Welcome to Round 3 of GLORIO Anime Club! The rules are simple: choose any anime you’ve watched in its entirety and the next randomly chosen person on the list MUST watch it, no questions asked. After watching and documenting their thoughts for your reading pleasure, they get to choose what the next person watches and so on. For this edition, Jel has selected Nichijou for Gee-Man to watch. Read on to see how things went.
Jel: I’m arguably the Glorio Blog’s biggest Kyoto Animation fan, at least when it comes to their post K-ON! work. Gee is on the opposite end of that spectrum. So I chose Nichijou, which has become one of my favorite series of all time, to bridge the gap. As our expert on all things Hot Blooded, I thought Gee might enjoy the show’s over the top humor and passion for life, and as an aspiring animator I figured he might at least appreciate the stylized art and top notch production values.
What did you think?
Gee: Anyone who knows me well knows that I absolutely detest most of Kyo Ani’s most recent works. As a guy who eagerly awaits the day we get another Full Metal Panic (a man can dream…), I made an oath a few years back to never watch a Kyo Ani show ever again. The cause for this was a combination of my tastes and principles. I’m a man who loves manly things, full of passion, life, and excitement. Predictably, most Kyo Ani shows lack any of that, content with pandering to the lowest common denominator.
I’ll admit, they have amazing production values and anything that comes out of that studio is guaranteed to look good, even if it’s completely lacking in soul. Yet amongst all of the blob-eyed girls making squeaky noises, there was one show that always stuck out to me in Kyo Ani’s stable: Nichijou. This strange little show, with its far more charming artstyle, knack for humor, and top notch animation always interested me, but never enough to get me to commit to watching. So when Jel suggested it, I figured why not? If I was ever going to break my no-Kyo Ani rule, it was gonna be with Nichijou.
And boy was I in for a treat. Nichijou is quite possibly one of the finest comedies I’ve watched in a very long time. Does it deserve to sit amongst the likes of GTO and Cromartie? Maybe not, but is it one of the most charming shows I’ve watched in years? Most definitely. While the show certainly took its sweet time building itself, I enjoyed the antics of Mio, Yukko, Nano, and the rest of the eclectic cast, whether that be Takasaki’s hilarious attempts at wooing Sakurai, Mio and Yukko’s hilarious interactions (and fights) with each other, or the bawdy moments that the rest of the cast brings to the table.
Some of the moments were hit-or-miss, I certainly suffered viewer’s fatigue from the sheer amount of chaos and energy the show threw at me, and there were definitely moments when I couldn’t see the appeal of certain characters or moments. As adorable as The Professor is, I found myself smirking more than laughing. Same with many of the more esoteric “Helvetica Standard” and “Short Thoughts” segments.
But for every flat moment, there were three wonderfully charming and hilarious moments to make up for it. The “Like Love” segments were always heartwarming in their own odd way. And the last 2-3 episodes of Nichijou, while somewhat of a cheap shot straight at my heart, were utterly a joy to behold. Mio’s segment after being heartbroken in episode 25 and the ensuing scene really summed everything that makes Nichijou a wonderfully unique show. At times its absurd, crazy, and utterly nonsensical. But it balances those moments with times of warm moments, some equally absurd in their execution, but charming all the same.
And wow, what a gorgeous show. You can tell the animators and artists went all out with this show. From the simple, yet smooth animation style, you get so much personality from all of the characters. And then you have the surprisingly frequent action sequences that show that even when the content itself isn’t intense, Kyo Ani knows how to make something really shine. There are far too many well-animated moments for me to list just one of my favorites, so I’ll just say one word: Mackerel. Really, that scene perfectly encapsulates both the charming and absolutely hilarious nature of the entire show at its best.
In the end, Nichijou will hold a firm place in my heart for the foreseeable future. It’s a truly unique show, with some great characters and some truly amazing animation. When I heard that Nichijou flopped commercially and never got a Western release, I was a little heartbroken. That out of all the Kyo Ani shows, the only one worth talking about was the one that failed? Honestly it just reinforces my beliefs about Japanese audiences, but this is neither the time nor place for that. Nichijou is a gem of both comedy and slice-of-life, and if you have the patience for its more esoteric moments, you’ll have a wonderful anime on your hands.