Released By: FUNimation
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Retail Price: $69.99
The anime Nichijou is a slice-of-life series based on the manga written and illustrated by Keiichi Arawe, with over 10 years of publication to prove its successes. The anime itself was developed into a 26 episode series in 2011 -- now released in its entirety by FUNimation (who has a knack for a variety of anime series). Nichijou follows the lives of several individuals from the town of Tokisadame but mostly follows three girls (Yūko Aioi, Mio Naganohara and Mai Minakami) with the addition of a robot -- yes a robot -- named Nano Shinonome with her young creator and a recurring cat that speaks Japanese. The anime obviously doesn't take aim at becoming a serious story (mostly) embracing the lighter side of anime.
There is nothing normal about the premise or setting of the anime, despite its slice of life path, as most episodes seem to have a random inclusion as a one-off tale to make storytelling a little more simplified. It can be taken in as a pro and con to the series, portraying some episodes with charm and humor that could be considered peculiarly entertaining. The con aspect would be that not every chapter of Nichijou is up to par with the others, missing complete consistency but still giving viewers plenty of fun along the way. If you had to decide on whether it was more fulfilling or subpar, Nichijou would have an edge of the fun factor by providing at least one acceptable moment per episode.
From the character perspective in observance of the anime series, Nano Shinonome (the robot/android girl) was shown the most time in Nichijou with initially fitting the oddest role -- but being included in some more thought-provoking moments in the series. At around the midway point, she begins to show a greater concern for the people around her, discovering the truth about her origin. Even in a slice of life/comedy such as this series, there are those nice attributes to give viewers that might be looking for something deeper a product to enjoy. She might not always be the most memorable, but the anime obviously catered to the robot for her unique existence.
With the series falling into the scattered category that has a lot going on, it will be hit and miss for what ones you begin to feel attached to. In the beginning, I couldn't quite find that connection to any of them, but the lengthy run of the anime makes sense as they take time to feel for. Mio, for example, begins to show a temper that, with time, grew to be one of my favorite additions to Nichijou for her bursts of anger unlike most of the others. (However, moments like a random match of rock, paper, scissors does give you a first chance to see the comedic nonchalance of these other girls.) The others don't have as much going for them, perhaps, but no character feels frustrating or unneeded -- so you can dive into Nichijou without concern of any annoying protagonists lurking about.
Now on to my favorite thing about Nichijou the animated series: the animation itself. Just from a first glance at the FUNimation packaging, you are assured it's going to give you beautiful colors and a happier art direction. For the most part, the anime keeps up that look with the exception of a few characters feeling bland on occasion. The setting/surrounding of the characters (from neighborhoods to streets, or even school) is easily one of the most memorable for me already, giving such detail to little things -- a brilliant decision for the series aesthetic appeal. I would have liked to see FUNimation's version of an English dub, but the Japanese voice cast was well selected other than the young professor, who is the most average design of the characters. Even with that minor setback, the art and coloring is the best quality that Nichijou has to offer. The slice-of-life anime is available now from FUNimation, so check out the comedy series on DVD and Blu-Ray if you're looking to enjoy a random life comedy.
Overall Score: 7/10
Aedan's Final Thoughts:
- The changing animation in smaller mini-anime moments was a fun way to switch things up.
- It could be suggested that some episodes are worth skipping, but that simple plot made sense given the tone of the anime.
- FUNimation's artsy packaging of the series is reason enough to want to add it to your collection.