Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Azumanga Daioh - Graduation |
Genres: Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
School's almost out! But, it ain't over yeta mountain of career sheets and homework threatens to drown the girls in a wave of paper. Exams are looming larger than ever. Sakaki faces off with the gray cat for the last ti... more »
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"For quickly does youth give way to old age..."
Henry Platte | Boston, MA | 12/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"*sniff* I can't believe it's over...
There are only three episodes on this last DVD, but the final episode itself is a must-see. It really makes you think - or, barring that, you at least get to see the anime's one elaboration on the manga sequence, Tomo clapping her hands over her ears as Yomi cheerfully 'sings' the graduation song.
With a series as good as Azumanga, you sort of wish it could go on forever; but part of its charm is that it exists in real time, and the characters, innocent though they might be, are always faced with the problem of growing older and losing touch with the familiar. The humor effortlessly gives way to something profoundly touching.
To everyone behind this series--Thank you. (bows)"
Even though we've graduated, we'll always be together
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 01/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The final three episodes of the Azumanga Daioh anime deals with the girls studying for their college entrance exams. As Chiyo-chan is going to study in America, she doesn't have to study. Instead, the cute twelve-year old invites her friends to her house to study, during which she makes snacks for them. However, her comment that it's funny how time passes sinks into them, how they had all sorts of adventures and fun together as students, and now it's about to come to an end.
The tall cat-loving Sakaki finally becomes happy at the end when she is reunited with a dear friend from Okinawa. In disk 2, involving the New Year's Dreams, the orange Azumanga cat tells Sakaki she must find a real cat. That is now done, but what was all business with the grey Kamineko (biting cat) who was hostile to her? The analogy is the kawaii (cute) culture, exemplified by Hello Kitty and here, the plush toy of Necoconeco (Cat/Kitten). Sakaki yearned to be cute instead of cool. However, in order to stop from being looked down by her admirers, such as Kaorin, she had to put up a cool façade. Thus, the orange cat telling her to find a real cat really means, "find your true self; find your own sort of cute." The biting cat was basically telling her, "You're not one of us." The scene of her rolling on the floor with her new cat defines her own sort of cute, as like her, the cat is unusual.
Osaka's still quite the character. She loves kotatsus, the warm heated table prevalent in Japan. I've sat in one and it is so cozy, one could fall asleep, just like Osaka does. The usually placid Osaka gets mad for the first time, and it's at Tomo! However, the thought of her as a teacher makes me laugh. Yes, she'd produce students with "flexible ways of thinking," but why not? Personally, I think she'd make a great abstract artist or horror story writer.
One moment that sticks is when Yomi comes in and Chiyo tells them that everyone else is studying. Yomi then sees Sakaki playing with her cat, Osaka sleeping at the kotatsu, and Tomo reading a funny magazine. "Studying?" she wonders aloud.
Chiyo becomes the central figure in these episodes. It's she who prays for everyone to pass and waits for them outside the entrance exam hall. Chiyo also tells Sakaki she was cute in a way when she saw her rolling on the floor, embracing her cat. She's always there for her friends and makes them omamori (charms) wishing them to pass.
Things don't get too sentimental at the graduation scene, though Chiyo ends up crying while they sing the graduation song. However, Ms. Yukari, their teacher, doesn't seem too cut up about them going and acts callously here. When she is told that the bouquet her students gave her is a flower from each student, she hurtfully says out loud, "I wonder whose flower will wilt first." In contrast, Ms. Kurosawa's students give her a surprise welcome and thank her for all she's done for them.
It all ends happily, with Chiyo-chan realizing that despite graduation, they'll always be together, and individual headshots of the girls in turn. If a spinoff series is in the works, I wish they'd do one where the star is either Chiyo, Osaka, or Sakaki.
Bonus stuff: art studies of Tomo, some male and female students, and the pencil cases of the usual girls. In the Azumanga mini-movie, a ten minute dry run for the series, gives the characters a rougher but glossier sort of look Basically, it's a condensed version of the antics of the series, Chiyo getting a 100, the team of Kagura, Tomo, and Osaka's 103 score, and Chiyo's pigtails, which fall off due to Osaka's intervention.