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Four-Panel Love: Azumanga Daioh

My earliest memory of a four-panel manga dates back some years ago, when I laid my eyes on the translated version of Azumanga Daioh, after having watched some episodes of the anime adaptation. My initial impression was awe, because the manga strips didn't necessarily have a routine punchline whatsoever which is usually evident in the American four-panel comic strips. Reading Azumanga Daioh felt like stepping into a kingdom donned in fluffy white clouds and...more fluffy white clouds. The air castles above those fluffy white clouds opened their doors, and somehow there was an invisible magic permeating that brought smiles and nostalgia.

At some point in life I also realised that laughing out loud on the spot wasn't the surest way to acknowledge a funny story I was reading. Certain elements in comics only work subtly and sneakily. 'Post-damage' is more critical and in some cases near life-threatening. One day, I wasn't even reading anything or thinking much but somehow I just snorted through the nostrils the next minute and I had to use all my brute strength to stifle my giggles before the rest of the customers in the coffee shop decided to alert the mental institution. Imprinting could be extremely disastrous, so I've tried (unsuccessfully) to refrain from indulging too much in certain genres. Oh, there's something known as Chain Reaction, but maybe I should leave that for next time.

Anyway, back to the four-panel. Today, I still find Azumanga Daioh intriguing. It could be the fact that I'm also eccentric, and I let my imagination loose. Or I'm the long-lost distant cousin of Ayumu Kasuga aka Osaka. Okay, stop throwing the eggs and tomatoes. There are just some things that stay in my mind, or they once did.

1. Chiyo-chan crying
Let's face it. She's still a little girl despite her amazingly gifted brains. In a seemingly morbid but realistically still acceptable (?) sense, every time Chiyo-chan starts opening the floodgates it's hard not to go 'awwwww...' nothing about it (?).

2. "Tsukurimashou..."
Let's make something! Let's make something! Then a kawaii neko-koneko pops out and I suffer from a nosebleed...not really. But the level of cuteness is on par with a crying Chiyo-chan and her in a penguin costume.

3. Chiyo-chan in a penguin costume
The blood bank might love this one. I can imagine the geysers of blood out of some people's noses. Then again, one doesn't have to be obsessed with cute stuff to be affected by a slightly clumsily (in a good way of course) walking chibi penguin holding a tray of coffee and milk towards her sensei.

4. Sakaki's stature
Back in my schooling days, there would be the odd girl or two who stood out from the entire cohort. Quite unfortunately, I've got to be superficial and say that it's usually their heights that caught my attention. When I was around 15 or so, I had a female classmate who skyrocketed to 172cm in a matter of months. Another female classmate followed suit and hit 170cm. Suddenly, many girls were towering over the boys. I didn't think they were intimidating though. If Sakaki had been my classmate, I suppose I would gather enough courage to start a conversation despite her cool exterior.

5. Graduation
I've always thought that high school graduation in Japan is kakkoii (due to watching anime no doubt). It feels a lot more emotive. Not forgetting the graduation trips, photos, omiyage...tears, allergies, tables, chairs...and a particular sensei who lost her wallet (but managed to get it back) on graduation day.

6. Soramimi Cake & Raspberry Heaven
Need I say more? :) Soramimi means mishearing. Where else could you have a slice of mishearing cake? :D

There are definitely other things in Azumanga Daioh that strike a chord in my heart. But as of now, just the above can do.

Do you love Azumanga Daioh? What are some of the things that stay in your mind?

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep    

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