(From left to right: Hakase Shinonome, Sakamoto-san the cat, and Nano Shinonome.)
Robots with detachable limbs that dispense green tea. Having your bike zitplaats, stoel stolen to be replaced with a head of broccoli. Ordering an extra-small coffee at the local cafe due to not understanding the cup sizing of zei beverage. Cats that talk when a miraculous red scarf is tied around their neck. Principles that suplex deer in wrestling matches.
If any of the above sentences intrigue you, Nichijou may just be the anime for you.
'Nichijou' was originally a manga created door Arawi Keiichi, which was later adapted to an anime door KyoAni. While the anime only lasted 1 season, it is like a hidden gem in the cluster of comedic anime that is being churned out every year.
What sets Nichijou aside from other comedy anime out there is the way the jokes are delivered; the toon is driven door life's disappointments, situational irony, and the unpredictability that each dag holds.
The art is simplistic, yet quirky and fits the mood of the show. The background art is beautiful and appealing to the eye, having a similar appearance to the playful style often found in children's books. The OST is bouncy at times and full of different emotions, using an array of instruments to create tunes that are, well, suitable to be the soundtrack to everyday life.
The characters are what make this toon shine; they are larger than life and with personalities that captivate the viewer. Many find it easy to sympathize with the ditsy but well-meaning Yuuko Aioi, the butt-monkey in life who never seems to catch a break. Some find themselves in Mio Naganohara, who tries to let herself appear normal and respectable to her classmates, but is really an aspiring mangaka that doodles doujin involving her crush in her free time. Mai Minakami is the silent bookworm that takes pleasure in pulling pranks on everybody around her, earning her a status of being somewhat of a troll.
The story is told primarily from the perspective of Yuuko's trio of odd friends, and then switches back to the equally strange Shinonome household made up of an eccentric prodigy known only to the viewer as 'Hakase' Shinonome (who happens to only be 8 years old) Nano Shinonome (the 1 jaar old android who plays the role of Hakase's best friend and caretaker) and Sakamoto-san (a black cat that was adopted into the household, and later gains the ability to talk thanks to a red scarf.) While the characters do not realize it early on, their lives start to intertwine as the series carries on, their stories merging into one.
Aside from the bizarre and amusing humor, the anime does have profound moments and themes such as self-acceptance, true friendship, and the beauty in the little miracles that life's adventures have in store for us every single day. It's special in that there is no main plot, but every episode focuses on a theme/problem that many can relate to, making even the most mundane tasks entertaining.
This toon brought light into the summer I first watched it, and it's something I continue to return back to as I've never been able to find humor quite like it. For an anime that focuses on what is supposedly the ordinary, it is anything but.
(left to right) Mai Minakami, Yuuko Aioi, and Mio Naganohara, the main trio of the series.