This is a response to The Cart Driver’s thoughts on Nichijou as a comedy.
As someone who loved Nichijou the first time, and loved it again in each subsequent rewatch (I’ve lost count now), my opinion may be biased, but here are my thoughts on this.
On the surface, Nichijou seems to be taking the route of slice of life (hence the title) based in high school: nostalgia for times when you didn’t have to worry about anything except having fun and what to eat. While leaning more heavily into the comedy than most.
But in the long run, the series is very much about self-acceptance. Almost all the characters (with some notable exceptions: Mai) start the series with some insecurity about themselves: Mio’s yaoi drawings, Nano’s screw, etc. And by the end of the series, many of them have accepted their quirks and opened up to their friends about who they are and what they love.
And the broad cast – as opposed to Lucky Star and K-ON, other KyoAni series that focus on a very tight group of female characters – helps bring to mind that both teens and adults, male and female, struggle with similar problems their whole lives.
I believe that the inherent lack of significant negativity is a core strength of Nichijou and Japanese comedy in general. There is enough negativity in the world, and comedy such as Nichijou can be an escape and encouragement in humanity’s ability to ultimately be good. And that, in the end, it’s all going to be okay.