Nichijou 26 (Final): The Simple Things

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And just like that, my Nichijou posts have come back from hiatus to talk about the last episode; much like Nano’s sudden overjoy over the prospect of ridding of that giant key on her back once and for all.

Final impressions on the series as a whole to follow…

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Kyoto Animation follows through with the comedy to the very end with what seemed like a lot of skits either going back to the original roots of the initial set of episodes (rock paper scissors.. with Sakamoto-san!), or simply going back to the basic, quick-hit formulas they should now be infamous for. Even sensible moments of the show were brought back in for one last round. Who’d have thought Dai would top his helicopter ride to school by using a stealthy reconnaissance jet capable of traveling at mach 3 and beyond? Is this why Sekiguchi is head over heels for him?

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The skit with Yuuko unknowingly bestowing good graces onto everyone and everything around her made for one nice final push to balance the clumsy side we’ve come to associate with her character after all of these weeks. And I’m sure it’s not a fault of their own, but it’d have been nice to see KyoAni implement the double rainbow meme when she sneezed in the hallway in front of Sakurai-sensei.

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Finally, we learn the origins of Sakamoto-san Taichou! It all makes sense now. This also further proves how negligent Nakamura is at life in general, what with all her prior failed attempts at apprehending Nano for her own experiments and the consequences she inherited upon herself each time. Sakamoto’s got it rough no matter which of the households he stays at, but at least Nano and Professor are a little more tolerable.

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I’m sure it was bound to happen, but it would still be interesting to see the story unfold with Nano and Professor’s lives never intersecting with the original trio of girls. With Professor and Yuuko making such a dubious pair, it’s highly entertaining to see the contrast between a not-so-sharp high schooler versus an unbelievably sharp, yet undeniably naive elementary-level child. I’m just surprised Mai wasn’t able to upset or harass either Professor or Nano as much as she did to Yuuko and Mio these past few weeks.

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Simple to the end, Nichijou. And despite recent news (as of this writing), I don’t think the low-sales factor will perturb KyoAni from taking on any other simple 4-koma adaptations. In fact, I would encourage it given KyoAni’s animation style. Sure, it’ll probably never be the Azumanga Daioh that many were probably expecting out of such a seemingly random show, but it delivered its comedic punches appropriately to the very end.

I sure am going to miss those wooden cube hair ornaments, though. At least Nano decided to stick with the key on her back. Scientists around the world would be gushing over how this robot of a girl developed such deep feelings for how her friends perceive her. Oh Nano, don’t stop believin’.

Final Thoughts

What started off as a simple skit-after-skit formula with no real direction in terms of story and pacing that seemed to either be extremely long (for a comedy) or confusingly short, wound up being a show that got comfortable with its memes and understanding the ability to tie-in past jokes that only needed some annotating if introduced again down the line. While this is good for those who have kept up with the series from the beginning, this also presents a problem for those trying to get into the show about halfway through.

Also interesting to note is how some of the jokes told in the first half the series were directed more towards those who understand and live the Japanese culture. Not surprising given that this show (and obviously almost any other anime) aired and is marketed pretty much exclusively to a Japanese audience. But then, at least for me, I noticed how the humor drastically became a little more universal and easy to understand as the weeks went by. Whether this was intentional or not is something interesting to think about since even Lucky Star followed in similar footsteps with its initial episodes. Is this a KyoAni habit of some sort when it comes to more of their down-to-earth, sub-slice of life projects?

Despite all of my ramblings, Nichijou does quite a few things well aside from its jokes and its ability to keep relating back to them as needed (the stained-glass windows in the classroom always come to mind). The characters are so dynamic that watching any combination of them in any skit always feels fresh. Even the soundtrack was impressive for such a simple-minded show. Skits using nothing but the orchestral pieces of the soundtrack really stood out (Yuuko and Mio attempting to stack the last pyramid layer of cards).

Nichijou has been quite the comedy to comfortably sit back in my chair and watch every Sunday/Monday that it became available, and it was such an easy show to relax to. And with KyoAni not having anything for the Fall lineup, I can only suspect that we probably won’t see another project from them until next year (given the gap between this show and K-ON!!). Nonetheless, despite the interesting initial pace it had (especially in the introductory OVA), this show is definitely worth a glance and quite possibly a series that one can easily go back to for some comic relief. I’ve even gone back a few episodes sometimes and completely forgot that some of the skits even existed because of how many are crammed into a single episode at a time.

Final Rating: 9/10. A slow start to a fantastic and wholesome end that will make you wonder if the friendships between Nano, Professor, Yuuko, Mai, and Mio were inspired right from Azumanga or even F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

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