Nichijou – Episode 6

Nichijou is coming. Nichijou out of the floorboards, Nichijou out of the cracks in the walls. Nichijou is in your home, whispering in the corners, watching as you turn out the light. Nichijou is close now, its breath cold on your cheek. NICHIJOU IS HERE.

Alright let’s get right to it.


You could set a watch by this show’s placement of establishing shots. Important for this particular show’s rhythm and setups, but also reflective of how good storyboarding like this makes a setting as much of a character as anything else

Unusually, we start with Mio and Yuuko. Normally Nano and the professor are used, since their tone better fits the kind of low-key, often wholly atmospheric sequences the show likes to start on

“I’m against this secret ingredient.” And yep, it ends up being a pretty low-key sequence, with Mio driving the humor this time. If this had been a Yuuko-focused gag, it likely wouldn’t have suited this spot in the episode


Yuuko’s drawing abilities are as singular as ever

Wow, that is very much a Yotsuba face that Mio is making

This sequence is pretty slow, but I like the very Yuuko action of writing “Tengo,” forcing Mio to riff on that for shiritori, and then thinking ‘ha ha, Mio mistook ‘Tengo’ for ‘Tengu’’ when she gets the sheet back. Yuuko’s confidence in her stupidity is one of her better qualities

Mio just can’t stop drawing rude nude dudes

“This cow is terrible!”


Jeez, some of the best reaction shots are given just an eighth of a second or something. Nichijou is just spilling over with visual wonders

I also like how it sometimes employs a larger frame for punchlines. The moment Mio gives up on the shiritori, she’s positioned in shadow against a white canvas, caught in the corner of the frame

And the scene barely has a punchline, unsurprisingly. This show really, really likes Yuuko’s terrible drawings

Sekiguchi, the soccer club girl, is reading a volume of Helvetica Standard

Kinda interesting how Sekiguchi and Mohawk are the only two characters to have those long vertical lines as stand-ins for eyes


Yuuko stuck in the hallway for forgetting her homework, thinking up poems. Yuuko has a very convincing “staring into the middle distance, thinking about nothing” face – she really seems like the kind of person you could lecture to indefinitely without her learning a single thing

There is a deer. Jeez, this really does feel like a Tim and Eric sketch. An overall heightened reality that just sort of doubles up on itself over time

Now the principal is trying to catch the deer. What will happen

Oh my god, this whole sequence. The slow movement, the big physical punchlines, Yuuko’s breathless commentary, the ominous string music. Holy shit


Did Yuuko’s voice actress get paid extra for this performance or what. I feel like half her scenes require breaking her voice in half

And of course the principal suplexes a deer. Why wouldn’t that be a thing that happens

It’s no wonder this has become one of the show’s most famous skits – though now that I’m watching it through, it actually feels of a piece with everything else that’s going on

Okay, nevermind, they went on to another scene and now I can’t believe Yuuko can go back to normal in a world where the principal suplexed a deer


They made CG models of the characters and classroom just so they could have a spinning shot as the camera zooms in to set up their game of ten cent soccer. That is some dedication to a stupid idea

And then they animate the fuck out of the coin whizzing down the table and ricocheting into Yuuko’s chin. I guess that’s one way to transition out of the deer bit

Even the jumprope interlude is getting some dramatic complexity. Now one of the egg-headed guys has lost his spirit, and is just sitting slumped over

That most relatable experience of catching a bug in a glass and not being sure what to do next


The sound design is particularly noticeable this episode, likely just because it’s got a few sequences that mine comedy out of operatic drama

This cockroach sequence is actually using Nano’s key for horror effect, by having it twitch and grind as she “struggles” to keep the cockroach contained. Yea genre tricks

“Death or die!” Of course, all the shots in this scene are way too close, emphasizing the gross physicality of even contemplating a cockroach crawling over you

Contemplating just taping the bowl to the table and throwing them both away. Another very sensible solution to a gross bug


Nichijou’s preferred styles of humor do make it a bit more universal than some anime comedies. It intentionally focuses on very mundane, everyday scenarios for its setups (as opposed to relying on nerd knowledge), and its comedy formats are largely slapstick, visual gags, and general absurdism, all of which are fairly universal. It also appreciates anticlimax, and is laser-focused on very exact comedic timing

The comedic timing might be the most important feature. None of these jokes are so inherently great that they’d work if stretched out, in the way so many manga adaptations do. But Nichijou gives every episode the exact number of specific jokes that can fit with the most appropriate possible timing

Sakamoto’s mix of human and cat body language is pretty great


The interstitial shot is the school annex this time, meaning we get small pillow shots of things like the principal leading the deer, and fancy farmboy being hit by a missile. Kinda amusingly defeats the tonal purpose of these scenes. Between that and the jump rope deviation, the show is basically creating running jokes out of its own format assumptions

Sekiguchi exhibiting some pretty impressive line-eye moe here

Yuuko drops the curry on their camping trip, as Yuuko does

These effects over Mio blowing up. How can this silly gag comedy be the most visually inventive thing ever


Mai brought her own lunch. Oh my god, their faces

The framing of their fight is so good. This whole sequence used incredibly fast-paced punchlines, but I love how instead of going to a full-screen showdown like the deer sequence, we just get Mio throwing Yuuko down in the corner of the frame. It being one held shot over great character animation makes it seem that much more real, and acts as a grounded and characteristically petty counterpoint after previous sequences where the characters actually flew into the clouds in frustration


And that covers it! Nichijou continues to be an incredible ride, with this episode’s deer and camping sketches counting among the best of the series so far. I’m still just a little astounded an anime comedy this good actually exists. We definitely did not earn this one!

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5 thoughts on “Nichijou – Episode 6

  1. The Deer fight in this episode took so many visual cues from Street Fighter IV that it can’t be anything other than intentional, though that’s pretty appropriate in a comedic sense given what is actually happening. Every blow landed ends up having the impact of one of the games super moves, which is hilarious even if you don’t know what they were going for, but doubly so if you do.

    Oh, and the transition between CG and handdrawn animation during the table football scene always blows me away with how seemlessly they pulled it off.

  2. The ten-cent soccer is a brilliant moment, not just for the camera movement for also for using the FIFA theme in BGM, giving it the full World Cup feel.

    Big fan of your work. Thanks for it!

  3. “They made CG models of the characters and classroom just so they could have a spinning shot as the camera zooms in to set up their game of ten cent soccer. That is some dedication to a stupid idea”

    You don’t get it do you? It’s all about the mood. – Yukko

  4. They made CG models of the characters and classroom just so they could have a spinning shot as the camera zooms in to set up their game of ten cent soccer. That is some dedication to a stupid idea.

    I love that the “superfluous” 3D sequence comes right after Yuuko’s “Tsk, tsk, tsk. You don’t get it, do you? It’s all about the mood.”

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