Yuri Anime: Azumanga Daioh, Volume 5

November 30th, 2004

More wacky fun, Yuri longing and Sakaki and Kagura looking incredibly cool. Plus a toy surprise!

Today’s review will be a quicky – the story in Volume 5 of Azumanga Daioh is pretty much the same kind of hijinks as in the first four volumes. Osaka is loopy, Chiyo-chan is adorable, Tomo’s a moron, Yomi’s pathetic, Sakaki’s cool, etc, etc.

Notably on this DVD is the fateful trip to Okinawa, in which Osaka gets to make a gazillion mostly untranslatable puns, and Sakaki befriends a mountain cat, thus breaking her curse and violating all sorts of wildlife laws all at the same time.

Much more importantly, in their final sports festival, we (along with a still-besotted Kaorin,) get to enjoy both Kagura and Sakaki in an outfit known as gakuran. The gakuran is really just a traditional boy’s school uniform, but it’s often shown as a longer jacket and with baggy pants, like a zoot suit – a look favored by gangs in manga and anime and assumably, in real life. The gakuran is often accompanied by sarashi, bandages wrapped around the chest for both guys and girls, although of the top of my head I don’t know why. In this case, the Red Racoon Dogs (the team name chosen by our intrepid athletes) wear sports bras. Amusingly  If you care, I’ve found an old black & white photo of a guy in the old style gakuran with long jacket and baggy pants.

Anyway, this volume is the usual four episodes, good liner notes with explanations of the puns (which are very necessary, let me tell you!) and a cloisonne pin of, as I predicted, the Otou-san cat. Whee. Now I have two cat pins I don’t want. Why can’t we get Sakaki pins, for pity’s sake!?!

But don’t let me get you down. In reality, this volume is another excellent entry into this always excellent and very funny series.

Story – 8
Characters – 9
Art – 8
Music – 7
Yuri – 4

Overall – 8

Really, is it too much to ask to get a pin, or doll or something of Sakaki in the gakuran? They made a gashapon of Kagura in the darn thing!

Oh, but look what I found while searching for one. This must have made by taking Kagura’s gashapon body and adding Sakaki’s head because I’ve never seen anything for sale like it. Now, why didn’t *I* think of that? ^_^

P.S. – Gashapon are little dolls, like 4″ or so, that come in pieces, usually from vending machines for a couple hundred yen each. You stick ’em together and they really look good. “The word is derived from the sound made by the machine when you operate it to win your prize (Gasha-Gasha).”

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