Nichijou follows the daily lives of schoolgirls Yuuko, Mio and Mai, the child professor Hakase, her robot Nano, and Sakamoto, a talking cat. It’s a slice of life comedy with exaggerated humour, a hyperbolic stylistic art style and, surprisingly, high budget animation. Episodes consist of a series of skits rather than a traditionally structured narrative, so it’s incredibly accessible.
Nichijou is the perfect anime to watch with friends, too. Every scene is a gag-worthy moment and varies from relatable to outrageously silly. In one scene, Yuuko nervously tries to order a coffee from an as nervous and courteous Starbucks barista, adorably misunderstanding the venue’s iconic sizes. In another, Nano explores the outside world, stumbles down a hill and bumps into a salary man, which triggers her to self-destruct.
The series also has some of the best reaction images we’ve ever seen; some of which have become enshrined in my interactions on the internet. GIFs and images from the show are widely used by the anime community, so you’ve probably seen references unknowingly.
The unique quirky tone of Nichijou is demonstrated in the first episode, when Yuuko drops a sausage during lunch and tries desperately to catch it. The scene is exaggeratedly tense, and the animation of the sausage flung around the classroom defies the laws of physics, even those unspoken in anime. The music, as well as the dialogue and delivery, is poignantly dramatic, too. Watch it for yourself below.
Kyoto Animation brings Arawi’s goofy cast to life with detailed facial expressions, striking animation and excellent voice acting. Sure, the daily lives of Nichijou’s cast are absurd and often hard to relate to, but it’s an interesting exploration into suburban Japanese life and culture - regardless of how far-fetched.
As an outsider, you might see Nichijou as too niche but that sense of bemused confusion is what makes the series so entertaining. There isn’t much of a story to Nichijou, either, and while there’s some great - albeit drawn out - character progression for some, the show is structured for newcomers, as an episode is made up of a series of skits rather than an overarching narrative.
Nichijou isn’t meant to be taken seriously, but its comedy is consistently dialed up to maximum. It’s an adorably quirky, lighthearted slice of life. Although it may sound like an exaggeration, it’s genuinely the funniest anime I’ve ever seen. A series anyone can enjoy.
If you’re keen, the 26-part series is available to stream on Animelab.
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