Sunday, 17 April 2011

Nichijou - Episode 3

Nichijou continues on its random and slightly surreal way for its third episode - but never mind that, can it actually extract a laugh from me this week?

Perhaps the most important development within episode three (although "development" isn't really the right work for a comedy series such as this) is the appearance of Sakamoto, the talking cat who was the only real highlight of the show's OVA episode.  Throughout the episode we follow his origins as a normal (albeit caged) pet, before his accidental mistake leads him into the hands of Nano and the Professor which sees him kitted out with a scarf which allows him to talk.  Needless to say, he's as full of himself as you'd expect any cat to be.

Aside from that, a lot of the focus of this episode is upon Yuuko - a good job too as at least she's mildly interesting, if only on account of her energetically determined brand of stupidity.  Thus, we see Yuuko fretting over exactly what she's done to upset Mai, trying to walk the line between being active in class yet not actually called upon to answer any questions and proving to be less than proficient when it comes to arm wrestling Mai.

Once again though, all of these goings-on are almost entirely devoid of actual laughs - yes, I smiled a few times and even chuckled once or twice but for all its polish and interesting shots nothing can really hide the fact that this series is working with some exceedingly weak material.  In fairness, some of these jokes are clearly lost or watered down in translation, but more often than not it's more of a case of this series assuredly equating randomness with humour and lazily throwing such random outbursts at the screen without ever stopping to think that there's more to comedy than that.  It's sufficiently visually pleasing to watch that I don't really want to drop it, but I think at this juncture I'm going to give up on hoping to get any laughs from Nichijou each week to avoid further disappointment.

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