Kiyohiko Azuma was generally responsible for my re-introduction to anime when Azumanga Daioh fansubs started showing up in my old ftp dropbox. Like many people, the simple slice-of-life episodes managed to be both utterly charming and deeply hilarious. This is quite the feat, as few shows have managed to get that magical blend right. Aria manages the “charming” bit quite well, and Lucky Star does the comedy bits to perfection, well, at least after the first seven-episode warmup. The closest anything has come to Azumanga’s high-water mark is Hidamari Sketch, though in all honesty, that may simply be an artifact of chronological sentimentality; I suspect that had I come to both shows at the same time, the order may well be reversed.
Be that as it may, Kiyohiko Azuma hasn’t been resting on his laurels; he’s been writing the deliciously wonderful Yotsuba&! (which you can peruse at your leisure, but I highly recommend picking up the manga from your local friendly comicshop). It was during the process of scouring the interwebatron for more Yotsuba information that I stumbled upon Calonyr11‘s Danbo Flickr stream.
Using a Danboard artfully posed out in natural areas (and, eventually, taken on trips to Paris), Calonyr11 has managed to recreate that sense of charm and child-like wonder that is so everpresent in Azuma’s work. It’s particularly telling that the tagline for Yotsuba&! is “Enjoy Everything”. It kind of makes me want to find my old Nikon D20 SLR and see what I can do with my own toys, though I doubt a 1/30th scale Tachikoma has quite the same presence as a Danboard.