Monday, June 27, 2016

Azumanga Analysis: Kaorin

Of the students, Kaorin is definitely my least favorite.  She's awkward, and primarily defined by her crush on Sakaki.  On the other hand, she's at least more interesting than Nyamo (in my opinion, anyway).  The huge difficulty in analyzing her is that she's almost never doing anything that doesn't involve acting like an idiot in front of her crush.  We simply don't get to see her at her best, or know anything much about her.

Most fanfiction writers who pair like to pair her off with Sakaki, making it so that she achieves her lofty goals of catching her classmate's attention.  Why do people do this?  Maybe they feel sorry for Kaorin.  Maybe they just like gay fanfiction.  Or perhaps they identify with Kaorin, because her struggle reminds them of times in their past when they were too afraid to get what they wanted.  Maybe by giving Kaorin what she wants, it'll feel like a cathartic way of having that thing the fanfic writer missed out on.

But you know where they aren't getting this pairing from?  The show.

I mean, holy crap, Kaorin is the dictionary definition of awkward.  Do you see how she acts in front of Sakaki?  Sakaki is too reserved to do much about it, but do you really think she doesn't see how ridiculous Kaorin gets?  Kaorin is forever staring at her in class, and always freaks out if it looks like someone else is attracting Sakaki's attention.  She says weird things all the time, too.  Like when they were about to go on the third summer vacation, and apparently the thing Kaorin says to her when she arrives is something Japanese wives say to their husbands right after they marry.  And the folk dance, when she won't let go of Sakaki's hand?  What is Sakaki supposed to think about that?

The absolute worst was during the three legged race in the second sports fest.  Let's count all the ways Kaorin makes a fool of herself. 

1. freaking out when Sakaki is drafted into the event.
2. growling at her best friend when Chihiro suggests she could do the race after all.
3. making panicky promises of trying her best before the race starts.
4. completely losing her mind when they win.
5. suggesting they remain tied together afterwards.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Azumanga Analysis -- Kimura Sensei

I killed him.  The end.

Azumanga Analysis -- Tanizaki Yukari

Yukari is perhaps the hardest of all characters to properly analyze, because she's the least like a real person.  While most everything she does is fairly natural, a person with all of those flaws and willingness to give in to them at any point in the day is very absurd.  Especially since she hasn't lost her job or been involved in a bar fight.   Maybe Nyamo is serving a good purpose in taking all of Yukari's aggression: she's insuring that Yukari doesn't hurt other people. 

At the same time, Nyamo is a huge enabler.  Yukari is entirely dependent on her.  She requires Nyamo's companionship, immediately assumes she can sleep at Nyamo's house when construction workers are working near her own, constantly needs to shove her superior knowledge of english in Nyamo's face, and needs rides to different places.  If Nyamo would just put her foot down and choose other people to hang out with, Yukari's current life would fall apart -- and she'd try to make Nyamo's fall apart too. 

It's kind of amazing how much Nyamo lets her get away with it.  The story sort of implies that Nyamo sees the two of them as basically equals, as Nyamo, who despite criticizing Yukari's behavior, never calls Yukari a bad or immature person.  And in the spring episode, Nyamo calls them both childish, when she could have very easily only called Yukari childish.  The audience would have no reason to disbelieve her.  By including herself, Nyamo is making a statement about how she perceives her own flaws, flaws which by and large the audience doesn't get to see.  Nyamo, however, does see her own flaws, and thus is apparently incapable of viewing her own life as more advantageous than Yukari's.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Azumanga Analysis -- Kurasawa "Nyamo" Minamo

Y'know, until I started thinking about this analysis, I didn't realize how much Nyamo annoys me.  I don't really like her at all.  That is, of course, a purely subjective opinion.  Kurasawa Sensei is a well-defined character who serves her role in the story perfectly well.  It just so happens that I don't like her.  Something about her rubs me the wrong way, and it took me a while to figure out why.

The trouble with Nyamo is that she's kind of a wimp.  It's not simply a matter of her being steamrollered by Yukari (that is, someone with a steamroller-type personality), but being unable to to cope with anyone not clearly inferior to her in status.  Basically put, she's easily intimidated.  It doesn't take a lot for her to give in to other people's demands.  For example, take when Kimura was trying to watch the girls in the pool.  Any sensible person would have told Kimura to leave the pool immediately or be prepared to spend a very, very long time at the bottom of it.  But because Nyamo has a hard time pushing for her and her students' rights, she ended up allowing a predator to eye up the girls. 

This isn't the only example.  Nyamo can't tell Yukari to stop intruding and napping her apartment, can barely admit to the girls that she can't remember high school math or tie a yukata, and constantly fears any mention of her past.  You'd think that since both she and Yukari know things about each other they wouldn't like revealed, that they would be more or less equal.  But that's not how it works out.  Instead, Nyamo fears the slightest mention of what she's done, while Yukari casually sings "love letter" as she strolls down the hall.  Yukari, while not eager to reveal her own flaws, is able to casually dodge any mention of them.  Nyamo, when threatened in this regard, immediately cringes and screams. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Well, I said this blog was over.  I have to work on things that will help me earn money.  I have a lot of things to learn.  Heck, I have to get ready for an interview and work on my programming, also.  But, for some reason, I decided to do a character assessment for every character in Azumanga.  Because procrastination works that way.

Okay, so here we go, my Azumanga analysis.  Yes, I know that this anime/manga is an older one.  However, it is a classic franchise whose story will never really grow old.  Not even when technology and culture change.  When that happens, Azumanga will simply be a snapshot of the past, its value undiminished by the fact the world no longer resembles it. 

That and Azumanga is my favorite manga.  Dare I say, it's the best one out there.  Subjectively speaking, it represents exactly what I want from any given media: slow pace, heavy character emphasis, out of nowhere randomness, real world personality referencing, basically no violence or romance, and lots of cuteness.  The only thing I like that it doesn't have is some sort of science fiction bent or worldbuilding emphasis.  But that's okay, because a given media can only do so much.  I can always read Farmer in the Sky again for the sci-fi/worldbuilding aspect.

*imagines the Azugirls setting up a colony on one of Jupiter's moons.  Giggles incessantly.*

Anyway, I've always wanted to do a personality analysis of this show, because every single attitude on it, though cartoonized to various degrees, is a real attitude that a person can have.  Also, I want to make some estimates on what could have happened to the girls after the show took place. 

Note that any time that I say "Azugirls," I mean the circle of six friends: Chiyo, Osaka, Tomo, Yomi, Kagura, and Sakaki.  People use this term to refer to all the characters, but for the purpose of this analysis, it'll just mean the mains.  

Look forward to the first post Thursday!