August 25, 2005
Gather 'round, lil' ones, for I'm going to tell you a story... a story about some high school girls. No, not that kind of story... one much more common, really.
Y'see, these girls, named Chiyo, Tomo, Yomi, Sakaki, Kagura and Osaka, are just... well, normal. They don't turn into super-powered beings able to right all the wrongs of the universe. They don't pilot fearsome high-tech battle machines. They don't angst all over the place. They're just six friends going through high school.
...and that's why I love Azumanga Daioh so much. They're real people (or at least as real as people in high school ever get) with real emotions, problems, eccentricities (oh, boy, do some of them have eccentricities) and talents. For example, Chiyo is a genius who seems to be able to do anything she sets her mind to... except she's 10 years old, and was promoted into high school because of her abilities.. She's the smallest person in her class, and any sort of physical activity seems to be beyond her (as one would expect, really).
Actually, she's the sort of kid genius that could easily be annoying... but she makes up for it by wielding the Power of the Cute Side. Nobody resents her for being a genius; she just IS... and she's a child, too.
All of the girls are like that: Sakaki is the tall, athletic, beautiful loner that everybody admires... but she's a loner because nobody will approach her BECAUSE she's the tall, athletic yadda yadda. She really likes cute things, like panda bears and cats, and that's out of place, too. Tomo and Yomi are friends from waaaaay back: Yomi the practical one (who constantly tries to lose weight), Tomo the overly hyper one. How Yomi doesn't kill Tomo is one of life's great mysteries, but they've been friends for so long, they're used to each other. Kagura is the true athlete of the bunch, who believes Sakaki is her rival... but is surprised when she realizes that Sakaki doesn't care about sports (Kagura joins the cast late, having been in a different classroom to start out).
And then there's Osaka. She's a bit... different. She thinks differently than everybody else; if it's a straight line between A and G, she's more likely to wind up getting there via Q. And pi. Not to mention ocelot. But she gets there, eventually... and hilariously.
There's no nudity, there's no violence (well, unless you count Yomi hauling off on Tomo once or twice... call it comedic violence), there's just life. And cats. If you're an anime fan and you haven't seen Azumanga Daioh yet, you owe it to yourself. If you're NOT an anime fan, but you're open to a show that's more fun than Friends could ever hope to be, give it a whirl. Five stars, and I'd give it more if it was possible.
August 15, 2005
The new school year at Duck U starts next week, and the Duck U Anime Club has a mandatory community project to do. The Club's president, in conjunction with yours truly, came up with a 'student outreach' program, whereby the Club will... um... reach out to local high schools and 'Big Brother' their existing club, or help them start one. Oh, and recruit the dickens out of the kids, too.
It's a great idea, and it'd be a huge success... if we had that one contact in the high schools that'd be willing to help us out. It's SO much easier to work with an enthusiastic supporter of your project. But we didn't have that person installed in the school district...
We thought. That was until I bumped into George. It's been a couple of years, mostly because I've been pretty hermitlike, but George has been a friend of mine since I was a duckling.
Did I mention that he was my theatre teacher way back when?
Did I mention that he's now the Media teacher at one of the local high schools?
Did I mention that George is an otaku himself?
Ever have one of those problems that could be solved with difficulty, but could be made immeasurably easier if someone you knew but haven't seen in a couple of years suddenly popped back into your life?
Ever have that person suddenly pop back into your life?
Do you have ANY idea how cool it is when that happens? Over and above the fact that our friendship just picked up like I hadn't been a hermit, the biggest problem facing the fledgeling Duck U Anime Club just went away.
It's been a good day.
August 04, 2005
I threw my vote for that rotting carcass known as Dragonball...
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