Reviews: Nichijou

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Kind of boring, actually.
If you're expecting a typical Kyoto Animation slice-of-life anime, this is pretty much that type of show. And much like most of their other shows, I find it pretty boring.

Nichijou is what the title indicates: ordinary lives. However, this show's gimmick is that it overexaggerates everything. The characters are all the same type of characters that we've already seen in other shows like this: the dumb one who tells shit jokes, the Straight Man, the perpetually-serious one who does crazy shit for no reason, the Child Prodigy, the annoying Tsundere, etc.

The problem with Nichijou is that it tries too hard to be funny with material that isn't that funny, like they're trying to overcompensate for the lack of humor. As a result, since Mundane Made Awesome is practically the only type of humor that this show uses, a lot of scenes are dragged out, so a scene that should last about 30 seconds often lasts up to 2-3 minutes, even if they aren't jokes to begin with. A good example of this being the "moe desu" scene.

The reason I don't like the Mundane Made Awesome humor is because it feels lazy: practically every other scene is like that, like they were too lazy to come up with any actual jokes, and so they just relied on that for most of the time. To back up the Padding argument, several times per episode, they just show scenery with nothing going on. These scenery shots often last 15-20, or even up to 30 seconds. Put together, these scenes often take up to 2 minutes per episode.

I did like the animation fluidity, and the "Like Love" segments are genuinely sweet. I also found a few non-MMA scenes amusing, like the deer-wrestling scene. But I don't rate shows based on animation quality. Like this article said, the funny scenes are just too far apart from one another, being separated by multiple episodes of boredom. I feel like the show could have benefited from being shorter. That would have resulted in less Padding, and the funny scenes wouldn't have been so far apart.

With all this in mind (dull characters, dragged-out scenes), I would recommend just watching the funny scenes on Youtube rather than watching the whole show, because it gets old quick.
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Crazy Awesome Incarnate
Nichijou is hard to sum up. But I'll try.

It's funny, silly, endearing, and genuinely smart at times. The characters are all very likeable, and the sheer awesome, over dramatisation of the scenes makes them automatically funny.

It's also hard to stress how gorgeous the animation, music and voice acting is.

It doesn't have a plot, it's narratively weak, but that's all it has to be. One of the best anime I've ever seen. How on Earth it flopped is beyond me.
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Kyo Ani Does It Again
For all the Kyo Ani works that I have seen (read: all of them), the one show that I felt fit the studio the best was Nichijou. Why? It's a troll anime for a troll studio. Perfect matchmaking. Kyo Ani trolled us with Haruhi Suzumiya Season 1, ditching their planned 28 episodes to remake Kanon, a show that, while deserving of a remake from the "Meh" quality of the Toei adaptation, did not have to be placed during a time when the show called "The Next Evangelion" was airing. There was Haruhi S2, which I doubt I have to mention (for those who don't know, search for "Endless Eight"). While Kyo Ani trolls, I enjoy their work even more due to their trolling. They brought hopes down so low with the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise, only to suddenly and drastically revitalize it with the airing of the movie. In the same way, Nichijou trolls, but it is that trolling that makes the show more enjoyable. From absurd and insane characters like Sasahara-sempai, who regularly rides to school on a goat and brings his butler to class with him, to Mai, who inventively thinks of new ways to screw around with the resident "dumb jock" Yuuko, making her the resident "troll". This show has heart, from the characters to the storylines. But on the other hand, Nichijou is very much a "love it or hate it" show. Some call it "the successor to Azumanga Diaoh" while others think it boring and inane. In my personal opinion, Nichijou is brilliant. The animation and backgrounds are all detailed and fluid, the OP, ED, and BGM are all wonderfully timed and done, and the storyline strikes just the right balance between heartwarming and hysterical. Putting it all together, Nichijou was another home run for Kyo Ani.
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Slice of Life up to eleven!
If you're looking for a peaceful slice of life featuring four school girls having fun, you're watching the wrong Kyo Ani adaptation. Nichijou is anything but you're average slice of life. It's an anime that lives and breathes What Do You Mean Its Not Awesome? to the point that even the most trivial occurrences are given all the flare and drama you'd expect from your average shonen action series.

The show boasts a gorgeous animation which goes further than it has to at some points. Most notably during a scene where they simulate a camera spinning around a desk, in a manner much like a football game. Yet at the same time the animation style can be simple to the point of looking like it was pulled straight out of the manga. The music is always ear pleasing and simple, perfectly suited for such a series.

One of the best things about the series is it's expansive cast of characters, each of whom the show takes time to focus on and develop, rather than centering the entire series on a small handful. But when it comes down to it, there are only six true main characters.

At the center stage is Yuuko Aioi, someone who if you didn't know any better, you'd think was the average shonen idiot hero. Mio acts as the straight man to Yuuko's antics, while the latter herself finds herself baffled by the antics of resident emotionless gadfly, Mai.

The other half of the main cast starts one of the most deep and interesting characters in a series that's otherwise comedic. Ridiculously Human Robot Nano just wants to be a normal human. She wants to make friends and go to school, just like any other girl her (apparent) age. Unfortunately her creator is an eight year old mad scientist who's sole goal in life is to be a tremendous brat and make Nano's life miserable. Last but certainly not least is a talking cat by the name of Sakamoto, who tries to be the authority figure in a series where such things don't exist. Throughout the first half of the series these two sides are kept strictly apart, and only converge once Nano achieves her dream of going to school.

Though the show's mostly comedic in nature, there are moments that will truly tug at most heartstrings, especially when Nano and her desire for acceptance is concerned.

If you're looking for a gut-busting riot with lots of memorable characters and stellar animation, Nichijou is an absolute must!

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