Nichijou narrowly avoided being dropped by me last week, only to sneak itself a reprieve via some slight improvements to its comedy output. What a good job I decided to carry on watching...
Put simply, this sixth episode of Nichijou blows away everything the series has done previously, to offer up a laugh riot of well-built, realised and finished sketches. The hilarity starts with a random doodle from Yuuko that turns into a game of picture shiritori; a game which devolves further and further into the ridiculous mostly courtesy of Yuuko's misspellings. It's brilliantly funny, and it sets the tone for what is to come.
From here, other highlights include the trials and tribulations of being made to stand out in the corridor, which leads to Yuuko witnessing a fantastic wrestling match between a deer and the school principle, and a camping trip which turns into a disaster via mistake after mistake. Both of these sketches are underpinned with fantastic animation, with the latter skit in particular deriving a lot of its best comedy from Mio and Yuuko's huge over-reactions to everything in contrast with Mai's poker face. Even our rock, paper, scissors skit this week hits the mark by adding a shark to proceedings in a way which is as adorable as it is funny.
Honestly, if only Nichijou could be this funny every week, then I'd be raving about it non-stop. Perhaps Kyoto Animation have finally gotten to grips with how best to make the most of the source material their working from (it took a while for Lucky Star to click fully into gear, remember), or perhaps they've just been keeping their powder dry and holding back some of the funniest stuff until this point in the series, but either way this week's episode was hilarious almost from start to finish. What's more, it was arguably backed up by the best, most expressive use of animation we've seen since segments of episode one, which went a long way to add to the comedy of many of its scenarios. All of a sudden, I'm looking forward to watching Nichijou again, even if I'm only setting myself up for more disappointment. If the series can keep up this standard every week for now I could yet be convinced to love it.
Oh, and props to the series for bringing "10-yen soccer" into the public consciousness - I thought my school was the only place where we played that game (albeit not using a 10-yen coin obviously) religiously.