It’s been a while since I did an actual review…
So, this week was the start of my summer vacation and with the massive amount of free time I have, I wanted to go watch some sort of anime. Mostly because it’s been a while since I binge-watched a show and I also wanted to see if I am ready for next month’s 30 Day Anime Challenge, where I’ll (hopefully) be watching and reviewing an anime a day.
Today’s show I’ll be reviewing is Non Non Biyori (2013), a slice-of-life comedy created by Silver Link. (Kokoro Connect, WataMote, Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu).
“Don’t you own a mountain in the city, Hotarun?” – Renge
Uhm… what story?
I’m just kidding, but the story of this show is actually pretty minimal.
For most of her life being raised in Tokyo, Hotaru Ichijou and her family move to Asahigaoka, a small rural village in the countryside, and while it may not have the same luxuries as the big city, Hotaru still manages to have fun.
After enrolling in the only school in the village, where the students’ grade level varies from first grade to ninth, Hotaru meets a group of friends consisting of Renge Miyauchi, and the Koshigaya sisters, Komari and Natsumi.
This show focuses on the daily lives of these four girls, the way they play and have fun while dealing with the struggles of living in the countryside.
While it may sound really boring to you, it’s actually really entertaining and quite humorous when you watch the show. This anime shows you a bunch of stories that happen between the four girls and also involves some side characters and what they show in the episodes can vary, such as some of the characters spending the day at the riverside and absorbing inspiration from the views of the countryside to draw, or a flashback to when two characters became friends. Every “story” they tell consists of a funny or heart-warming moment so, it’s enjoyable for a full twelve episodes.
It’s a very calm and feel-good show to watch. This show definitely does not have an intense plot and there is no objective, so if you’re looking for a show to feel happy and to have a calm and relaxing experience, this show might be for you.
The cast of Non Non Biyori is very pure and how they act can be hilarious.
First, we have Renge Miyauchi, a first-grader who tend to be very curious, knows a lot of things that most young children don’t know and is just very kawaii.
Komari Koshigaya, the oldest out of all four of them, but you wouldn’t notice at first. Because she’s the oldest, she desires to be the one with the most maturity but she can still act and dress like she’s in preschool. Komari is also very sensitive about her short height and hates when people pick on her.
Natsumi Koshigaya, Komari’s younger sister who is pretty lazy when it comes to school and chores but likes to play around and break the rules like a mischievous young teen.
Hotaru Ichijou, a overdeveloped (in a physical way) fifth-grader who tends to be very mature while still having a fun personality. She also looks up and even develops a crush on her “senpai”, Komari.
What’s also good about the characters in this show is that even the side characters are very entertaining. I won’t name them all but for example, we have the very quiet Koshigaya brother, Suguru; the careless, yet friendly candy store owner and is usually nicknamed “Candy Store”, Kaede Kagayama; and Kazuho Miyauchi, Renge’s oldest sister and the teacher of the Asahigaoka School, but she is usually lazy and irresponsible. Pretty much all the side characters are shown in a great way and provide the show with some more funny moments.
Non Non Biyori also shows us how beautiful the countryside, and nature in general, can be.
Silver Link did an amazing job with the art and how gorgeous they made the scenery of this tiny village look. When it comes to slice-of-life shows, I usually push aside the art and animation, and focus on the story, but for this one, the many times where they show shots of the landscapes, it was hard to not avoid.
Like the art and animation for slice-of-life anime, I also don’t pay attention to the background music. If I was going to talk about music in slice-of-life anime, I would just discuss the openings and ending themes of the show. But, man, the soundtrack for this show is just really nice to hear.
The soundtrack consists of just relaxing and calm music and really reflects the atmosphere of this anime. It also includes alternate versions of children’s songs, which has a nice touch.
Overall, this show is a nice anime to experience. It shows the different living conditions of people who live in the countryside and not only for Hotaru, but I think I learned a lot about how people, especially kids, still have fun and manage to be entertained with the less advanced “toys” rather than cell phones and computers.
Other than that, if you had a bad day at work or school, or if you just want to watch a fun anime without any intense action or story, give this silly show a try.
MyAnimeList Page: https://myanimelist.net/anime/17549/Non_Non_Biyori