Azumanga Daioh was a refreshingly different anime. There were 130 5-minute episodes or 26 25-minute compilations when shown on NHK. This meant that the jokes and episodes had to be pretty well self-contained within a small space of time, because of this the series never seems to drag on at all, often falling into the surreal.
The manga when serialised into the Japan Post was different in that instead of being a long running series, it more resembles a 4 panel gag strip like we see in Western daily papers. Thus, it too required to be written with the same snappy tempo, only branching into major stories at the beginning of a quarter or in between holidays for the colour supplement.
The theme song is equally baffling.
1. Friend or Foe - Tatu
2. Sora Mimi Keeki (Fancy Hearing Cake) - Azumanga Daioh
3. No Good Advice - Girls Aloud
4. Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Green Day
5. Merry-Go-Round - Emma Bunton