34 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Everyday Life (Nichijou) episode 0

Bear with me on this review, because I start by going off on a massive tangent.

I don’t hate K-ON. I don’t think it’s any good either, but it doesn’t fall into a lot of the pitfalls that many of these ‘cute girls doing cute things’ anime regularly fall into. It’s one of the few 4-koma adaptations that makes a proper effort to construct a narrative with the jokes instead of simply carting each strip out in animated form with no continuity between gags. The jokes actually have punchlines as well, instead of simply tailing off into nothingness. In fact, there are even a few genuinely funny moments in K-ON. My problem with it is that much of its airing time is instead spent on cuteness fro the sake of cuteness. The ‘punchline’ simply likes to point out how cute it is that Mio cowers in fear over the prospect of ghosts, being dressed up in cute outfits, singing in front of the school and being the star of thousands of rape themed doujins. Sugoku Kawaii~!

I say this all because I want to dispel the notion that I arbitrarily hate on these kinds of anime. I just have standards. You have to have a narrative and a point to the dialogue, beyond just being cute or, even worse, dialogue for the sake of dialogue. Where as K-ON falls into the middle of my ‘cute girls doing cute things’ rating spectrum, smack down the bottom as my two most hated anime of all time sit Lucky Star and Hidamari Sketch. Meanwhile, at the top end of the spectrum sits Azumanga Daioh. However the Azumanga review (that I will probably never write but pretend for a second that I will some day) must be prefaced with the note that it took me a long time to warm up to Azumanga. The earlier episodes were decent enough, and Osaka was awesome throughout, but it wasn’t until about the halfway point that I really started to love the series. It wasn’t that the series was necessarily doing anything differently, but it took that long to warm up to the characters. I call this effect, in all my originality, ‘The Azumanga Effect’. The way the characters in a series grow on you over time so that, despite them not doing anything differently, you thoroughly enjoy watching them do pretty much anything.

Which, through a roundabout way, brings me to Nichijou (despite my best attempts with the Anglification of the seasonal charts, I’m fully aware that anime fandom are going to call this Nichijou and not Everyday Life). It’s the latest instalment in that genre of cute girls doing cute things, with unfortunately rather heavy emphasis on the cute. Psgels has a point when he says the characters do rather feel like they’re trying desperately to ram home the point of how cute they are. Neither does the anime feel like it’s properly utilising the absurdist slant to it. Guys with yellow mohawks walk about in the background but they’re not used as juxtaposition for anything as of yet. They’re just sort of there. The one time they did use the absurdist aspect well, when the Trigun cat had his monologue interrupted by his own impulse to chase the butterfly, was the best scene of the episode. But for the rest of the episode it felt like Kyo Ani were more interested in being cute than funny.

Nichijou is a pretty mixed bag based on this episode. I like the Shaft-inspired artsy angle and imaginative visual metaphors, quite far cry from anything I’ve seen Kyo Ani do before. Apart from the Trigun cat though, the characters were pretty ho-hum, albeit at least none of them reverted to lame stereotypes. Now it’s just got to give them proper personalities, combined with a proper use of the absurdist angle, the Azumanga effect could take place and we could have a winner. At the very least, the ending song is already a winner in my book, so long as the actual TV broadcast has animation to go with the ending song and not just a credit list.

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33 Comments

  1. Posted March 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I actually really likes this first episode. I didn’t care as much about the first half with the exam grade (though I was completely amused that she only got a 1%), but the entire thing with the cat and the girl who needed medicine was good, to me.
    I didn’t really think there was overemphasis on “hey, look, look, we’re cute girls being cute, look at us!”, really. But maybe that’s because I am not looking for it.
    Sure, the cat is by far the best thing about this series, but I definitely think it still has a chance to be very entertaining.
    (Especially to someone who likes this type of show in the first place *cough)

    • Scamp
      Posted March 17, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      There was quite a bit of ‘look how cute I am’, especially with the middle segment. Then again, I think she’s meant to be the inventor so that could have been deliberate. We’ll have to wait and see if they develop that point more

      • Posted March 19, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        Well, at least she had a different kind of adorable than usual! D’aww runny nose, d’aww.

  2. Posted March 17, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I had a lot of expectations from Nichijou especially since it resembled Azumanga a lot.Whatever you say but Azumanga Daioh was an awesome anime!I enjoyed every single episode of it.
    Unfortunately for Nichijou it was the exact opposite.Everything was too forced and even though the OVA was of 11 min,I was waiting when it would get over!
    Unless someone writes a positive review of Nichijou,I’m not planning to watch the anime series.

  3. anon
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    >Where as K-ON falls into the middle of my ‘cute girls doing cute things’ rat­ing spec­trum, smack down the bot­tom as my two most hated anime of all time sit Lucky Star and Hidam­ari Sketch.

    This sentence … I don’t even. How do I read this?

    • luffyluffy
      Posted March 17, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      >Lucky Star
      >Lucky Shit
      >Hidamari Sketch
      >Hidamari Shit

      Seems pretty simple eh?

    • Scamp
      Posted March 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      Bit of a derped wording, but yes. I hate Hidamari Sketch and Lucky Star

  4. Posted March 17, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    The soundtrack is really lovely, and it was not super funny, but charming. I’m gonna stick with this one.

  5. luffyluffy
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    I rather like Mio’s Cube!Clips

    I guess I’ll follow this too.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted March 17, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      by the way Scamp, I suggest you watch the newest Kuroshitsuji ova. It’s a 4th wall raping “documentary” about the making of season 2. Aka. Hilarious.

      • Scamp
        Posted March 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

        What season 2? Ciel died at the end of the first one. There wasn’t a second season

      • luffyluffy
        Posted March 17, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

        :(

        I think season 2 was nice…

        But seriously, watch it. it’s amusing.

      • Posted March 18, 2011 at 5:49 am | Permalink

        nothing has made me WAT more than that ova. there are no words.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted March 19, 2011 at 2:39 am | Permalink

        I horfed over Claude though.

        Man, I loved Claude.

  6. Posted March 17, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    HAPPY IRISH DAY!

    How come you don’t have a St. Patrick’s Day post?

    • Scamp
      Posted March 17, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      Because I’m honestly a not very patriotic Irish person. I don’t even like alcohol that much

      • Posted March 21, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        You’re an awesome stereotype defying Irish man.

  7. Posted March 17, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    I’m also on the fence with the show’s content (and I prefer girls with noses), but the soundtrack and animation are too stunning to skip for now.

    That’s a cool scale you’ve got there. And pleeasse review Azumanga Daioh–I’ve been thinking of watching it. :D

  8. Posted March 17, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    I like to think I’m well versed in the schoolgirl-4-koma genre, but this was bland even by the most modest of standards. None of the humor clicked, scenes just dragged on too long, and I felt zero enthusiasm from the whole production.

    Every show like this has its own angle: music club, art class, otaku lead, Osaka humor, SHAFTiness. What does this bring to the table? What makes it unique?

    • Scamp
      Posted March 19, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      I would like to say the absurdism makes it unique, but it’s not utilising it as of yet…

  9. OHEMGEE
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    i started out a little irritated with this show.
    but by the end i began to adore it.
    <3
    the ending song
    omg~

    • Scamp
      Posted March 19, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      This might end up like Soredemo Machi. I don’t watch the show, but I play the OP/ED over and over again anyway

  10. Posted March 18, 2011 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    I laughed twice during the entirety of this episode: once when the girl who got a 1% insulted the blue-haired girl and the latter snapped at the former and insulted her test score, completely undoing her attempt to cheer her up, and once when I realized UTW put in karaoke for the ‘ta ta tatan~’ ED.

    Honestly, I laughed harder the second time.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 19, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      I am now sorely disappointed I didn’t dl the UTW version

  11. Posted March 18, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Also, the cat is awesome.

  12. averaen
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Last night I ran into a guy claiming Everyday Life would be the new Azumanga. I just shook my head and continued on my way.

    Overall the episode was average. I’ll watch the first few episodes and see what I think, but I watch the first few episodes of everything so that is far from an endorsement. I also noticed the ‘SHAFT’ vibe, and found it interesting that another studio is trying to parrot what they do. I guess that should be surprising though, with how well Bakemonogatari did, and how well Madoka’s preorders are going.

    • averaen
      Posted March 18, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      “I guess that shouldN’T be sur­pris­ing though” sigh

    • Scamp
      Posted March 19, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      There will never be a new Azumanga Daoih until the mangaka gets over himself and allows there to be a Yotsuba& anime

  13. karry
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    “Psgels has a point”

    I call bullshit on that. He never had a point, he just hates every single anime you give him, thats his shtick.

    • Posted March 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      You’re confusing psgels with Aroduc.
      I rather think psgels is overly positive, compared to Scamp, especially nowadays. Psgels also gave this OVA a 7,5 score, that’s a good score.
      I think someone might be pissed there. Is everything alright? *pokes*

    • Scamp
      Posted March 19, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      You had me confused there for a second…

      Yup, you’re definitely thinking of Aroduc

      • Posted March 19, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        I was going to say I thought he’d mistaken psgels for himself.

  14. ~xxx
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I liked the manga… That’s it.

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