With surprises and laughs in every page, Nichijou is one of the fun manga treats of 2016.

NichijouTitle: Nichijou
Genre: School, Comedy
Publisher: KADOKAWA (JP), Vertical Inc (U.S)
Artist: Keiichi Arawi
Serialized in: Monthly Shounen Ace, Comptiq
Translation: Jenny McKeon
Original Release Date: March 29, 2016

My only knowledge of Nichijou prior to reading volume 1 was that it was one of the many polarizing series done by Kyoto Animation — it was either the most hilarious comedy anime or the most unfunny comedy anime. I never did find out which extreme it was, and didn’t really desire to. Then at Anime Expo 2015, Vertical announced that they licensed the manga, which shocked everyone since it seemed like it’d never come over here. Well, it’s here, and I finally decided to find out if it’s one or the other extremes.

Well, who knows how the anime actually turned out, but manga wise, this first volume absolutely left me in stitches, and managed to reach Gintama levels of laughter in me. I have no hesitation in saying this is the best new manga released so far in 2016.

The one problem I had with Nichijou was that I found it hard to remember most of the character’s names. They weren’t mentioned a lot as I read the volume, so the only place where I knew they would mention it was the first few pages. This unfortunately suggests that maybe these characters are more archetypes than anything else, since I can only remember the characters by their attributes (robot wind-up girl, girl who instantly reminded me of the tall girl with glasses in Azumanga Daioh, moe scientist girl, etc).

…That was the only thing I could think of as an actual bad thing.

Nichijou 4Nichijou 3Nichijou 2

Yes, this is how Nichijou starts.

Nichijou surprised me immediately, probably because as much as its described as a surreal take on the school genre, I’m not really expecting a robot with a wind up key on her back try so hard to hide that she’s a normal girl…then I learn that her classmates already know she’s a robot, thus defeating all of her efforts. She has no idea that they know already! From there, it becomes a surprise take of puns, gags, and off-wall efforts that had me stop reading just to recover.

The art works for what it wants to do, and nothing really stands out more than the fact that everyone is always angry — no, seriously, the eyes of the girl who launches a missile at her student council member is kind of out there, and you just question “why” before realizing she’s not the only one. That’s a legitimate charm in Nichijou, and it’s great. It could’ve easily been overdone or be dry, but the art makes sure the jokes land. Needless to say, I could not have been more impressed with this title, and if you’re in need of not only a great comedy, but a great manga, Nichijou is the title you need to go read, immediately.