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Azumanga Daioh Omnibus: 08/12/11
Last summer my husband started watching the Azumanga Daioh anime about a group of girls going through high school. The anime was an instant hit with both children. In fact it was our daughter who spotted the Azumanga Daioh Omnibus by Kiyohiko Azuma and insisted that Ian buy it.
This manga is a panel comic, more similar to the traditional North American comic strips. As it has a plot that changes over time, it's most like For Better or Worse. The Omnibus covers all four books, one book for each year of high school.
The youngest girl, the extremely gifted Chiyo-Chan, is elementary school aged but has been bumped to high school. She is by far our favorite character in the series. Along with the developing friendships, there is an on going rivalry between the English teacher and PE coach. There is tall Sakaki who wants nothing more than to befriend a neighborhood cat. Then there is a transfer student who is almost immediately nicknamed for her place of origin, Osaka. To show her distinct accent, she's given sort of a southern drawl in the translation (both the omnibus and anime).
Although the book is huge it's a quick read. The four panel format plays for gags and sometimes physical humor. It took me two days to read the book but I probably could have done it in one setting.