Danshi Kōkōsei no Nichijou (男子高校生の日常 Daily Lives of High School Boys) is a slice-of-life comedy manga series written and illustrated by Yasunobu Yamauchi that ran from 2009 to 2012. A 12-episode anime adaptation produced by Sunrise aired in 2012, and a live-action movie premiered in 2013. The series is known for providing comic insights into the 'ordinary' lives of a group of high-schoolers.
The manga sold over 2.3 million copies during its three-and-a-half-year run. Common fan-given names to the series are 'Nichibros' (a reference to the comedy manga/anime Nichijou) and 'DKN'. The hashtag '#danshiko' has been used to refer to the show on Twitter.
Yasunobu Yamauchi submitted a draft of the manga to the Square Enix Manga Awards in 2008, for which he secured the Judges’ Special Prize and received the opportunity to develop the manga on a Square Enix platform. A year later, it began serialization in Gangan Online.
In October 2011, it was announced that an anime adaptation would start airing the following January, and 7 promotional shorts were broadcast starting in November. The anime ran from January to March 2012. An online radio show, ‘Danshi Kōkōsei no Nichijou Kaiwa’, also aired during this time, running for 16 episodes each of around 20 minutes’ length. The manga's last volume released that September.
The next year (April 2013), a live-action film adaptation was declared, which was released in October.
The series is set in the fictional town of Sanada, and focuses on the lives of three boys – Tadakuni, Yoshitake and Hidenori – who are second-year students and classmates at the all-boys Sanada North High. When this close-knit trio isn’t in school, they’re usually coming up with novel ways to kill time, be it through inventive role-playing, deeply discussing the pros and cons of skirts, or a number of other quirky ideas.
Their stories are also made interesting by the presence of other colourful characters in their daily lives. Examples include their like-minded friends at school, the charismatic and efficient Student Council, and various girls of all kinds – from dreamy strangers to violent sisters and ditzy girls’ school presidents. The series chronicles the humorous episodes and interactions within this group of high-schoolers.
A mini-series called ‘Joshikōsei wa Ijō’ (女子高生は異常 High School Girls are Funky) runs in parallel to the main series, focusing on the lives of a trio of high school girls. Various characters are common to both series.
The blond goofball of the three, Yoshitake has a lot of heart. He is an earnest participant in all of the group’s activities, most notably in their role-plays. He also carries a competitive streak and is an expert at Kick the Can. Yoshitake is a true friend to the others, and cherishes the ideals of friendship the most among the trio.
Tadakuni is unassuming and surprisingly normal compared to the others. This often leaves him playing foil to the others, especially as the ‘one sane man’ when they play make-believe. Despite this, he still manages to be creative in his own way. Sometimes, he feels like he’s the odd man out.
The most eccentric by far of the team, Hidenori usually provides the spark that gets them going. He is an adventurer at heart, and always tries his best to overthrow the monotony of routine, but often in quirky ways. However, his recurrent run-ins with a fellow dreamer haven’t always gone well.
See also: List of Volumes
The manga followed a weekly release schedule on the Gangan Online website. Chapters of High School Girls are Funky released every now and then, between those of the main series. After every 15-20 chapters, a new volume was published, coming to 7 volumes in all.
Each chapter runs to around 15 pages or less. Most of them are self-contained shorts akin to sketch comedy pieces, but there are occasionally 4 or 5 chapter long mini-arcs that follow a common theme. There is no over-arching storyline. Many chapters have signature end scenes that usually show up as the cover illustration of the next chapter.
Unlike many other slice-of-life high-school comedies which give importance to romantic sub-plots, dramatic events and contain themes such as club activities, the manga features interesting situations which are not too far removed from daily life. Most of the main trio’s appearances feature them outside school.
Being styled as a sketch comedy, consecutive chapters often feature different sets of characters. New (although related) side characters are even introduced long into the series’ run. The anime pokes fun at this in the penultimate episode, saying that even though newcomers show up late in the game, it doesn’t matter because the viewers don’t need to remember them.
See also: List of Episodes
The anime aired on various networks in Japan, including TV Tokyo and TV Asahi. Live broadcasts also happened online, on the Nico Nico website.
Single episodes cover as many as 8 manga chapters, resulting in most of the manga’s material being covered at the end of all 12 episodes. Each sketch is 2-7 minutes long, and the aforementioned end scenes in the manga often show up as transitions between sketches. The order of presentation is different from the manga. All in all, the adaptation is very faithful to the source material.
The anime also features unique material in the form of episode intros, outros, advertisement segues and a couple of original sketches. A running gag in the show is the whimsical sponsor announcements given by various characters, with Tadakuni often getting annoyed when his friends don’t take the announcement seriously.
Additional animated content was released with the BD and DVD versions. These anime specials total to 6 sketches.
For more information, see Cast and Staff
Shinji Takamatsu and Ai Yoshimura, both known for their work on successful comedies such as Gintama, served as director and assistant director respectively on the show. They were joined by a cast comprising of Miyu Irino, Tomokazu Sugita, Kenichi Suzumura, Yōko Hikasa, Yukana and others.
Many members of the cast featured as guests on Danshi Kōkōsei no Nichijou Kaiwa, the online radio show that ran alongside the anime.
For more information, see Music
The songs and tracks featured in the anime were composed by a variety of artists, including Amesaki Annainin, Mix Speaker’s, Inc. and Audio Highs.
The ending song was originally supposed to be ‘Hikizen’ by Jinkaku Radio. However, three weeks prior to the anime’s premier, its inclusion was cancelled due to a controversy surrounding one of the band members. In its place was chosen ‘Ohisama’ by Amesaki Annainin, and the new animated sequence of the ED went on to become one of the more famous parts of the show.
The anime is licensed to various distributors, such as NIS in the US. There is no official English dub of the show.
For the manga, the existence of unofficial fan scanlations dates back to the manga’s original run. The official English version by Vertical Comics started its release in 2020. Staff credits include:
- Translation: David Musto
- Production: Grace Lu, Anthony Quintessenza
- Editor: Kristi Fernandez
- According to the author, the title of the work was originally supposed to be ‘Stories of the Boring Daily Lives of High School Boys’.
- Official manga site:
- Official anime site (archive)
- Official Twitter account (archive) (inactive since 2014)
- Official site of the movie (archived)