Flashback: Akira (Film)

Show: Akira— Genre: Action, Adventure — Movie

Animated movies are already treated as a curiosity to American audiences, treated typically as only fare for children that has no place in serious cinema. This unfortunate view has left many animated works without the respect they deserve, and has led to a famine in the field of animated films for adult audiences. Sure, anomalies like Heavy Metal and Fantasia exist, and in recent years, quality animated films for children are getting more and more prestige amongst young adults, but the stigma still exists.

And then a movie like Akira comes along.

Imagine being there in 1989 when this movie hit American theaters. Though American audiences had gotten a taste of gritty science fiction with movies like Terminator or Blade Runner, none get quite as heavy at the time as Akira did.

But let’s backpedal for those who haven’t seen it. Akira is a 1988 Japanese animated film based off the manga by Katsuhiro Otomo (the movie was also created by him). Taking place 30 years in the future (from 1988 anyway), Neo Tokyo is a dark, pessimistic shithole of a city, practically the epitome of a cyberpunk world. A motorcycle punk named Tetsuo runs into an escaped patient of secret government experiments, a sickly looking child with psychic powers. Tetsuo is hauled in and scientists find out he’s got incredible psychic potential (likely from the interaction with the child), and they decide to turn him into a guinea pig. Tetsuo’s a messed up kid even going beyond the new psychic powers, and without giving away all of the movie, he busts out of the labs and goes on a rampage. While all this is happening, one of Tetsuo’s friends from the motorcycle gang, Kaneda, learns about Tetsuo’s abduction, and goes after him.

In between all of the above are government conspiracies, mad science, unknown phenomena and a whole lot of cyberpunk. The movie’s plot is deep and confusing at best, though that may be intentional. It’s hard to follow, but at the same time, the world itself is mesmerizing. This is a world just gone to hell; nobody is happy, and everything is either miserable and dull or violent and cruel. It’s a world where nobody, even the people on top, are fulfilled.

The two aspects of the movie that make it stand the test of time are the animation and the sheer ambition of the film. What do I mean by ambition? I mean the movie makes the subject material epic, and it takes itself seriously. The animation is literally breathtaking at points, being incredibly fluid and incredibly violent. The movie revels in the sheer spectacle it creates, and with good cause. The final scenes are among some of the most disturbing and yet profoundly memorable moments in film history. If I were cataloguing my favorite scenes purely on their own merits, then this scene is right up there on the list with the ending scenes of Pulp Fiction or Life of Brian.

Does Akira stack up for modern viewers? While I think the plot and dialogue (though that may have just been the english dub) is a bit lacking, the sheer size and spectacle, along with the fantastic animation, are what keeps makes Akira a classic. It’s a bit rough around the edges, but Akira is unlike any movie you’ve ever seen, and it’s one of those rare movies that I’d say to check out purely for the experience.

Derek Delago is a UF student who is also an anime club officer. He loves anime, video games and rock.

Stephanie Reviews Future Diary

Show: Future Diary— Genre:Action, Mystery— Episodes: 26

Happy Halloween! This week’s super spooky series is Future Diary. This 26 episode thriller aired under the title 未来日記 (Mirai Nikki) in Japan from October 2011 through April 2012. It’s not so much creepy as exciting and bloody and maybe a little traumatizing? There are some things you can’t unsee. Amano Yukiteru, who goes by Yuki, is a loner who loves playing darts and writing in his journal. Well… digital journal. Well… it’s on his cell phone. And it’s not really a journal. It’s more of a list of things he observes. So this is a, uh, totally normal kid who would rather talk to his imaginary friend than have real ones and takes note of everything he sees and does.


So homeboy is going along minding his own business, and like normal goes to write in his cell phone diary, when he realizes today’s date is all filled in. Then, the things in the diary start to come true. A girl in Yuki’s class knows what’s going on. She calls him out on the contents of his diary, and shows him hers. They stop a serial killer together. Then, a different girl shows up to blow up his school. You might be thinking that I’m spoiling too much, but these are just the first two episodes.

It’s cool, he handles it with the help of his prophetic cell phone. His imaginary friend said this might happen. His imaginary friend turns out to be a powerful deity.

Yeah, that guy.

Yuki is involved in a dangerous game. There are a number of these future diaries around, and they come in quite handy when escaping dangerous situations. With the help of his classmate, Gasai Yuno, whose diary tells her Yuki’s every move, they just might survive. It’s kill or be killed, and it’s delightful.

I give Future Diary 8 out of 10 Golden Tanukis. This show is exciting and suspenseful and strays from many of the stereotypical aspects of high school age characters. It’s bizarre without being alienating, and it will keep your heart pounding from beginning to end.

You can watch it here–>
http://www.hulu.com/watch/292716

Stephanie is a UF alumnus who enjoys baking, reading, cats, and the internet. Also anime. OK mostly anime. 

Update from Meeting 10.23.2014

YOOOOOOOO
Who’s excited for the Halloween Party! That’s what you have to look forward to next week. We’ll watch Spooktacular Anime that WILL BE AWESOME!
Please come in costume and BRING FOOD (particularly spicy cheetos). If you don’t, we will kick you out.*
*no we won’t
Alright so last week the panel was Robert‘s Bad Anime Reviews. If you’d like to watch some bad anime. Message him.
gsnk_image_0

The member’s choice was Gekkan Shoujo which you can read a review about here: http://gatoranime.club/2014/10/amatsu-reviews-monthly-girls-nozaki-kun/ and watch here: http://www.crunchyroll.com/monthly-girls-nozaki-kun
We watched the first two episodes of Silver Spoon this week,http://www.crunchyroll.com/silver-spoon, you can catch up there.
And we watched two more episodes of Jojo’s.
Look forward to seeing you Thursday!

Update for Meeting 10.16.14

Sorry for the late meeting update. I’ve been pretty sick lately, and it’s showing no signs of improving which sucks so I’ve been out of it.

Remember to sign up for the Halloween Party and Shadocon. Both are approaching quickly. You should try to bring some food for the Halloween party because the more food you bring, the more we eat.

Last week’s panel was How to Survive Your First Con by Savannah. I wish I knew all the stuff she talked about before my first con. I just vaguely remember spending a lot of money on anything I could find and doing nothing else.
Next week’s panel is one of the favorite panels so you should go to it.
Our member’s choice was Princess Tutu, a magical girl anime about a girl who is a duck who is a girl. Sound interesting? You can watch it here:http://www.hulu.com/princess-tutu
We finished Angel Beats and watched the first OVA. *hug for the feels*
and watched more Jojos (episodes 13 and 14)
Hope you have a magical week! Can’t wait to see you Thursday unless I’m sick or dead and can’t make it to the meeting.

Stephanie Reviews Another

Show: Another— Genre: Mystery, Horror— Episodes: 12

As promised, this week we’ll be delving into the realm of the spooky. At just 12 episodes, Another packs a terrifying wallop. Based on the novel of the same name, it ran on Japanese television from January through March of 2012. Be warned: this show is addicting and gory and terrifying. Our main character, Sakakibara Koichi, is (predictably) a transfer student. He’s moved to the area to live with his aunt and grandparents due to an illness that keeps him hospitalized for the first few days of the school term. It takes him more than a few days to get fully caught up when he gets back to class, however, as there seems to be something especially disturbing about his classmates, particularly Misake Mei, a strange girl with an eyepatch that Koichi initially ran into at the hospital.

spooooky

While Koichi shows interest in Mei, he’s not entirely sure she’s real. Her desk is worn down and scratched up, even though the ones surrounding it are pristine, and no one else seems to want to interact with her.

Concerned that she might be being bullied, or that he might be going crazy, Koichi tries to befriend her, only to be sent away with the warning that their class is “much closer to death” than other classes. Other classmates warn him to follow ALL the rules, but refuse to tell him what he’s doing wrong.
It takes a frustratingly long time for Koichi to learn why everyone is behaving the way they are. The production staff definitely know what they’re doing, though. Just as you’re ready to give up on the mystery, the story throws you its first hook. The viciousness of the death scenes in this series are a sharp contrast to the sluggish pacing of the plot between. It’s a delightful balance that lulls you into a false sense of security only to rip away characters when you don’t expect it.


Situations including a lifelike doll shop, a creepy mansion in the woods, a secret library, and an abandoned school building are only a few of the delightful backdrops for our terror. As the plot progresses, it only gets more interesting. The characters are complicated and relatable, despite their supernatural surroundings. There is plenty of heart pounding action, sprinkled with all the tropes you expect from a high school drama; a beach trip, a school retreat, rumors of classmates supposed love affairs– the works. The art is amazing. This show will tear your heart out repeatedly, in the best way possible.

I give Another 9 out of 10 Golden Tanukis. Drop what you’re doing and watch this show.

Here are our character enjoying watermelon at the beach. Let it soothe your feelings.

Stephanie is a UF alumnus who enjoys baking, reading, cats, and the internet. Also anime. OK mostly anime. 

Amatsu Reviews Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-Kun

Show: Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun— Genre: Comedy, Romance— Episodes: 12

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (English title: Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-kun) is a romance comedy centered around Chiyo Sakura, her crush Umetaro Nozaki, and his other assistants.  Sakura confesses her love for Nozaki, but he mistakes her as being a fan and when they go to his house she ends up inking manga pages for him.  As she leaves she figures out that he’s actually a popular shoujo manga artist with the pen name Sakiko Yumeno.  Figuring that even though Nozaki is too dense to notice her feelings despite his line of work Sakura decides to work with him in order to spend more time with him and get to know him more.  In the course of the anime more characters are revealed that are either Nozaki’s other assistants or serve as inspirations for his characters.

gsnk_image_0

This anime aired from July 6th to September 21st, 2014 in a twelve episode season directed by Mitsue Yamazaki.  Dogakobo is the animation studio that animated Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun and they’ve animated shows like Yuruyuri, GJ-bu, and Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist.  The opening is a jazzy and catchy song called “Kimi Janakya Dame Mitai” and is performed by Masayoshi Ooshi.   The ending is “Uraomote Fortune” and is performed by Ari Ozawa.  In North America Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is licensed by Sentai Filmworks and can be seen on crunchyroll.

http://www.crunchyroll.com/monthly-girls-nozaki-kun

Normally I’m not into romance comedies, but there’s a reason I love this anime.  This anime breaks a lot of stereotypes with the characters.  The main character, Nozaki, is completely oblivious to Sakura’s feelings and misinterprets a lot of her words and actions.  Despite his rather aloof looking face he’s quite eccentric when it comes to his manga.  So much so that the other characters often get caught up in his antics in the search for inspiration or examples.  He even fanboys over his editor.  While he is male he plays the role of the typical shoujo heroine.  Meanwhile the actual heroine of the anime plays the “straight man” or tsukkomi role.  She does have her shoujo moments mostly when trying to confess to Nozaki though so it’s not complete.  She does have to deal with everyone’s antics though as she is the most normal character of the series.

The rest of the cast is paired off other than one person, the third character we’re introduced to: Mikoto Mikoshiba affectionately called Mikorin.  Mikorin is an assistant to Nozaki and appears to have a punkish and flirty attitude.  However he’s actually shy and quickly gets embarrassed afterwards.  Unbeknownst to him, Mikorin is actually the character inspiration for Nozaki’s heroine.   He has a “Kohai notice me” relationship with Sakura.  Other breaking of normal stereotypes is Masayuki Hori, president of the drama club who is tsundere with his crush, Yuu Kashima.  Kashima also breaks stereotypes as she is the “school prince”.  Hirotaka Wakamatsu of the basketball club also has tsundere characteristics as he’s in a love/hate relationship with Yuzuki Seo a very blunt, rude, and tomboyish character.

gsnk_image_1

Not only does this series rewrite character stereotypes, but it also makes fun of situational stereotypes.  For example sharing an umbrella.  In case with Nozaki and Sakura they attempt to share, but their height differences leaves them both soaking wet.  While with Kashima’s popularity she ends up in a mass of umbrellas that block the road.  There’s so many other situations that happen yet don’t turn out as expected.

Onto the voice actors.  Nozaki is voiced by the excellent Yuuichi Nakamura who has played as several main characters such as Alto Saotome from Macross Frontier, Tomoya Okazaki from CLANNAD, and some supporting characters such as Ringo Tsukimiya from Uta no Prince-sama.  Meanwhile the seiyuu for Sakura, Ai Ozawa, has only had one main role as Nosomi Moritomo from The Rolling Girls and two other supporting roles.  Ozawa is the only really new seiyuu as the rest of the cast has multiple main roles.  Miyuki Sawashiro, Ryouhei Kimura, and Yuuki Ono to name a few from the rest of the cast.

Over all I give Gekkan Shoujo 8 out of 10.  Mostly because Sakura and Nozaki do not truly break away from the typical roles they’re in.  The other parts is because I want more of this series.  The last episode cameos character that are from the manga so I feel that while it can be taken as a declaration of a second season it’s in bad taste to do so in that method.

gsnk_image_2

Amatsu Otome moved down to Florida late December 2013 and has been attending Sante Fe in order to get enough credits to get into UF by Fall 2015.  She’s an avid anime watcher, part-time gamer, part-time cosplayer, and full-time college student.

Buried Gems: No Matter How You Look at it, it’s Your Guys’ Fault I’m not Popular!

WataMote_Manga_v01_cover

Show: WaTaMoTe— Genre: Comedy, School — Episodes: 12

          The difference between comedy and tragedy is a lot blurrier than one might assume. A great deal of comedy is watching bad things happen to people and finding their reaction amusing, snickering at the absurdity of the situation, or even taking glee in karmic retribution. One of the greatest errors you can make in writing a tragedy is to write too over-the-top or making the characters unsympathetic, and in many ways a tragedy is as simple as making the audience feel sorry for characters as opposed to laugh at their misfortune.

Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dō Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!, translated to the title above and often referred to as “WataMote” to save time, is one such series that dances back and forth over the line between comedy and tragedy (even if it mostly ends up as a comedy). Best described as dark comedy slice of life, WataMote is published online in Japanese. A spinoff manga, called Watashi no Tomodachi ga Motenai no wa Dō Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui (translated as No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault My Friend’s Not Popular) has also been released. A 12-episode anime ran in 2013, and it adapts the manga fairly closely, diverging slightly but overall maintaining the same feel. It can be streamed on Crunchyroll.com subbed legally for free. As a caution, the opening is absolutely ridiculous.

The audience follows the adventures of Tomoko Kuroki, a nerdy high school girl who wants to become “more popular.” She tries to make new friends, start up a club, act cool, invoke anime clichés, and overall tries her damnedest to be popular, thinking that being in high school should be the most exciting time of her life. After all, she knows how it all works out in anime and visual novels.

To say her attempts at becoming popular fall short would be a massive understatement. Tomoko can barely have a conversation with most people, immediately freezing up and getting nervous. Only her family and best (ONLY) friend are immune to this, and even then, she often annoys her family as well. In addition to coming with “get popular” schemes so fast and of such ineptitude to give the likes of Homer Simpson a run for his money, whenever she tries taking the simple, direct path she fails miserably.

watamote_1

            Besides her attempts to be popular, another recurring setup is watching her manage to get meaningful interaction with the few people that can stand her (or at least have to). She frequently torments her brother Tomoki (who could probably be the straight man in something like Daily Lives of High School Boys), and several plots involve her hanging out with her middle school friend, Yuu, who adjusted far better than Tomoko did, despite also being nerdy. Beyond her family and Yuu, there are few recurring characters; most of them are rather incidental.

Now some of you may be wondering why watching a girl try desperately hard to make friends is funny. It isn’t always; in fact, sometimes it’s downright cruel. What ultimately swings the pendulum from tragic to comic is in Tomoko, herself. She is deeply flawed as a character, although it doesn’t really relate back to her shyness and inability to converse. Tomoko is petty, hypocritical, judgmental, and overall totally self-centered. Her appearance comes across as creepy more often than endearing. She’s not particularly intelligent, nor is she at all good-natured or even civil to most people. Since the audience follows from her point of view, we even hear most of her inner musings on the people around her, most of which isn’t pretty.

So this gives us our comedic out; as much as we can sympathize with her plight, a lot of the bad things that happen to her are her own damn fault. Even worse is that a lot of the time she seems really close to finally making some progress, only for her to ruin it at the last minute by being an idiot. Though on the other hand, the few times something good happens to her are genuinely enjoyable, perhaps to sort of make up for when the universe seems to just hate her, as opposed to it being her fault. Even though it’s mostly a comedy, genuinely depressing moments are common enough.

Your enjoyment of WataMote really depends on how much humor you can find in watching Tomoko’s misadventures. It’s black comedy at its finest, and if that isn’t your cup of tea, you probably won’t enjoy the series. Some people might find Tomoko either too sympathetic to enjoy the humor or too unsympathetic that she becomes annoying. The comedy might skew a bit obscure when it comes to references to Japanese media, but I don’t think it detracts. There’s also a surprisingly large amount of sexual humor and innuendo, which while I find amusing, might turn some readers off.

Amusingly enough, WataMote has a large amount of western fans, most of whom (including yours truly) were introduced via word of mouth on Internet forums. It’s rare that I find a character endearing even as I simultaneously find her unpleasant. I hope she finally gets somewhere, even if I know she’ll suffer a lot trying to get there. It’s just depressing enough that a sense of drama is never truly forgotten, but it remains humorous and even kind of uplifting at points, given Tomoko’s sheer tenacity (one of her few good traits). If you’re a fan of dark comedy or quirky slice-of-life, I’d say give it a shot. A bunch of lunatics on the Internet can’t be wrong, after all.

Derek Delago is a UF student who is also an anime club officer. He loves anime, video games and rock.

Stephanie Reviews Speed Grapher

Show: Speed Grapher— Genre: Drama, Mystery— Episodes: 24

This week we’re going back in time a bit. This review also comes with a warning, as it is the first series I have reviewed that is not approved for all ages. This show (but not this review) contains some light nudity, and plenty of gratuitous violence.  Speed Grapher is a 24 episode series from 2005 that follows Tatsumi Saiga, a former war photographer who now snaps shots of political figures for a newspaper.

In our first few episodes, Saiga learns of and infiltrates a fetish club full of politicians and super wealthy patrons called the Rappongi Club. He is discovered trying to get a photo of the club’s “Goddess”, who bestows her blessing on Saiga by swapping spit with him.

Isn’t she lovely?

It turns out that the club’s Goddess is none other than Tennozu Kagura, 15 year old girl, and heir to a bajillion dollars.

Her blessing is for real though. She has the power to grant anyone their deepest desires. When Saiga was a wartime photographer, he took lots of pictures of people getting shot and blown up, and he has a bit of a fetish about it. This new power manifests itself as the ability to destroy stuff by taking pictures of it.


Saiga’s innermost desire bears a striking resemblance to pinkeye.

Saiga uses his newfound power to escape the crazy sex dungeon club, and he takes Kaguya with him. The rest of the series unveils others who have been given superhuman powers, and our protagonist duo have to fight for their lives. Thematically, the plot focuses on corruption in politics, organized crime, and the power of manipulation. Kaguya’s mother in particular is a piece of work. The main villain, Choji Suitengu, is one of those I love to hate. He is evil and smart and manipulative of those around him. Delicious.

Suitengu’s got racks on racks on racks

Saiga uses his, uhm, connections with a local police officer, Hibari Ginza, to help Kaguya and himself along. She’s one of my personal favorite anime characters ever. Ginza doesn’t take crap from anybody about anything, and she gets stuff done.

Ginza will self defense the crap out of you.

Speed Grapher has a definitive ending, and it stays good from start to finish. I give this show 9 out of 10 Golden Tanukis. I love this show. It’s full of action and the characters are emotionally damaged in a way that makes them relatable, even though their world is far removed from my own. Morality is a squishy grey area. It’s suspenseful and dirty and bloody and awesome. That being said, it’s not one I would sit down with my folks to watch. The fetishism throughout the show can be intense, and although there aren’t any explicitly pornographic scenes in it, there are a lot of adult situations. It also took me a bit to get over the fact that Saiga is in his 30s and Kaguya is 15. I think it’s important to note that although Kaguya is portrayed as somewhat of a sexual object in the eyes of the Rappongi club and its associates, I didn’t think she was particularly portrayed that way to the audience. Her feelings and experiences are what matter in the context of the plotline, not her body.

The next two weeks will be scary shows in honor of my favorite spooky holiday. Thanks for reading!

Stephanie is a UF alumnus who enjoys baking, reading, cats, and the internet. Also anime. OK mostly anime. 

Update for Meeting 10.9.14

Hello everyone!
Here’s what you missed from the last meeting:
We watched a panel called Anime Influencing Animation. Did you know that the Spiderman show and Transformers were influenced by Japanese animation? You would’ve known that and more if you’d come to the panel presented by Kristine. Message her to learn more.
We watched Baccano as the member’s choice. You can watch it here:http://www.hulu.com/baccano
We also watched episodes 11 and 12 of Angel Beats and Jojo’s so make sure to catch up on those and see the final episode of Angel Beats next week. Also we’ll be starting Angel Beats OVAs next week, so you don’t want to miss it.
Thanks! Remember to sign up for Shadocon and the Halloween Party if you haven’t already. Everyone can sign up at a meeting or email an officer if you’re interested. Officer info is located in the Meet the Officers tab at the top.

 

Flashback: Azumanga Daioh

Show: Azumanga Daioh— Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, School — Episodes: 26

wallpaper

I’d like to begin this article by apologizing. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for turning the video below into a meme among some of the Gator Anime community.

Azumanga Daioh was first a “yonkoma,” essentially a comic strip that read from top to bottom, published in Dengeki Daioh magazine. It’s primarily a comedy, but it integrates a lot of slice of life elements and occasionally more emotional moments. The anime would follow a couple of years later and adapts a lot of the stories and gags. It is classified as shonen, which may surprise readers given the nearly all-female cast and the focus on high school girls doing…high school girl things. Surprisingly, it paid off, and a lot of later shows, such as Lucky Star and Nichijou, would follow a similar concept.

The story follows the misadventures of six high school girls, three of their teachers and the incidental people around them. The girl with (arguably) the most focus is child prodigy Chiyo, who enters high school at the age of 10, and has to spend a lot of time learning about how high school works. The character with the most development is probably Sakaki, the tall, athletic and dreadfully shy girl who strikes fear into the hearts of everybody, none of the qualities she wants. The other main girls include Tomo, a hyperactive jackass, Yomi, Tomo’s ever suffering friend and complete opposite, Osaka, the polite, imaginative, ditzy, and overall kinda weird girl, and Kagura, the emotional sports junkie.

Other important characters include their teachers Yukari Tanizaka and Minamo Kurosawa, both of whom get a few stories to themselves. Yukari is essentially a grown-up Tomo (though lazier and a little smarter) while Ms. Kurosawa is very sweet and, of course, Yukari’s best (and probably only) friend. She gets incredibly tired of her antics. There’s also Kaorin, a girl who has a crush on Sakaki (mostly played for humor), and Mr. Kimura, the perverted, but ultimately harmless goofball that mostly just acts as a jump scare to the girls.

Most of the series is just following the characters in their everyday lives and watching the experiences and adventures that arise from their interactions. Most episodes are just a series of events that don’t always have much to do with each other; the girls will be having a conversation one moment and be walking home the next. The comedy is mostly very situational and character-based, but some parts approach sketch comedy. Some sketches are nothing, but the tangents and rambling by the girls as they sit in class.

While most of the stories are played for humor, a lot of character shines through in how they bounce off one another. This is where the slice of life elements are more apparent, though it usually swings back to comedy pretty quick. The humor can also intertwine with actual character development. Watching Sakaki continuously try to pet cats is both funny and kind of heartbreaking at the same time, for example.

The anime is an incredibly faithful adaption of the manga, consisting entirely of jokes and plots from the manga. It mimics the yonkoma’s usage of “beat panels” by having long moments of silence as a character’s expression changes or otherwise reacts. This might be a bit odd to viewers of faster-paced comedies like Nichijou or Daily Lives of High School Boys, but it lends it’s own charm. The music is very memorable, really cutesy and odd, highly fitting the series. The opening and ending themes are both very good as well; the opening theme sounds very upbeat and quirky while the ending theme is very somber.

The English dub I highly recommend. Though I don’t recognize most of the voice actors, I must give a nod to Luci Christian and Jason Douglas, both of who perform excellently as Yukari and Chiyo’s father, respectively. The biggest thing you’ll be missing out on is Norio Wakamoto, once again as Chiyo’s father, and as always, he’s awesome.

As for flaws, the show might be too slow-paced for some people to be engaged, and while I find that part of the charm, it might not be for everyone. Being a comedy series, it’s of course very much up to the individual if they find it funny.

Honestly though, I find very little fault in Azumanga Daioh. The manga is a ton of fun and, despite it’s format, has a lot of characterization. For most people, I’d actually say to check out the anime, given its masterful translation of the yonkoma, and I feel the slow pace of the show really heightens the slice of life elements. It isn’t for everyone, but I think it has more of a universal appeal (as far as anime is concerned) than other shows in its wake, and it never ceases to make me smile and feel content when I’m watching it.

Derek Delago is a UF student who is also an anime club officer. He loves anime, video games and rock.