Project Haruhi

It Got Better – Nichijou 1

Nichijou teaches about some of Japan's most famous souvenirs... by dropping them on Yuuko's noggin.

The most terrible thing that can happen to a fan is seeing their object of affection losing its touch. Hipsters cry indie tears when they hear the new 'mainstream' album by what used to be their favorite band. Film lovers pull the hair out of their heads when they see the person who used to be a great director releasing one piece of crap after another. And I suppose a lot of Kyoto Animation lovers felt the exact same when the studio wasted another 26 episodes on the Sakura High Light Music Club and dealt the death blow with the terrible abomination that was Nichijou episode 0. But worry not, fellow slice-of-life fans: the actual show makes up for this. Kinda.

What I Liked

Apparently, 'Salamat Pati' is Malaysian. That's a fun fact.

The comedy: While Episode 0 was an unfunny mess most likely penned by the same 'writers' who somehow succeeded in stretching out eight pages of K-ON! manga to 22 minutes of anime, episode 1 was actually based off the original manga by Keiichi Awari and presented us with a whole different kind of humor than that in the OVA. Nichijou takes equal parts Seinfieldian 'cute girls doing cute things' and 'absurd hyperactive everyone-shouting-a-lot' comedy, and winds up resembling a Lucky Star X Pani Poni Dash! crossover slashfic.

It's not K-ON!: With guns being fired, wieners being launched through mohawks and an USB stick toe narrating the preview, this is KyoAni's clearest attempt at comedy yet. Nichijou doesn't seem to focus on the cuteness as explicitly as K-ON! or even Lucky Star does, and this is rather odd considering when that shows about girls sitting around a table drinking tea can sell millions. It appears as if KyoAni has decided that moe alone is not enough, which is quite the admirable effort for the studio. And you know what's even better? There are guys in Nichijou!

The OP/ED: That terrible aural rape machine of an ending song from the OVA gets replaced by a catchy OP and a cute ED. The songs themselves aren't that big of a deal, missing a catchy hook à la Working!!'s OP, but the visuals are certainly worth mentioning. The OP is just as crazy as the show itself and is supported by -of course- some obligatory KyoAni dance moves. The ED on the other hand, sports a wonderful and dreamy cutout art style, quite fitting to the accompanying 'Zzzz".

What I Hated

Mai occasionally shoots the dog.

Oh, hi there, err... Tomo? Ritsu? Yuuko?: Nichijou's characters suffer from the same problem as many of their slice-of-life comedy colleagues: Mio, Yuuko, Mai and company are carbon copies of the archetypes established more then 10 years ago by Azumanga Daioh. Yuuko is the idiotic Tomo to Mio's rational Yomi, Mai is the silent one of the bunch, and Nano and the Professor could easily pass as the Hirasawa sisters. Oh, and then there's that guy who looks exactly like Keima Katsuragi from The World God Only Knows. Hoo boy.

Everyone looks like a kid: Kyoto Animation, you bunch of goddamn lolicons.

Overall Impressions

'Don't judge an anime by its episode 0' might have come off as a rather moronic comment, but for Nichijou it proves correct. Unlike it's predecessors, it doesn't even seem to care about taking the otaku world by storm. The colorful art and absurd humor, despite being held back by the archetypical... err... everything and the bitter taste left by the OVA and K-ON!!, will surely guide me through the spring season laughing. Occasionally. I hope.

I give it 4 Picards, because I definitely LOL'd.

About Joris

Joris (aka Aquagaze) is a college student from the distant world of Europa. He likes indie music, JRPGs and anime. 'The crazier, the better' applies to all of his interests, including himself.
  • This show is bananas. ..Not really, but I felt like someone chopped up Azumanga and Yotsuba, threw it in a bag, shake it up a bit, set it aaaand forget it.(!)

    Only downside is that one cute teacher. They kind of hammed it up with that one joke. I really hope she doesn’t carry that thing around the whole show.

    I never saw the OVA… What really impressed me was the animation. It’s simple, even kind of bland, but I noticed my eyes were scanning every scene.

    “…carbon copies of the archetypes established more then 10 years…”
    I’ve just learned to accept that noting will ever be any more varied than that. It’s like America sitcoms; stupid dad, sassy mom, kid too smart for his/her own good, son who is lost as the viewer, talking pet, annoying neighbor, Betty White, etc. Come on, man.

    • I understand what you mean, but some times they make no bones about copying. It’s like having the stock quiet or unemotional Rei clone, who sometimes even has the same hair color as her or angry girl who punches people but really likes the main character. Only people these tropes an interesting spin or use them effectively when they turn form copies actual interesting or at least enjoyable characters.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, when you think about it, creativity to an extent is a lost art on an international scale, but like American television, anime has it’s golden nuggets, you just gotta keep digging for them deep in that mountain of crap, lol

  • Sounds just like Pani Poni. I might give it chance if people still think it is funny after a few episodes, but I have bad trust in KyoAni lately, especially if they are doing anything called slice-of-life.

  • Anonymous

    You see, I started watching this because I thought it was going to be a lot like Pani Poni Dash x Lucky Star. But I watched most of episode 0 and it was pretty bad. Now I am yet again prepared to delve into this anime.

  • WELP, Looks like another thing I need to watch this season seeing as there seems to be actual humor in this, which is something I very much enjoy. That art style is also somewhat appealing, I really don’t know why.

  • As much as it annoys me every time a shot is taken at K-ON!(!!), I have to concede your points on this first episode of Nichijou. The comedy was at times hit or miss, but when it hit I LOL’ed. I LOL’ed loud and hard. And I’m glad someone else noticed that Keima was picking up an extra check working as a goat-riding, stuck up, farmer’s boy (man that’s a weird combo). I’m still not sure I like the show, but I’ll take it one episode at a time. I didn’t love Azumanga Daioh the first time I watched the first episode. It grew on me, and now I practically worship it.

    Also, I’m SO glad I didn’t watch episode 0 by the looks of it.

  • Anonymous

    I enjoyed Episode 1 much more than Episode 0, but then again it’s kinda hard to go down further than rock-bottom boredom. It was much better than that Dog Days anime, I’ll tell you that much.

  • Jon

    People really need to stop comparing Nichijou to Cromartie High School. Although it does share certain Pythonesque elements with Cromartie, the latter had actual narrative structure to help set up its jokes and comedic timing to deliver the punchline. Nichijou, on the other hand, just throws as much random crap as it possibly can onscreen, hoping that the audience will find it funny because of how absurd it is. The end result is something that lacks both form and function, making it a meandering structureless mess that utterly fails to entertain.

    There are far better absurdist comedies out there, and Nichijou just seems like a pale, unfunny imitation.

  • Jared

    Oh my gah, Nichijou is great. Original concept, maybe not, but it’s funny and it’s silly and it’s not *name other slice of life*

    As for the review itself *Konata smile* GOOD JOHB

  • Like with food, you don’t know if you dislike it until you try it. I’ll give episode 1 a shot, and then we’ll see from there.

  • Blacksun88

    well for me, a produciton from kyoto-animation could never go wrong, and now it is proven again 🙂

  • May I say that it’s actually ‘Selamat Pagi’.

  • SquadmemberRitsu

    I disagree with the hating of K-On! but Nichijou episode 0 was absolute crap compared to the rest of the series