GENCO/J.C. Staff/TV Tokyo/King Records, 2002 US Distributor Pending. Directed by Hiroshi Nishikiori (Angelic Layer, I'm Gonna Be An Angel). Not Rated. Contains mature situations. by areaseven (http://areaseven.net/) Based on the manga by Kiyohiko Azuma (hence the name of this series), Azumanga Daioh revolves around a somewhat dysfunctional high school class. In this class, you'll get to know Chiyo (the 10-year-old overachiever), Ayumu (the Osaka girl), Sakaki (the quiet one prone to cat bites), Tomo (the loose cannon) and other very colorful characters. Story: A "Tsukuri mashou, tsukuri mashou, sate sate nani ga dekiru ka na." - Chiyo Mihama I completely underestimated this one. Azumanga Daioh hits you with so much non-stop tongue-in-cheek humor, it might fry your brain. Animation: A- With some animation assistance from Production I.G. (Love Hina, Neon Genesis Evangelion), Azumanga Daioh boasts some surprisingly good digital 2D animation that's simple but very effective. Soundtrack: A- Azumanga Daioh has one of those annoyingly good theme songs. Once you listen to "Soramimi Cake" by Oranges & Lemons, you can't get it out of your head and you're immediately hooked on the show. Cast This anime features Tomoko Kaneda as Chiyo, Yuki Matsuoka as Ayumu, Yu Asakawa (Motoko in Love Hina, Priss in Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040) as Sakaki, Sakura Nogawa as Kaorin, Rie Tanaka (Chii in Chobits) as Koyomi, Chieko Higuchi as Tomo, Houko Kuwashima (Minoru in Chobits, Marlene in Blue Gender) as Kagura, Akane Omae as Chihiro, Akiko Hiramatsu (Miyuki in You're Under Arrest, BT in .hack//SIGN) as Yukari, Aya Hisakawa (Skuld in Ah! My Goddess, Ami/Sailor Mercury in Sailor Moon) as Minamo, Koji Ishii as Mr. Kimura, and Norio Wakamoto (Vicious in Cowboy Bebop, Coach in Aim for the Top! Gunbuster) as Chiyochichi. The Bottom Line Probably the most underrated anime series of 2002, Azumanga Daioh is worth all the laughs, and then some.