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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Azumanga Daioh - Seniors
Azumanga Daioh - Seniors
ADV Films // Unrated // October 12, 2004
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted October 17, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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The Show:

Chiyo-chan and her friends become seniors in the fifth volume of Azumanga Daioh.  More hilarity ensues as the students start their last year of high school and get ready for college.

This show continues to consist of short vignettes that are strung together be a central theme.  In this volume, poor Kaorin gets separated from the rest of her class when school starts back up.  She ends up in the creepy Mr. Kimura's class.  Though she tries to find the good in the odd teacher with pedophilic she has a hard time doing it.

The whole class goes on their school trip to Okinawa, with hilarious results.  They tour all the monuments and Sakaki gets to see wild cats in their natural habitat in a nature preserve.  Will she survive?

There is another trip to Chiyo-Chan's family's beach house during summer break, but this time it is going to be a study camp.  With entrance exams coming up they all have to buckle down and hit the books.  That is if they ever get off the beach.

The disc ends up with the last annual sports day for the cast.  These have always been my favorite episodes, and this last one is great too.  Osaka practices for a bread eating contest, Chiyo worries about being in the relay race, and Miss Yukari has $100 riding on the outcome once again.

This is just a cute and funny series.  It isn't zany and wild like Excel Saga or  Nurse Witch Komugi, more like the humor in Happy Lesson; slightly odd but with an entertaining story.  A lot of the humor is fairly gentle but still outrageously funny.  The smile frozen on someone's face as they receive some bad news for example.

My favorite bit has Chiyo-chan explaining that she wants to go to college in America.  Osaka informs Chiyo that since her father is rich, and because she is so small and easy to catch, that she'll be killed in America.  Her dog  father will end up dead too if they try to protect her.  Osaka's serious look and earnestness at giving this horrible news in addition to Chiyo-Chan's reaction is priceless.

There is a lot to laugh at in this show.  I chuckled through every episode, and some bits were down right hilarious.  The more you get to know the characters and their personalities the funnier the show becomes.  And the more touching, like when Sakaki finally gets to pet a cat!

The DVD:


This DVD contains four episodes of Azumanga Daioh in a clear Amaray case with a reversible cover, and a bonus cloisonne lapel pin.

Audio:

Like the previous volumes, this DVD offers the choice of the original Japanese language track in stereo or a 5.1 English dub. The 5.1 English track was more enveloping than the Japanese track, but I preferred the original language track.  The female voices in the dub were all high pitched and squeaky. Osaka's voice was done with a fake southern accent that sounded really dumb. I greatly preferred the Japanese track that was clean and clear with no hiss or audio distortion.

Video:

Being a recent production, the full frame video looked pretty good. The lines were tight and sharp, and the colors clear. There was some minor aliasing, with the diagonal lines having a stair step effect, but this is common with animated shows. The colors were a little muted, but I think that this was the creator's intent. A fine looking disc with only minimal defects.

Extras:

In addition to the extras on the DVD itself, ADV has included a cloisonne lapel pin.  The pin depicts one of those tall yellow alien looking creatures that pop up throughout the show, and is quite nice.  I really like bonus items like this.  The pin is very cool.

The clear case comes with a reversible cover, and there is a 12-page booklet enclosed. The booklet had comments on each episode by various people who worked on the show. It also contained explanations of the various cultural references in the series that western audiences may not understand. This was especially helpful in explaining some of the more obscure jokes.
 
The DVD itself includes a clean opening and closing, and a two-minute reel of production sketches.
The trailers on this disc are for The Super Milk-Chan Show, Happy Lesson, Get Backers, Nurse Witch Komugi, Grrl Power, and Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat.

Final Thoughts:

This is just a great series.  Each episode is filled with humor and some interesting 'slice of life' type stories.  The show isn't too wild and wacky like most of the series that are being release now a days, it's just a straight comedy.  The more shows I watch the better I like it.  If you stopped after the first volume, which I thought was the weakest of the lot, you should give this show another chance.  Highly Recommended.

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