’s not many of those). The Otou-san was weird at first, but I got used to it.

    I’m a fan of the GitS universe, the two main series were a blast to watch. I found the OVAs and movies were a hit or miss though. SSS was more in the miss bin for me, personally. Ok, not great.

    • akagami says:

      I take that back. I got SSS confused with something else. SSS is actually pretty good =P. My memory just sucks, I take all the blame.

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