Draft Nomination / Class Change / Wolf / Superior Airs Woosh Woosh / Marco... (Japanese: 「ドラフト指名」 「クラス替え」 「おおかみ」 「先輩風ぴゅｰぴゅｰ」 「マルコ...」) is the tenth episode of Azumanga Daioh.
As a new school year begins, Osaka is concerned about being separated from her closest friends. Yukari reassures that she as well as the other girls will be her homeroom students again. Kaorin tries to predict whether she will be in the same class as Sakaki by pulling the petals off flowers. The group finds themselves together, though Osaka fails to notice this at first because her nickname was used instead of her real name Ayumu Kasuga. Kaorin is overjoyed that she shares a class with Sakaki. Kagura is also in class with Sakaki, but the latter has not a clue who the former is. Yukari, who recognizes many of her students, is insistent on learning the names of incoming sophomores. Though Tomo is the mascot of the school, the insulting remarks of Kagura causes a fight between the two. Kagura joins Sakaki for the trip home, hoping that she would join the swimming team, even after she has already declined to join any other club. Chiyo is annoyed by freshmen fawning over her cuteness, and Sakaki is in a similar predicament happening over her perceived coolness. Tomo decides to make the class eat lunch early, fooling Kimura into thinking it was already lunchtime. After class, Yukari brings in a kitten in hopes that someone will take it home. Chiyo hits upon the idea of having it as a class pet that students will take turns caring for. The girls get a chance to hold the cat, but it runs away when Sakaki is hesitant.
Osaka rubs Chiyo's head with a pencil board. Because pencil boards are made of plastic, rubbing it against hair produces static electricity, just like a balloon. This is why Chiyo's pigtails move with the pencil board. While many anime fans are familiar with pencil boards (which are made as collectible items with artwork on them) through anime merchandise, pencil boards were originally developed for a more practical purpose. They are meant to be placed between sheets of notebook paper so that the imprint from writing on the paper would not make dents on the subsequent sheets of paper. Office supply stores will carry plain colored pencil boards to be used for this mundane purpose.
Tomo mentions that they "were first year students until just the other day". Because the school year begins and ends in spring, there is only a couple of weeks between the end of the old school year and the beginning of the new school year.
When she decides to eat early, Tomo is seen with a moustache and dressed like the Japanese stereotype of an Indian man. This is because she has curry for lunch.
The box containing the kitten Yukari found reads "Oishii Strawberries". This is a pun of sorts. Oishii means "tasty", but it is written using different kanji to make it look like a brand name. Boxes that were originally used for shipping fruit are often re-used.
Sakaki refers to the anime series 3,000 Leagues in Search of Mother which, as part of the Nippon Animation Corperation's "World Masterpiece Theater", ran for 52 episodes in 1976. The series is based on a chapter from the novel Cuore (1886) by the Italian author Edomono de Amicis (1846-1908). The chapter, a story within a story entitled "Dagli Appennini Alle Ande" ("From the Apennines to the Andes"), tells of a schoolboy's journey from Genova to Buenos Aires spurred by the cessation of letters from his mother, who had gone to South America to find work as a nurse. The novel as a whole is written in the style of a schoolboy's diary. The author originally wrote it to instill appreciation in young boys for the recent national unification of Italy in 1870. In 1895, the book was translated into English as Heart and again four years later as Enrico's Schooldays. A treatment of the entire novel was animated in 1981 by Nippon Animation Studios. She nicknames the cat she just encountered "Marco", which is the name of the anime's protagonist.
Tomo mentions a public health center. In Japan, public health centers deal with the overall health of the community it is in charge of. This includes managing illnesses and diseases as well as coping with pets. They offer pets up for adoption and process lost pet information, but they will also put down strays if necessary, which is why Sakaki looks so horrifed.
In the episode preview, Tomo asks Kagura to say "I'm a big stupid idiot" in English, but Kagura responds by using "baka" instead of "idiot". Baka is probably one of the best known Japanese words among anime fans. It means "idiot", "stupid", "fool", etc. In this case, Kagura resorts to using Japanese, because she doesn't know how to call someone an idiot in English.
Why Kaorin tried to predict whether she would be in the same class as Sakaki when the idea of not being so scared her so much.
Why Kaorin kept staring wide-eyed at Kagura and Sakaki during their conversation.
It is unspecified why Kagura and Sakaki were followed by such a huge crowd while talking about Sakaki being a "lone wolf".
If Kagura had actually told the other swim team members that Sakaki would be joining.
Why Sakaki said she didn't understand Chiyo-chan's situation.
What Yukari was busy with, as she claimed, that kept her from keeping the kitten herself, and why Osaka, Yomi or Kagura couldn't take it.
The start of the girls' second high school year.
Osaka worries about not being in the same class as her friends again, and Kaorin about not being with Sakaki. Yukari, though, reassures Osaka and Chiyo while sneaking between both doors, eliciting cheers from Chiyo.
Ayumu Kasuga thinks she has ended up in a different class, when in fact Yukari had only written in "Osaka" instead of her real name.
Kagura begins in Yukari's class and is shocked that Sakaki doesn't remember her.
Kagura's and Tomo's small yet inevitable personality clash.
Kagura's attempts to get to know Sakaki, despite her not being entirely what she thinks.
Chiyo-chan and Sakaki are bothered by first-years perceiving them as cute, and cool, respectively.
Yukari finds a kitten that none of the girls can keep. Sakaki names the kitten Marco, while the others call it "Tama" (which is a standard Japanese name for a pet). When the cat runs away, Yukari says it will be fine, unlike her previous claim.
It'd be nice if I could be in the same class as you again, Chiyo-chan.
We could be together … Kaorin!
— Kimura (when Kaorin wondered if she would be in Sakaki's class)
Huh? Uhhhh … Don't tell me … you … you don't remember me?
— Kagura (to Sakaki)
How could that be!? It's very strange, don't you think! But just to be clear, it's got nothing to do with how remembering new names would be a pain in the butt, it's nothing like that at all so I hope everyone keeps that in mind.
— Yukari (to her class) [reflecting on how similar the class was nearly the same as the year before]
That Chiyo-chan really is cute, and she isn't well-known for nothing. Which is more than I can say for our school's well-known wild cat idiot.
— Kagura (on Tomo)
STUPID FURBALL!!! Ah-hah-hah-hah-hah, that was great!!