The Cult of Cute's Very Own "Tribue to Azumanga Daioh!"

 

Seeing as Azumanga Daioh is not only one of the overall cutest anime series of all time, but also features one of the cutest CHARACTERS of all time, AND a character who is OBSESSED with all things cute, it was inevitable that the Cult would pay homage to this bevy of cuteness with its own "Ode to Azumanga Daioh." 

Those of you in the know about this series know that the musical group "Oranges and Lemons" (who did the opening and closing theme to Azumanga Daioh) made their own "Tribute to Azumanga Daioh" in CD/musical form... 

 

OG Tribute

General Series Goodness

Chiyo-chan

Sakaki-san

Azu-Linx

 

Well, we're not trying to steal their thunder, because that recording is amazingly cute in and of itself (and will be accordingly honored in OUR ode), but rather heap even more loads of praise and giddy giggling upon this brilliant series and it's outrageously cute characters. 

However, since there is an abundance of information available on the series on various locations on the Net (see our links!), we'll (surprise, surprise) be focusing on the cutest aspects of the show.  So enjoy!

 

 

General Series Goodness

 

 

As I just mentioned, there are a ton of good resources for the full details on A.D. on the Web.  But here's the lowdown in The Leader's own words:

"Azumanga Daioh is a 'character-driven' docu-comedy on the lives/daily adventures of several high school girls (a staple of anime-cuteness) and their wacked-out teachers.  The story centers around Mihama Chiyo - a 10 year old genius who has just joined Yukari-sensei's homeroom class.  As they say in the show, 'Chiyo-chan is very smart (smarter than most of the normal high school-aged girls in her class) but being a 10 year old, some of her childish innocence and naivité still shines through from time to time.'"  The main characters are as follows:

<•>  Chiyo Mihama - See below!

<•>  Sakaki-san - See below!

 

<•>  Ayumu "Osaka" Kasuga  - The new transfer student from, where else?  Osaka.  Her painfully boring nickname came courtesy of class wildchild Tomo.  Osaka is quite a daydreamer (mostly because she tends to fall asleep in class a lot) and often comes off as a bit of an airhead, but she always tries hard.  I have tweaked her nickname to "Poor Osaka" because of the misfortunes that always seem to befall her - from losing to Chiyo-chan in a race to a bout of hiccups thanks to being tricked into eating some spicy food.  All together now: "Poor Osaka!" 
Interesting Osaka Factoids
- She's good with bad puns, plays up her only slight Kansai accent to please the rest of the students who expect her to have a major accent seeing as she's from Osaka and all...
Seiyuu
Yuki Matsuoka

 

<•>  Koyomi "Yomi" Mizuhara - Megane Megami!  Seemingly the "straight man" of the show, Yomi is pretty much the most average girl in the group except...except for her longtime friendship with Tomo.  While Yomi tries to be a positive influence on the crazed Tomo, such insanity has a way of rubbing off on people, and Tomo ends up being a bit of a bad influence on Yomi, causing her to do things that seem strangely out of character on occasion.  Yomi is very concerned about her weight for some unknown reason (it looks fine to me) and is always trying some new diet or exercise regimine to maintain her figure.  Unfortunately, most of her willpower seems to have been used up on coping with Tomo, so she tends to cave in a lot. 
Interesting Yomi Factoid
- Despite her seeming to be the most mature member of the class, Yomi has a major thing for rollercoasters. 
Seiyuu
Rie Tanaka

 

<•>   Tomo Takino - What can you say about Tomo?  She's outta her freakin' gourd!  Class troublemaker #1 and apparently conscienceless to boot.  The only one who seems to get on Chiyo's nerves...and everyone else's for that matter...but you still gotta admire her for her enthusiasm and how she's always pretty optomistic and up for a challenge.  A kindred spirit with Yukari-sensei, this girl just wants to have fun!
Interesting Tomo Factoid
- Holds the record for most times The Leader has said "What was she thinking?!" in reaction to the actions of an anime character.
Seiyuu: Chieko Higuchi

 

<•>   Kagura - Another new girl on the block, Kagura is transferred into Yukari-sensei's homeroom at the beginning of the girls' sophomore year (due to her athletic ability) in order to help the class win the school's annual sports festivals.  Given her sporting nature and the fact that Sakaki-san tends to beat her at most things without even trying, she tries to be friends with Sakaki, but shows a blatant disregard for cute stuff, so she's actually one of the few people with whom Sakaki could probably care less about being friends (especially since Sakaki, despite her natural abilit, doesn't have much interest in the sports and competition which Kagura loves). 
Interesting Kagura Factoid
- Despite her attempts to be friends with Sakaki, and her constant mockery of Tomo, she seems more suited to be friends with the latter, and the two grow closer as the series moves along.
Seiyuu
: Houko Kuwashima

 

<•> Kaorin - Just your average everyday student...well except the fact that she seems to be as obsessed with Sakaki as Sakaki is with cats.  Kaorin is very shy except when it comes to expressing her displeasure with Kimura-sensei's antics.
Interesting Kaorin Factoid
- Kaorin is really a friendly nickname, and she doesn't like Kimura-sensei referring to her by it!
Seiyuu:
Sakura Nogawa

 

<•>  Yukari Tanizaki aka Yukari-sensei - The girls' very strange, very lazy, and very immature homeroom and English teacher.  Choose your favorite derogatory term involving "brain" and you'll get a pretty accurate description of Yukari ? hair-brained, scatter-brained, brain-damaged - it's all good.  But who wouldn't want a teacher like Yukari?  She's almost like one of the gang and gives education by example: she's a prime example of what NOT to do in almost any situation, or what you DON'T want to grow up to be like. 
Interesting Yukari Factoid
- She's still alive (given her driving).
Seiyuu
Akiko Hiramatsu (Nene in the original Bubblegum Crisis, etc.)

 

<•>  Minamo "Nyamo" Kurosawa - Best friends (like Tomo with Yomi or Wiley Coyote and the Roadrunner) with Yukari, and the girls' gym teacher, Nyamo is a just slightly better influence on the kids (when she's sober anyway), but she's usually got her hands full with Yukari's antics.  Unlike Yukari, Nyamo actually tries to teach and better the kids, unfortunately, if you get a little saké in her, those lessons become a little less uh...academic. 
Probably the best thing about Nyamo is that she is voiced by the always awesome Hisakawa Aya.  Aya-chan rocks!
Interesting Nyamo Factoids
- She looks mighty fine in a swimsuit, can't handle her liquor.
Seiyuu
: Hisakawa Aya (Skuld in Ah! My Goddess, Iria in Zeiram, etc.)

 

<•> Kimura Sensei - "Yaaarrgh!"  That's the typical response you'll hear whenever this guy enters a scene in the series due to his...uh... questionable fascination with high school girls.  But this would seem to be his only fault in society's eyes - he's charitible, he recycles, he's got a beautiful wife and family who he supports nobley.  Chiyo even defends him at one point (even though he still creeps her out).  Give the guy a chance!
Possibly the most hilarious thing about Kimura is how is voice actor seems so blatantly out-of-character. He's got this totally smooth, mellow voice like I'd expect of some bishonen pretty-boy, and here he's supposed to be this perverted freak. Hmm...makes you think. Like I said - give the guy a chance!
Interesting Kimura Factoid
- Always pops up where you least expect him (but when he does, it's really no surprise).  He's a lucky man.
SeiyuuKoji Ishii

 

Chiyo-chan

 

Mihama Chiyo - The 10 year old genius with rich parents and a heart of gold.  Chiyo-chan is adorably polite, almost always GENKI, sporting a big smile, and bursting with cuteness.  Although bad with tongue-twisters and not the most athletic of the bunch, she accels at nearly everything else, and picks up new skills (like computing) on the fly, leaving the rest of the girls in the dust.  But given her sweet nature, she's always happy to help out wherever she can. 

The Leader says:

"Chiyo-chan (the -chan is required! ^_^) is easily one of the cutest if not THE cutest anime character(s) of all time.  Her cuteness comes not only from her small stature (and the way this is emphasized in the anime/manga with hilarious results), ponytails, near-constant smile, and occasional out-of-character outbursts and facial expressions, but also her knack for pulling off things and figuring out things that even the adults in the show can't quite handle.  It seems so out-of-place for a little kid to pack such a mighty intellectual whallop, and it's very comforting to know that whenever there's a problem on the show, Chiyo-chan is bound to have a solution - it just makes ya smile."

Interesting Chiyo-chan Factoids -

Here are The Cult's currently approved Chiyo-chan adoration items:

 

Sakaki-san

 

The cool, quiet, mysterious girl, outwardly calm, collected, and perhaps a bit aloof (reminiscent of Motoko from Love Hina right down to her looks).  Inside, Sakaki is obsessed with all things cute (especially cats), an obsession which is very much at odds with her image, so she tends to downplay it/keep it a secret.  She'd actually probably love to tell someone about it, but since most of the girls are kind of scared or in awe of her (due to her imposing physical stature and her occasional bandaged hands (from cat attacks) which some students think she gets from fights), she doesn't socialize much. 

Interesting Sakaki-san Factoids - Sakaki is her last name. Because it's proper to refer to people (especially those of authority) by their last names in Japan, and people are kinda scared of "Miss Sakaki," nobody has even managed to LEARN her first name much less refer to her by it! Sakaki excels at sports and school, but isn't competitive (she's too preoccupied with cute stuff).

The Leader says:

"Ahhh Sakaki-san.  We here at The Cult like to think that Sakaki would one of the first people to join our beloved organization, and she would rise to be one of its most esteemed members.  Sakaki-san seems even more preoccupied with things of cuteness than even I!  And while she initially comes off as sort of scary to Chiyo-chan, Sakaki is certainly not one to be feared, in fact, she really wants to be your friend (unless you don't respect the cute stuff...ahem, Kagura, I'm looking in your direction) and this is proven as her and Chiyo-chan become pals."

Here are The Cult's currently approved Sakaki-san adoration items:

 

 

Azu-Linx

 

Azumanga Daioh at ADV Films - The Official US Site.  Nicely done in "yearbook" format!

Official Japanese Site - If you can read Japanese, you're in for a world of cute!

J.C. Staff's Page - The production company's page. Kawaii!

Media Works' Page - This is another official page from one of the makers of the series.

Wonderland - This one rocks my world.  A fine English site.

Azumanga Web - Dig the Minimalist Vibe!

Madman's Page - I think this may be the official Australian (distributor's) page. Whatever it is, it's nice.

Which Azumanga Daioh Character are You? - Take the quiz!  The Leader is Osaka (and here you thought he'd be Sakaki-san, right?)