The Legend of the Yotsubato! Anime

2008 December 5

Azuma Kiyohiko on the lack of a Yotsubato! anime adaptation, roughly translated (love ya, Rikaichan) –

I don’t know why this gets brought up, but lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of –
“I hear that you had a lot of disagreements and arguments with the staff behind the anime adaptation of Azumanga Daioh, and that’s why you’re not making a Yotsubato! anime. Is this rumor really true?”
– this kind of question.
What’s that all about?

Normally, the way I treat the childish rumors that go around is that I just ignore them.
But this particular question has been coming up quite a bit, so I might as well answer it here:
Eh, the rumor’s false…

…Well. Why hasn’t Yotsuba been animated yet?
The biggest problem is that it’d be pretty difficult to realize Yotsuba&! in animated form.
Let’s take a look at what it’d be like if it were to be animated.

For example, a scene where Yotsuba goes on a trip to the Ayase household.
Yotsuba opens the door, runs in, says “Hello”.
Within several seconds, this particular scene has already finished…

…[I think perhaps] Yotsubato! must stay in manga form for it to remain Yotsubato!.

To be honest, I never really had thought of it that way. In retrospect, Azumanga Daioh in itself had quite a bit of filler, too.

(Yes, I’m aware Anime News Network has reported on it. The first draft of this post was done during a bout of insomnia at about four in the morning. I woke up and there the ANN post was in my feed reader.)

I grabbed my copies of the English-version Yotsubato! manga (all two of them, heh) to investigate whether or not the way Azuma writes the manga really wouldn’t at least be fit for a one-episode OVA. Imagining the first chapter of the series as though it were the first episode of an anime, I clocked in at 18 minutes.  Add an OP, an ED, the preview for the next episode, and one minute of filler, and bam, there’s an episode of Yotsubato!. The pauses that Azuma put in would feel just like the pauses that JC Staff gave to Azumanga – except this time intentional.

Certainly, the first chapter or episode of any given series isn’t the best indicator of what kind of rhythm the show or novel will fall into later on, but given that example, I think perhaps he chose an example that was too extreme. But at the same time, so did I; I chose a pretty fast-paced first chapter. There has to be some sort of middle ground that an OVA production can take and mold into something beautiful; the series does not feel entirely unadaptable. And there’s plenty of stuff to work with.

But unfortunately, it seems that Azuma is against the notion for the time being. That’s something that I at least have to respect.

In the meantime, I suppose I should, sometime, buy English volumes 3~6, and a Danboard figure to go along with volume 4. It’d be a nice addition to my little Corner O’ Anime Goods.

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