Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou Speaks The Truth

I've been in this situation before. Only I didn't have a rock band behind me.

I don’t watch a lot of slice of life anime.

Wait, let me reword that.

I don’t like slice of life anime. I find that most of them have feature idealistic portrayals of highschoolers. There’s nothing interesting about these pre-packaged ideals.

So imagine my surprise when a gag show like Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou turns out to be one of the more accurate portrayals of highschool life I’ve seen in an anime. Except, there isn’t a lot of talk about sex or porn. Yes, there’s a lot of exaggeration behind the show, but it’s not hard to see what they’re trying to get across. I think the lack of guys talking about porn or boobs is refreshing because at this stage, every stereotypical highschool boy in anime wants to put his dick in a hole. It’s nice to watch something where the guys don’t always think about losing their virginity to a girl who looks like Tina Yuzuki or an AKB48 idol.

Nichibros does something interesting in this week’s episode. It goes out of it’s way to portray highschool girls being incomprehensible, obnoxious, insecure and self-absorbed but at the same time they’re competitive and have a lot of pride. Normally in anime, these traits are easier for people to associate with boys.

Ringo in particular, is bent on beating the highschool boys because there are high expectations placed on the girls. Something along the lines of ‘You guys should be better at this stuff!’. Maybe I’m reading too much into this but I find it amusing that while the guys outdid the girls in the festival, Ringo managed to beat the President in a fist fight.

...Yes, highschool girls can be this obnoxious and in anime nonetheless!

It’s also nice to see that while the guys are capable of being neat and mild mannered. These guys don’t always have the courage to speak what’s on their mind (not to mention the girls go on about how depressing it is to hang around them and how they try to act tough). The president (voiced by Akira Ishida) claims that he doesn’t hit girls as he loses to Ringo, but if you watch the fight again I’m pretty sure he wasn’t being completely honest and said that to save his pride. Then there are guys like Yoshitake who avoids talking back to a girl who is constantly putting on airs while Toshiyuki ignores the girls who are verbally harassing him by giving them snacks.

Last year my number one anime was Level E, a sci-fi comedy anime. My favorite comedy anime shows aren’t the ones that make me laugh out loud all the time. I like the ones that don’t always concern themselves with the punch line and actually have something else to offer other than crazy hijinks. Yes, I’m guilty of laughing at shows that have a lot of toilet humor, but in the end of the day– that’s not always enough to make them memorable.

Nichibros stands out because despite the overblown situations, there’s  an ounce of reality in there. You can watch this show and think: “Oh yeah, something like this happened to me once!” or “Wow, are they making fun of that other anime show?”

Hmmm. Gee, I have no idea what anime this series is pertaining to!

One of the more heartfelt segments in the latest episode showed Tadakuni seeking advice from Nago, a girl he works with in a pizza place. The conversation itself flowed naturally and addresses how difficult it is for teenagers to open up to even their closest friends. I like how every character in this show isn’t a stereotype, but Nago is particular is really cool. She’s incredibly frank, calm and insightful for her age. Following the traditional laws of beauty in anime, Nago isn’t the most attractive girl out there but who cares? She’s awesome and she knows it.

This series mixes slapstick humor and satire, but at the same time it never forgets to add in slice of life scenarios we can easily relate to. It’s just really great entertainment, that’s all.

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6 Comments

  1. Couldn’t agree more about this week’s episode. It may not have laid the laughs on as thick as in previous episodes, but there was definitely a smidge of reality that balanced it out well.

    That, and the horribly sung ED still makes me laugh, and I can’t love a show enough for that.

    • but there was definitely a smidge of reality that balanced it out well.
      Yeah, it certainly makes up for the lack of outrageous humor. Not to mention, the show has continued to provide glimpses of great writing too.

      The ED sounds like a song you’d make up as you take a shower! How can anyone not love Nichibros for that?

  2. THIS. :D I couldn’t agree more with everything you said~ Heh, and Nago is made of WIN. ♥

  3. Yeah, I wish that anime had some sort of equivalent to a Freaks and Geeks, or even a King Dork, but really there isn’t anything I can think of. Unless you count Great Teacher Onizuka, maybe, but that doesn’t really examine things from the perspective of the students, and it’s pretty over-the-top overall. Maybe Kare Kano, too, but I haven’t seen much of it so I dunno.

    The closest thing I can think of that really comes close to capturing what high school feels like is Onani Master Kurosawa, and that was about middle school students! Also it was a manga so I guess it doesn’t really count. I guess you could look through the works of Asano Inio, but most of his works deal with life after high school, so. Maybe Oyasumi Punpun? Haven’t read far enough in to tell.

    That’s not saying that idealistic high school life doesn’t have its place in the medium, because it does! It’s just sad that there aren’t more portrayals in anime (or hell, even manga) that go deeper than “clubs romance happy days wheee!”

    • I finished Great Teacher Onizuka a long time ago and while it is somewhat closer to what most teenagers are like, yeah it really feels like it’s a tad over the top. I didn’t get to finish Kare Kano so I’m just as unsure as you are.

      Onani Master Kurosawa was really enjoyable, a bit depressing but pretty good. I think we’ve all had feelings similar to the characters at least once in our lives. I happen to feel the same way about Oyasumi Punpun. I think these stories tend to focus on the bitter parts of school/young life life rather than the happy ones. I still think they’re better than most of what’s out there. Onani did end pretty well though! AnoHana to a certain extent was easy to relate to before it turned into a drama bomb.

      My life was pretty uneventful and most of it was spent doing random things (I’ve actually went as far as to record my own radio show like Yoshitake and Hidenori). I’m not exactly sure how to describe it, but this show probably has the most scenarios I can relate it because I was– sadly– pretty plain.

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