Monday, February 18, 2008

Manga Monday: Azumanga Daioh

Azumanga Daioh Omnibus
Kiyohiko Azuma

Following my obsession with Yotsuba&!, I picked up this omnibus volume of creator Kiyohiko Azuma's debut work, which collects the entire series of stories told in the "yonkoma" format, or vertical four-panel comic strips. The Azumanga Daioh strips follow a group of Japanese high school girls who bond over academia, sports and cute animals over their stint in school together. It's a fun, cutesy comedy series with six students taking center stage, along with a few odd teachers. One girl excels at school, one's an airhead, one is really cool, but has a soft side...they're great characters, but don't exactly outgrow the model of the four-panel strip to become very well-rounded. Chiyo-chan seems to be the standout character of the bunch and is very much a prototype of sorts of the title character of Yotsuba&!. "Yonkoma" seems to work just like American comic strips, with either a joke of the day or a series of related strips over a period of time that focus on a vacation or an upcoming test that's got them all nervous. I was really pleased to find this collected edition of the series so soon after reading Yotsuba&!, and hope to see even more of these types of projects in the future. It seems to be a recent phenomena, but hopefully one that's proving successful enough to continue. Funny and sweet, Azumanga Daioh is certainly worth the $25 pricetag for the entire series of 677 pages.

1 comment:

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