You think I forgot about this section but I did not. Manga and Light Novel only interest me if the adaptation of such works leave me wanting to know more or that the author of a Manga I like has other books that might be worth looking into them. And that’s one of the reasons I picked up CITY by Arawi Keiichi, the author of Nichijou. I’ve read most of the volumes of Nichijou and Helvetica Standard and I’ve laid out before my thoughts on the adaptation. Now let’s see if this new series is worth picking up or it’s just a Nichijou reloaded.
CITY （シティ） is written and drawn by Arawi Keiichi, it began its publication on the 44th volume of Weekly Morning and got its first volume compilation on March 2017. So far, four volumes have been published and on July 2017, Vertical Comics announced it has licensed the series and the first translated volume was out for sale on March 2018.
As I’ve said on my Nichijou review, the show cannot be set aside for its creativity and production but it lacked a consistent humor through the entire run of its twenty-six episodes. It’s not an easy task and I don’t blame Kyoani (this time) because I think they did a great service to the original work. And if you think the manga did not suffer from the same ills, well I have bad news. It also got pretty boring on some volumes until you got back to wonderful arcs between our main characters. Helvetica Standard, his other work, functions more as a simple one-shot gag magazine than a spinoff or manga itself. Nothing wrong with that, but still not enough to warrant read it again. I was afraid CITY would repeat the mistakes of his previous stories and surprisingly, it did not.
CITY is a more contained story than Nichijou, focused mostly on the character of Nagumo. A responsibility-avoider, energetic and stubborn girl who recently moved to the City in question. She is like a grown-up Yuuko minus the tragedy aspect. The story begins in a random way which should not be surprising for a manga written by Arawi Keiichi but the difference lies in the containment of the setting, instead of taking a large world, most of the story happens within this small city. The first chapter does a great job introducing to other characters and their archetype, you got Nagumo’s friend, her landlady who is an unstoppable killing machine disguised as a grandma, the new police officer who only wants to do his job and the family who owns the food place in this small universe.
From this point, the humor never stopped and I only found one or two stories that did not kept the same timing but compared to the first volume of Nichijou, it vastly exceeds it. When I finished reading the manga, a sense of familiarity struck me and it didn’t have to do with another SoL manga or even Nichijou. CITY reminded me of “22 Shorts Films about Springfield” from The Simpsons: A restrained comedic narrative where one story leads to another that let us know more about the CITY, its peculiar inhabitants and the adventures they live. It works really well for this kind of anarchic style of humor.
I gladly recommend CITY, even if you are not a Nichijou/Helvetica Standard fan, I’m sure you will enjoy the stories and engage with the set of characters you are presented. You can buy the 4 volumes of CITY in its original language, the licensed version only has one volume released already and the next one will be available in a couple of weeks. Give it a try, it’s a delightful and cheerful series that will never ever ever ever get an adaptation (I hope time proves me wrong).