Sunday, June 29, 2014

Manga Review: Azumanga Daioh Volume 1

So, uh, every so often, a particularly interesting manga or anime comes out. Well, back in the late 90s and early 2000s, a little series called Azumanga Daioh came out. I adore this series, mainly because of the characters. So, no more delaying, here's my review of Azumanga Daioh volume 1.

Can a series like this even really have spoilers?

Azumanga Daioh is a slice-of-life school comedy manga. That genre means I can't really target the plot in a review. The story follows 5 girls: Tomo Takino, Ayumu "Osaka" Kasuga, Sakaki-san, Koyomi "Yomi" Mizuhara, and Chiyo Mihama. The first volume covers from the start of their first high school year (April) to Christmas that year, and the girls get involved in all manners of antics, from the required sports festival to karaoke on Christmas Eve.

The characters themselves are quite varied: Chiyo's the genius, Yomi's a bookworm, Tomo's a (self-proclaimed) hyperactive girl, Osaka's an airhead, and Sakaki's the tall, quiet girl who doubles as the athlete. Every character fits their archetype's tropes to a T, yet they all have distinct personalities that make them more than just archetypes.

As far as the art itself is concerned, it's starts off semi-detailed, with the artist drawing individual strands on Chiyo's pigtails, and by volume's end, said pigtails were drawn as oval-esque objects, usually for the sake of a gag. This leads to a somewhat simplistic style that fits the tone of the series.

What's there to say about this? It's a gag manga. There's no storyline, save for the school year. But it's a damn funny gag manga, and volume 1 is definitely worth checking out.


Writing: 4/5
Art: 3.5/5 (a bit on the simplistic side)
Bonus Content: 1/5 (None. At all.)
Characters: 3.5/5 (All characters fit into archetypes)

Overall: 3/5
It's A Gag Manga, What Did You Expect?

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