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Category Archives: Preview

[I was originally going to write about Kara no Kyoukai, but am too lazy. Zeonic may do a piece on it instead at a later time.]

Glancing over chartfag’s cowboybibimbop’s Spring 2011 preview, I happened to land on this small, unassuming box labeled “Nichijou” at the perfect time, being when I had nothing important to do yet was not tired enough to sleep. Considering that my current watch list consisted of SHAFT stuff and that one noitaminA show, I decided to waste a half-hour watching it.

Mediocre.
Yes, they are sitting on a trash heap, it would seem.

And, wait, what’s more: there’s already an OVA, too!

One hour later, it actually seems to be a better show than that pesky little “Kyoto Animation” label would suggest. Although at first glance this seems to be a futile attempt to imitate Azumanga Daiou, upon watching it I would compare it more to Pani Poni Dash! for it’s overall weirdness and unconventionality. And even that does not do justice to Nichijou’s humor and appeal.

RPG!
This doesn’t actually happen, but I’ll wait for it to anyways.

Pani Poni Dash! was fundamentally about its strangeness. A small gag, such as Miyako’s high forehead, became a topic of discussion in almost every episode. As far as I have been able to tell, Nichijou doesn’t give the weirdness in itself more than a passing acknowledgement. When a boy rides into school on a goat, no one comments: “Is that a goat?” or brings attention to it until the “plot” moves on to a point where it can make a proper joke about it.

The Azumanga Daiou factor is very much present in Nichijou as well, but I don’t want to get anyone else’s hopes up: this is not Azumanga. (ed. note: Obviously.) Good. That being said, it has the same episodic feel to it, with some parts depicting everyday occurrences while others throw caution to the wind and put in the full “what?” factor which Nichijou’s characters set up so well. The show varies across the gamut of slice-of-life possibilities, some parts being not so much funny as simply cute and fun to watch, to an especially memorable action scene, drawn out to almost two minutes, of the catching of a dropped wiener, and other parts which had me laughing simply due to their humor. In short, it is a show which covers the entirety of the slice-of-life genre within an unpredictable universe.

My main problem with this show is the little bit that says “Kyoto Animation”. Now anyone who knows me knows that I have not been a big fan of KyoAni in general, and in particular the past few years of their work have not seemed so solid to me. (In fact, the last thing I can say I truly enjoyed by them was Lucky Star. Commence flame war.) So, while I can say that the first two episodes of Nichijou have been surprisingly enjoyable, I feel that I am setting myself up for a major disappointment later in the season.

Any last words?
Alas, my expected reaction.

Well, a man can hope, can’t he?

—actorclavilis