Archive for the 'azumanga' Category

Hidamari Sketch

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

Hidamari Sketch and Manabi Straight aired in the same season. Many expected them to compete head-to-head, but the two turned out nothing alike. Manabi has a great plot, larger than life characters, and UFOtable. Hidamari has… Yashinoya-sensei, if that even counts.

So after 3 episodes, my main problem with Hidamari is how limp and pathetic it is. Mind, so says the man who loves Azumanga to death. I am even following that blatant pandering vessel Lucky*Star. 4-koma adaptations do not have to be so weak.

Bugfox on Azumanga

Friday, July 13th, 2007

Seen at FunBlog:

It’s not the greatest anime ever made, but I think it is pretty good; indeed the best example of its genre.

I suppose, this is something. Meanwhile, look at this:

Anyway, RTWT. The formalized parential perspective is something we don’t see on anime blogs often.

Tatsuo Sato had a finger in Azumanga

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

While away from the anime blogosphere, I looked at acquiring Shingu at RACS, and saw this:

Created by acclaimed director Tatsuo Sato (NADESICO / THIS UGLY YET BEAUTIFUL WORLD / AZUMANGA DAIOH), with planning by Masao Maruyama (GUNGRAVE / DEATH NOTE), production by Masao Morosawa (GUNGRAVE / JUBEI-CHAN) and character designs by Yuuji Ikeda (SAIYUKI / GUNGRAVE / MONSTER)!

Huh? Isn’t Azumanga created by Koyohiko Azuma, and directed by Hiroshi Nishikiori and late Takashi Wada?

As it happens, the ANN entry lists three executive producers: Taro Maki, Tatsuo Sato, Toshimichi Ootsuki. My familiarity with the role of producer is limited to what I saw in “The Producers” on stage and on screen, but the juxtaposition in the blurb at RACS seems a bit of a stretch. Sato-sensei is an acclaimed director, but is he an acclaimed producer? What was his role in the overall success of Azumanga?

I think Robert wanted to mention Stellvia in the blurb, but for some reason Azumanga ended there. Freudian slip or something.

UPDATE: I received the box and it turned out that Robert copied the blurb from the DVD cover. So it’s a RightStuf’s idea of promotion, not Robert‘s.

Stellviablogging ahoy

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

Due to certain circumstances (mostly Jeff’s C&C), I’ve been stelivablogging a lot receintly, more than the show deserved, in fact. Nonetheless, there’s more. Using the no-blogging breather I also marathoned the first 10 episodes, conveniently packaged on 3 discs. It was fun, but also I saw lots of errors and mistakes.

I’d like to contrast Stellvia with Azumanga on this. Azumanga’s animation is quite basic, albeit solid. In the same time, it’s meticulous in its quality throughout. It has virtually no sticking nails to rip the pants viewer sliding along (well, I know of two layout bugs which I found by myself without reading any FAQs).

In contrast, Stellvia has tons of geometry mistakes and layer cross-overs. It cheapens out in many places by omitting smaller drawings, such as uniform patches. One of the worst examples is smack in the middle of ep.1, when the captain of Fujiyama reaches to control something on his dashboard, and it’s not drawn at all – not a single button. Faces get distorted improperly a lot, too. When Rinna talks to her father in the stadium, his speach is noticeably out of sync with his mouth, because the animators did not bother to animate anything like a natural pattern of speech; his jaw simply moves up and down at regular intervals, so no voice artist would be able to salvage it. It’s all over the place. So, while the line and shade counts exceed that of Azumanga, I would be hard pressed to assign Stellvia a better score for animation.

So, I’m getting curious about Shingu now. Screenshots that I’ve seen so far were quite impressive, but it may be a special selection (like the lead picture for this entry).

BigN on Azumanga

Friday, September 14th, 2007

Seen at Drastic (there was no attribution, so I presume BigN himself wrote it):

20. Was anyone else tired of the comparisons between Lucky Star and Azumanga Daioh? Is the latter really a paragon of slice of life school comedy anime?

I understand the question was made in jest, but still… Why has nobody come with something like Azumanga so far? It was 5 long years now.

Hidamari Sketch is probably the nearest thing ever attempted to recreate Azumanga. It floundered mostly on the poor implementation quality of the anime (e.g. looked like ass most of the time with short flashes of brilliance), but otherwise was clearly made with the same aim. The 4koma was reshuffled to allow for anime pace, among other things.

The later is what Lucky Star did very poorly. Azumanga and Hidamari mostly had big episodes (even though officially Azumanga was subdivided into 5-minute shorts). Lucky Star, however, seems incapable of any flow outside of huge arcs (such as Komiket), creating tons of disconnected filler. So, even if Lucky Star were not primarily referential like Excel Saga, it would still fail to match Azumanga.

Confusingly, when I write that Manabi Straight matched Azumanga, I mean something entirely different: the overall level of greatness. Manabi is plot-driven and not episodic, so it’s in entirely different camp. It does not match Azumanga as a slice of life, it has its own unique merits.

Interview at Sea Slugs

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

Kabitzin (and Ender) interviewed me yesterday. I am flattered. The Sea Slugs were on my reading list for a long time. Also they spared no effort to gather all those links (I sent several, but not all).

UPDATE: Regarding BigN’s puzzlement, I’m pretty certain that I found his blog while looking for posts about Manabi. I am a big fan of that show, so I would read just about any bloggage about it.

By the way, for a long while I evaluated all anime blogs by reading what they had to say about Azumanga. If they didn’t have anything, I would move on to next blog. These days it’s Azumanga, Haibane, and Manabi for a good balance. But if you cracked the Azumanga code, it’s a good sign that you understand anime.

Meanwhile, in broadcast

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

Saw Moero Amazon posting that Azumanga is in reruns at AT-X, which seems like a more successful blueprint for the ailing Anime Channel:


Indeed, it never gets old. I even toyed quickly with an idea of checking out if the idiot box shows anything interesting these days, but immediately became apathetic again. Not even the power of Azumanga is sufficient to compel me to watch broadcast TV again. Besides, I have the ADV orivinal release with VSM.

BTW, the moonspeak is still too tough. From the same place:


The double-moon thingie is not even in a dictionary. Hell, indeed!

UPDATE: Lupus explained that “金朋” refers to Tomoko Kaneda, the seyuu for Chiyo-chan: “kane”+”tomo”.


Monday, February 11th, 2008

Thought that Danny Choo might have gone to TAF in the past and so I visited his website, unreadable as always. While scrolling in futile attempts to find a search box, I came across a post with a leader picture which looked familiar. But of course…

As it turns out, the Glico Man is famous Osaka landmark.

Wonderduck redecorates

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

Wonderduck has a cell (sorta) from ep.20 of Azumanga Daioh framed and on the wall.

Well, I lose again.

Sixten on Azumanga

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Sixten agitates for Azumanga with an essay. It’s good effort, although I see that nailing the secret is hard. He comes very close with the “transition between funny and heartful”.

Little Snow Fairy Sugar and Mahoraba – Heartful Days are the only two J.C.Staff series I consider superior to Azumanga.

IMHO, Mahoraba is nice, I even have note collection for it, but it’s no Azumanga. It is overlong for its story and is full of filler, it has many more animation defects, characterization of Kozue’s alts is uneven (Saki is a person, Chiyuri is a caricature), Shiratori takes a very long time — over 8 episodes — to start doing his job, and the big story is not properly resolved despite the length. In short, it’s not made to the Azumanga’s standard of quality, not even close.

On top of uninspired execution, where Azumanga blazed new trail and became a yardstick for innumerous wannabees, Mahoraba was formulaic. Its only claim to fame is the unusual composition of the harem.

Certainly, Mahoraba did an exempliary job in making brain damage look cute, without the intensity the ef brought into the discourse. It’s relaxing to watch, especially if you know that it has a good end (my R index for Mahoraba is 4.5). And the comedy is at the level of Azumanga. But it’s not enough to enter the pantheon, as far as I am concerned.