After some issues with HMV, my copy of the Nichijou Director’s Cut DVD-Box arrived a couple weeks ago and it’s been a pleasant re-viewing experience. Originally aired starting in April 2011, Nichijou ran for 26 weeks last year. Kadokawa/Lantis and the rest of the production committee thought it would be the next big hit from Kyoto Animation, but alas, it was not to be. Speculate all you would like, NHK decided to re-air the show in January of this year for 12 weeks. People who read every sentence will wonder “How was a 26 week show aired over 12 weeks?” The answer: it was revised into 12 episodes, which are collected on this DVD-Box!
As mentioned earlier, Nichijou was not a commercial success. Outside of the first OP/ED and manga/magazine sales, everything else was subpar at best. The series averaged around 2.5k BD+DVDs sold per each of the 13 volumes, much lower than many previous Kyoto Animation series. NHK decided that it would be a good fit on their entertainment channel “NHK-E” and aired it in January 2012-March 2012 at 5:55 PM on Saturdays. This proved to be very popular as NHK received several requests to have it re-air. It was shown again in three 4-episode chunks in June and a DVD-Box was officially solicited on August 25, 2012 to be released on November 30 that year.
Included in the DVD-box are all 12 NHK-E episodes on 3 DVDs with a fourth disc devoted to bonus features. Each disc contains four episodes while the bonus disc contains 72 minutes of extras. I’ve already posted about what skits are in which episode, so I won’t go into detail about that. I will comment on each disc’s episodes underneath some screencaps though.
Disc 1 contains the introductory portion to the show. Episode 1 details how Nano was able to go to school while episode 2 details the average episode in its random skits. I can’t say that these were my favorite episodes, but they were necessary to get through. Episodes 3 and 4 is where this version shines. We start to get episodes filled with hit after hit of comedy sketches. Whether it was the infamous sales costume or Mio trying to jump over the bar, everything flowed incredibly well. I was able to see why this was such a hit.
Disc 2 continues that strong portion and starts to involve extras more. We see our favorite science teacher and the traps she laid out for Nano (but ended up catching other various people (SAVE THE MOHAWK!)) as well as more characters around the school. Again, I cannot state how well everything flows comedically. This has been fantastic.
Disc 3 has a weird feeling to it. We start off focusing on an episode that’s based around the skits in the original episode 25 where Mio sees her crush being walked around by another girl. This worked incredibly well near the end of the series, but it falters as episode 9. Thankfully episodes 10/11 continue the amazing pace that 3-8 had. Episode 12 finishes well…except that the final big skit is from the airplane crew which never showed up previously, which puts the end at a very random position. It’s a decently funny skit, but having it end the series is a big step backwards IMO.
None of the main feature discs have any bonus features since they are collected on disc 4. We start off with a segment showing a competition between Mariko Honda (voice of Yuuko) and Shizuka Furuya (voice of Nano) as they compete to see who’s the real protagonist of the show. Personally, I don’t mind seiyuu features, but this one kinda bored me a little bit for some reason. It’s alright, but there’s other people I’d rather view. Next we have a collection of commercials for the original series. There’s the one advertising the OVA, one for the main series, and a couple for other various clips. Finally, we end with a couple music videos sung by Misuzu Togashi, Mai’s seiyuu that were featured for her Mai Pace CD single.
Included in this box are two tall cases (one for the main feature and one for the bonus feature). The first case contains a 4 pg color booklet detailing the 6 main characters while the second case contains 3 postcards: one from the original artist Keiichi Arawi and one each from Honda/Furuya showing their respective character. Not much in physical extras, but the box itself feels very sturdy and nice.
Video quality is as decent as you would expect from a DVD. Nichijou was animated in around 995p definition, so it’s a big drop in quality. The lack of deepness in the colors is also felt from the DVD quality. It took me an episode to get used to it having watched the original episodes in HD. Audio-wise, everything is crisp and clear from the Linear-PCM mix. Hearing the OPs/Zzz variations was really wonderful.
Overall, I really have little complaints other than it being on DVD and not BD. The reorganized skits really heighten the hilarity of the show by maximizing the hit scenes compared to the misses. It’s much more funnier than I remembered and got me back into the show. The box itself is very sturdy compared to the ones put out by NA publisher Funimation. Everything feels solid. If you liked Nichijou and can handle the lack of subtitles, this is easily a must-buy purchase for you. An absolutely wonderful set from Kadokawa at a really great price.