Sunday, 22 May 2011

Nichijou - Episode 8

There's nothing worse than having the start of your day ruined by your hand flying off into the distance unnecessarily, but it's just such an event on Nano's part that kicks off and gives at least a little direction to Nichijou's eighth episode.

Once again though, what we have here is a decidedly hit-and-miss episode that misses its target far, far more often than it hits it.  Perhaps the writing is on the wall with its first sketch proper, which (as happens far too often) proves to be over-reliant on Yuuko's massive over-reactions to everything that happens as her jokes aimed at Mio and Mai fail to hit the mark.  In fact, this single sketch could probably be representative of Nichijou itself - lots of random jokes that try far, far too hard to hit their target and end up leaving the viewer looking blank-faced and unamused by it in return.

The only real saving grace of the episode is within its brief Helvetica Standard segment, and an embarrassing moment for a retiring footballer when it comes to swapping his shirt at the end of his final game, knowing full well that the vest underneath contains a bombastic slogan which seems more than a little out of place given the fact that he didn't manage to score and display said slogan during the game.  Sakamoto also gains some points for his decidedly cat-like behaviour as usual, although even this joke is looking a little well-worn now.

Overall, the most intriguing section of the bunch was Kyoto Animation's treatment of a scene which sees Yuuko, Mio and Mai stuck in a lift - a scene which works quite well in its own rather strange way, helped along by that experimental treatment of its composition.  This alone isn't really enough to entertain however, as two many aspects of the series feel as though they're stuck in a rut - effectively running the same jokes over and over again with a different outer coating in the hope that they'll stick somehow.  I know that exact same tactic works for other comedy series (anime or otherwise), but it simply isn't cutting the mustard here.

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