Gloom Party

I’m adding a “panties” tag! It’s all because of this little dreck! You wouldn’t expect a manga with the name “Gloom Party” to be funny, would you? And you’d be right! It’s not!

Plot: 1. Situation occurs. 2. Woman displays her panties. 3. Man gets a nosebleed. If not that, then it goes like this: 1. Situation occurs. 2. Woman’s skirt is lifted. 3. Man slaps woman because she’s wearing shorts. If not that, then it goes like this: 1. Sachiko does something cute to a stranger. 2. Stranger permits her to do it on the basis that she’s adorable.

Get the picture? It’s quite formulaic. There’s more, but it mostly involves more panties. So how do you make a manga like this sell?

Why, make it educational, of course! See, the title in America is “How To Read Manga: Gloom Party”! No doubt DMP knew this wouldn’t make it in the American market, so turn it into a teachable experience!

What does this involve? How about not actually changing the dialogue to English? YEP! That’s what I want! Instead, they leave it in Japanese and put the translation to the side of each strip! See, I’m an immediate reaction kinda guy. I don’t like flipping to the back of a volume like Yen Press makes me do and go, “Oh, THAT’S why it’s supposed to be funny!” Read: SUPPOSED TO.

Granted, something like Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei isn’t exactly American reader friendly, but at least it can make you laugh. Know why? IT’S FUNNY. I think a manga needs to work more on a global level. You know the phrase, “Act Locally, Think Globally”? That needs to be applied.

This, however, does the same few jokes OVER AND OVER, until you want to close the book. I had trouble reading through this, especially considering how the humor is raunchy. Ever want to see multiple strips of men’s testicles hanging out? You didn’t? Why, that’s astounding! Even the translator didn’t want to!

Oh yeah, this translator. She also plays the role of Commentary. See, after each strip comes her commentary of why the joke isn’t actually funny. Okay, she SAYS that they’re supposed to be funny, but she uses phrases like “The Japanese will find this funny because” or “If you don’t get the joke, just say ‘yuck’ and move on”.

I don’t care for how this woman chose to commentate. A casual style may be beneficial in another work, but here it comes off as if she didn’t even like this. How could she, seeing what a mess it is? She even goes, “URGH, THE FURICHIN!!”, which is Japanese for testicles. Even she can’t stand these jokes.

A few of the jokes work. Probably the best strips involve Sachiko, the child bride. See, she’s like, a toddler, but somehow over time she ends up raising her older sister-in-law and stepdaughter. These are more pleasant gags, and they’re fortunately more in focus as the volume progresses.

I say “volume” because there was never a second one in the states. Why would there be? The jokes here are really obscure to the American reader. Granted, some things one might get like Power Rangers, but they still don’t work.

Overall Opinion: Yeah, panty jokes. FUNNEE! Hey, here’s an idea: Mix it up a little! Why not breast jokes? OH WAIT, THEN IT WOULDN’T BE ABOUT PANTIES, WOULD IT? Feh. Don’t bother with this one.

Rating: One pair of boxers. SEE, IT’S A TYPE OF UNDERWEAR!

Princess Ai

See, okay, didja ever want to read a manga “by” Courtney Love? YOU DIDN’T? SERIOUSLY? WELL ME NEITHER! Sadly, it’s not the worst thing ever. I dare say, I rather enjoyed it. Sorry, guys! This is “Princess Ai”!

Plot: Ai is a mysterious girl who can’t remember how she wound up on Earth! OH RIGHT, SHE’S AN ALIEN. She meets Kurt Cobain (AKA Kent), who’s super nice to her. Okay. She gets a job as a singer and tries to remember why she’s on Earth. WHY AN ALIEN? It’s so cliched!

Cliche, though, is not what I would describe Ai as. She’s “based on” Courtney Love, in the same sense that this manga was “made by” Courtney Love. BARELY. Mary Sue, fo reals. Now, Mary Sue is the opposite of a loser. They not only have girlfriend, but EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE UNIVERSE. In fact, at the end of the first volume, her manager is like, “What’s it feel like to be the center of the Universe?”

MODESTY. TRY IT SOMETIME.

In fact, let’s count all the traits that qualify the Mary Sue status, at least, in what I generally consider a “Mary Sue”. It’s a difficult term to pinpoint.

1. Everyone loves her. Those who don’t are straight-laced evil with no redeeming qualities.
2. OoOoOoOoh, mysterious past! And a mysterious object! Oh yeah, her box is heart-shaped.
3. ALIEN.

Think of it like this: Doctor Who is an alien that everyone loves with a mysterious box. AND IT’S NOT DOCTOR WHO, IT’S THE DOCTOR, BUT ONLY PEOPLE WHO WATCH IT KNOW THAT. GO WATCH DOCTOR WHO.

The thing is, I should really hate Ai, OH YEAH, SHE’S A FRAKKIN’ PRINCESS. THUS THE TITLE. However, I gotta say, she’s… well… justified. Okay, maybe not so much, but Ai happens to be one of the prettiest manga girls I’ve ever seen. It’s not like everyone just says she is, SHE IS. The manga succeeds in that respect.

Plus, she looks perfect alongside… KANA.

Okay, I know I should’ve ended my rage on Kana from Sokora Refugees, but hear me out. Whereas most “loser” characters are unpopular nebbishes, at least they have a good heart. Kana… doesn’t. She acts like a brat and deserves everything that happens to her.

Okay, hopefully I’m over it now.

See, Ai is nothing like that. She doesn’t give her body for money or power, she wants to save herself for… Kent? I dunno. And she looks good in a tattered dress. In the end, I think this is one time I won’t be offended by a Mary Sue character.

UNTIL I HEARD COURTNEY LOVE’S MUSIC. When I decided, “Hey, I’m doing a Courtney Love review, why not listen to a tune of hers?”, I went like this.

UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Um… really? This woman is a famous musician? I like Wesley Willis’ work better! And he’s supposed to sound bad! Oh yeah, he sang a song called “Courtney Love”. Go figure.

Well sir, I decided that on its own, the manga wasn’t the worst thing ever. Ai is interesting in that kind of impossible goddess who can’t lose sort of way. Kent’s also kind of pleasant to read about. Oh, and why is it okay for Ai to call Kent’s roommate a “Pesky Gay Roommate”? That’s gotta ruffle a few feathers nowadays.

OH, (as he realized the amount of times he said “Oh” in this review is like, a bajillion) THEN I SAW COURTNEY LOVE’S FACE. LOOK AT DIS.

Okay, that’s an unfair image of her to use, but COME ON. Ai looks like… well, a princess alongside Love. I dunno, Courtney Love just isn’t my type of person.

AHEM! I remembered! Ai (whose name means “Love”, so “Ai Love You” would be redundant) has wings. Hmm. Must’ve been the Red Bull. All bad joking aside, that’s just over the top. Kent calls her his angel, AND GOOD GOD, SHE IS ONE. How… donkulent. I had to make up a word for that one.

Look, I kind of liked it. The art is pretty, Ai and Kent are appealing in their twisted deity ways, and it’s hilarious to compare the real “Princess Ai” with the manga. COURTNEY LOVE, WHERE DID YOU GET THAT HIGH HORSE, TAKE AWAY HIS BONG.

Overall Opinion: Not as bad as Kana from Sokora Refugees. If you like Courtney Love stroking her id, ego, and superego, give it a go.

Rating: Three Octaves out of Four. I didn’t really have anything funny for that one.

Sokora Refugees

KANA NEVER SHUTS UP. That will be the topic of today’s Manga Connoisseur. This little… PHLEGM… is a webcomic, that was printed, and the site no longer exists, which is the exact words my brother wanted me to mention. It was bad enough that he told me this existed in my home. “Sokora Refugees”. PUTRID.

Plot: Kana is a serious loser! Here’s what she sounds like: “EAHAHAHAHEHAHEHAHEHAHAHHAHWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!” I’m exaggerating. It’s much worse. She has NO BREAST! So everyone calls her “No-cans”. Um… a pun on “Kana”? Awful. She accidentally gets pulled into a world called “Sokora”, and does nothing to help. She gets possessed by a boobalicious elf witch, so now she turns into her every so often. Later, Kana and some friends get stuck in Sokora. Will they return home? I don’t know, it got cancelled.

Kana is… um…

THE WORST CHARACTER I’VE READ ABOUT IN A LOOOOOOOOOOONG TIME. SERIOUSNESS. SHE WHINES, COMPLAINS (neither as good as a certain prissy unicorn), BLAMES HER FRIENDS, USES HER “SPECIAL POWER” STUPIDLY, AND JUST GENERALLY NEEDS TO NOT TALK. EVER.

Okay, Kana’s bad, guys. But her comrades aren’t much better. There’s the young elf, who’s just an obnoxious teen weenie, the raccoon lady, who’s unlikable in every regard Kana doesn’t have, the handsome elf, who just… gets in the way mostly…

I’m for real. The only good characters are any and all villains. Well, except for the vampire. But the main villain is a giant dragon skeleton, which looks AWESOME. He has a leech guy and a rock monster, and they’re kind of cool too. Even the goblins are kind of fun, even sympathetic, especially alongside…

KANA. BACK TO HER. KANA’S SUCH AN AMAZINGLY REPULSIVE CHARACTER, EVEN THE WISE MENTOR CAN’T TOLERATE HER. WHEN THE KNOCKER ELF ASKS NICELY FOR KANA TO HOST HER SOUL, KANA’S LIKE “EUEUEUAUHAWHAHUWWHWHWHWAHAHWHWHA!!!!!!” SO WHAT DOES KNOCKERS DO? THREATEN HER WITH VIOLENCE. I WAS AGHAST AT FIRST, BUT AS I READ ON, I BEGAN TO SIDE WITH KNOCKA KHAN.

Kana has two friends, a girl with glasses and a black girl. Okay, one’s Julie and the other is Tamara, but I can’t remember which is which. Glasses is boring but at least not Kana, while the black one is AMAZING. Fine, so she actually does stuff, right? Like fight. SHE CAN HOLD HER OWN IN A FIGHT, UNLIKE…

KANA. KANA HAS NO REAL TALENTS OR FIGHTING SKILLS, SO ALL SHE DOES IS MOPE. WHEN THEY NEED TO TAKE ACTION BUT NO ONE CAN FIGHT, SHE DARES, DARES CALL HER FRIENDS USELESS. I’M SORRY, KANA LOST ME. I REALLY WANTED SOMEONE TO DECLARE THEMSELF AS “KETTLE”, CALL HER “POT”, AND COMMENT ON HOW SHE’S BLACK. No, Kana isn’t black. It’s just a metaphor.

I don’t even know what’s going on in this. Why do these people hang around? I’m not even exaggerating when I say none of the “protagonists” like each other. All they do is argue, fight, blame, scream… I mean, two of these guys are brothers. Must they also act like tools? How can I get behind such mesmerizingly horrific characters? No? Oh, thank you.

Like I said, the bad guys are more sympathetic. I felt bad when the rock guy’s golem got destroyed, or when the goblin wizard was being killed, or when the goblin drone was being tortured by the “heroes”. I’m not kidding, they’re all self-satisfied twits. And they were being really obnoxious to the goblin! He was crying! YOU’RE THE REAL MONSTERS!

Oh, and for some reason, everyone has a Japanese surname. Yeah, because I meet so many white guys named Orville Takahashi. TWITS.

I better wrap this up before I think about Kana again.

Overall Opinion: Kana deserves all the lousy treatment she gets. Being called No-cans, getting strangled, being held hostage…

Wait, I remembered a bajillion other problems.

At one point, they say Kana changes to Busty Brown when she’s embarrassed, and flat when she’s calm. But they never said that before, so other times before (and after) she gets embarrassed but stays the same… CONSISTENCY! It’s not for this manga!

The most reasonable character in the group, aside from the black girl, is the goblin wizard. And again, he’s a bad guy! He keeps his cool, makes good decisions, and even plays Tic-Tac-Toe with the other pleasant member of the group! Make this series about villains!

What I hate most about the lead characters is the lack of any character development. I mean ANY. In most manga, it takes a while, but only a little, to become a more mature character. It’s no good to read about the same character we started with. But Sokora Refugees doesn’t get it. The characters are all the same in both volumes. Nothing learned, nothing gained. And that’s why Sokora Refugees is one of the worst American manga I’ve ever read. That, and Kana.

A bajillion is a fabricated number. That’s why I’m out of complaints.

Rating: One “E” out of “EUEUEUAHWWWWWWWWHHHHHAAAAAAAEEEEEEEEEEEEHEHEHAHEHA”.

Anime Openings

So I was curious about the Grenadier anime. If it has a show, is it better? Well, here’s what I discovered:

Even the opening is kind of dull. The only thing that stands out is the hot springs scene. Oh, and the fact that her cleavage holds bullets, if you’re into that sort of thing. But the hot springs shows how dull Cowboy Hat Girl is. She’s like, “Oh, a guy! Hello!” Some would blush. Most would shoot the guy. She’s just like “hey man, ‘sup?”

I believe covers should be judged. That’s the reason people go out of their way to look presentable. A boring cover isn’t going to make good sales. …You know, I may be The Manga Connoisseur, but just for this review, why don’t I review anime openings?

Yeah, I can see it now! I review openings to anime based on manga I’ve reviewed. Sorry, that means no Ranma 1/2 openings. Sure, let’s do it! Why not? Seize the day!

First, or rather, second, we have “Is This A Zombie?” Yeah, I’m not surprised it’s an anime. I bet that’s why hell even borne it. Is it any good?

Well, that was… special. Even the opening can’t make the zombie an interesting character! Oh, and the action scenes look pretty cool. Too bad they’re practically nothing in the manga. I don’t really get action scenes in manga anyway. It’s like a picture of an explosion. Might’ve been cool once, but it’s silly now. Anyway, I think this series would work better as an anime.

Next up, that terrible cat manga, Omamori Himari. Yeah, the one with a girl who promises to defend her man from… well, nothing! Does the opening promise more action?

Not even a little! Okay, maybe the series wasn’t intended to have good action scenes. But why give the cat lady a blade anyway? Why is the back story that her allergic master needs protecting? This just seems like a generic anime where a bunch of girls fight over a guy. The anime does no favors for its origin.

To contrast it, we have Dokkoida?!, a series that seems to be a parody of sentai series, as well as harems. Let’s watch the opening.

Look at that! It’s a parody series, and it still has more action scenes than Omamori! In fact, they look kind of cool! Not only that, but it manages to pull off being both fast and slow paced! I wanna watch that!

Oh, boy! One of my favorites! Neko Ramen! I can’t wait to see how

…Wait, that was the entire episode? Um… okay. The art, like the manga’s, is LOUSY. I’d say it works, but… I dunno, it seems uncomfortable. I LOVE the anime, but it’s too sketchy. Would suit some, but not me.

Azumanga Daioh! Now we’re in for some¬†normalcy!

Yes, that’s normal for the show. It’s very calming, but at the same time, it’s all very weird. I love every second of it. Oh, and unlike most openings, this stuff actually occurs. Yes, even the flying cat.

Oh, time for Toriko? Um… okay. I mean, I like it and all, but what can the anime possibly do to impress me?

OH MY GOD, THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER. It’s got food, action, Toriko’s BLUE HAIR, and the best thing any anime opening can have, ENGLISH WORDS THROWN IN EVERY SO OFTEN! I seriously need to watch this NOW.

Then there’s Mahoromatic. It’s… there.

Yeah, until the 1:00 mark, it’s quite boring, but like the manga, action arises. But I wouldn’t recommend watching it. See, the ending is much, much, MUCH more depressing than the manga. Let’s just say that the hero dies before he can be with Mahoro. Wait, that’s a spoiler. THAT’S A SPOI

Oh, and all this talk of action makes me wonder, “What about Reborn?” I don’t know why I’d wonder that, but let’s look.

THAT’S NOT EVEN CLOSE TO THE SAME THING I READ. I guess the whole “it gets better” thing was true. That looks awesome! And would you believe it’s the 8th opening? EIGHTH! My, my, even Ranma doesn’t have that many openings!

Oh, all right, but just one.

I don’t know why, but I love this one. To me, it’s very nostalgic. The song, the scenes, the everything meshes together to create a perfect harmony. And long-hair Akane’s butt-shaking is always welcome. Hey, if she was only long-haired for like, a volume, why is it that way in the opening? Are they trying to avoid spoilers? Yeah, huge spoiler, guys.

Let’s end this off on a low point. I can’t possibly apologize enough for giving Eiken anything lower than negatives and Zs. I hope showing you what horrors Eiken holds in its opening will prove to you why you should NEVER read, watch, or think about it. Not safe in front of company, at work, or around children of the ages 0 to 120.

It’s just so subtle, ya know?! I love the way the boobs blow in the wind! Oh, and them panty shots is really flattering! Once they start hula-hooping, it’s time for brain bleach, because even the bear and the robot show off their qualities! I mean, COME ON! An opening should show what good qualities a series has. All this says is “only a bigger pervert than my creator would watch this”. Would you believe this was a two-episode series? THAT’S TOO MUCH FOR EIKEN! I’ll never get over this mistake.

Anyway, that’s the special review of Anime Openings. I hope you enjoyed it. If ya liked it, maybe I’ll do more one day. Even if you don’t, I’ll still do it, since it’s easier to watch openings than read. Take care!

Grenadier

I am so tempted to review Bomber Girl. That manga was #10 on The 10 Worst Manga list. In my opinion, it should’ve been like, #3. But I know that if I reviewed it right now, well sir, what terrible manga would I have to review to top it? There’s manga like that where I have the urge to review it right away.

Then there’s manga I wait over a year after I first read it to deal with. This is because I hope with experience comes further insight to what particularly is wrong with a manga. Sadly, “Grenadier” is just a vague blandness.

Plot: Cowboy Hat Girl wants to return to her home! She befriends a samurai (I guess), and the two set off to right wrongs and go home! However, this ain’t no opening to Quantum Leap. That had more charm in thirty seconds than this did in a single volume.

What’s wrong with this manga? Well, it’s not very good. In fact, I’d love to call it bad, but it’s far too generic to really say what doesn’t work. Although I can come up with a few things.

The first chapter or three start the story in the wrong place. Rather than GA, which doesn’t introduce the cast normally, this decides to introduce the cast IN THE FOURTH CHAPTER. What I mean is the duo’s formation is explained after we get three chapters to go on. This would be fine if it didn’t seem so silly. Did Bulma meet Goku after the plot with Oolong? No! Because that would be stupid!

The samurai is pointless. He’s nowhere near Cowboy Hat Girl’s skills, and doesn’t really participate in battles. In fact, I think he’s just there to go “STOP BEING SO WEIRD, COWBOY HAT GIRL!” That’s right, a straightman, the lowest role a character can play in a manga! Case in point, another manga reference, Beauty from BoBoBoBoBoBoBo. Everyone’s being silly, but it’s her job to go “WHY IS EVERYONE DOING IMPOSSIBLE THINGS? I’M NOT USED TO THIS BY NOW!”

Okay, no more other manga examples for the rest of the review. I just get reminded of much better manga.

How is Cowboy Hat Girl, though? Well… she’s just… um…not. I don’t know, on one hand, she can handle a gun real well, but then again, she’s just silly. And silly is fine if done well, but she gets all serious in battles. The two personalities don’t really seem to connect, so it ends up coming off as a bipolar disorder almost.

Oh, and this girl she becomes friends with gets killed by a bad guy. He says he’ll fight her when she battles his king, the lead bad guy in the chapter. So she does. And the king shows remorse. She forgives him, and all is well. Except, you know, THAT GIRL IS DEAD. Not only does she not blame him for her death, but she never ends up battling the guy who killed her. Yeah, our heroine.

I thought of this manga as an excuse to have an anime. But how could a ridiculous series like this get an WAIT IT HAS AN ANIME? Well, that explains it! The whole thing would work much better in anime format, what with the guns and explosions and the like. But a manga shouldn’t exist solely for an anime. What, you get a 12-episode deal? OOOOOOH, AIN’T YOU THE ENTREPRENEUR?

You know, some manga still makes a lot of money on its own. If this was actually good, maybe I could justify it. But Grenadier is just a boring, uninspired mess. Give it a go if you enjoy terrible manga.

Overall Opinion: Just… don’t, okay? Grenadier may have an anime, but so do lots of lousy manga these days.

Rating: The Last Bullet in Russian Roulette.

The 14th Dalai Lama

Okay, let’s get two things out of the way before I review “The 14th Dalai Lama”.

First, this is not going to be criticisms of the religion. I’m not exactly up to snuff on that one. Besides, the DL seems like a nice enough guy, so why insult his beliefs?

And second…

Plot: The 13th Dalai Lama has passed away! So it’s up to the priests or whoever to find his reincarnation! They come across a young boy who acts uppity, so it must be him! Nah, I’m kidding. Well, not about him being the Dalama. Or being uppity, really. Then what am I kidding about? …Anyway, they take him to Lhasa where he’s raised to lead the people and teach them to be happy!

Okay, the reincarnation thing. I can buy the fact that the D to the L is the Buddha’s soul. But the world is a big place, with lots of different species, and at least two genders. How is it that he’s always a male Tibetan human? If I was able to reincarnate, I’d like to mix it up once in a while.

Wait, I’m not supposed to criticize. Just having fun here, guys!

He’s raised to be the Title Drop, and before his parents leave him, he says that the year in the palace was “The Happiest Of His Life”. Okay. Fast-forward, and he seems to be growing into the job.

I’m curious, what if he said “no”? I mean, isn’t that an option? Sure, he’s Buddha reincarnated, but that doesn’t mean he shares his opinions. Memories, kinda. Opinions, maybe. Oops, this is getting risque.

Then China tries to make everyone communists, and this takes up the remainder of the book. What about the Dala Lima? He’s there, he’s there. But this manga seems to be more about the plight of Tibet, rather than the story of the man’s life. Sure, sucks for Tibet, but this is supposed to be about the Dalai Lama!

It seems the guy lived a life of troubles. A takeover, a war, just a bunch of troubles. Question time! What was the last thing I said in the Plot paragraph?

“…He’s raised to lead the people and teach them to be happy.”

Yeah… um… isn’t that a wee bit difficult what with the whole China takeover? He seems to be frowning more often than not. Isn’t the best way to teach to experience? In fact, how happy do you bet he was that they sent him away from his parents in childhood? Yeah, great way to pick a guy up, monks!

I knew it! I knew I couldn’t review this without skepticism! Look, Buddhism is fine if you’re into that sort of thing, but as an outsider, I just have too many questions. It’s not like the pope is the reincarnation of Jesus or any other variant along those lines. Plus, the oracle? I don’t know, it’s too out of place in the 20th century.

So I have no other choice but to end the review here.

Overall Opinion: It’s not about the Dalai Lama, it’s about the enslavement of the Tibetan people. Not a great explanation of how the religion works either, which is why I’m left with so many headscratchers. Not the best biography I’ve read.

Rating: The sound of one hand clapping. Please tell me that’s Buddhism.

Azumanga Daioh

Welcome to The Manga Connoisseur 100th Review Veritable Sustainability Palooza! Well, it should really be less, considering I started the blog with “First Post”. But then I realized, I reviewed a dual review for the first anniversary! Then I realized the “COMPLETED!” reviews shouldn’t count, since it’s just an extension of WHO CARES ABOUT THE TECHNICALS.

So what should I review? Something horrible? I do that way too often to really appreciate it. Therefore, I shall review my favorite– NAY. My FAY-VORE-ATE manga of all time, and I mean essentially all time.

Azumanga Daioh.

But you read the title and the cover image, didn’t you?

Plot: It’s basically six high school girls livin’ life and lovin’ it. I can’t really say much more than that.

Okay, it’s your basic 4koma plot. High school girls spending time at school. The difference is that Azumanga Daioh does it right. GA was too boring, as was Tori Koro. But Azumanga Daioh is one of the funniest things you will ever read. Well, it’s the funniest thing I ever read.

The characters. Okay. Chiyo. She skipped a few grades from grade school to attend high school because she’s super smart. This would normally make her unbearable, but the manga treats her the same as any character: with ups and downs, rather than some revered goddess.

Osaka is the breakout character. She… gee, how do I even describe her? She’s odd. Osaka is best described as “spacey and weak”. Yeah, that’s it. But people love her for it. She’s not my favorite, but she’s in a league of her own.

Tomo? Standard hyperactive girl. Usually a great character. Works for her.

Then there’s Yomi. She’s a total bore. She has a few funny moments about dieting, but she’s the straightman to Tomo. Not much interest.

Kagura is just as dull. She’s like a combo of the characters, but she never amounts to anything interesting. The series would have been the same without her.

Last but certainly my favorite, SAKAKI. Oh, Sakaki. She looks tough, but has a sensitive heart. She loves cats, but they hate her. She just wants something to cuddle. I feel you, Sakaki!

There’s also the teachers. Yukari is basically adult Tomo, but more hyper. She’s a great introduction to the series. Her P.E. friend, Nyamo, is adult Yomi, but not as dull. She works. Finally, there’s Kimura. He’s in a league of his own. He’s a total pervert. However, he has a loving wife and daughter, donates to charities, and wants nothing more than world peace. I LOVE THIS GUY.

Finally, Chiyo’s “dad”. He’s fictional in the series, but Sakaki dreams him from time to time. He’s a giant weirdo cat. I LOVE THIS GUY.

Anyway, the series is hilarious. If I recommend anything on here, I recommend Azumanga Daioh. I love the characters, the jokes, the art… it all makes a perfect series.

Okay, you want me to complain. I get it. Fine. It’ll be tricky since I’m just so in love with Azumanga Daioh. I wonder how I can possibly do it.

First off, they tend to repeat activities. They go to Chiyo’s summer home in like, three stories. The festival, three times. It gets old sometimes, at least, according to my dad. I don’t mind it so much.

Tomo and Kagura get similar hairstyles halfway through the series, which confuses those with an untrained eye. The same thing happens in K-On!, but we’ll get around to that.

And that’s all of my criticisms. Sorry, guys! Next time I’ll get something I can bash with ease!

So, the ending is kinda… meh. It’s sweet and all, but kind of anti-climactic. It’d be nice to see an epilogue, but I don’t know how that would work. Here it’s like, “And it’s implied that they have more adventures!” But I don’t know that for sure, so please spell it out, people.

The anime is also funny, but there some jokes tend to drag. If you don’t mind that, check it out sometime.

Oh, and if you plan to buy this, get the ADV version, not the Yen Press. In ADV, Sakaki says at one point, “MEOW-velous!”. But in Yen Press, it’s “It’s a MEOW-racle!” Guess which one is funnier? OH YEAH, MEOW-VELOUS BY A LONG SHOT. Yeesh.

This is the same person who did Yotsuba&!, so you know it has class. Give it a go, man. You most likely won’t regret it.

Overall Opinion: My favorite manga. All other manga are either great or awful, but this one has a special place it my heart. PICK IT UP.

Rating: Six High Schoolers out of Six.