Nichijou – Episode 24

Aw jeez, we’re really in the last act now. With only three episodes to go, we’re in the final days of what I’d now confidently call the best anime comedy I’ve ever seen. Hell, it’s one of the best comedies I’ve seen in any medium – very few comedies demonstrate the persistent invention, creativity, and beauty of execution that make Nichijou so special. If there’s any consolation, it’s that Nichijou’s craft is so strong that I’ll probably enjoy it almost as much on a second viewing. Comedies often hang heavily on the element of surprise, but in Nichijou, it’s often clear where a gag is going to go, and that doesn’t make it any less funny. So thank you for being so rewatchable, Nichijou. We’re all going to need it.

Episode 24

Starting off at a new location this time – the science teacher’s house. Opening with something aside from the school or Shinonome lab creates something of an expectation, implying this narrative might be a framing device or running thread for the episode overall

And recapping all of her previous attempts give this a sense of narrative congruity and thus consequence as well. Isolated events always have less impact than the latest in a chain of events

Her diagram of Nano’s theoretical design is great. Apparently Nano runs on a series of oversized gears

This show’s offhand character animation is ridiculous. You can really feel her body weight in how she navigates this fence

And we get another unique way of demonstrating the sense of a living world, as the teacher hurries past all the other houses with their families at home

Skipping the OP entirely this time. Too much Nichijou to do

The transition from that sequence to Yuuko at school is smoothed by the focus on feet and balance

Uh oh, Nano just tripped a flag with Mio’s crush

Such a Yuuko sequence. She’s initially just honestly excited to tell Mio about the scoop, but when Mio doesn’t react, she decides she has to go bigger. You can see her getting carried away by her own desires even as she speaks, but it feels totally relatable

I’ll always appreciate how we keep seeing those stained-glass windows after they were introduced for exactly one stupid gag

The urgent music undercuts Mio’s ostensibly calm demeanor

Oh come on Mio, you can’t fall for Yuuko’s nonsense after all this time

And of course, her fantasies appear in the form of manga panels. Such an energetic delivery of classic shoujo staples, like the intricate floral backgrounds and one-two-three reaction pacing

I can’t fucking take this pointed reinterpretation of the Nichijou character art style. Their eyes feel so wrong, it’s wonderful

“That delicate moment floated in on a spring breeze.” Jeez, this sequence is ruthless in tearing down shoujo writing. I’m sorry, Kimi ni Todoke

The specific style shifts they make to represent this switch are extremely well-chosen. More angular chins, eyes with a bit more detail and defined lashes, and hair with a specific volume to it

And of course, the punchline is as short as possible

Today’s interstitial is crows gathering on a power line

More Helvetica Standard!

A simple idea executed snappily, as usual. The weird Helvetica chanting does a lot of work here

Yep, it does indeed seem like the science teacher will be this episode’s running conceit

At last, a numbered sequence. Let’s see what madness we get today

I was almost expecting this segment to end after three seconds, just to screw with my expectations of what a “numbered Nichijou segment” implies

But it looks like we’re finally visiting the kendo club. We’ve never been here, but it still feels like a meaningful setting due to the side characters we’ve come to know

Looks like both of the sisters visit kendo. And Mio’s sister is up to her usual tricks. It’s not even a joke, it’s just a callback, rewarding our knowledge of this world. That’s a cheaper trick than Nichijou usually pulls, but establishing a living world is definitely one of its central goals. And the only reason that feels “cheap” here is because it doesn’t iterate on our existing knowledge, it just acknowledges it. Arrested Development’s third season was largely constructed out of iterations on the audience’s assumed knowledge of the first two seasons

Apparently Sasahara visits the dojo as well

As usual, the conversations between pigtails and basically anybody else are far more grounded than anything else in this show. It’s interesting how she acts as something of a grounding tool – there was also that sequence a few episodes ago where the camera cut to her before visiting her sister, a choice that pretty much only emphasized the mundanity of the setup. She’s vaguely connected to a substantial portion of the cast, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she runs into Sakamoto or something at some point

“If you subtract kendo from Sasahara, all that’s left is a funny guy.” This is true

This girl’s the closest thing Nichijou has to an audience proxy. She’s actually acknowledging and having fun with her sister’s gimmick

These love-likes always compress one of the cutest scenes in a non-existent romance into a convenient fifteen seconds. It’s kind of like when Nichijou pulls off an absurd action scene – it’s almost unfair that some of the best isolated examples of these genres are stuck in a show like Nichijou, which is just showing off

Come on professor, you’ve got to eat your vegetables

Today at the Shinonome lab, Sakamoto is sick

“You don’t like me, so you’re mean to me about onions!” What a wonderfully awful child the professor is

The professor making Yotsuba faces, because of course

Welp, it’s Mio’s turn in the career counseling room, and she’s nervous too

The fact that she erased something else before putting down “cartoonist” is a nice touch. It’s far from a major thread, but Mio has spent this series slowly becoming more comfortable with her own interest in cartooning

Those are some nicely interpretative clouds

Mio runs into Sasahara. Meanwhile, the go-soccer club’s newest addition is practicing off to the side. This show

“You look like a dove that’s been shot.” Sasahara is such a romantic

Oh my god, Sasahara is impossible to communicate with

These perspective shots are too much. The camera is really giving Sasahara a lot of support here

“For this vending machine to fool me like this… what an unusually bold machine it must be.” Being Sasahara sounds exhausting

“I feel like I’ve gotten closer to Sasahara.” This show understands romance

Tsundere is taking Mio’s sister’s antics a lot more seriously than she should

And Done!

We ended on a very gentle note there, emphasizing both the pairs of sisters specifically and the connections between this cast in general. This felt like an oddly plot-focused episode in spite of itself – nothing really “moved forward” in any of the narratives, but there was a general emphasis on the running romantic threads of the series, as well as the friendships between the secondary cast. Not the most laugh-out-loud funny episode, but a charming one regardless.

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2 thoughts on “Nichijou – Episode 24

  1. Speaking of the show’s crazy action scenes, what I like about them the most is that it’s almost like they exist solely to torment those people who think KyoAni’s talent is “wasted” in this kind of shows.

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