In the past, Kyoto Animation has made a few notable slice of life shows involving a bunch of schoolgirls. Particularly, Lucky Star and K-ON is their most popular works in the genre. With the production of Nichijou, it takes a slightly different take of the genre opposed to gradual character development and references from the Otaku subculture. Instead, it focuses mostly on slapstick comedy sketches that place characters in wacky situations. (Image Source)
If you always wondered about the title like Nichijou (lit. Ordinary Life), it’s ironic since the things that happen in the show are not what you normally experience in real life. This is because in reality, people live normally with nothing out of the ordinary with a few exceptions. Sure, there are some moments where we have experienced something exciting, but not as much compared to the characters in the show. Through the various comedies, they are trying to show a sensational life through imagination. For instance, “Helvetica Standard” and the “Fey” Kingdom are some of the notable instances where the situations become imaginative or even plain weird. Although some of the jokes were a mixed bag, this will depend mostly on the viewer if it’s funny or not. For me, I tend to find the moments at Shinonome Laboratories and the three schoolgirls the funniest even though there are others outside of these.
As for the production values, the animation was top-notch for the most part and carries the same eye-catching backgrounds. However, the animation style can vary depending on the segment. For instance, the action scenes and especially “Helvetica Standard” tends to have a completely different style to fit the mood. Although they don’t necessarily fit with the usual appeal of the show, the way they executed this was very creative and ambitious, especially in some scenes like Yuuko chasing an upset Mio as it gave an epic feeling. As for the music, while I haven’t listened to the full versions of the first and second openings along with the myriad of endings in the second half, I really liked the first ending in particular. “Zzz” sung by Sasaki Sayaka gave a smoothing and gratifying feeling after experiencing twenty minutes of comedy.
As a whole, Nichijou is not the best that Kyoto Animation has done, but its one of the most enjoyable comedies of this year in my opinion. The characters were enjoyable, especially Yuuko, Hakase, Nano and Sakamoto along with Mai’s trolling. Still, some people might find most of the comedy confusing and that’s okay. Just don’t let that deter you from watching it as you might find some of the jokes amusing.
Overall Rating: 8.6/10, B, Very Good