*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.
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.
It's like Azumanga Daioh, but better in every regard. "Reviews must be minimum 100 characters" FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER
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.
I’m not going to write a traditional site review for this show. There are already plenty of those. What I want to emphasize in this review are the things that make Nichijou different from the other major slice of life shows. The series at first glance Nichijou may seem like a clone of other popular slice of life shows such as Azumanaga Daioh and Lucky Star, but while it borrows elements of the traditional slice of life format, it’s the difference in the details and presentation that sets this show apart from the rest.
1. It’s NOT just cute girls doing cute things
In fact, Nichijou’s girls have flawed designs, which make them more them more rounded characters than those in most slice of life anime. Mio is a spaz, Mai is an outright troll, Yuuko is an idiot without any sense of tact and dignity. All of them get legitimately angry at each other often usually appropriately in response to something stupid that one of them did. They’re friends, but they aren’t always some unified unit that’s facing against common problems. Many times the conflicts are caused by each other. Sure, other anime will have episodes where the main group has their friendship tested, but in Nichijou these conflicts seem to occur every episode. This allows for some hilariously over the top moments as well as a stronger bond between the main characters.
2. The pacing of the jokes is (nearly) perfect
The structure of a joke consists of three parts, a setup, a link, and a punchline. The art of timing is to assign an appropriate amount of time to each phase of the joke. What many slice of life anime suffer from is spending far too long on the setup for a rather weak punchline. Nichijou has a strong understanding of how much time to spend on a joke (unlike Lucky Star where they would spend a good 5 minutes setting up a joke that didn’t pay off at all). They don’t hesitate to utilize the episode time on completely tangential short segments that last 10 seconds or less. The show does set up longer jokes as well, but the pacing is much more rapid than most.
3. The jokes are more universal
This point is rather simple; Nichijou doesn’t rely as much on Japanese cultural references or language puns. The style of humor is so far out there that it doesn’t really rely on any culture. Rather than relying on cultural anecdotes, it takes the universal and then exaggerates them to outrageous proportions.
Really, Nichijou’s style of humor can really be summarized by this scene. It’s really a show wired for a cult following. Some will love it, some will not get it, but that’s usually what happens when attempting to create something unique.