All done with Azumanga Daioh and jonesing...?
March 26, 2009 1:56 PM   Subscribe

I know next to nothing about anime or manga. I do know, however, how much I enjoyed Azumanga Daioh. What else is out there that I might like?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Pani Poni Dash is another off-the-wall school hijinx type of anime, except the child genius is the teacher, not a student(of the year award!!!! You'll get this if you watch the show). It's available on Netflix Instant Play, if you have Netflix.
posted by owtytrof at 2:01 PM on March 26, 2009

Yotsuba&! is one of the most charming, amusing things I have ever laid my hands on. It is made by the person who did Azumanga Daioh. Unfortunately, only the first five volumes are translated, but it is not difficult to, um, work around that if you know what I mean.

What is it that you liked about AD so much? It is a manga and an anime that appeals to a hugely wide spectrum of people. If you could specify if it was the ensemble interactions of the characters, or the art style, or maybe the surreal humor, or the gentle storytelling interspersed with crazy happenings, or whatever it may be that you like the *best*, I could give you better recommendations for other things.
posted by Mizu at 2:06 PM on March 26, 2009

I and several other Azumanga fans have been enjoying Toradora!

It just finished airing so all episodes are available to watch now.

It is similarly set at school and features quirky characters and situations.
posted by cmetom at 2:12 PM on March 26, 2009

High School slice of life manga:
Boys Over Flowers
Mars (bit moody though)
Hana Kimi
posted by eatdonuts at 2:22 PM on March 26, 2009

School Rumble. Seconding Yotsuba&!
posted by specialagentwebb at 2:25 PM on March 26, 2009

The problem with Pani Poni Dash is that all the characters are despicable. I really hated it. Becky (the loli teacher) is about as different from Chiyo-chan as it's possible to be. She tends to cuss like a sailor when she gets mad. Some people think that's funny in a ten year old girl; it didn't affect me that way.

Given that Becky was supposed to be the audience-viewpoint character, and wasn't sympathetic, that pretty much killed it for me.

Sadly, AD is quite unusual. Part of why it's so distinctive is that there really isn't very much like it out there. It's an example of "slice of life", but most slice-of-life shows toss in some sort of supernatural element or in some other way make their characters abnormal.

I think a pretty close match for you would be Lucky Star. It's also a slice-of-life comedy about high school girls, none of whom have super powers. The characters are distinctive, and none of them are repulsive, though it's possible to get annoyed at Konata because she's such a slacker. Like AD, the anime is based on a 4-koma.

Or Yotsuba&. It's the same mangaka as AD. Unfortunately, it hasn't been turned into an anime, and most of the volumes of it that have been released in R1 are now out of print.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:41 PM on March 26, 2009

Kamichu! is a fairly similar one recommended by a friend of mine who is a sort of connoisseur of the art form.
posted by Night_owl at 2:50 PM on March 26, 2009

Great Teacher Onizuka and Fruits Basket are two of my favorites, and a place to read manga online for you is One Manga
posted by lizbunny at 2:59 PM on March 26, 2009

Excel Saga
posted by cmgonzalez at 3:00 PM on March 26, 2009

Excel Saga isn't remotely similar.

Kamichu is about a girl who discovers one day that she's become a kami, a Shinto deity. The series is a year in her life, and covers her first crush, her efforts to learn the kami trade, and some other kinds of things like that.

I'm afraid it isn't like AD either.

Fruits Basket is a soap opera, with a disturbingly high percentage of cross-dressers among its characters. Also not similar at all.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:15 PM on March 26, 2009

People can like something that isn't "similar" in story but might share a certain style or sense of humor.

Personally, I liked both Azumanga Daioh and Excel Saga and see similarities between them. Hence the recommendation.

Your comment is pretty much just noise, Chocolate Pickle.
posted by cmgonzalez at 3:23 PM on March 26, 2009

One that I recently loved was Genshiken, which is about a college anime club.
posted by willmize at 3:53 PM on March 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Ichigo Mashimaro (aka Strawberry Marshmallow)? It's an elementary school girl slice-of-life manga/anime with absurd humor.
posted by martinrebas at 5:02 PM on March 26, 2009

Response by poster: I liked the humor and I also liked the characters very much. Honestly it was nice that the storyline wasn't that complicated also-it felt like slice-of-life (even tho it was still zany and a bit surreal.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:24 PM on March 26, 2009

I'm not well-versed in anime, either (though I love cartoons in general and keep feeling like I ought to investigate anime more), so I'm not sure how available or well-endorsed this particular answer will be, but a while back I stumbled across Kodomo no Omocha and really enjoyed it ... like Azumanga Daioh it's considered comedic, and it also has the school setting so if those are elements you're looking for you might find it enjoyable? It also had a certain degree of "heart" to it, which is important to me ... well, I liked it, at any rate!
posted by DingoMutt at 6:33 PM on March 26, 2009

Response by poster: By the way, thanks to all for your suggestions-keep 'em coming!
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:35 PM on March 26, 2009

Light comedy anime:
School Rumble
Keroro Gunsou
Sumomomo Momomo

Slice of life anime:
Windy Tales

(these are shoujo, but funny imho)
Skip Beat!
My Heavenly Hockey Club
posted by tachikoma_robot at 7:05 PM on March 26, 2009

err, Yotsuba&! should be under manga. No anime (yet!)
posted by tachikoma_robot at 7:06 PM on March 26, 2009

I really have been enjoying "Fruits Basket" anime. Very touching.
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 7:22 PM on March 26, 2009

Azumanga is definitely my favorite anime, in its zany plot-free way.

I also really liked Kamichu! for the general lack of continuity, the kind of quiet unsuspenseful nature of it (although there is a little, sometimes), and its overall cuteness. If you're okay with cute, it's a good, relaxing show.

Ichigo Marshmallow is a mix of right and irritating. Lucky Star is the closest I've found to Azumanga in its general nature, although the subject matter is somewhat more otaku and less mundane than Azumanga.
posted by that girl at 12:22 AM on March 27, 2009

Lucky Star is pretty closely similar to Azumangah Daioh and, like A.D., originated from a four-panel comic, although it's rather more hyperactive and satirical.

Goodbye Mr. Despair is sort of similar, but arguably a bit more sophisticated and "postmodern" (is it even possible to say that word without scare quotes anymore?)
posted by teresci at 5:47 AM on March 27, 2009

Not exactly similar, but, they do involve a large cast of crazy characters! How about Tenchi Muyo! and Ranma 1/2?
posted by Hanuman1960 at 6:17 AM on March 27, 2009

I cannot believe I forgot to recommend Maison Ikkoku.

It's an amazing slice of life story, and long, and will keep you entertained for many, many hours.
posted by willmize at 6:48 AM on March 27, 2009

No one has mentioned Negima yet, which is about a pre-pubescent wizard sent to teach at an all girls junior high. Just a bit of magic and lots of girls and hijinks, but mostly about friendship. The manga goes on much longer than the two tv series (one a reimagining that is parallel with the first). The manga is available at any bookstore that carries manga, and anime is readily available at Best Buy and other stores with an anime section. My library even has copies!
posted by CoralAmber at 10:05 AM on March 27, 2009

Response by poster: Thank you so much everyone-this will keep me busy for awhile....

If anyone else has any ideas do add on, please!
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:54 PM on March 27, 2009

If you can hunt down the scanlations (there is no official translation), I'd recommend Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō, or YKK. The specific subject matter is about as different from AD as you can get (end of humanity), but it also manages to be slice-of-life in a way that few other anime or manga can.
posted by cimbrog at 1:24 PM on April 10, 2009

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