Non Non Biyori Repeat – Anime Review
Synopsis: The carefree girls from the tiny town of Asahigaoka are back for a new round of hijinks and lighthearted adventure as they explore life in the quiet countryside. (Official HIDIVE Synopsis)
Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Non Non Biyori is back to take you on another sweet walk through idyllic country life. As before, the show depicts and successfully delivers the nuances and charm of remote country living. The beauty of the series is not only in its simplistic stories but in the lovingly rendered scenery. It remains heartwarming and cheerful as always, but like the title itself, Non Non Biyori Repeat feels like a repeat. There are plenty of new stories but starting the season with a retread of season one events makes this new season come off as a pale copy. It’s mainly the first episode that’s a “repeat”, so fans need not fear but it may have the effect of slightly disappointing those who wanted more out of a new season.
Tom: The first episode essentially retells the events of Non Non’s first episode, but from an earlier starting point and all from Renge’s perspective. It’s nice, even heartwarming, but feels so much like a significant retread, that it acts as a painfully slow opening to Repeat. It’s great to see the adorable cast again, and more Renge is always welcome, as she is, perhaps, the star of the show. But as the series progresses it never hits the same highs that Non Non Biyori did, sometimes feeling like a mere imitation of the original. We do get loads of new gags, and moe adorableness, but a portion of this feels like riffs on the original season’s gags and skits.
Linny: The good news is this season is a lot more Renge centric than season one, so Renge fans will be delighted. The episodes focused on her are some the season’s best and there is one episode in particular, about a rainy day and Renge’s desire for it to go away, that will have you laughing till your sides hurt. But like Tom mentioned, the season fluctuates with some episodes feeling downright sluggish, even for a show set in a lazy village. It seems to fizzle out little by little with each episode, ending on a note that feels more humdrum than endearing.
Tom: The ending just isn’t satisfying. It’s almost a carbon copy of the 1st season’s ending, only with additional side characters for what’s meant to be a more major farewell, but ends up feeling instead like something we’ve already seen. That said, Non Non Biyori Repeat still has a lot to love for people who are huge fans of these adorable little girls and their every day lives. There’s an amazing Renge sequence that, as Linny said above, had us dying with laughter, an adorable revelation about Hotaru’s household life, and more. It’s ultimately enjoyable, just, perhaps too samey when compared with the 1st season.
Linny: For those who loved Non Non Biyori since day one, there’s still a lot to adore this time around. But there is also this tinge of repetition and the series just failing to pull off as many quirky jokes as its first season did. It is still definitely worth a watch but it’s also undeniably the weaker of the two seasons with both a first episode and a finale that felt derivative of its first season counterparts. Nevertheless, fans of the first season should still have a mostly pleasant time getting to watch more exploits of these adorable young ladies.
Tom: Non Non Biyori Repeat isn’t a total disappointment, nor a significant one. And in fact my feelings of disappointment have eased upon our most recent rewatch. It isn’t as if the quality dropped off the deep end, or the writers lost the plot. In fact, Non Non Biyori Repeat is an adaptation of chapters of the manga that were skipped over when adapting the first season. However, I think the first season was so damn solid because they picked the creme of the crop, the best of the best. What we get here are the B-grade bits, and they’re simply a step down. That said, those already enamored with Non Non Biyori aren’t going to feel too let down, but more casual fans might feel that slight sting of Repeat’s well, repeat.