This is by far the funniest anime I have ever seen. Azumanga Daioh is different than most anime in that it doesn't feature a continous storyline with over-the-top action and angsty teenage drama. In fact, Azumanga Daioh doesn't have any plot at all. It simply follows the ordinary lives of Japanese school girls Chiyo, Osaka, Yomi, Tomo, Kagura, Kaorin, and Sakaki, as they live their normal, ordinary lives. Every episode is filled with tons of hilarious moments that'll have you laughing at the edge of your seat the entire time. Not once did I ever feel sad when watching this series, expcet possibly when it was over because I didn't want it to end. The show is just all about having fun and enjoying life.
For a series that's so plotless, there's a surprising amount of character development here. Even without the added drama of a complex love triangle that you typically find in most high school-related anime, the characters mature a lot and their friendships grow throughout the series while they still retain their little quirks that made them such a unique cast. Azumanga Daioh suprisingly doesn't cut many corners with the animation like you would normally expect from a comedy like this, but just about everything is animated with rich detail (expect for maybe things like the crowds at school in unimportant scenes) and all the characters have a unique design about them despite not having all the exaggerated features of most anime characters, like bizarre haircolors and styles. The music is always bouncy and catchy, filled with lots of energy. The opening theme song is as random as the show itself and the ending theme is sweet, cute, and relaxing.
Azumanga Daioh is just an overall enjoyable comical show that you just can't help but to love. If there was one thing I could complain about this release is the boxset's lack of extras. While I'm glad ADV re-released this series in a cheaper boxset making it more affordable for me to buy, I really miss not having any extras here. Normally, I don't care much about bonus features on DVDs, especially for anime, but with Azumanga Daioh, I feel like they were important to keep. The main reason being that two of the extras that were only included on the single volume DVDs were two animated shorts: Azumanga Daioh-The Very Short Movie and Azumanga Web Daioh. Being a plotless anime, these shorts aren't neccessary to watch to be able to understand and enjoy the series as a whole, but they're essential in completing any Azumanga Daioh fan's collection.
Despite the lack of extras, this boxset was still worth it for the chance to finally be able to see this hilarious anime for such a low price. I just hope that ADV will include extras in their future thinpack sets. Azumanga Daioh is definetly one of the zaniest, most hilarious anime series I've ever seen. It never fails to put a smile on your face and it's so unique because it's just so different from most of your average anime. However, I can't really recommend this series to everyone. The show relies a lot on humor you could only understand if you have a general knowledge of Japanese culture. The series also features a lot of slapstick comedy and not everyone enjoys that kind of humor, but if you are the kind of person who does like it and if you at least have a basic knowledge of Japanese culture, Azumanga Daioh is definetly a series that you'll love. If you're looking for a drop-dead hilarious comedy anime that's different from the norm, don't hesistate on checking this series out.