Last week's episode of Nichijou finally managed to break out the laughter for me (hey, it only took six episodes), but it appears to be a return to relative mediocrity for the series for its seventh instalment.
This episode kicks off with a fantasy story telling the origin of the wooden cubes Mio wears in her hair - at least, the story as dreamed by Yuuko's decidedly over-active imagination. It's a lot of build-up with very little pay-off, but as is so often the case with this series it feels more like Kyoto Animation playing with the animation possibilities of the scene rather than any attempts to inject humour into them particularly.
The only real notable moment in terms of making me laugh out loud is this episode's quick "rock, paper, scissors" skit with Nano and the Professor - a little touch of quick-fire comedy genius that's timed and played out impeccably - although Nano is also involved in the other more satisfying moments courtesy of her baseball-pitching technique (in a scene which also involves Sakamoto being an awesome feline, as always) and a meeting with a stranger (to Nano anyway) who takes more than a passing interest in her screw.
Aside from these moments, Nichijou seems to be growing ever-more reliant on its over the top reaction shots to every joke and punchline in the hope that such reactions will somehow boost the comic potential of the scene - put simply, it doesn't work, and if anything it detracts from what you've just seen, yet it's something the series series seems determined to persevere with it. To be honest I knew that nothing was likely to live up to last week's episode, thus I wasn't expecting much and its return to being far less funny was anticipated - still, this particular instalment was probably just about worth watching just on the basis of that "rock, paper, scissors" gag alone.