A Review of Danshi Kōkōsei no Nichijō [Daily Lives of High School Boys] – This One is for the Bros…

Nichibros_17.png“For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
– Ecclesiastes 4:10-12

Hey guys, Samurai here! And, yeah, I’m kinda borrowing a page from TWWK over at “Tangles” for the opening quote, but I feel that for this next show, it’s more than appropriate. While on the surface this show is a raucous comedy about the daily goings on in an all-boys school, there is actually a kind of deep, underlying message about friendship, camaraderie, and sticking by your bros no matter what may come your way. However, even if you decide that you don’t want to get that in depth, it’s cool—these guys are just big dorks anyway…as high school boys tend to be. Heaven knows, after the last show I reviewed, I could use some normalcy…as much as one can get from this show. I’m Cajun Samurai, and this is my review of Danshi Kokosei no Nichijou [Daily Lives of High School Boys]

Warnings and Other Objectionable Content – This show is pretty clean, for what it is. There’s nothing outrageous here, but there are a few little pervy moments like some characters wanting to peep up a girl’s skirt, but other than that, it’s good clean fun…odd fun, but good fun.

Series Availability –

Wal-Mart

Negative for Brick and Mortar Stores and online. Sorry guys!

Best Buy

Negative, once again, for brick and mortar and online purchase.

F.Y.E [For Your Entertainment]

Negative, for the third time, for brick and mortar and online purchase. Noticing a pattern here?

Target

Nope for both, once again…not going to happen…

Other Purchasing Sites

Probably the only place you’ll be able to find phycial copies of this series. Once again, there are many pirated copies out there, so shop with caution.

Online Streaming

You shouldn’t have any problems finding a place to stream this show as it’s relatively new. Once again, be careful where you surf!

daily lives of highschool boysStory Premise – Daily Lives of High School Boys is a 12 episode series based off a manga by Yasanobu Yamauchi. The series follows the daily lives of high school students, specifically, the comings and goings of the all male student population at Sanda North Boys High. Yup. That’s it. Don’t look for anything more earth shattering than that, guys. That’s all you get with Daily Lives; odd boys doing odd things…just like Lucky Star is cute girls doing cute things. This show doesn’t try to rewrite the book on what a high school comedy can be; it just uses a tried and true formula and rolls with it, using the everyday conversations and situations high school boys face on a day-to-day basis to push things along. However, the thing that makes this show stand out more than other high school comedies, is the fact that the writing seems so unique. Unlike Free! which is pretty much K-On! with a male cast and a pool instead of a guitar, and Kimi to Boku is pretty much Lucky Star with a male cast, Daily Lives is a show that was clearly written for boys. You honestly cannot replace any male in this cast with a female and make it work, as is evidenced in one recurring segment “High School Girls are Funky” when a group of girls try to reenact the infamous skirt scene from Episode One. This is an anime written ABOUT male characters FOR male characters, but can be enjoyed by anyone, male or female.

Nichibros_14.jpgThe ending stays spot-on to the story we’ve been told throughout the series, and ends, quite literally, the way it started. It’s the perfect cap to an awesome series.

If I were to find any kind of fault with Daily Lives, it’s that the series comes off as being very modular. That is, there is little to no continuity between the different skits and segments. Granted, the segments are funny, but I would’ve liked maybe one or two episodes that had continuity. However, I concede that they tried to do this once or twice, notably with the “Literary Girl” arc, where Hidenori encounters a girl by the river who is obsessed with making her somewhat dramatic willowy writing a reality, much to his horror. I just wish they did that more often. [24/25]

tumblr_m8x89lkHfH1ryqc1xo1_400Favorite Scene/Episode – Picking just one is nearly impossible. This whole show is just a gem of great moments. Though, if I had to settle on just one, it has to be this one involving our Funky High School Girls and Karasawa. I can’t go into details—it’s something you just have to experience for yourselves.

Characters – As with any story of this nature, it’s the characters that move things along—after all, it’s a slice of life, so the characters that we follow have to be interesting. Here’s the breakdown:

Tadakuni

The long suffering straight man of our primary bro-trio. He’s pretty average as compared to his friends Hidenori and Yoshitake, and thus is always exasperated to the point of manic over their antics…though he does have a crazy streak of his own.

Hidenori Tabata

Our glasses-wearing character of the trio. Remember that old-school Nickelodeon TV show “Kenan and Kel”? Well, he’s an animated version of Kenan. He’s this grand over-the-top character who often kicks off the crazy conversations and situations our primary bro-trio gets into.

Yoshitake Tanaka

The blond-haired [Dyed…] member of our primary bro-trio. If Hidenori is Kenan, then Yoshitake is Kel. He’s more apt to follow Hidenori’s lead with regards to crazy ideas, leaving Tadakuni to spaz out. In his youth, Yoshitake was known as the masked avenger “Rubber Shooter”, helping out those who were being bullied. In fact, though Hidenori doesn’t know it, Yoshitake actually helped him out as “Rubber [Band] Shooter” when he was being bullied. Quite commendable…even though he sits in his chair oddly.

Motoharu

Our dark skinned student council member. While he looks like he could be a juvenile delinquent, and when we first meet him, he is referred to as such, Motoharu is actually a really nice guy who gets along well with his older sister, even though she tormented him when he was younger, and her friends tend to have their way with him [not in that way you pervs…] at any given time. Motoharu is the Nichibro I relate to more than any of the others because, bless him, he doesn’t know how to ride a bike. Thankfully in his case, as well as mine, he had his bros help him out.

Toshiyuki Karasawa

Another student council member. You’ll know him by the ever-persistent cap on his head. He wears the cap to cover over a very distinct scar on his face that was given to him by a girl when he was little. Though he comes off as being very mysterious and aloof, he’s actually capable of being just as goofy as the others.

There are more characters in this compendium of kooks, like the Student Council President and his Second in Command who never really seem to be in the Council Room, Tadakuni’s Little Sister who is by far one of the cruelest little sister characters in anime […Oriemo not withstanding, because I’m still trying to figure out what the heck is going on there…], or the group of oddball girls from the “High School Girls are Funky” skit. Suffice it to say, they are the perfect compliment to our main cast as listed above. [25/25]

tumblr_m5jmkmawUW1rvwh1uo1_500Animation – The animation style of Daily Lives is much like the show itself; nothing out of the ordinary. Everything is very well done, as is expected of a project tag-teamed by Square Enix and Studio Sunrise. I have to say, I really liked the character designs this time around. Unlike Free! who felt the need to give their male cast these bulging, rippling, “there’s no way in HELL those can exist on a regular human” mound of muscles, “Nichibros” give these characters an awkward gawky look that makes them more endearing to the viewer. One thing that I noticed about this particular show, animation wise, was the fact that the creators made a point not to show ANY male character wearing their uniform correctly–everyone has their shirts un-tucked, some characters leave their ties undone or don’t wear the ties at all. It adds a level of realism to the whole thing–after all, do you HONESTLY expect a group of high school boys to wear the uniform the RIGHT way? I do question why the animators decided to give some of their non-main characters the shadow eye treatment. While it doesn’t really take anything AWAY from the anime, it is a bit distracting. [11.5/12.5]

Music – The opening theme this time around is “Shiny Tale” by Mix Speakers, Inc. Seriously, I can’t get enough of this song. It’s so upbeat and it actually sounds like the opening theme for an anime that’s centered on high school boys. The Entire Cast of "Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou" in the End Credits...Note The Haruhi Cosplayer...The animation it’s played over is awesome and matches extremely well. The closing theme is “Ohisama” [“Sun”] by Amessaki Annainin. This song…well…it’s weird. Not “bad” weird, don’t get me wrong at all, but it’s weird on a “what the heck am I listening to, and why do I like it so much” weird. I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve ever heard a kazoo used as a musical instrument in an anime theme song…and it’s not bad! The animation that plays over the scene is, for all intents and purposes, the funniest ending credit sequence I’ve ever seen…EVER. You can keep the karaoke scenes at the end of Lucky Star, and the “Hare Hare Youkai” from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. This ending animation puts all of them to SHAME. The incidental music is just as funny and cool as the action it’s played over, yet it doesn’t dominate the scenes. [12.5/12.5]

Performances and Production – Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou was a collaboration project between Studio Square Enix and Studio Sunrise with director Shinji Takamatsu at the helm. Takamatsu-san is no stranger to comedy series with the “School Rumble” series and “Gintama” under his belt. Here in the US, the show was licensed by NIS America, however, there is NO English dub available, sadly. Let’s have a look at the Japanese cast.

Characters

Japanese Voice Actor

Tadakuni

Miyu Irino

Hidenori Tabata

Tomokazu Sugita

Yoshitake Tanaka

Kenichi Suzumura

Toshiyuki Karasawa

Yuki Ono

Motoharu

Daisuke Namikawa

President

Akira Ishida

Vice-President

Hiroki Yasumoto

Mitsuo

Nobuhiko Okamoto

So as you can see, we have some pretty big names here, sub-wise, which makes for an absolutely prodigious production with regards to the Japanese. [25/25]

Scoring Summary:

Story Breakdown – 24/25
Characters – 25/25
Animation – 11.5/12.5
Music – 12.5/12.5
Performance and Production – 25/25

Final Score – 98/100 = 98% – (A)

Lagniappe (A Little Something Extra):

  • In the opening credits, Yoshitake can be seen drinking a “Sunrise” brand soda. Of course, Studio Sunrise co-created this series.

  • In Episode 5, one of the Funky High School Girls mentions taking her band to London…a reference to the K-On! movie.

  • Episode 6 mentions Harry Potter, referring to him as being a Magical Boy.

The Main Trio of "Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou"So where does that leave us? Daily Lives of High School Boys is about as realistic a look into the lives of teenage boys as you can get currently. It’s not willowy light like Kimi to Boku, nor is it fangirl fodder like…THAT show…it’s just an honest, hilariously funny look at the lives of some very…odd high school boys. With its funny and realistic story, entertaining characters, odd yet functional animation, jamming music, and all-star voice cast, Daily Lives of High School Boys will leave you feeling nostalgic for your high school years…and wondering if you and your friends were really as big of dorks as Tadakuni, HIdenori and Yoshitake. Nine times out of ten…you were.

Sorry for the late review, guys, but as I mentioned last week, I have a secondary writing gig with “Sofa King News”, and that, plus my offline non-anime related job kinda has me running one or two steps behind. However, I think I’m fully caught up now, so I’ll try to shoot for at least one more review this month along with some other interesting articles! Up next on the docket is a show that could be considered the little sister of Daily Lives. In fact, this show is the reason the phrase “Nichibros” even exists. So stick with me, if you don’t mind, as we take a trip through the crazy, wild, sweet world of…

The Primary Cast of "Nichijou"

Nichijou [My Ordinary Life]

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