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Ayumu Kasuga

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Ayumu Kasuga
Osakamanga
Osaka in a color insert from Azumanga Daioh.
Japanese 春日歩
Romanized Kasuga Ayumu
Gender Female
English voice actor Kira Vincent-Davis
Japanese voice actor Yuki Matsuoka (anime/movie)
Ayako Kawasumi (Web short)

Ayumu Kasuga (Japanese:春日歩 Kasuga Ayumu), more commonly known as Osaka (大阪), is a transfer student from the city of Osaka in the Azumanga Daioh series.

Biography

Ayumu Kasuga is a transfer student from Osaka, Japan. Tomo Takino, expecting her to act like the stereotypical Osakan — loud, like a hillbilly, chose for her the nickname "Osaka", although her behavior could not be more different. She reminisces how people in Osaka considers her "slow" and "spacey", at least compared to the average Osakan, but she lacks the energy or motivation to change. Ayumu was the first to ever lose a race against Chiyo Mihama. The nickname sticks so well she is called 'Osaka' by teachers and even in the class roster, to the point that no one even remembers her real name (Yomi has a similar problem). In the manga, Osaka mentions that she lived in Kobe when she was in elementary school and was born in Wakayama.[1]

Despite her tendency to nod off during lectures, which upsets Yukari, she remains in Yukari's homeroom class throughout High School. Because of her poor performance on exams, she is a member of the "Knuckleheads" ("Bonklers" in Japanese, "Numbnuts" in the English manga and "Boneheads" in the Yen Press translation), together with Tomo and Kagura. Her intention, at Chiyo's advice, to seek a teaching career after graduation is viewed by Yukari as a deep personal insult, believing that Chiyo-chan thinks teachers are lazy and laid-back.

Osaka often acts stuck in her own world. Although she seems slow and easily distracted, she merely has a mind that works quite differently from that of most people. Though she is often prone to daydreaming, absentmindedness and non-sequiturs, it also makes her unusually good at answering certain types of riddles. Also while some people assume that she lacks focus, the truth is that in quite a few cases, Osaka is really a little too focused. When she daydreams in class she tends to dream about Chiyo and her pigtails either controlling her, giving her the ability to fly, keeping her alive, or being replaced with new ones. When she gets a thought in her head, she tends to focus on it so intently that the rest of the world simply disappears, causing her to often miss what's going on around her (an example is in episode 2, when a cockroach invades the class and Tomo is enthusiastically and noisily trying to exterminate the bug, literally sending desks, and presumably students, flying — while Osaka is completely indifferent and only tries to "chase" eye floaters). She is especially close, and similar, to Chiyo, since even though Chiyo gets much better grades, both are bad at P.E., and both seem to approach the world with the same sense of childlike wonder and curiosity, though Chiyo's is usually tempered by common sense and information, while Osaka is not. Chiyo provides this for her, habitually reaching to grab Osaka's shirt sleeve when Osaka begins to muse about doing potentially dangerous things, and presumably might follow through if not restrained and "brought back to earth" (like in an episode of the anime, when eating lunch on the school rooftop, Osaka wanted to jump off the top and try to "fly").

In contrast to most of her peers, Osaka always keeps a quiet, accessible mood. It's extremely rare to catch her in a fit of anger or losing control (as seen in Episode 25 of the anime, when she sports a maniac grin after finally learning how to break a pair of chopsticks evenly, and gets mad at Tomo for not doing it properly).

At the same time, Osaka has a habit of being able to point out obvious things nobody else seems to notice (such as the fact that none of her core group of friends has boyfriends or the fact that Kaorin had a crush on Sakaki) and has surprising levels of knowledge on unexpected topics such as marine biology and obscure kanji. She also seems to have a strange obsession with sea slugs.[2][3] Furthermore, she was every bit as interested as the other girls to hear what Nyamo had to say while drunk. On their first trip to Chiyo's summer home, Osaka proposed telling a scary story where all of the girls are murdered one by one, only to reveal that in the end, she was the one who killed them all. She also suggested placing cat corpses inside a cafe as an accumulation of the other girls ideas for their second-year Culture Festival, which included a haunted house, a cafe, and stuffed animals. Also, the 3rd time they went to Chiyo's summer home, she was going to wake up Yukari-sensei with a "frying pan". She ended up getting a knife by mistake, scaring Yukari-sensei, then said: "You woke up by yourself. Then I failed ..." 

During the Sports Festival, she made a big deal out of running the obstacle course because she thought the event of sticking her face in flour to get candy was funny and had a giggle fit when she got there (and lost). Afterwards, her face was still covered in flour. She has almost no flexibility in her body, unlike some of her other friends. The manga also revealed that she actually likes to run outside and play in typhoons,[4] yet is easily spooked by thunder.[5]

Height

She is 156 cm (5'1") tall.

Trivia

  • Ayumu was awarded the 7th place in Newtype Magazine's top 100 heroines of 2002, the highest of all of Azumanga Daioh's cast.
  • Despite the fact that she is the third tallest out of her friends, together with Kagura (since the two of them are the same height) in the canon version, she is shorter than both Kagura and Tomo in the anime, making her less than 154 cm of height and the second shortest after Chiyo. The reason the character designers made this change is unknown.
  • Osaka likes fun facts, word play and fruit juice.
  • She is allergic to pollen, like Yomi, and is known for sneezing in an unusually subtle way.
  • Osaka is shown to be bad at almost everything, ranging from schoolwork to P.E. But she is good at riddle-solving, and (at least in the anime) is a quite decent singer.[6]
  • Osaka hates spicy food and carbonated drinks. According to Tomo, she has a short tongue, and can't hold her breath for more than a few seconds.[7]
  • Different from other characters, Osaka's highlight is located on her lower left of each of her eyes instead of upper left.
  • She is obsessed with splitting chopsticks cleanly and made up a "magic charm" where you got good luck if you managed to do it. Chiyo ended up using the same method when praying for her friends to have good results on their college entrance exams.[8]
  • Osaka was supposedly born in 1984.[9]
  • Osaka is arguably the most popular Azumanga Daioh character due to her naivete and the antics they cause.
  • Many (especially TV Tropes) believe that Osaka is the very definition of a "cloudcuckoolander", using her as the trope image for the manga and anime section.[10]
  • In the anime, "Get it together" (しっかり Shikkari) is treated as something of a catchphrase for Osaka, but in the manga she actually only says it once and without repeating it.[11]

Character songs

Voice Actors

Japanese (television series and movie)

Yuki Matsuoka

Japanese ("Azumanga Web Daioh" short)

Ayako Kawasumi

English

Kira Vincent-Davis

Appearance in the English versions

In the original English translation of the manga, her Kansai dialect was rendered as a Brooklyn accent, which has sometimes been done for other anime characters with Osaka accents, such as Naru/Molly from Sailor Moon. The English dub of the anime, which was done later, gives her the Southern accent from around ADV Films headquarters in Houston, Texas. She also has a Southern accent in the Yen Press translation of the manga. ADV Films said on this choice "In the English dub, [her Kansai dialect] has been equated to a Southern accent from around the Houston area, which shares the business-oriented attitude with Osaka as well as the country image that color both the Southern and Osakan accents"[12] while Yen Press states the following: "Out of [the dialects differing from standard Tokyo Japanese], the dialect family of the Kansai (Western Japan) area — particularly the Osaka dialect — is the most widely recognized and understood nationwide, thanks in part to the comedy industry. To speakers of standard Japanese, Osakan speech sounds faster, rougher, and livelier. /.../ In translation, we opted to have Osaka speak with something of a Southern accent, which is the largest accent group in the United States."[13]

Nonetheless, fans still derided the decision, sometimes likening Osaka (in the English Dub) to a redneck.

See also

Gallery

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References

  1. See Chapter 5.
  2. In Episode 3, she names her team "Team Sea Slug".
  3. In Chapter 33, she plays with sea slugs she finds on the bottom of the ocean.
  4. See Chapter 35.
  5. See Chapter 7.
  6. See Episode 17.
  7. See Chapter 18.
  8. See Chapter 40.
  9. In Chapter 16, the theme park guide says that the year is 2000, and while Osaka's birth month is unknown, Japanese second year students are typically 16 in their second high school year. 1984 is 16 years prior to 2000.
  10. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Cloudcuckoolander
  11. See Chapter 2.
  12. Azumanga Daioh Volume 1: Entrance translation notes​ from DVD booklet.
  13. Azumanga Daioh Volume 1: Translation Notes 2 by Yen Press.

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