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MY LITTLE PONY Fans Will Love AZUMANGA DAIOH

Connections abound between the two shows' casts! Will your favorite character match up to your favorite pony?

It's pretty rare to have a show depict fully fleshed out female characters these days. It's one of the reasons I enjoy MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC—the main characters have strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and have a full range of problems instead of just "who is going to ask me to the ball/prom?" (Again, I am not counting EQUESTRIA GIRLS.) While you can classify them in broad archetypes (the shy one, the bookworm, the tomboy, etc.) they also have more depth than just those basic roles.

Except Applejack. Poor girl needs some good character episodes.

With that in mind, I recommend my fellow bronies check out AZUMANGA DAIOH—a slice of life series featuring a female cast in high school. The stakes are low and the situations SIENFELD-ian, but the characters might remind you of of a few technicolored equines you know. And again, there's more to these girls than what I say here, but there, but there are interesting parallels nonetheless.

There's the adorable Chiyo, a child prodigy who jumped ahead several grades. She's the braniac of the group, and her naiveté is very similar to Twilight Sparkle's when she first arrived in Ponyville.

Tomo is a tomboy, simultaneously being super genki and super lazy—much like perennial favorite pony Rainbow Dash. And like Pinkie Pie, Tomo's usually the source of her own problems and throws the group into chaos with her shenanigans.

It's interesting how accents are portrayed in anime sometimes, isn't it? Traditionally in English dubs, of anime people from the Osaka prefecture of Japan are given American Southern accents. As such, Ayumu—a transfer student from Osaka (hence her nickname "Osaka")—is given an Applejack-like drawl. While aside from that she's rather unlike AJ, but is still very close to the heart of the group and the show.

This pretty accurately encapsulates the series.
This pretty accurately encapsulates the series.

Sakaki is the quiet one with many skills. She's much beloved by her classmates and receives a lot of attention, but is too shy to act on any of it. Add the fact that she is obsessed with cute things, whether they are animals or Chiyo, and you have a great Fluttershy parallel.

Yomi is actually most like Rarity. She's prim and proper, and puts as much effort as she can into her appearance. Her relationship to the other characters is also similar to Rarity's, as she's often trying to reign in the crazier impulses of her friends.

And then there's Kaori. Poor thing has a massive crush on Sakaki, who is absolutely blind to her affection. So, naturally, she is the Spike of the group.

While none of these comparisons are one to one, they shouldn't be! If AZUMANGA DAIOH was just MY LITTLE PONY in high school, it would just be EQUESTRIA GIRLS: JAPAN EDITION. And who wants that, really? But if you're looking for something a bit more reflective but with an appropriate amount of silly, it's a great watch for bronies.

Matt Murphy is a freelance nerd who has contributed to many nerd websites. You can reach him by going to where the light meets the shadow, by sending out zeta-brainwaves or by following him on Twitter@Murphix.

FoxxFireArt moderator on Jan. 2, 2014 at 8:32 p.m.

The manga is a really great read. I own it when ADV originally published the volumes separately, but Yen Press published the whole series collected in an omnibus.

If you don't love Penguin Chiyo-chan, then your soul is dead.

DBZ_universeon Jan. 2, 2014 at 8:59 p.m.

I wish I were a bird!

zaldaron Jan. 3, 2014 at 11:22 a.m.

Mark this day on your calendar ok...because this was the day I came out as a Braioh.

When ever anyone asks me for an anime comedy that works for me this is one of the few I mention. It i so, so, good!

When ever the girl gets bitten by the cat, simply never gets old. The end two even almost brought tears to my eyes as it reminds me of the bitter swear high school/college graduation.

So i guess the only question is will fans of Anzamanga like my little pony, or the other two you compared to it?

AURON570on Jan. 4, 2014 at 9:45 a.m.

This has been on my to-watch list for a while. I remember getting really excited to watch Azumanga Daioh a few years ago. I think I was watching Nichijou at the time, or had just finished watching Nichijou and was looking for another quality comedy anime to watch. But I never got around to it and that was before I switched over completely to legal-streaming/buying, so it doesn't look like I will be watching this any time soon. xD

Dig Deeper into Azumanga Daioh

A slice-of-life 4-panel comic series about a group of goofy high school girls (and a few teachers, too).

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