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.