Nichijou Eps01-04

All right, it's finally time to do Nichijou, the other comedy anime I'm picking up this season.

The title screens of this anime are pretty blase...

Even more than A Channel, I was really hesitant to blog about this, and still am. I sincerely think there's nothing to talk about, really. It's slapstick comedy, while being slice-of-life; the best examples I can provide are Lucky Star and School Rumble. The former I'm still watching, but I can really see the comparisons, with the super-quick scenes and constant punchlines. The latter had plot that showed up; I see signs of that in Nichijou, although I can't tell if it'll pick up like School Rumble did or not.

This is the first scene that really made me laugh.

The humour of this anime is hit-or-miss; if you liked either of the comparisons I made, you'll most likely like this. For example, the guy pictured above, Sasahara, is the oldest/only son of a family of farmers. He considers himself the heir (which is true, after all), and even has servants and a frilly neckline...and he rides a goat to school. I didn't even know that goats could be ridden; that sounds pretty suspect.

Quite obviously this guy likes Sakurai-sensei.

The first episode was probably the slowest of this batch, with slightly longer scenes and more "continuity" (i.e. the same scene continued for a good chunk of the episode, interjected by other scenes so that it still retained its "quick jokes" shtick). In terms of the bits of story I said I saw: the teacher in the above picture flared up when he heard that it was Sakurai-sensei's birthday. If that's trying to show anything other than his interest in her, then I read it completely wrong. This point gave me a strong "School Rumble" feeling, since that anime also had things like this. I get the feeling we might see Sasahara's servant get more screentime as the episodes continue.

Rho loved this scene so much she even YouTubed it for me to see.

Moving onto ep02, this is where I began to dislike this anime. It had nothing to with presentation, or humour, or animation, etc, etc. It had to do with the Professor's treatment of her robot (wouldn't "android" be more apt as a term?), Nano. It was a little bit shady at the very end of ep01, but it really was cemented at the of ep02. I hate the Professor's ethics. It makes me feel a little sad to say this, considering I feel like I fell into a trap since the 8-year-old Professor can be said to be immature, but I seriously question her maturity. *cough*

How does her arm bend with a roll cake in there...?

So, Nano has lots of little things built into her for no apparent reason. After all, that pin on her back is there simply to wind-up her toe's rocket power. As far as comedy goes, this is pretty funny. It's also really handy, to be honest; I want a walking storage following me around. It also makes for some really enjoyable scenes, like when the Professor was excited for the milk so that she could have the roll cake that she had put inside Nano (presumably the previous day; I don't think baked goods do well in a closed and confined space like that).

I would have questioned her before the cake came out of the forehead.

My problem lies in the fact that Nano seems to be some kind of AI capable of feeling emotions. I don't know why I can't accept that, given how I accept so many other idiotic moments in anime. For humour's sake, I tried to accept it. But it just got more and more annoying. Nano is constantly whining about how she can't go out normally because of that pin on her back (and yet she does, without even hiding the thing...), while the Professor ignores her and continues to playful make questionable adjustments (like the bread coming out of her forehead with a bump). This just really bothers me. I just can't seem to accept the callous ways that the Professor plays around with Nano's emotions, after effectively having played God.

It's suspicious to sell a wad of snow unpackaged like that. Unclean!

I tried to get over this aspect (since this is a comedy show and the humour does make me laugh otherwise) by thinking that maybe Nano was actually just programmed to say those things (simulated AI, which is all we're capable of in the real world unless we find out much more about how the human brain works), and isn't actually feeling emotions. This way, I could sympathize with her situation without feeling down about her feeling so sad and abused. But that just led to me thinking that the Professor must be a horrendous person; why would you program such emo things? I get that your program doesn't feel emotions, so there's no real "emo" there, but I failed to see what advantages this could get you, as a programmer.

The cutesy drawing style, coupled with the cute cat, has me beat.

In the end, I went with the idea that, whether or not she can genuinely feel emotions, Nano was programmed to be Japanese, so she's attempting to be as Japanese as possible. This makes sense; why would you make something that doesn't fit in if you wanted to mask it? With this thought in mind, I trudged through my anger and made it to the end of ep03, where a new cast member was introduced - Sakamoto the Cat. This type of cat speaks, due to the bow that the Professor created in 10sec. (I have to give her credit for this, despite its impossibility.)

omg, it's hair storage!

Another thing that makes me feel like this is a lot like School Rumble is the fact that extra characters are typically fully drawn instead of using generic models. (There might be typical models; I only remember the scenes that stood out.) That makes me feel that, as time goes on, the cast would increase. On top of that, the over-the-top factor is pretty high, just like with School Rumble (and unlike A Channel). I mean, hiding food in your hair? Riding a goat? Come on.

That's some serious dedication for a joke. (The baldness turned out to be a wig.)

Ep04 was much better than eps02-03, although that might be because I got some time in the middle to accept my new explanation of the Professor-Nano situation. The humour returned to this show (to be fair, it was there in the previous two episodes as well) and I really enjoyed the interactions between Mai (bald girl) and Yuuko (non-bald girl). This is definitely the kind of joke-driven situational comedy that makes this type of genre, executed quite nicely.

How is nothing falling?! Damn farmers.

I'm sincerely looking forward to watching this show as it wears on (I hear it's 20-something episodes). It continues to give me a distinct School Rumble feeling; that's actually a little dangerous, because I'll start waiting for the plot to kick up strongly. It even incorporates the love shapes that School Rumble had (with Mio liking Sasahara who might have something with Misato), and just as downplayed as it was in that anime (unlike shoujo anime, where that's the be-all and end-all of everything...).

Misato Tachibana of the heavy weaponry.

In the end, there isn't too much to really blog about. Despite waiting four episodes to write something, I don't think I had too much to say; what made this post long was my despise of the Professor-Nano situation. With that resolved, I wonder if the next batch will be shorter. Either way, if you liked School Rumble for its comedy or the way Lucky Star was structured, this is pretty much the same kind of anime.

~Aaro off