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Azumanga Daioh #4: Friends! PDF Print E-mail
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R2 DVD Reviews
Friday, 22 April 2005 13:58
Azumanga DaiohNo show overdoses on festival episodes quite like Azumanga Daioh.  After volume 2's first-year festivals, this volume revisits the theme now that the girls are in their second year.  I sense we'll be seeing them again at some stage, too.  It's not all festivals, though, as Yomi & her dieting feature quiet heavily, while Kimura-sensei's wife appears...

15 - Sports Fest, Second Year
Sports fest arrives, and it's time for Nyamo's and Yukari-sensei's rivalry to be renewed.  Suddenly, the reason for Kagura's move to Class 3 is clear, while Chiyo-chan's eager to do better than she did last year - although she seems to being entered in all the events she's no good at.  Meanwhile, the girls are surprised to discover Kimura-sensei has a wife and kids - how come he's so creepy if he's normal enough to have a family?  When she turns up at the sports fest, they just have to investigate...

Chiyo & co in sports fest competitionKaorin discovers she's running with Sakaki

16 - Culture Fest, Second Year
Class 3's having the usual hard time deciding on what to do for the cultural festival.  In the end, they decide to stick with what they know best and go with the stuffed animal cafe again.  They do have a secret weapon, though - the ultimate in cuteness, Chiyo-chan in a penguin suit, which is just too much for some people to handle.  It all goes so well until Kimura-sensei decides to help 'attract' customers.  Later, Chiyo-chan discovers being cooped up in a costume all day isn't all its cracked up to be....

Nekokoneko TheaterKaorin and Chiharu prepare to unleash their secret weapon

17 - End of Second Semester and Christmas

There's a new book on pandas due out, and Chiyo-chan wants a copy before it's sold out.  She gets distracted by Osaka, though, who isn't sure what a panda's meant to look like - are they black on white, or white on black?  Yukari-sensei's acting a bit strange, too - she's decided she's bored of teaching English, so tries something else.  Maths doesn't work out so well, so she tries PE, but that doesn't quite go how she planned it, either.  Finally, the end of term comes around, and brings Christmas with it - meaning there's presents to look forward to.  But does Chiyo-chan still believe in Santa?  And don't mention Yomi's karaoke efforts...

Osaka tells a scary taleTomo:

18 - Koyomi's Ordeals
New Year's been and gone, and the girls are back in school.  Yomi's been away to Hokkaido over the holiday, and she's making sure everybody knows about it - although she soon comes to regret that, as Tomo's jealousy leads her to do do her best to annoy Yomi.  Hearing about Yomi's trip gets Osaka thinking about where she'd like to visit, so it's not long before she appears with a pile of travel brochures.  The girls can't afford to go on a real trip, but perhaps a visit to a theme park will do - so it's off to Magical Land for everyone. Except for Yomi, who's struck down with flu on the big day...

Yomi gloats about her holiday......but gets upset about missing the theme park trip

19 - One Spring Night
Nyamo's mother is trying to arrange a husband for her, much to Nyamo's disgust.  Meanwhile, the girls are having trouble concentrating in class now that spring's arrived and the weather outside is so nice - but falling asleep on the school roof when they should have been in Nyamo's gym class maybe wasn't the smartest move for Osaka, Chiyo and Tomo.  Spring means cherry-blossom season, and the annual flower-watching ritual - Nyamo and Yukari meet up with an old friend for the occasion, while Chiyo faces the horror of a trip through the darkened late-night streets, in search of an eraser...

Sleeping during classNyamo & Yukari, flower-gazing

I did get a horrible feeling of deja vu watching the two festival episodes, although Chiyo-shan's appearance in her penguin suit was almost enough to make it all worthwhile.  Almost.

The other three episodes are really Yomi stories, which is no bad thing - she's been one of the more neglected characters up until now.  Tomo's constant teasing of her is always worth watching (although episode 19 shows they're really good friends, despite all that), and as she's one of m favourite characters it's good to see more of her.  Now, if we could have some more Kaorin...

Otherwise, these episodes stick to the tired-and-tested AzuDai formula.  If you've made it this far, you won't be disappointed by them.

Rating - ****

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