Nichijou Half Season Review 2
One day, the teacher Takasaki Manabu has an odd idea – to take his cat mushroom hunting.
You’d expect this kind of idea to only come from a retarded man, and you’re right – not only does he not wear T-shirts and flip-flops, he even dons a tie. How retarded.
Anyways, one weekend, Manabu is all ready to go mushroom hunting. Though the mushrooms may not be happy
and nobody cares about them anyways wow this anime is so violent, even those people with those hats that looked like button shrooms but were actually daifukumochi were abused by that baseball that the other daifukumochi person threw, and besides what the heck is a daifukumochi, I’ll bet mushrooms taste better than them anyways, even though that’s probably not a good thing because if mushrooms taste better that means more people will eat them, which is bad, but people say that things that taste better are good so they’ll grow more mushrooms than daifukumochi and besides they already grow more mushrooms than daifukumochi because PEOPLE DON’T EVEN GROW DAIFUKUMOCHI, so what the hell is with Nichijou’s bias towards mushrooms and abject tolerance toward daifukumochi?!, Manabu doesn’t care!
Before he leaves, he brings along with him some snacks to help ease his hunger during the journey
and nobody cares about his cat anyways wow this wait where have I seen this line before – a lollipop and some ice cream. Never mind how he stores them, let’s just say that he puts his ice cream in his lollipop! Which sounds like a weird sexual euphemism /and/ that’s also minding how he stores them, though it doesn’t even tell us how he stores them, only where he stores them.
I don’t know why somebody’s crossing me out so much lately
After only a few steps into the jungle of mushrooms, he and his cat get stuck in
a sticky, white liquid glue! What are they to do?
An eerie spirit then appears out from the sky. It calls upon them:
“Hail thee, O son of your father. I am an eerie spirit which appears out of skies, and I doth say that for you to murder mushrooms, you must first pass my three tests to test your courage, bravery, and self-worth. Your first test is to stop the glue from sucking you. Are you ready for this, Takasaki Manabu?”
“Oh, most certainly!” Manabu answered.
“Let it also be known that the mushrooms are not actually murdered, since you are not ripping out their mycelia.”
After some thought, Manabu had an answer to his sticky situation. “O eerie spirit which appears out of skies, I wish to give you an answer to my dilemma.”
“Very well, speak what you must.”
“You see, this glue isn’t sucking us. No sir, you are sadly mistaken. The glue isn’t sucking us, it’s us that are sucking – and we’re not sucking the glue, because we’re sucking a lollipop. Not only are you wrong about the glue sucking us, but you are wrong about the glue existing in the first place.”
“I-I-I’m shocked! How could I have made such a grave error?” The eerie spirit which appears out of skies then proceeded to turn Manabu into a moe robot girl without an arm, and Manabu’s cat into a chunk of sidewalk. You see, this jungle of mushrooms is an urban jungle.
“Where does the general keep his armies?”
Manabu surveyed his situation. He had three problems to deal with right now.
1. He was a moe robot girl without an arm.
2. He actually did rip the mycelia of mushrooms before eating them with murderous frenzy.
3. He didn’t have a lollipop anymore.
At this rate, he would have twenty-four problems by the end of this post!
This could not be, and so he resolved to answer the eerie spirit which appears out of skies’s question correctly so that he could retrieve a moe robot girl’s arm to attach to his moe robot girl body. Her.
“May I have three guesses?” The moe robot girl tentatively asked.
“No, you may have four.”
“Hmm…” Manabu wondered whether he was the moe robot girl without an arm or whether the moe robot girl without an arm was him. “Does the general keep his armies on the battlefield?”
“Does the general keep his armies in the Pentagon?”
“Does the general keep his armies in Barack Obama?”
“No, and barrack Obama is wrong too.”
“Aww…” Manabu was out of ideas. Perhaps this was a trick question. Perhaps the generals ‘armies’ weren’t military ‘arm’ies, they were…
“Does the general keep his armies in his automatic revolving missile integration and execution system computer database?”
“…No.” The eerie spirit which appears out of skies proceeded to summon two very eyeful maidens.
“Aw man…” Manabu now had four problems.
1. He didn’t have a lollipop anymore.
2. He wasn’t a moe robot girl without an arm anymore.
3. His pet cat was still a chunk of sidewalk.
4. He still didn’t know where the general’s automatic revolving missile integration and execution system computer database was.
The eerie spirit which appears out of skies laughed eerily, just like an eerie spirit which appears out of skies should laugh eerily at a person who mixes up tenses.
Manabu was in deep shock. These four problems were four times the problems he usually had, and undefined times the problems he sometimes had! There was only one thing for him to do…
“I scream, you scream, we all scream for…” Manabu shouted at the top of his lungs. “EYE-SCREAM!”
He threw the eye scream at the two very eyeful maidens as wonderfully as he could. The impact shattered his frame of reference, leading you to think that the two very eyeful maidens were in fact dead. You have no idea where the eerie spirit which appears out of skies is, and you’re still worried about your cat which is now a poptart. Actually, your cat is still a chunk of sidewalk but somebody spilled a poptart on him.
You continue on your quest.
…After hours and hours of walking, you finally make it to the sacred mushroom field! The flowers are in bloom all around you, and as you survey your surroundings, you realize that your problems have been compounded a number of times.
1. Your lollipop is gone.
2. Your ice cream is gone.
3. Your eye scream is gone.
4. Your eye cream is gone.
5. Your cat is a poptart.
6. Your cat is not a poptart.
7. Your cat is a chunk of sidewalk.
8. You are not a moe robot girl without an arm anymore.
9. You are a moe robot girl with two arms.
Finally, finally, you realize the true point of all of these battles, these fights, these intense duels to gather more information on the general’s automatic revolving missile integration and execution system.
The goat was never there in the first place.
Let’s get this out of the way: Nichijou’s humour is failing.
I admit, I loved that story arc at the beginning of episode 7, and the ending was totally unexpected and pretty damned funny. However, not only do later episodes not do that any more, the randomness isn’t funny anymore. When everything relates and makes sense (e.g. those two stone cubes being Mio’s… what even), it’s funny. When nothing makes sense (e.g. being on a train ride with… eggplant), it’s just weird. Even if it was rather dramatic (and we must admit, Nichijou has a thing for drama), that’s not why I watch Nichijou every week – it’s because of the humour. The humour that’s gradually and rapidly failing.
Even my attitude towards Nichijou has changed drastically. Last half-cour, I was all like ‘7/10 WOW NICHIJOU YEAH I’M READY FOR THIS’, and now, I’m just like ‘4/10 Oh man I hope Nichijou might do something a little funny this week’. Even the little shorts (e.g. rock paper scissors, skip-rope -> things we think are cool, helvetica standard) which were once pretty entertaining, are now just ‘what is going on’. Perhaps the first half was more new, and thus alluring, but perhaps it’s just that the humour is starting to fail.
Some things are still funny, but the things that are funny usually aren’t random. That’s strange, because of any show this season, Nichijou is definitely the most random – which isn’t a good thing for its humour? Very strange. Take Yukko’s cold-getting. It’s funny because that’s the thing all of us probably wanted/currently want to do, but few of us have ever done. It’s also funny because all her efforts go to waste, and we like laughing at people less fortunate than us. Yukko’s face when she lost her wallet was somewhat funny because it was so abnormal, especially when surrounded by other people who have much more lively faces. Yukko folding a tiny crane when trying to make a chopstick holder is just stupid. This type of humour, which may have worked last half-cour, fails now.
As many must have said, Nichijou is relying too much on its cuteness. The previously funny transitions because of their unexpected reactions is not funny any more, because it’s all about cuteness (things we think are cool? Come on). Hakase and Nano are doing nothing but cuteness now – no more new instalment in Nano’s body (if you’re not going to do anything with her, why is she a robot), no more ‘HOLY SHIT THAT CAT IS ACTUALLY TALKING’. It’s all playing on the moe desire so prevalent towards the type of people who watch Nichijou, i.e. fat people living in their mother’s basements. The moe is rising but the humour’s falling.
However. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Nichijou was originally a comedy show, but now it could just be a slice of life (with a title of ‘Everyday Life’? How could this not be a slice of life), along the lines of K-On (which I still haven’t watched) or something. Perhaps Nichijou’s humour will get better. Perhaps this is just me – everybody else still enjoys the show, and some people like it more because of the shift in humour. Most likely though, is that Nichijou is getting /old/ – we like new things. If every magical girl show had magical girls transform into monsters, Madoka would be boring and pointless. Similarly, Nichijou’s humour was new and cool (I already said this, haven’t I) at the beginning, and now it’s just overdone. Some humour you can repeat ad infinitum. Some humour – randomness – just cannot be used over and over again.
There are still two more redeeming (non-art) qualities in Nichijou that make it worth watching (also aside from ‘It’s gonna get better, I swear’): its music and characters.
Nichijou’s music is by far the most refreshing I’ve heard in a long while. Refreshing as in calm, cheerful, normal. Everyday music. Even when it’s fast fight-like music accompanying a fight-like scene, Nichijou somehow makes it all soothing. You don’t hear any dark tones, any jarring blasts of dissonance. You don’t hear any heavenly choirs, any reflective melancholic melodies. If my life were an anime,
I would be that background character nobody cares about Nichijou’s music would best describe it – and definitely for anybody else (excepting the people in Obama’s barrack).
Through these fifty-ish short skits, Nichijou’s characters have definitely developed – not only in their outstanding traits, but also in smaller things, especially Nano. You can’t classify any main into any one trope (except Mai, because she’s awesome like that) anymore. The characters have /quality/, they’re more than just pictures on a screen and words from a speaker now. I have a feeling this part of the show will only get better and better as the second cour goes on.
tl;dr Art is nice, music is awesome, characterization is getting there, plot is non-existent, and humour is getting worse.
Summary? Nichijou is about Everyday Life.
And everyday life is boring.