Non Non Biyori – Review
Non Non Biyori:
Original Air Dates: October 7th, 2013 – December 23, 2013
Synopsis: Hotaru, a slightly shy but immensely friendly girl, has moved to the country side with her family from Tokyo. There she meets the gang, Renge: a small and weirdly adorable little girl, Natsumi: A lively prankster, and her sister Komari: a short for her age and easily flustered girl. Together the four experience the country life and attempt to live in denial that their lives are absolutely nothing like the city life.
Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Non Non Biyori is one of the most beloved slice of life shows in recent times and for good reason. The tale of three country girls introducing a city girl to life in the vast and quiet countryside is hilarious, endearing, and amusing. Every episode offers a glimpse into the quirks of country life and the equally quirky and entertaining personalities of each girl, leaving you eager for more. I am usually a little skeptic of shows that make characters cute for the sake of being cute but Non Non Biyori manages to skip that cliche by sincerely showcasing the bonds and relationships that the girls form with their family and friends, as well as sprinkling plenty of hilarious gags throughout each episode.
Tom: Slice of Life tend to operate on an all or nothing scale: Either they nail everything perfectly and the show is immensely enjoyable or it fails to put energy and vitality into the mundane lives of its characters. Non Non Biyori is thankfully the former, with episode after episode bringing laughs alongside its adorable and silly nature. Its cast never falls into the usual moe trappings, and the humor remains surprisingly consistent the entire way through. It’s also a show that gives you everything it is in the first episode, meaning you’ll know right away whether this anime is for you or not. But what really makes Non Non Biyori work so well is its adorably diverse cast of characters. You get numerous avenues of humor, from Renge and her awkwardly adorable outlook on the world, to Natsumi’s ever prankster shenanigans.
Linny: The characters of Non Non Biyori really make the show shine. Not just the four lead girls, but even the supporting members. Every character brings their own special brand of quirk and flavour to the story. Speaking of story, Non Non Biyori doesn’t really have a main overarching narrative besides the general theme of life in the country.
Tom: Each episode is more of a standalone, with no overarching narrative. There’s a guiding theme in each episode, helping to pull the segments together, but otherwise many of the stories remain self contained. This allows the series to hit with each and every gag and then move onto something new. Thanks to not hanging around with any joke for too long, Non Non Biyori boasts a diverse array of humor than flows better than other comedic anime. It also helps that the animation lends itself greatly to the humor and style of the series, matching the characters and comedic style perfectly.
Linny: Though they are by no means revolutionary, the animation and visuals do a great job of reinforcing the simple, charming atmosphere. Every element of the show is never overtly in your face, from the characters to the visuals and right down to the music helping to really promote the simple charms of country life. The opening and ending themes are also perky, cheerful and suit the show to a T.
Tom: All around I have little, if any, complaints about Non Non Biyori. There are places where the comedy is a tad lacking at times, or perhaps it could’ve injected a little more character development here or there, but none of these criticisms speak to a lack there of. Non Non Biyori probably gets about as close to perfect for any slice of life anime with humor and style executed almost masterfully.
Linny: As someone who loves the slice of life genre, Non Non Biyori’s first season is definitely high up on my list of recommendations and an all time favourite thanks to an adorable cast and humour that hits more often than it misses. If you’re looking for a laid back slice of life set in the remote countryside, sprinkled with quirky characters and cute moments, Non Non Biyori deserves to be on the top of your watch list.