This penultimate episode of Nichijou begins with a moment of typical tsundere madness from Misato that reverberates throughout much of the rest of the instalment. While those tsundere proclivities are no surprise, perhaps the fact that some genuinely funny moments are born from it is.
After accidentally breaking Sasahara's glasses and thus feeling duty-bound to help him around the school, there is of course a sting in the tail for Misato after her decision to help him out proves to be in vain. Furthermore, while hanging on to his arm Misato and Sasahara are spotted by none other than Mio - cue the traditional anime trope of running away from the scene of such heartbreak tearfully, but this being Nichijou it's taken to new lengths which involve not just leaving the school grounds but taking on moving trains, helping out old ladies and swimming. It's fantastically presented as we've come to expect from this series, and at times it's pretty damn amusing to boot.
This state of affairs also indirectly leads to Nakamura stumbling across Shinonome Laboratories, which is of course Nano's home - a dangerous place filled with security bots, traps and electronic guards and with Homunculus patrolling the corridors.... at least, it seems that way if you're Nakamura anyhow. This week's instalment even manages to end on rather a touching note, as Mio's friends rally around to try and cheer her up with a sweet reminder of their friendship. Awwww...
Yes, that's right kids - what we're looking at here is a rare but completely bona fide good episode of Nichijou. The quality of this show's animation has never really been called into question, but this week we see it complemented by much improved comic pacing, a sharper eye for humour and knowing when to wind a joke down before flogging it to death with repetition. If only Nichijou had managed to achieve this every week, we'd probably be talking about it in revered tones - as it is, we can at least pick out the highlights of the series from episodes such as this to remind ourselves that the series isn't a complete dud, despite all of its flaws.