The second-to-last Nichijou was wonderfully satisfying and I can’t remember one I enjoyed more over the entire 25 episodes. It showcases some of the best characteristics of the show and of its characters themselves. Exceedingly well-paced, this episode could be the one-two punch that begins an epic knock-out finale.
No. 25 starts off with Misato Tachibana who gets left to wake the slumbering Sasahara. This sets off a fairly long chain events running through the show. While waking up her princely crush, Misato accidentally smashes his glasses. Convinced he won’t be able to find his way around school, she takes his arm in hers. Jaws drop as the two walk to class together. It turns out this was all unnecessary, but for plot purposes, that damage has been done.
Mio, with her (infinitely) from afar crush on Sasahara, is one the onlookers to the apparent display of affection. Knowing Mio, you can probably guess how she reacts upon seeing this. Sprinting off school grounds, she’s followed closely by a concerned Yukko. What follows is a crazy extended cavalcade of events, as Mio deals with the loss of her love the only way she knows how.
I laughed at that sound clip as it happened, and I laughed again as I inserted it in this post. The Mio-locomotive finally runs out of steam with a life saved and with a slight epiphany. Skipping ahead (past the Nakamura-sensei segment), and back in the girl’s classroom, Yukko, Nano and Mai espy Mio, all concerned with her state of mind. What follows is a sidewalk lottery run by three mysterious daifuku-girls, and ultimately, one of the most touching moments I’ve seen in anime all year.
Meanwhile, Nakamura-sensei is on Nano Shinonome’s trail. She loses her oily scent, but luckily (what do you call that?) ends up at the Shinonome Labs. Now in the very lair of her expected rival and more paranoid than ever, the science teacher ends up missing an opportunity for a giant leap forward, and instead takes several sticky steps backwards.
Again (and again), Nakamura’s plans fail and while trying to escape from her rival’s home, she gets caught. Ha. In some other briefer segments, Short Thoughts takes a dreamy turn this week and Like Love shows up after the credits featuring a certain peachy-haired girl and her charming co-star.
I’m a little taken aback at how much I enjoyed this episode in its entirety and from soup to nuts. With one episode left, it’s hard to imagine the series finale could be any more enjoyable, well-paced or downright funny than Episode 25 was. Starting with the scene instigated by an unwitting Sasahara, I laughed several times, and while I haven’t always liked Mio’s “freak-out” scenes, this one was pretty golden. It was fast, funny and seemed a good way to bring many of the (very) minor characters together. The Nichijou pantheon of characters has grown pretty immense (think Simpsons), and even though some have only uttered a line or two, they’ve helped create a pretty deep atmosphere for the series as a whole.
The old man in the top hat for example–we’ve seen him commenting on Mio’s corkscrew, imparting some wisdom to Nano and in this episode, spotting Mio’s talents for shadow boxing. The show is rich with these type of characters. Just watch the ending (changes slightly every week), over the second half of the series.
To me, who was hit or miss with this series over the first 4-5 episodes, but decided to stick with it, it’s been silly-rewarding to watch a show I felt has improved more and more over its run. The Yukko character in particular, but I’ll comment on her in the next review. Some short thoughts… I enjoyed the Like Love scene at the end, featuring Tachibana and Sasahara, a regular segment which usually features unknown characters. Nano-chan’s Screw (not so minor a character) was voiced by Keiko Yokozawa.
The Shinonome segment was also great fun this week and I was greatly amused by the Nakamura/Hakase meeting, which was many episodes in the making. Professor’s bold and plain-spoken introduction, “Hello, I’m the professor. I made Nano,” expertly tickled my funny bone. As Nano’s sensei tried to bust out, I honestly didn’t see the super glue bit coming! Oh man, what a great episode overall. The finale is next week, and I’ll have the final review up next Sunday as well. I’m gonna’ go play that clip a few hundred times.