Anime Review: Nichijou (My Ordinary Life)
There are some anime that I enjoy purely for their sense of the bizarre. Nichijou (My Ordinary Life) is one of them. Although the two series are totally unrelated (as far as I know) Nichijou reminds me a lot of the 1999-2002 series Azumanga Daioh. They are both incredibly funny, and ridiculous, centering on a twisted, wild and crazy style of slice-of-life animation.
Nichijou is a series that plays out in vignettes, each of which focuses on a different character or characters. There are several of these vignettes each episode, which means that the series seems something like a very weird Japanese version of Loony Toons. Some of the segments focus on very normal characters twisting their ordinary life in different and outlandish ways; other vignettes focus on extremely odd characters (such as a dude who rides a goat to school) but depict them in incredibly normal, much less abstract situations. For example, in an early episode of the series, one student fights with her friend over needing to copy homework. This vignette is abstracted and played out in such a wonderful, zany way that you gradually forget exactly what the vignette is actually about. However, in other scenes, we see the robot servant of a mad scientist doing laundry or having tea and rollcake. The show thrives on this dichotomy and it really makes Nichijou a winner.
This show is definitely worth watching, but perhaps not all at once. You risk serious brain damage trying to take this show in all in one sitting, but because the show focuses more on pure comedy, rather than on story-driven episodic content (and those pesky “to be continued” plot lines), you don’t lose much by enjoying Nichijou over a long period. Although some of this show can get a bit lost in a highly cultural inside jokes, if you know a bit about Japan you will probably understand most of it. You can see the series on Crunchyroll streaming, or through one of many other different places and I highly recommend checking it out.