Original Run: October 7, 2013 - December 23, 2013 Number of Episodes: 12 Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life Based on the Series Created By: Atto
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Non Non Biyori. Reader discretion is advised.***
Welcome to Asahigaoka, a small village isolated from the conveniences of the big city. There are no large supermarkets, trains and buses are few and far between. And the only school consists of only a handful of students in one tiny classroom.
- Renge Miyauchi (voiced by Kotori Koiwai) is your typical first grader. She is curious about the many oddities of life around her. She also knows little and cares even less about the world outside her hometown.
- Hotaru Ichijo (voiced by Rie Murakawa) is a transfer student from Tokyo. Though awed by the unfamiliar atmosphere, she grows accustomed to country life.
- Sisters Natsumi and Komari Koshigaya (voiced respectively by Ayane Sakura and Kana Asumi) are the oldest of the group. The younger Natsumi is energetic and impulsive, while the older Komari is self-conscious about her short stature and does not do well with scary things.
These four girls live a life quite different than your typical grader-schooler. However, in many other ways, they could not be more normal.
Non Non Biyori was great – review finished.
I’m serious; there isn’t more I need to say. But to lengthen things out a bit, let’s compare this series to another fantastic slice-of-life comedy, Nichijou.
If you’ve seen Nichijou, then know that it’s unparalleled insanity. It is not unfair to say it is one of the funniest anime I have come across. Non Non Biyori is Nichijou’s energetic opposite, and the result is brilliant.
Despite their differing intensities, Non Non Biyori and Nichijou derived humor from the same source. They were both situational and segmented. However, Non Non Biyori was far more relaxed. Appropriately, this series had a more countryside feel.
The calming atmosphere of this show went well beyond providing comedy.
Non Non Biyori had many long pauses. These hanging shots gave this series a ton of character and personality. For the lack of a better word, this show was authentic.
By the end, you really feel as though you know Non Non Biyori’s characters and setting. Since there was no rush to get anywhere, each of the four girls – Renge, Hotaru, Natsumi, and Komari – got their fair share of development and screen time.
And it wasn’t just the atmosphere. Visually, Non Non Biyori was gorgeous.
Enjoy the dialogue, the situations, and the comedy. But while you’re doing that, take a moment to appreciate the background and scenery.
They were gorgeous.
I can attest to the Japanese countryside’s beauty, and this show did an outstanding job at capturing it. If given the privilege, I would love to live in a place like Asahigaoka.
Non Non Biyori is a perfect show to finish off a day. So, while I have nothing but admiration for this series, I noticed one or two things.
This show built itself to work in a slower environment. It didn’t warrant to a lot of flash or movement. This was a style Non Non Biyori nailed. Nevertheless, there were a few occasions where this series tried its had at Nichijou-esque humor. When this happened, things tended to fall flat.
While I would consider this to be a slight nitpick, there was one aspect of Non Non Biyori that bothered me – unneeded fan service.
There wasn’t much this throughout the show, and the small amount that did exist was minuscule. In fact, it almost doesn’t feel right to label what was here as fan service. Unfortunately, I don’t know what else to call it.
The reason I bring it up is, again, due to what Nichijou managed to do.
In Nichijou, unlike many other anime comedies, there wasn’t an ounce of fan service. Non Non Biyori existed in the same vein, so it was disappointing this show didn’t follow the same path.
I had a great time with this show.
I have never felt more relaxed or calm than I did while watching this series. The humor was excellent; the characters were fun; the animation was beautiful. By far, this is one of the best anime I have ever seen.
And I am thrilled there is a second season.
Without a doubt, Non Non Biyori has earned a recommendation.
But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Non Non Biyori? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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