Nichijou, a manga classic by Keiichi Arawi. The weird internet meme of an anime. The shining star of Kyoto Animation. How come I have forgotten to write a review for this masterpiece?
To enjoy Nichijou, one needs to have a certain additude to it. And that is: don't expect things to make sense. Nichijou's humour is similar to Monty Python's, stuff happens with no logic and that is the beauty of Nichijou. Nichijou relies on it's absurdism. But here's the catch: It's more than its absurdism. It is not a collection of sketches and unrrlated events. The web of events, little moments in life and multiple point of views form a beautiful collection of narratives of individual lifes. It goes beyond funny memes and shitposts, yet still embraces its weirdness.
Arawi's art style is iconic and easy to recognize, with all the minimal facial features and angular shoes. However, Arawi is never afraid to break their own style, sometimes suddenly using great amount of details, sometimes changing to a satirically amateurish and childish style that, if I guess correctly, might have been the style the artist used at younger age. It all serves its purpose, as every page and panel feels unique and fresh.
In the end Nichijou is more about the characters than the story. And what characters they are, filled with personality and soul! Mio, a seemingly normal school girl writes BL stories as a hobby and aims to become a professional mangaka, but fears the judgement from her friends. As the manga proceeds, her friend Yuuko finds out about her art, but after the first shock, she learns to accept Mio's interests and even starts helping her with her manga project. Seemingly positive and energetic Yuuko is actually a philosophical and, most of the time, melancholic young lady who often suffers from all kinds of unfortunate events and mishaps. Mai is on the surface a diligent student of straight As and perfect behaviour, but deep down a huge troll who enjoys to cause chaos around herself. Nano is an android who tries to hide her true identity (which is seemingly impossible due to the mechanical key she has attached to her back) and live the life of a normal human, while acting as a parent figure for the 8-year-old child professor who created her. As the story continues, she starts making friends and even lets her classmates visit her house, learning to trust that other people won't automatically judge her for the quirkiness of her household. Misato and Kouchiro are a constant "will they, won't they couple", at is comes obvious that Misato has a crush on him. When she's not throwing granades or shooting him with a bazooka. She's a tsundere after all.
There are even more character than this, teachers having awkward romances, a peculiar after-school club trying to make it's way, a continuing space soap ophera, a couple of friends running into one unlucky event after another, a talking trying to live a peaceful life, a group of kids having their peculiar hobbies and the principal and the vice-principal having their weird on-going beef. There's so much to this series, so many unique and loveable personalities, oh, how to even describe it!
Sit back, relax and let the insanity begin!