Welcome to the Imouri Anime Review, where people vote for an anime that the Imouri team will review. The anime will be reviewed using these four criteria; Story, Animation, Character Development, and World-Building. Each category will be given of score (1-10), and then an overall score will be determined.
The theme for September was School Time Gag, and users from the Secret Anime Club voted for three school time gag anime. By a large margin, Nichijou was chosen for the September anime review.
Nichijou has a very different style of storytelling, in that there isn't the main story involved. There is no considerable plot that needs attention or anything like that. If anything, the anime's main purpose revolves around many different characters, with the central focus around two groups of characters; Mio Naganohara, Yuko Aioi, Mai Minakami, and Nano Shinonome, Hakase, and Sakamoto, the cat.
The premise of Nichijou shows the everyday lives of all of these characters in the most whacky and zany way. There are, of course, more than the six characters mentioned earlier. Still, the show mostly incorporates them and many rapid segments such as Word Time, Helvetica Standard, and A Trivial Miracle. It is important to note that there is a passage of time happening within Nichijou and some character development that feels like a story in a sense, but it is minor in detail.
I didn't struggle with the lack of story in the lease because I knew that this type of anime doesn't need to have a story to be enjoyable. I felt that Nichijou, if anything, has more character development than the story. It felt nice not having to pay attention to an in-depth story and kick back and relax to some hilarious gags.
Story Score: 2/10
If I had to name the most vital attribute of Nichijou, it's the animation. The pure level of detail and the animation styles are exceptional. There are, of course, many different types of animation being done throughout the series. You get a glimpse of newer style animation, older styles such as 80's and 90's anime. There is even some colored pencil style animation during the Helvetica Standard segment.
What makes Nichijou's anime so alluring is the extreme level of detail within the series. If you paused to look at a scene from inside the school or at the supermarket, you could see just how detailed the anime gets. Despite all of the different kinds of animation, it brings the world of Nichijou to live.
A couple of my favorite animated scenes were that of Nano crashing into the student, causing an explosion. The rapid change in animation helped set the tone for the anime and gave you a sense of what you were getting yourself into. Another type of animation that I thought was brilliantly added was when Mio and Yuko ran through the school hall. It was a combination of anime meets that music video Take On Me by a-ha. Overall all the animation styles and the level of detail brought the world of Nichijou to live.
Animation Score: 10/10
Nichijou, while lacking story, I feel has some good character development built into the anime. It's not like extreme development or anything, but the characters show some growth as time passes. While I don't want to spoil the anime in any way, some development I will cover comes from the side characters. An on-going segment from the series revolves around Misato Tachibana and Kojiro Sasahara. The development is more on Tachibana's side as she comes to terms with her feelings for Sasahara.
The character development is subtle in the series and doesn't reflect too much of the Nichijou world on a grander scheme. It's more like once the development occurs, there is a slight change in mood, and then life goes on afterword. The character development gives off a vibe that there is a much greater story to Nichijou, which I think is a great writing technique. The development covers for the lack of the story.
Character Development Score: 4/10
Nichijou's world is fun, unique, and riddled with gags. The detailed animation is what brings the world to life. There are many instances where you would see random scenery of an area that expands the world. The world-building doesn't correlate to the story and character development but paired with the incredibly detailed animation; it gives the sense that the characters live in a bigger world.
Overall, it's the animation that drives the world-building. You can see this when the characters are walking the streets, near the coffee shop, on a side street, even the faculty room where the teachers are doing work, the level of detail brings the world to life. While no lore pushes the world-building foundation, you will get a feel of Nichijou's real quick through the animation. Think of that adage; a picture is worth a thousand words. That is the way I look at it; the visuals build the world.
World Building Score: 6/10
Overall, I wish I could see just a bit more story and character development. However, just because Nichijou lacks story and character development doesn't mean Nichijou is not enjoyable. I thoroughly enjoyed Nichijou and the laughs and gags it provides. This is the type of anime that you can pick up and put down at any time to watch and then pick up where you left off without worrying about the story. It's fun and enjoyable for a younger anime audience, and it's just a good time. I recommend Nichijou to anyone.
*All images are from the My Anime List website. We do not own any of these images. Credit to all artists of the images.