Spring anime Reviews - 日常

2:22 PM

Spotlight falls on KyoAni's Nichijou today.

Title: 日常, Nichijou, Everyday
Genre: Comedy
Animation Production: Kyoto Animation (KyoAni)

Nichijou is probably best described as an absurd comedy. Going somewhere inbetween something like Pani Poni and Katte ni Kaizo, with a set-up somewhat reminiscent of Azumanga Daioh and something else. Again, it's like the titles listed, but please don't compare them. Everyone started to compare everything that featured a cast of girls doing everyday stuff to Azumanga, Lucky Star, and more recently, K-ON. Some comparisons work, but most of the time, please, don't do it.

A rather questionable move by Kyo-Ani, but I suppose it's not the most far-fetched thing. They've been doing moe-moe stuff for the last bit, namely K-ON's two seasons, so I suppose this isn't exactly anything...too different. 

Nichijou...doesn't exactly come across as a series that you'd expect KyoAni to be doing. Reading through it, you kind of think this is right up SHAFT's alley (with their past record of absurdities), but KyoAni does a good job with it. The soft colours really gives it a distinctive look (much like the colouring used on the covers of the manga) as well as KyoAni's more or less trademark gorgeous eyes. That opening may have out-shafted SHAFT (though you have admit that 電波女青春男's opening is made of awesome).

Nichijou features a huge cast of characters, and many don't get fleshed out too much. Most characters stay rather flat; flat being that we don't see multiple sides of a character like you'd see in a more drama heavy series like Hanasaku Iroha or CLANNAD. Some character obviously get more of the spotlight, with minor (minor being very, very minor) characters appearing either in the backgrounds or in their own short little skits.

Another feature of the series is it's dual nature. It's even evident in the series, where the title shows up twice in two different forms during a slower tempo section of the song. One part of the series is the school. Most of the absurdities occur here, as well as the majority of the characters. Not surprisingly, this takes most of the time up. the other part would be the Shinonome Lab, where we find Sakamoto-san, Nano (right) and the Professor (left). The two parts contrast quite nicely as segments with Nano tend to be more toned down and slice of life...as slice of life as you can get when you're a robot built by an eight year old scientist while parts with Yuuko and the school cast tend to be are much zanier and probably more hit and miss. 

They've cut out the chapters where Nano is at school so as to isolate the chapters at the Shinonome Lab. Whether they'll have Nano mingle with the rest of the cast is a question, but I don't see it happening. Judging by how the opening goes, they'll keep the two character sets separate. 

All in all, it's an enjoyable series, so long as you don't stop watching the moment you encounter a gag or segment you didn't enjoy. I find myself enjoying the Nano segments much more than the Yuuko ones, but there have been some hilarious segments coming from the school side (the parakeet is an example).

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