Dai Scoop! - Musings on Nichijou

I remember the days when a 20-something episode anime would only be 4-5GB. What happened? (Not that I'm complaining about the better quality nowadays.)

Nichijou was a sleeper hit for me; it began very, very slowly and I felt that I wouldn't have anything to write about. However, as the episodes wore on, I began to really like it. A combination of an extremely complicated storyline coupled with interesting story-telling made me draw similarities to School Rumble. Even so, Nichijou stands on its own two feet and presents an amusing 26 episodes that had me feeling sad for its end.

So many quirky lies, Professor...

This wasn't the shiny and sparkly animation style that a lot of anime show. There was something very simple and 2D about this. Some drawings were "intentionally" bad, with sharp lines and ridiculous proportions. However, I'm pretty sure the type of story-telling called for it, just like how I wouldn't call Yondemasu Yo, Azazel-san's animation terrible; it was just the type of slapstick humour that was used. Looking at it from that perspective, the character designs were a combination of simplistic and unrealistic, with wider faces and strange details (such as Mio's hairstyle). Overall, there wasn't anything spectacular about the animation; that's not what stood out for me.

I worried that this was a spoiler, but it's in the OP.

This was initially a very simple story, about a handful of characters living their not-so-normal everyday lives (for one thing, Nano is a robot). However, the story slowly became more and more complex, with connections being drawn between characters until a huge relationship tree grew. The story elements were driven by the characters, so the larger picture of episodes portraying everyday lives never went away. It definitely did something right if both Rho and I, the former liking the anime from the beginning and the latter needing some time to adjust, were brimming with anticipation at the possible next encounters and connections.

So much is happening...!

Story Presentation
Each episode was segmented into scenes, long and short, that were seemingly disjointed but became clearly tied when the characters became connected. The outrageous style of jokes was apparent from the very beginning, and the subtle jokes were also there for interpretation (upon re-watching scenes and episodes). Without character knowledge - and especially without the larger cast that the anime ended with - there really was a slow start where everything pretty much were misses for me. This was really a personal issue, since Rho liked this anime from the beginning, so I assume that it's more something about the viewer's interests. Without knowing more about the characters involved in the jokes, I wasn't that interested; a lot of people are different. The main point is that I eventually came to like this anime because it didn't disappoint with giving me new information to make both old and new scenes hilarious.

What fruit is that? Or it's just fakes?

For me, this was the meat of the anime. Each character was represented in a 2D manner, with new traits appearing by-and-by as the story went on and as the scenes dictated it. It didn't feel hollow most of the time, because the characters themselves never forgot that they had these traits. Everyone treated a certain rich kid like a rich kid even before I knew he was a rich kid, so there was no break in flow. The lack of overall growth in characters is only apparent if you really look; their robust and vibrant interactions with their surroundings and each other easily hides that. For me, a character I disliked (Professor) never really did redeem herself, even though I came to enjoy most scenes including her because, in the end, it was never about just the story or just the characters. This is one of those anime where both drove forward together.

Again, so much happening. Scenes were really packed.

Final Words
Judging from the first few episodes, I thought I was in for a long and painful ride. I'm really surprised and happy that this turned out the way it did. The series ended with obvious hints of a larger story, in the style of School Rumble, and the last episode really did embody everything that Nichijou had created over its long season. I really became attached to characters, bemoaning their lack of screentime even though each episode was packed as it was. I'd say to watch more than just the first episode to really get the feel (although, for people like Rho, just the first episode is enough to understand).

It's hard to comment on this.

Scoring - [7.0/10]
I had this anime scoring pretty low for the first few episodes, but it steadily began rising. Once the story picked up and a lot more of the previously-disjointed scenes came together, this reached the levels of School Rumble for me.