28 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Nichijou episode 1

Let’s compare this episode to the pilot episode 0 that came out a few weeks back. First, the negatives. Nichijou didn’t keep the great Dan dan dan dan ending song the pilot had. I’ve listened to that song about 20 times since I watched the episode so I’m disappointed the didn’t keep it. On the positive side, absolutely everything else was better in the TV series than the pilot.

I had marked down Nichijou as my second most anticipated show of the new season for a reason. Even though it was KyoAni. Even though it looked like cute girls doing cute things. I even placed it ahead of Fireball Charming and my great Empress Drossel! That’s because from what I saw of the manga and the promo material released, this was about the surreal around the mundane. How people deal with someone riding a goat to school with the same interest as they’d deal someone else’s interpretation of the 3-second rule (it’s OK even if it flies through a blonde mohawk). The OVA was worrying because it appeared that KyoAni were going to move away from the absurd and celebrate the cute. The cute is still here, but the absurd is back in abundance. And, in case you didn’t know by now, I love the absurd.

Nichijou is a moe Cromartie High School. Replacing deliqents with cute girls is not an improvement in my eyes, but the soul is still there. It has a robot character, who desperately wants to fit in with society, almost like the polar opposite of Mechazawa. It has a character to rides an animal to school. It plays around with it’s animation style, such as the hilariously jolly cartoon dog leaping after the frisbee, or the dramatic angles as the characters tried to save the last weiner. It throws in these delightfully non-sequitur jokes, such as the gag with the skipping rope. Some jokes aren’t funny, but for something that is so purely gag focused, that’s to be expected. The end result of these jokes isn’t cuteness for the sake of cuteness (most of the time anyway) and neither do we have dialogue for the sake of dialogue so you can just watch girls goofing about. This is legitimately funny stuff.

I love this, but I’m wary of recommending it too. I inherently love any absurdist comedy. The ones that take simple incidents to the logical extreme and then much further beyond that. But I also realise not everyone loves that sort of stuff anywhere near as much as I do. I will say two things though. First, if you weren’t going to check this out because of the first OVA, then do give it a shot. This brings back the absurdist elements I was looking for all along. Secondly, if you are allergic to cute girls doing cute things, then don’t worry. I’m also allergic to that, and yet here I am singing the praise of Nichijou. There’s still cute girls doing cute things, but the cute thing they happen to be doing is firing their rocket propelled toes. That’s gotta be worth something.

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26 Comments

  1. OHEMGEE
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Ahh.
    This episode got me so excited.

  2. luffyluffy
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    My god I fucking loved this. I usually don’t laugh much at anime, but I was laughing constantly through this episode.

  3. Posted April 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    The only thing that bugged me about Cromartie High School were the character designs, so for me this is quite nice, especially since I already liked the OVA. The BGM is simply charming, although I will miss the ending. But I can always listen to it on youtube.
    This will probably be my anime of the season since I love girly + comedy. The only thing that could top this is a well made and not too sappy romance anime or C, if C is nicely executed.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted April 3, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      I guess you could say this show is… Moemartie High School

    • Scamp
      Posted April 3, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      How could you not like the Cromartie character designs? They’re based off Queen!

  4. romulus
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    I laughed my ass off even just remembering the ton of absurd things while reading your review. Also I hope C wont turn out to be as “original” as Fractale did so we will have 2 good animes this season.
    BTW why do you expect bad anime from KyoAni? For me KyoAni=Full Metal Panic (my gateway drug) so I hope with good reason that they will keep up this quality.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 3, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      Kyo Ani didn’t do the first season, which is the one I like. They did fumoffu and the 2nd season, which I wasn’t too fond of

      • Posted April 3, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

        But…but… the second season was nothing but raw comedy, how could you not like it!
        Meh, I know close to nothing about studios, I haven’t reached that level yet. :P

      • Scamp
        Posted April 3, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

        Nononono, sorry, I like fumoffu. It’s FMP:TSR that I didn’t like. It sucked all the fun out of the franchise

    • Posted April 4, 2011 at 2:24 am | Permalink

      Yeah, TSR was a tad bit too serious and slightly emo, I still liked it, but not as much as the first two, though as sad as it was, I well accidentally read spoilers about what happens afterwords (I read the novels to, but the spoilers went further then the translated novels), and well it gets really sad.
      Reading the spoilers almost made me cry, I’d hate to imagine what watching it would do to me….

  5. averaen
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    I was solidly impressed by the first episode as well. The absurdism was far better. The scene where Nano ended up on the roof was perfect. Watching her walk from corner to corner while talking to herself, made me grin the whole way through.

    The little cut-ins like death wandering around, and the jumprope gag are great. I only wish Sakamoto had appeared again.

  6. Posted April 4, 2011 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    They even had Hyadain of all people do the OP? W-w-when…

  7. Posted April 4, 2011 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    I will have to respectfully disagree. I’ll give it another episode or two, but there wasn’t near enough absurdity to compensate for the obnoxious cuteness. On twitter I described this as Lucky Star meets Azumanga Daioh, and I don’t mean that as a compliment (would rather it were Fumoffu than Azumanga). If it continues at this pace, I’ll drop it a few episodes down once the jokes (or what few of them I find funny) start to wear thin.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 4, 2011 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      I don’t like it when people compare this to Lucky Star. It makes me feel dirty by liking it

      • OHEMGEE
        Posted April 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        I don’t even like it when people compare this to Azumanga. I think it has it’s own unique place somewhere else. It’s not “in between”

    • Posted April 5, 2011 at 3:22 am | Permalink

      Ehhh shutup I love lucky star. Now if anyone compares this to K-on. . . . . . . .

  8. kyonyUU
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    I think you should be more wary of using the phrase “absurdist anime”. Not all anime fans are dumb fucks who can’t tell Camus and Sartre apart.
    How about “Anime of the Absurd”. (see what i did thar?)

    • Jared
      Posted April 4, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      . . . surreal.

  9. Posted April 4, 2011 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    So damn funny I died laughing! That hot dog scene wow I died to much during that, this show will easily make my top list! Of course I need to see more and see how fun things get.

  10. Thrashy
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    I just watched this, and the phrase that came to mind was “KyoAni does SHAFT does KyoAni.”

  11. Posted April 4, 2011 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    The type of humor that Nichijou pulls off so well is definitely not for everyone. That said, though, I found this episode hilarious.

    It’s not as fast/dumb as something like Excel Saga or Abenobashi, where a constant volley of stupid comes out like puke. Nor is it too slow, like Azumanga Daioh. Nichijou has a really great amount of absurdist comedy – it’s just enough to catch me off guard every single time and not so much that it feels overdone.

    Nichijou is reminiscent of Lucky Star, even beyond the character designs. The main approach comedy-wise is clearly different, but there’s a “background” comedy that’s identical.

    I can clearly remember the valentine’s day episode of Lucky Star: during the in-between scenes, a love confession between two male students is played out in the background. Similarly, in Nichijou, you have the afro dude walking around and the guy on the goat walking to school with all the other students. This kind of humor is just so random and unexpected that I get a kick out of it every time.

  12. Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    For the record, the imagery of the explosion at the end of the cold open was the highlight of the episode for me. Given the ongoing crises at Fukushima, it is hilariously awful timing.

    Also, this:

    http://twitter.com/#!/kyubeykun/status/55142551031791616

    • Scamp
      Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      eh, I liked that scene more for the obvious Akira reference =P

  13. illumi
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I watched the pilot, had huge hopes for it. Then I watched the first episode. God almighty, I almost spit out the food I was eating. Definitely looking forward to the rest.

  14. plasma991
    Posted April 10, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    In retrospect, this episode kinda reminds me of the Angel Beats! special with “Operation High Tension Syndrome” where everyone had to do everything with exaggeration and high tension. Nichijou was able to pull this stunt off well; Angel Beats….not so much. Though Nichijou also did it in moderation. I think Angel Beats was trying to hard to impress and just embarrassed itself. (then again, I had lost all hope for Angel Beats by then)

    I also like the close ups with action lines. Reminds me of shonen series like Gurren Lagann. And they make great background pictures :)

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