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-year run. Common fan-given names to the series are 'Nichibros' (a reference to the comedy manga/anime Nichijou) and 'DKN'.
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.
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.
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.
In the anime, a single episode can cover as many as 8 manga chapters. Each sketch is 2-7 minutes long, and the aforementioned end scenes often show up as transitions between sketches. The order of presentation is different from the manga. The anime also features unique material in the form of episode intros, outros, advertisement segues and a couple of original sketches.
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.
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 translated release by Vertical Comics is scheduled for 2020.
- According to the author, the title of the work was originally supposed to be ‘Stories of the Boring Daily Lives of High School Boys’.