One word to describe Nichijou is simply random, but i would like to say it was a very unique experience in itself and once you got past the sheer randomness of it you start to realize the comedic nature of it.
Story:Basically there wasnt much of a story. Nichijou can best be described as a set of random shorts where we get the points of views of the main characters but get little comedic point of views of the side characters as well.
Animation: The character design was nice and simple but the animation its self was really well done and its none less expected since it was done from Kyoani. i found it pretty unique. the art style really fit the characters and the way all the random and crazy stuff was animated was very entertaining to watch.
Sound: I thought the sound track was nice and all the voices were done very well. it definitely does vary by opinion, but i thoroughly enjoyed both openings a lot and enjoyed both endings as well. i found it a pleasant surprise to hear a version of Tsubasa Wo Kudasai at the end of episode 14. Overall i thought the sound of Nichijou was pretty good.
Characters: Nothing much to say but that i found most of them entertaining and unique in their own way. Some were pretty fun while others were obviously just there for random skits, but overall i liked the characters
Overall: In the end i really ended up enjoying it and felt a little empty once i finished it, i have to say it did take me a couple of episodes to really get into it but in my opinion its just a solid random slice of life comedy.
On a fateful summer afternoon, I was bored. I was in the mood to watch anime, but didn't have any that I wanted to watch. So, appropriately as it would turn out, I randomly chose a show off Crunchyroll's summer lineup just to see if it was good. I watched the first episode. My reaction, in a word: "lolwut?" My reaction, in a sentence: "There needs to be a better word for 'random'."
Then I watched the second episode.
Then, I watched the third.
By the third episode, I was hooked. No, more than that: I was smitten. I was completely, hopelessly taken with this show.
The format of Nichijou is unconventional. It doesn't have a plot in the usual sense; or, rather, the plot is more episodic than normal. Each episode is more or less self contained. However, the characters have arcs that span the entire series, and some plots do carry forward past a single episode. Also, references to past gags will randomly show up in unexpected places. In other words, the episodes bleed on each other, but only a bit.
But because plot is not the show's focus, I've given the story a lower score than most of the other elements. Were the character development not so artfully done, I'd have rated it even lower than I did.
Each episode focuses on a single day in the "ordinary" lives of the characters. There are usually two or three main plot arcs in an episode, and between them are a number of short comedy sketches. These sketches are sometimes one-offs, but more often are repeating themes: things like "Helvetica Standard" (don't ask me what that's supposed to mean), "Rock, Paper, Scissors", "Jump Rope", "Short Thoughts", and "Like Love", among many others. The sketches are usually funny and always random.
Actually, those adjectives describe the plot pieces as well. They are usually funny and always random. But they are much more: they can be tender, serious, bittersweet, sad, shocking, and joyful. They evoke a huge range of emotion above and beyond amusement.
In fact, if I may indulge in a tangent (and considering the show I'm reviewing, I think I may), I believe this to be a hallmark of a truly brilliant comedy. It is not just absurd (though it is that). It is not just silly (though it certainly is that, too). It's deep. It has teeth. It's not afraid to punch you in the gut with one scene, then move you to contemplation with another, and then make you laugh yourself to tears with the next.
It is, simply, the smartest, deepest comedy I've seen outside of a Terry Pratchett novel.
Nichijou has two trios of main characters and a large cast of supporting roles. The two trios don't really encounter each other until the latter half of the show, but when they do it is awesome.
In one corner is the Professor, a brilliant child prodigy that acts like an ordinary 8-year-old most of the time. The professor has made a robot (Nano) who looks and acts like a normal person most of the time. They have a strange relationship in that Nano acts like the professor's guardian, but the professor is constantly making unwanted modifications for her own amusement. They have a much put-upon cat named Sakamoto who rounds out the trio. These three generate an excessive amount of comedy. When they come onscreen, get ready to laugh.
In the other corner are three ordinary high school girls: Mio, Yukko, and Mai. Well, I say that they're ordinary, but in truth, they do some pretty extraordinary things in the course of their everyday high school lives.
As I said before, there are a large number of secondary characters. This is usually cause for alarm, especially in a short series like this one, but each is developed to a surprising degree and is given their chance to shine. The writers have mastered the art of exposition: they show us just the right things to quickly add depth to the characters.
For example, at one point midway through the series, we get a very brief scene with one of the main characters and her mother. That single event explains so much of why the character acts the way she does and adds considerable depth. As a second example, late in the series, a single scene completely redefined all of my perceptions of another of the main characters.
In other words, the writers are scary good, and the unconventional format really lets them shine.
The art in Nichijou is clean and simple. However, that simplicity allows the animators to make the characters very expressive. It also allows them to animate everything fluidly without relying on the usual shortcuts most animes use to cut costs. The result is a visual treat that is more than the sum of its parts, especially when viewed in Crunchyroll's 720p.
Certain high-action gag sequences get special treatment. The art style changes completely, growing more dynamic, fluid, wild, and erratic. These scenes are as gorgeous as they are hilarious.
Lastly, I have to mention the intros and endings, of which their are two apiece in the series. With most shows I simply skip these things because they're annoying and pointless, but when I watch Nichijou, I look forward to them. Not only is the music great (and perfectly suited to the show), but the animation is absolutely stunning. They are fast paced and visually dense, with a lot of random references to the show that reward repeated viewings (as, for example, there are some elements in the first opener that don't show up in the show until after it has been retired, so you don't notice them until you rewatch the series).
This is not a show with a lot of sound effects, but it does have a great musical score. All of the background music is orchestral. Cheery strings back happy scenes, and cheeky bassoons and clarinets accent silly things. But they also know when to shut off the soundtrack. Many pivotal, serious moments are underscored by a thunderous silence.
The opening and ending themes are perfect. This means a lot coming from me, because I usually find opening and ending themes hateful and annoying, worthy only of a disgusted skip. Here, I watch both the opening and ending, not just because they're gorgeous, but because I love the sounds.
In fact, during the latter half of the series, each episode ends with a completely different take on the ending theme. I have never seen this level of effort put into openers and enders before.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the voice actors. They are excellent, and really nail their characters. Yukko, the Professor, and Sakamoto are my favorites.
A Series of Miracles
Have I gushed enough yet? I warned you at the outset: I am completely taken with this show, to the point where I am afraid that I will drive you away with my enthusiasm. So let me take this moment to mention a few of its flaws.
For one thing, not all of the jokes translate. In particular, the "Short Thoughts" usually leave me scratching my head. This isn't really the show's fault, but it did at times decrease my enjoyment.
For another, some of the gags are annoying. I'm thinking especially of the times when the principal freaks out for what feels like several minutes, and he doesn't really seem to have any reason for freaking out other than that it's a gag.
The last of its flaws is perhaps that it isn't for everyone. It's exceedingly random and more than a little mad. It demands a lot from its viewers: a lot of the gags are subtle, and the character development is always shown, never told. You have to watch closely and pay attention, or it will overwhelm you with its rapid fire pace. You'll miss things the first time through that you'll catch only on subsequent viewings. And, most of all, it is smart, sometimes shockingly so.
So I've seen a broad spectrum of reactions. Many, like me, are utterly in love; but many more just don't get it. I hope for your sake that you can belong to the former group, because if you can, you'll be taken on a wild ride that you will treasure and watch for years to come. Give it a go, and if you do, give it at least three episodes. That should be enough for you to either fall in love or not.
Nichijou has 26 episodes and (at the time of this writing) can be streamed for free on Crunchyroll, but if you pony up the $7/month for a premium membership, you get to see it without ads in gorgeous 720p. I can't imagine watching this in crappy SD, so in my opinion, Nichijou alone justifies the cost of a premium membership, even if you only keep it for a month.
This was originally a blog post found on my blog Moe Monster, but has been moved to Konseptual.com.
日常. Nichijou. My Ordinary Life.
Selamat pagi! This is an ordinary story of a little show, that was hit-or-miss at times and at times was seemingly too long, but over the last two seasons, each of my anime-watching weeks was anchored by the fun Nichijou. The watching of which, will surely go down as a singular experience. A brief summary and observations on the finale, before some thoughts on the series in its entirety.
For much of the series and watching week-to-week, I wasn’t 100% sold on Nichijou. I sometimes enjoyed some of the plot, the characters and the funny moments. Other times, I sat as stoically as Mai, just sort of waiting for certain segments to end. However, as the series continued, the “certain segments” became fewer, and the “sometimes enjoyed,” became “mostly enjoyed.” For me, the story of Nichijou and my ordinary viewing of it, is a story of two halves.
50 / 50.
I wasn’t thrilled with the first half of the series. The show’s content seemed a little split as it spent about a 1/3 of its time spent on the main trio of Mio, Mai and Yukko–three high school friends with very different personalities. Another 1/3 of the time was spent on the Shinonome duo (before a random adoption), of Professor and Nano–think moe versions of Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. Lastly, it seemed that other 1/3 was split between all the short segments and all the various supporting characters.
I know some people enjoyed the first half much more than I did. In my opinion, it felt too squeezed, with so many separate stories going on, divided even further by all the shorter segments. The pacing just didn’t work for me and throughout most of the first 12 episodes I found myself enjoying certain things and characters, but disliking almost as much. The second half of the series though I found pretty golden.
Golden Zen Yukko.
I won’t give any particular plot changes or developments away. Instead I’ll just say, that the show seemed to come together in tremendous fashion at about the halfway point and the next 12 episodes (the last 12) were much more enjoyable to me–Funnier, more interesting and even touching at times. At the heart of Nichijou, and all its wacky tendencies, are the large group of zany characters. Besides the main trio and duo (main five), the show had a huge cast of memorable supporting characters. From the professors and the multitude of classmates at the high school, to all the townsfolk seen through out the series, Nichijou always had plenty to draw from. Perhaps too much, at times, as I always enjoyed seeing the main characters more.
It was the interactions of the characters though, main and supporting, that made the show what it was. The straight-faced and random Mai, surely becomes much more interesting with her comedy partner Yukko. Mio’s artwork was cool, but Izumi-sensei’s treating Yukko’s artwork with the same regard, was hilarious. There are hundreds of these examples over the course of the show. The last thing I’d mention about the characters, is that although it’s a slice-of-life themed show, and featuring a ton of random, non-connected moments, there was some development of the characters–the Yukko character most of all. Always the backbone of the series, I was impressed with the way the character was written over the later half of the series. This after I weekly bashed her (Yucko), for being selfish, annoying and wishing she was die from random head trauma. Harsh, right?
One of my favorite random scenes of Nichijou.
The production of the show was outstanding. All the voice actors really earned their paycheck for this series. If you’ve seen the show already, can you imagine Yukko’s seiyu in the recording studio? Or Professors? Holy cow. I was also a fan of the guest actors featured at the end of each week. The background score was consistent over the series, with several compositions for the different themed scenes (surreal, silly), and all the short titled segments like Helvetica Standard, Short Thoughts etc. I say this every time I write a finale, but things like opening/ending songs will never impact my opinions negatively. For me, it’s all about the show itself. That being said, the two openings (split in halves), were great in their matching the tempo of the series. The ending during the second half of the series, slightly different each week, also fit perfectly.
That leaves us with the animation. While surely plain-looking at rest, it was in the more fantastical in-motion moments of the series where the animation shone. Shined? I think maybe objects shone/things get shined upon. Moving on… The simple animation lent itself to looking crisp and clean, and had the doubly effect of being easy to manipulate for the crazier moments. Watching it over the course of two seasons, the show always looked great, felt inventive and from what I’ve seen of the manga, was mostly faithful in breathing fresh life into the work.
Mixing of illustrative techniques found often and with great merit in Nichijou.
This is a strange show in terms of recommendations. Like I said at the top, I truly believe this to be a unique show. The equally random, but more cohesive Azumanga Daioh was the earliest and probably still most relevant comparison. Other slice-of-life comedies comparisons are Lucky Star and Minami-ke. I really enjoyed the first season of Minami-ke, but have a tough time recommending all three seasons, which felt too long in my opinion. If you’re a big fan the shows mentioned I would easily recommend Nichijou. If you’re like me, and are a fair-weather fan of all genres, it’s a tough call. Maybe I’ll go with this–watch a few episodes if you have the time. If, like me you think it’s ok (50/50), keep watching and It will probably get better.
Give this just a little time to grow on you.
I wanted to add a little something about Kyoto Animation adapting this and that’s this–I don’t care. I hold no allegiance to any brand or corporation. I’ll shop at any supermarket or grocery store that have the best products at the best prices, and I treat anime the same way. I want to watch shows that make me laugh, cry, creeped out, freaked out, sexed up, and continually grin like an idiot. Who makes the shows seems irreverent to me. Of course, to each his own, but I feel I need to add something similar in each finale’s review, so the 3 people who read this know where I’m coming from. Finally…
… Nichijou felt long at 26 episodes, and at times felt like it could have been shorter. But at the same time, if the season had been, 13 episodes say, there’s no way characters such as Sasahara, Yoshino or Izumi would have been able to thrive as much as they did. Also, I don’t know if I would have enjoyed the main characters as much, if they hadn’t been able to stretch their legs over the entire series, as they did indeed do. I think the series’ length was just about right. And although I thought much of the first half was mediocre, I never had any thoughts of dropping the series. While not my favorite show, nor my favorite comedy ever, I’ll miss the unique comedic stylings of Nichijou-My Ordinary life.
Nichijou ends on a trademark image; Thanks for the support!
Based on Episode 1
What happens when the worlds of cute girls doing cute things, robots, and ridiculous random humor combine? If you guessed Cromartie High or Azumanga Daiou, you are a little off. Nichijou caught me by surprise: with startlingly stupid humor and incredibly well done animation, I found myself wanting more immediately after. Anyone who is easily angered by random and completely trivial humor, this anime is not for you. If you thoroughly enjoy epic battles fought over octopus wieners or girl-like robots with steam powered rocket toes, this is absolutely for you.
When it comes to story, the first episode had... just about none. It seemed like a random assortment of events, some of which were related and others which weren't (reminiscent of Lucky Star and Azumanga). i can commend it for linking them together in such a way that they did not seem tedious. While a few scenes seemed unnecessary, in general it was enjoyable the whole way through.
The animation was stellar. For a series which seems rooted in so many tropes that suggest low production values, Nichijou's first episode had fantastic visuals. The opening was very fluid and crisp, the animation during most scenes was vibrantly colored and motion was perfectly done. There is also one scene (the wiener scene) in which some of the most outrageously awesome action effects I've seen in an anime were used. Although this may sound peculiar, it made the scene all the more hysterical.
Sound was difficult to pick up on in Nichijou's first episode, however close observation reveals that production values in music were also extraordinarily high. With soothing background music like that of most slice of life anime, epic concerto's during the more high voltage scenes, and catchy opening and ending tunes, it's hard not to like Nichijou's soundtrack. The voice acting, though, was a little more standard. Mio, however, (who I assume is the main character) did actually have a very fitting voice for most of the situations and emotions she went through in the episode. I was also pleased that there were a few male characters who made significant appearances as well, adding more variety to the voices.
Finally, the characters. I'd be startled if anyone actually noticed most of them with all of the ludicrous happenings throughout the episode. Aside from the 11 year old scientist and her robot along with the boy who takes a goat to school, most of the characters faded from memory the instant I stopped watching. I am sure that they will all have their own moments as the show goes on, but for now they were more cogs and gears than the machine itself that moved the story forward.
Overall, I can say that Nichijou's first episode shows great promise. Although its viewers maybe split between those who laugh every other minute and those who simply raise an eyebrow and turn it off, it will be a great watch for those in the former party.
*To provide the viewer with more in-depth analysis, I have written some spoilers. These spoilers won't really affect the watching experience at all since this show, is not really about the story but the entertainment itself*
In a normal town in Japan, we see the ordinary life of Yuuko Aioi and her friends. Meanwhile, we see the life of a young professor named Hakase Shinonome and Nano, her caretaker and ROBOT? This is no ordinary life, for these characters as we see the random and wacky events of the town. Nano also seeks out to become more than just a robot, but a real girl.
The Story of Nichijou is no ordinary one. There is basically no plot to this series whatsoever. But the overall aspect of this show is provide extraordinary enjoyment to the viewer. We follow a clumsy energetic girl named Yuuko Aioi who just lives life lazily and happy with her friends Mio Naganohara and Mai Minakami.
Although things may seem normal at first, things start to go chaotic as they over-react to many faults in life such as forgetting homework, dropping stuff, and other peoples actions. On the other side of town we follow another life of a young professor named Hakase Shinonome and a robot girl named Nano Shinonome. Nano wants to be treated and be like a real girl and is always updated with new functions by her creator. She is also the caretaker and we see her daily life of handling antics set off by her creator and is encountered with more future events.
The overall story is pretty much a conglomeration of different lives of different characters. The story of Nano is the most thought out since we follow her determination in wanting to be the girl she wants to be (More Info on the Characters Section). Through watching this series, the theme of "Friendship" is well-developed as we see an increase on how close the main characters become to each other. Nano later attends school, meeting Yuuko and her friends.
Her determination for them to treat her like a real girl is really high seeing that she is out in public more. However, her friends seem to not care if she was a real girl or not, seeing Nano as a friend always. A huge life lesson is shown towards Nano as she finally accepts herself as a robot and decides not to get rid of the screw that she disliked ever since she was created. She learns that the screw makes her, herself. Coming from a comedy/slice of life show, this is a surprising twist that came into play that made me shed a few tears on the last episode of the series.
The theme of Nichijou is strong and having a lack of a story is not a major failure since the main premise of the show is to provide some big laughs, entertainment, and tears.
Animation of Nichijou is expected of their studio Kyoto Animation in providing such amazing animation and with a series as chaotic as this one, they took it and made it into one of the most entertaining shows that I have ever seen. Backgrounds are well-detailed and sharp, shading and shadows are accurate, and characters are designed well. City-scapes, that are usually shown in between skits are absolutely amazing when compared to real-life since they are well-detailed and blended with the many colors.
The main feature to this show that stands out the most is the overreaction expressions done on each character. Each expression is well-done and gives really nice feeling to how the character is feeling. A picture itself won't capture the hilariousness done with their expressions. Here is a video that basically summarizes what Nichijou is all about.
Other than that, explosions, dramatic effects, and some chase/action scenes are well animated making Nichijou's animation one of the many desirable features of this show.
Nichijou's soundtrack is basic and fits the aspect of what Nichijou is but is not really the standout feature of the sound category. What it is, is the voice-acting and sound effects of the characters. Voice-acting is done amazingly, really filling the character to their name and personality. Their acting when it comes to the overreaction scenes (which most of the cast had to do at least once), are hilarious from moaning, screaming, and more. Nichijou's Openings and Endings are one of my personal favorites. The openings are performed by Japanese Artist named Hyadain, having the first opening be Hyadain no Kakakata kataomoi-C and the second being Hyadain no Jōjō Yūjō. Both openings are very addicting/catchy and overall gives the viewer a big summarization of how this show is going to be. The two ending songs are much more calming than the openings but still are great in their own ways. The first ending song is Zzz performed by Sayaka Sasaki and the rest after is basically songs done by Sasaki and some done by the seiyus of the show, alternating every single episode after 14. Overall, sound is another standout feature of Nichijou.
Opening Songs (Videos)
The characters of Nichijou is by far, the most impotant aspect of the show since they basically run the show and provide the entertainment overcasting the idea of a layed out story. Yuuko Aioi, the first female protagonist is a clumsy energetic girl who sees every day as another day in life. Her character surprises as she begins to show feelings towards friendship, convincing Nano that she is nothing more than a good friend to her.
This leads to the second female protagonist Nano Shinonome and her supporting character Hakase. Which was mentioned in the "Story" section of the review, Nano is a robot who just wants to be accepted as a normal girl. When attending school later on in the series, she begins to see that her being and screw, makes her, Nano. Which ups the ante in the character development.
Hakase Shinonome, a child professor, is the creator of Nano and serves as the child figure to her deeming Nano as the caretaker of the household and Hakase herself. The relationship between Hakase and Nano is very strong seeing that they love each other very much to the point where some insults brings them to tears. Overall, this relationship is one of my favorites in Nichijou.
Another main character, Mio Naganohara, is one of Yuuko's best friends and has a secret admiration for Yaoi, making her a Fujoshi. Her love for this and determination to keep it a secret sometimes gets her over the edge and over-react intensely. Despite having a strange admiration and hot-headed like personality, she is a caring friend towards Yuuko, Mai, and Nano who acts as a target to the strength of friendship among them near the end of the series.
Other secondary characters include Misato Tachibana, second-year student, who is known for her random draws of over-sized military weapons acting in a "tsundere" fashion towards her crush Koujirou Sasahara. These secondary characters actually give great entertainment and some love relationships throughout the series when shown in between the Yuuko and Nano arcs.
Nichijou is a comedy/school life anime with a random plotline, exciting sound, life-like background and wacky animation, and an array of fantastic characters. This series is one of my all time favorites because of how amazing a pointless random show can be through strong character development, catchy openings/endings, and wonderful animation. Being a Kyoto Animation production, Nichijou is even more admirable coming from my favorite anime studio. From watching this show, I felt that the genre of the show and what it's intention is brings out no flaws whatsoever. Unfortunately, the manga sold terribly making the possibility of a second season, zero.
After many laughs and tears, Nichijou will always be a top-favorite to me and will be one to rewatch always with many hilarious scenes and intensely high rewatch value. I give Nichijou a 9.3 out of 10.