Title:  Azumanga Daioh

Creator:  Kiyohiko Azuma

Year:  2002

Manga Incarnations:

Azumanga Daioh! - 4 Volumes (ADV Manga)

Anime Incarnations:

Azumanga Daioh! - 26 Episode Series (ADV Films)
Azumanga Daioh! The Very Short Movie - 6 minute short (ADV Films)
Azumanga Web Daioh! - 4 minute short (Unlicensed)

Computer Game Incarnations:

Azutaiken - Nintendo GameBoy Advance (King Records)
Azumanga Donjara Daioh - Sony Playstation (Bandai)
Azutama - PC (EasyGameStation)
Azucola - PC (EasyGameStation)
Azubeach - PC (EasyGameStation)
Kasuga Ayumu's Mail Order Life - PC (Hirahira.net)
Azumanga Puzzle Daioh - Arcade (Taito)

Ayumu 'Osaka' Kasuga

Class 3 has it all, it has the mean and moody seeming but athletic Sakaki, her adoring friend Kaorin, the over-energetic Tomo and the long suffering Yomi.  It even has Miss Yukari, one of the most immature teachers ever to grace a classroom, so two new pupils - a genius and a hard talkin' Osakan - look set to cause a stir.  However, when the 10 year old child prodigy Chiyo and spaced out country gal Ayumu arrive it is soon apparent that they'll fit right in...

Random Trivia:

1. Azumanga Daioh started life as a four panel comic strip in a Japanese magazine.

2.  The title Azumanga Daioh is actually a pun - Daioh means 'The Great' in Japanese, so not only does the title sound loosely like Alexander Daioh (Alexander the Great in Japanese), it could also be read as meaning 'Azuma's Great Manga' or 'Azuma the Great's Manga'.  Nothing like blowing your own trumpet...

3.  The character Ayumu 'Osaka' Kasuga has different accents in the English versions of the manga and anime.  The manga has her speaking with more of a Brooklyn style American accent, whilst the anime gives her a light Texan drawl.

4.  Pictures of actresses cast for a live action version of Azumanga Daioh caused a big stir in Japan when they appeared on the internet, but they sadly turned out to be part of a hoax.  The pictures were part of a media company's original submission of ideas that could be done with the licence but no live action series was actually planned.

5.  Two Azumanga Daioh anime shorts were produced to support the series, the first was Azumanga Daioh The Movie (which is included on volume 6 of ADV Films' release of the series) and the second was Azumanga Web Daioh, which was downloadable for a time from the official Japanese Azumanga Daioh website.

6.  Kokoro, the main character from Kiyohiko Azuma's manga series Wallaby makes a small cameo in volume 1 of Azumanga Daioh, she is the girl who visit's Sakaki's stuffed toy display at the culture fest.  If you look closely you can see the wallaby toy in her pocket!

7.  There are several Azumanga Daioh computer games available in Japan - card game Azutaiken, Mah-jongg game Azumanga Donjara Daioh, several fan made pc games (including a Tetris-style puzzler and a Bomberman-like snowball fighting game) and best of all an Azumanga Daioh themed version of Taito's classic Puzzle Bobble!!!

8.  A 10th Anniversary edition of the Azumanga Daioh manga is being released in Japan in 2009.  The new version includes three new chapters by Kiyohiko Azuma which were also published in Monthly Shonen Sunday magazine.

If you like this try:

My Neighbours the Yamadas (Anime - Studio Ghibli DVD)
Yotsuba& (Manga - ADV Manga)