Azumanga Daioh: Where Are They Now?

The Kids at school. L-R: Koyomi "Yomi" Mizuhara, Sakaki, Ayumu "Osaka" Kasuga, Chiyo-chan Mihama, Kagura, Tomo Takino. Credit: J C Staff

Azumanga Daioh: Where Are They Now?

It’s been a some time since the Azumanga Daioh kids graduated from high school. Here’s some “speculation” on where they & others are at.

Chiyo Mihama- Actually did study abroad. After graduating from M.I.T. at age 18 & post grad, she was employed in several joint Japanese/U.S. projects at the Lawrence Livermore Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasedena, Calif. Now works as an assistant tech advisor/systems analyst for an unspecified Japanese govt. think tank.

Sakaki- Married (Not to Kaorin.) & has her own successful veterinary practice in Tokyo. Relatives, friends & other investors were able to buy the former Gold Animal Clinic at govt. auction after its former owner mysteriously disappeared.

Koyomi “Yomi” Mizuhara- In house dietician at a large Japanese based corporation.

Tomo Takino- Pursued a career in law enforcement. Policewoman & an assistant liason between ICPO (Interpol) & Japans’ Nat. Police Agency. Has recieved several commendations regarding the energetic pursuit of her duties.

Ayumu “Osaka” Kasuga- Was a teacher for a while but later became a writer of several best selling childrens’ books. “My Best Friends’ Father” was on the New York Times best seller list for almost three years running.

Kagura- After winning two gold and a silver in the Olympic swimming competitions, she is now an athletics coach at Waseda University.

Kaorin- Before high school graduation, she tried to avail herself of the “internet service” of a one Ai Enma in regard to a “problem” she was having with a certain teacher. She balked at the price of the “service” & decided to tough it out. After recieving a degree in teaching, she became a science teacher at her old high school.

Minamo Kurosawa- Happily married with two kids. Now an in house physical therapist at the same corporation Yomi works at.

Yukari Tanizaki- Surprisingly enough, is also married & has a son. Met her future husband while exchanging car insurance info (Believe it or not, the accident was his fault, not hers!). Even more surprising, she is now assistant principle at the school. Though her driving habits have drastically mellowed, her style of teaching has not.

Kimura- One of Tomos’ first “collars”. Was to be tried on evidence/testimony supplied by Kaorin & several students. Adjudged mentally incompetant to stand trial. Now resides at a prefectural mental institution.

Maya- Getting on in years but still rules the roost at the vet. clinic.

Kamineko- Evil lives on forever.

Mr. Tadakichi- Gone but not forgotten. Though she has a pup sired by him, Chiyo-chan dearly misses him.

Article copyright © 12-9-2010  Jay Agan

This article first appeared at Jays Tee Vee.

Azumanga Daioh: Too ….. Much ….. Cute

The Azumanga Daioh kids. L-R: Koyomi "Yomi" Mizuhara, Ayumu "Osaka" Kasuga, Chiyo Mihama, Sakaki, Kagura, Tomo Takino. Credit: J C Staff

Azumanga Daioh: Too ….. Much ….. Cute

One of the shows I’ve put off bothering with (Not my kind of anime.) is Azumanga Daioh. On glancing at articles & seeing illustrations in passing, I concluded it was another of those insufferably cute shows for girls. Having just aquired hi-speed internet & nothing better to do, I decided to take this one in. Glad I did.

The show is about several young women going through grades 10-12 & the situations (surreal & otherwise.) they encounter. Summer/winter semesters with their attendant classes, sports/culture fests, holidays/vacations & general “slice of life” high school experience. This story arc is repeated for each grade. While one might think this to be boring, there is more than enough variation keeping this series interesting throughout. The characters themselves keep things moving, lively &, at times, have you busting a gut laughing.

The “cast” members are stories unto themselves:

Excrutiatingly cute child prodigy, Chiyo Mihama: Top scholar in class but still with the mind of a child. Doing her best socializing with classmates five years older. Her “cooking is so fun” segment from episode one almost had me calling the EMS over what I feared was a sugar OD. This seemed to innoculate me for the rest of the series so I was able to continue.

Remote, alienated, Sakaki: Taller than most of the boys at school & quite self concious of it. Everyone misreads her detatchment as “being cool”. Oh yes. She wants a kitty ….. so ….. bad (Can’t have one. Parent allergies.). Cats don’t seem to like her much. One in particular almost always puts the bite on her when she tries to pet it. You’d think it would occure to her the critter might be rabid.

Sadistic, hyperactive, ritalin deprived, Tomo Takino: I’m against drugging children to make them compliant in school, but in this case, maybe they should put this one to sleep! LOUD (!) with a capitol loud & always roughhousing or ranking on someone (Usually Yomi.). Also likes messing with Chiyos’ mind. (“Okinawa! OH KIN AH WAA!” “Oh! Shut up!”)

Studious, sensible, weight concious, Kayomi “Yomi” Mizuhara: A stabilising force in the group. Good for giving an occasional sock to the jaw of the hyperactive one. In spite of her exasperation with Tomo, they’re actually good friends.

Athletic go-getter Kagura: In a one sided sports/coolness competition with Sakaki. Not above participating in some of Tomos’ stunts.

Spacey, other worldly, Ayumu “Osaka” Kasuga: Originally from (Where else?) Osaka. Her mind, from somewhere beyond there.

Whacked language teacher, Yukari Tanizaki: You’d think she was related to Tomo, the way she acts. Likes playing head games with everyone. Her teaching “style” is unique to say the least. Also drives like a freakin’ maniac!

Caring, attentive, phys-ed teacher Minamo Kurosawa: Another stabilising force & guardian of the kids, standing between them an a certain “strange” litt. teacher.

Obsessive, lesbian wannabe, Kaorin: Has a crush on Sakaki (Who is either oblivious or just very good at ignoring it.). Constantly “beating herself over the head” about it. (Geez kid. Get a boyfriend or three. Find out what it’s like on the “other bank of the river”.)

Unsuccessful pedophile, litt. teacher Kimura: This guy needs to be locked up! As the kids know what he is from the start & avoid him like the plague, the character is played for laughs. I had to keep reminding myself that Japanese humor is a little ….. uh ….. different.

The latter two characters would pretty much keep this show off saturday mornings here & on Adult Swim. I admit, I laughed my butt off over some of the situations they were in. Howsomever, the scenes of Kimura focusing his attention on poor Kaorin are creepy to say the least. (Is it any wonder the kid is such an emotional basket case at times?)

While not rushing out to buy the show (Again, not my kind of anime.), I must say I enjoyed watching it & even got a little sad when it concluded. It is, with some reservations, I recommend it to an older crowd.

So. Do Kaorins’ dreams come true? (Oh for cryin’ out loud!) Does Kimura score? (Good Lord! No!) Do the kids graduate high school let alone pass their college entrance exams? And, most importantly, does Sakaki finally reconcile with the little, gray, pirana kitty? (This is what had me follow this series to the end.) See the series & find out!

Article copyright © 2010 Jay Agan

This article originally posted on Jays’ Tee Vee.