Sunday, 31 July 2011

Nichijou - Episode 18

After her coffee shop embarrassment a couple of episodes ago, it seems that Yuuko still hasn't forgotten that particular ignominy - thus, as episode eighteen of Nichijou opens it's Mio's turn to be placed in the same scenario to see if she passes the coffee shop menu test.

This opens up an episode that mostly jumps around from one place to the next at high speed, whether it's more attempts to catch Nano from our school "mad scientist" or some seemingly pointless book excerpt.  Perhaps one of the highlights of the episode is (another) bad day for Yuuko, as her train journey to see Mai in the pursuit of free sweets makes her look stupid on multiple occasions in a variety of believable manners.  Her chief tormentor here is a younger student from another school who can barely contain her mirth at Yuuko's screw-ups - a student who turns out to be the younger sister of weapon-toting Misato, who makes a few appearances this week.

This leads us into the episode's grand finale, a return to the scenario first introduced way back in episode seven as we find ourselves back on the airship which houses Princess Starla.  More specifically, it seems that Starla's minions are being lined up to try and entertain the princess - a task which not only proves to be difficult but downright deadly when faced with this hard to please member of royalty.  Perhaps Britain's Got Talent should consider hosting future series on an airship complete with trap doors....

Much like a lot of Nichijou, this particular episode frequently threatened to be jettisoned through the proverbial trap door of bad comedy itself, to be saved only by a handful of mildly amusing moments.  Yuuko's train-based shame had a ring of truth to it that is far funnier than the show's normally downright random comedy, while the Professor's latest biscuit-powered robot also got a giggle out of me.  After a slow start though, the final sketch featuring the princess ended up coming up trumps in the end, with some impeccable moments of comedy timing towards the end that somehow made it all worthwhile, right the way through to its decidedly surreal ending.  They're only small moments in the grand scheme of things, but at least they stop watching Nichijou from feeling like a complete waste of time.

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