Top 20 Best Nichijou Characters (Ranked)

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Nichijou literally translates to ‘Day common’ – everyday life being the usual translation.

A deliberate play on the slice of life genre, Nichijou is a brilliantly written and fantastically executed comedy that’s exciting and approachable for newcomers. but still keeps plenty of anime in-jokes up its sleeve for veterans.

But what really drives slice of life shows – for all you actual veterans reading this – are the characters. And Nichijou has the best cast of lovable characters you’ll ever meet.

So let’s see who’s the most lovable of the bunch, shall we?


20. Fey Soldier #8

Fey Soldier #8 from Nichijou anime

Though the Fey were only featured in a couple of shorts, they were memorable and exciting breaks from the normal chaos of Nichijou.

Set in an alternate Universe, the Fey Kingdom was ruled by the benevolent King Albert who was betrayed by his adopted son and right hand man Dolph while travelling on the royal blimp.

Dolph sought to steal the wooden cubes, ancient Fey artifacts of massive power, for himself. Leading the army into rebellion against the King, Dolph did succeed, but tripped and died before he could use the cubes.

As the army left the room, Soldier #8 (all soldiers are known only by their numbers) found the cubes on the ground.

Does this mean that he’s the new King? Pondering this life changing question, he lit a cigarette, burnt his finger, and knocked the cubes off the blimp.

We never saw the Fey again.


19. Karasu

Karasu Nichijou anime screenshot

A weirdly drawn triangle masquerading as a crow – the in-joke here is that his design is the chibi crow that flies across the screen in 90s anime.

Karasu shows up only in one episode where he’s given a scarf that allows him to speak (the scarf actually belongs to Sakamoto the cat who wasn’t too happy about it).

Polite, mature, and sophisticated, he’s the exact opposite of what we expect a crow to be. And indeed, it’s a bit of a tear-jerker when he decides to fly away at the end of the episode.


18. Kenzabouro Daiku

Kenzabouro Daiku in Nichijou anime

Despite being the heir to one of the city’s biggest companies, Daiku is luckily not a spoiled brat (although he does bring his pet bluebird to class).

He runs the igo-soccer club, a new-age combination of two popular games: igo (a chess based board game) and soccer.

Revolutionary (and stupid) but one that ultimately turns out to be a national game!


17. Mr. Nakanojou

Mr. Nakanojou from Nichijou anime

Better known as the Daifuku owner, Mr. Nakanojou is the spirited and conservative owner of a Daifuku stand in town.

He loves his product, but has a hard time finding suitable sales staff; likely because he tells them to stand on the roadside silently wearing a giant Daifuku hat.

The staff that do sign up include Mio, when she was out of cash, and a loud top naked body builder with a tiger head. Needless to say, Mr. Nakanojou hasn’t got the best luck.


16. Yoshino Naganohara

Yoshino Naganohara in Nichijou anime

Yoshino is Mio’s older sister but to Mio’s annoyance, she’s got Yuuko’s prank gene.

Not a day goes by without Yoshino finding a weird way to pop up on Mio’s way to school just to annoy her.

She’s also known to make really bad marmalade, but is otherwise a pretty cool gal!


15. Buddy and Co-Buddy

Buddy and Co-Buddy in Nichijou anime

The best dogs you’ll ever meet – and they’re not even your dogs.

Buddy is the spirited neighborhood best friend. We never find out who he belongs to, but he’s always there to steal Yuuko’s shoes and then, once she manages to get it back, give her a pat on the back.

His friend, Co-buddy, joins in whenever there’s another victim – I mean friend – with Yuuko.


14. The Principal

The Principal in Nichijou anime

Principal Shinonome is the ultimate dad. Except we don’t know if he’s actually a dad.

Regardless, he tells dad jokes to the whole school so there’s not much difference.

His secret that he keeps from the whole school population is that, despite his old age, Principal Shinonome is actually a trained wrestler. And a damn good one too!

But his sparring partner isn’t human, it’s the deer that shows up uninvited outside the classrooms.

The even bigger shocking secret (as if that wasn’t enough) is that he’s bald!


13. Kana Nakamura

Kana Nakamura Nichijou anime screenshot

Nakamura-sensei is the science teacher of Tokisadame Middle School.

A true scientist at heart, she’s the only one out of the whole cast who deduced that Nano was a robot without Hakase blurting it out.

Wanting to figure out how such an amazing invention is possible, she’s tried luring Nano into her lab several times wanting to kidnap and study the poor android. However, her plans backfire every single time… and hilariously too!


12. Haruna Annaka

Haruna Annaka from Nichijou anime

Better known within the fandom as ‘Eh-chan’, Haruna is known for her characteristic ‘Ehhhhhh!’ whenever something weird happens to her… which is all the time.

She wears massive bows on her head. Which have, at least once, got her told off by Sakurai-sensei.

But she justifies it by saying she looks like a bunny.


11. Makato Sakurai

Makato Sakurai in Nichijou anime

Makato is the kid brother of Izumi Sakurai, Tokisadame’s English teacher.

Having your sister teach you is super weird. But what’s weirder is when you know another teacher has a crush on her!

Luckily, Makato is a smart kid. After all, he used to be the VIP player of igo-soccer back at middle school (yes, it’s a real sport!)

By using Takasaki-sensei’s crush on his sister, Makato managed to get teacher permission for the igo-soccer club to officially run!

Otherwise, he’s just a normal teenager. He does, as teenage boys do, have some sensitive material in his room. Which would be fine if his teacher sister didn’t rummage around!


10. Koujiro Sasahara

Koujiro Sasahara from Nichijou anime

The heir of a farm, Koujiro Sasahara is one of the richest people in school.

Yes, a farm. Must be a pretty successful one.

He’s never seen without his butler Hirose who caters to his every whim. At lunch time, Sasahara is known to have a dining tray strapped around his neck with steak, potatoes and wine on top.

Proud of his heritage, he even rides to school on his goat Koujiro, which he named after himself.

Despite all that, Sasahara isn’t cocky. He just doesn’t see why he can’t ride a goat to school, bring personal staff, and eat in the hallway. It’s his right!

However, he is incredibly oblivious to those around him. Which leads us to…


9. Misato Tachibana

Misato Tachibana in Nichijou anime

Despite being a minor character in the show, Misato Tachibana’s gun-wielding, hard to get tactics popularized the term ‘gundere’ (a portmanteau of gun and tsundere).

Although massively in love with the rich and flamboyant Sasahara, she’s never admit it (BAKA ><). But instead of just slapping him like a normal tsundere, she’ll take out her guns which range from pistols to machine guns, and even rocket launchers. Oh my!


8. Manabu Takasaki

Manabu Takasaki from Nichijou anime

This 26-year Japanese literature teacher is a romantic at heart!

Normally stoic, he nonetheless goes absolutely insane when in the presence of his crush Ms. Sakurai. Bending over backwards (literally) for a chance to prove to her what a great man he is.

His antics haven’t always been in his favor, however, as he’s easily bribed when anything to do with Izumi Sakurai is involved. This includes becoming the coach of igo-soccer when Makato told him he has pictures of his sister (nudge nudge, wink wink!)


7. Izumi Sakurai

Izumi Sakurai from Nichijou anime

This cute and petite teacher is the school’s English teacher, advice counselor, and behavior monitor.

But despite her position, she’s soft as a petal and can’t bring herself to tell any students off.

Luckily, the students at her school are relatively well-behaved. In her attempts to ‘reign in’ bad behaviour, she’s run into some pretty funny situations.

There was the time she tried to tell off Tsuyoshi Nakanojou for having a Mohawk, but it turned out he’s got a medical condition where hair won’t grow on the sides of his head.

When she’s off work, she’s the doting sister of Makato Sakurai who she, again, tries to reign in… but is no match when conflict gets in the way.


6. Sakamoto

Sakamoto Nichijou anime screenshot

Nano and Hakase’s cat, Sakamoto, was found among a pile of boxes labelled ‘Sakamoto Oranges’ which is where his name comes from.

Although he seemed cute at first, once Hakase gave him a scarf that allowed him to speak, his true colors began to show.

In reality, Sakamoto is a cocky cat (or I guess that means he’s just a normal cat). He wants the professor and Nano to treat him as their senior (he is 20 in cat years, much older than both of them). But while the well-mannered Nano doesn’t mind, the childish professor refuses and even takes off his scarf!

Since then, the three of them have gotten along swimmingly.

But Hakase has never let him forget who’s really in charge.


5. Mai Minakami

Mai Minakami from Nichijou anime

The dog-loving Mai is the stoic one out of the main trio of Yuuko, Mio, and herself.

A great and characteristic symbol of the stoic friend trope, Mai never shows her feelings. But will engage in every joke Yuuko gives.

She’s multitalented and very smart, showing skills in wood carving, drawing, modeling, fishing, and some other hobbies.


4. Hakase

Hakase Nichijou anime screenshot

Professor Shinonome is probably one of the best characters, not just in Nichijou, but ever in slice of life history.

A play on the child genius trope popular across Japanese and Western animation, Hakase Shinonome is a lively eight year old girl who’s somehow able to create fantastical living inventions, but otherwise unable to focus on anything.

Instead of being a know-it-all genius as characters from this trope often are, Hakase is fun loving, scared of the dark, and needs snacks all the time.

Nano, her greatest invention, doubles as an older sister. Even down to the grounding.


3. Mio

Mio from Nichijou anime

Yuuko’s best friend, but not her biggest fan.

Mio Naganohara is the small but feisty sidekick who gets dragged into most of Yuuko’s antics without being asked.

She secretly wants to become a manga artist and spends a lot of time shut in drawing, which has led to her not having too many close friends apart from Yuuko and Mai.

She’s also got a massive crush on Sasahara, which has led to her doodling racy images in her notebook….


2. Nano

Nano in Nichijou anime

Robot girl Nano is the cute Pinocchio spin-off that lives with her creator Hakase Shinonome.

She just wants to be a normal girl. But unfortunately her robot-ness is obvious, because Hakase keeps adding new uncontrollable inventions into her system while she sleeps.

The insane and ridiculous upgrades include a machine gun that shoots soybeans, a 1GB USB kept inside her toe, a swiss roll dispenser in her right arm, and a giant key on her back (which makes it hard to hide that she’s a robot) with the only purpose being that when it’s turned, her big toe will shoot out like a missile.

She begs Hakase to let her attend school, which does happen, but she’s horrified of people finding out she’s a robot.

If only Hakase would take the key off her back… but alas, it’s too cute, so it’s not happening.


1. Yuuko

Yuuko Nichijou anime screenshot

For once, I’m putting the most obvious answer in the correct place.

Yuuko is the posterchild for Nichijou.

Just as the name of the show means ‘Everyday life’, Yuuko is the ‘everybody’.

Carefree but learning, she’s the show’s source of fun and inspiration. There’s nothing particularly special about Yuuko beyond her status, but she’s lovable nonetheless.

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Cyril Ma

Cyril is a freelance writer, drama teacher and singer from Hong Kong. Growing up in East Asia, anime is literally everywhere. It’s on the streets, it’s in the malls, it’s always on TV. You’re sort of expected to know your anime stuff. Studying University in the UK, Cyril realized the rest of the world is not like that, so with his background in tow he volunteered with Animeleague’s Anime and Gaming conventions. Cyril wrote for the shortlived Shonen-World anime review site and also writes for Underground Hong Kong, a local music magazine. You can find him and the stuff he does at Come say Hi!