Non Non Biyori Repeat!! Review - Of Female Friendships and Beautiful Countrysides


Non Non Biyori Repeat wallpaper

Of Female Friendships and Beautiful Countrysides

  • Episodes : 12
  • Genre : Slice of Life, School, Comedy, Seinen
  • Airing Date : Jul 2015 – Sep 2015
  • Producers : TV Tokyo, Silver Link, Lantis, Sentai Filmworks

Non Non Biyori Repeat! Preview/Plot (No Spoilers)

In the quiet countryside village Asahigaoka, there's a school with only five students. Every student is in a different grade, but they all study in the same classroom under the same teacher. Also, their daily lives might seem boring, but because of the students' colorful personalities, every day is a magical one!

Non Non Biyori Repeat wallpaper 2

Who Does Non Non Biyori Repeat! Cater To?

If you watched and enjoyed Season 1, you'll enjoy this too. Like the original, Non Non Biyori Repeat! revolves around the four girls, their relationships with each other, and their relationships with other characters. This time around, though, there's more emphasis on one-on-one interactions, like the ones between Natsumi and Hotaru, Natsumi and Hikage, etc. The second season also yields more interesting tidbits about the girls, so keep your eyes peeled!

And even if you haven't seen Season 1, that's okay. Episode 1 introduces the characters as though they're new to you, so you won't have a hard time catching up. If you're fine with shows that are more character-driven than plot-driven, you might be able to enjoy this. And if you want an anime that'll calm you and help you reflect on life, Non Non Biyori Repeat! can do that for you too.

What's Appealing About This Piece of Work

Even though Non Non Biyori Repeat! has no plot, it's still a good watch. All the girls have multi-dimensional personalities, and their interactions feel authentic. It's as though they're people you can meet in real life. The fact that they're all cute helps too.

The girls aren't the only eye candy, though. As someone who grew up in the countryside, I felt nostalgic after seeing all the stunning backgrounds in this show. It really captured the look, the feel and the beauty of country life. You can tell that the animators did their homework, and that they had a huge budget.

The soundtrack is nice, too. Like everything else on this anime, it fits the country atmosphere perfectly. And bonus points for the theme songs being performed by the voice actors themselves!
As an iyashikei ("healing") anime, Non Non Biyori Repeat! has almost zero conflict. That's because it's not a show meant to make your heart race. Instead, it's a show meant to give you the warm fuzzies, and help you sit back, relax and drink a cup of calming (insert flavor here) tea. If that sort of thing interests you, watch this anime until the very end.

Non Non Biyori Repeat!! PV for Episode 1

Non Non Biyori Repeat! Main Characters List

Hotaru Ichijou

Hotaru Ichijou Non Non Biyori Repeat

Voice Actor :Rie Murakawa

At the start of the series, Hotaru is a fifth grader who transferred to Asahigaoka from Tokyo. Being a city girl, she experiences a bit of culture shock in her new home, but eventually adjusts to it. She's visited the countryside several times before, but only now is she a permanent resident.

Hotaru is tall, pretty and looks/acts mature for her age. She is also talented, responsible and somewhat panicky at times. She always speaks politely, and has a girl-crush on Komari. Her name means "firefly," and Renge calls her "Hotarun."

Komari Koshigaya

Komari Koshigaya Non Non Biyori Repeat

Voice Actor :Kana Asumi

Komari is a second year middle school student, who's the eldest girl in the school at present. Despite that, she's often the butt of jokes, since she has a childlike appearance, and is short "even by Meiji era standards," to quote Renge's sister Kazuho. Because of this, she always looks for opportunities to "become an adult," even if she fails epically every time. She's the middle child of the Koshigaya siblings.

Komari seems to be responsible with her studies, since her mother doesn't seem to scold her as much as she does Natsumi. But Komari also displays an extreme naiveté at times, as shown when she's oblivious to Hotaru's crush. Her name literally means "small ball," which is funny considering what she's insecure about. Renge calls her "Koma-chan."

Natsumi Koshigaya

Koshigaya Natsumi Non Non Biyori Repeat

Voice Actor :Ayane Sakura

Natsumi is a first year middle school student, and the youngest of the Koshigaya siblings. Her happy-go-lucky personality makes her fun to be around, but also lands her in a heap of trouble. Her mother, in particular, says that she'd actually have better grades if she put her mind into her studies. Since she's taller than Komari, Natsumi always has an excuse to pick on her older sister.

Of all the girls, she's the closest to Renge. They seem to really "get" each other, for some reason. Renge calls her "Nattsun," while she calls Renge "Renchon." She also has a few more interesting qualities, but you'll have to watch the series to know those. Also, the kanji in her name stand for "summer sea."

Renge Miyauchi

Renge Miyauchi Non Non Biyori Repeat

Voice Actor :Kotori Koiwai

Renge is the youngest of the girls, the youngest student in the school, and the youngest of the Miyauchi siblings. She's a bright, eccentric and imaginative child, who likes to give nicknames and play made-up games. Despite her unchanging, unsmiling expression, she's actually a sweet girl who wants nothing more than to have fun with everyone.

She's attached to Kaede Kagayama, whom she calls "dagashiya" ("candy store"). She owns a tanuki named "Gu," and actually believes that Gu can perform tricks. "Renge" is also the name of a kind of flower.


Contains Spoilers

Non Non Biyori Repeat! Review

I'll admit this isn't a show for everyone. Since the episodes are self-contained, and nothing much happens in them, there's no incentive to binge-watch the show. You'll probably appreciate it more if you watch the episodes one at a time, though.

Otherwise, Non Non Biyori Repeat! lives up to its predecessor. In fact, I think it's better in some aspects, because the action is ramped up in this one. There's the ruler game in Episode 2, the intense Natsumi-Renge brainstorming session in Episode 8, and the carp-fishing trip in Episode 9, to name a few.

The characters don't change much from their previous incarnation. Renge is still a resident of Cloud Cuckoo Land, Natsumi is still energetic but irresponsible, Komari is still insecure about her height (and other things), and Hotarun is as mature as ever. It's not a bad thing, though, since Non Non Biyori Repeat! makes the effort to reveal more of their personalities.

Take Renge, for instance. In the first season, it's shown that everyone wants to take care of her. (And who can blame them? She's adorable!) So it's nice that they showed her looking after Kazuho for a change. When the gang decides to come over to the Miyauchi house to study, Renge reminds Kazuho that she should set an example for her students by not sleeping on the job. I knew Renge was a precocious kid, but I never thought she'd be the mature, responsible sort!

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Natsumi had a couple of surprising reveals up her sleeve, too. She may not be the best student, but she has more-than-adequate knowledge about Mother Nature's secrets. (Looks like her Mom was on to something.) And Episode 9… Well, I'll leave that one for the highlights section.

Hotaru doesn't show her unexpected side until Episode 11. (I'll leave this one for the highlights section too.) Komari is still Komari, but it's still entertaining to watch her antics around her insecurities. These two girls seemed to have grown closer together: Hotaru no longer fangirls over her "senpai," while Komari doesn't mind Hotaru being by her side at all. I wonder if their relationship will grow into something more.

To be honest, it's hard to pick only a handful of highlights in this series. After all, Non Non Biyori Repeat! is basically a collection of highlights in the characters' daily lives. So I'm going to make my choices based on the incidents that stuck with me the most. Without further ado, here they are:

1. Renge Becomes a Teru Teru Bozu (Episode 4)

Non Non Biyori  Renge Becomes a Teru Teru Bozu

Renge gets a new bike, and is excited about riding it. But since it's raining, she can't do that. So she makes lots and lots of teru teru bozu. (In Japan, teru teru bozu supposedly have the power to make rains go away.) When that's not enough to stop the rain, she decides to wear a teru teru bozu costume herself, and march outside to clear up the weather.

Unfortunately for Komari, she doesn't know about Renge's scheme. When she comes over to the Miyauchis to return a manga, she sees a giant teru teru bozu, and thinks it’s a monster. Frightened, she rushes over to Renge's house, only to be trapped between the monster and another monster in a teru teru bozu mask (who's actually Kazuho). Komari's reaction is priceless!

2. Natsumi Becomes a Girly Girl (Episode 9)

Non Non Biyori  Natsumi Becomes a Girly Girl

Natsumi has always been something of a tomboy, so Komari and their friend Konomi Fujimiya decide to make her more "girly." Of course, Natsumi wasn't happy about it at first, but they got her to agree eventually.

And surprise, surprise: She actually makes a pretty girl! But instead of saying something like "I should be like this more often," she goes back to being her old self. (I think she should dress up more often, though!)

3. Hotaru Shows Her Immature Side (Episode 11)

Non Non Biyori  Hotaru Shows Her Immature Side

If you told any of Hotaru's friends that she's a typical fifth grader, they would laugh you out of Japan. Even if you are Hotaru.

But, as the old saying goes, if a girl is too perfect to be true, she probably is. (Okay, I made that up.) Whenever Hotaru gets home, she immediately plops on the sofa, and begs her mother to let her have snacks before dinner. Lucky for her, Mom always prepares her favorite food: stew.

There's more where these came from. If you have any favorite moments that I left out, please share them!


Overall, I strongly recommend Non Non Biyori (both seasons) to anyone willing to give the iyashikei genre a try. The characters are well-written, the show is beautiful to look at, and it's a fascinating glimpse into the rosy side of country life.

So far, there's no announcement of a Season 3 for this show. The manga's still ongoing, and Season 1 has an OVA about the gang's preparations for a trip to Okinawa. In the meantime, please don't be as tight-lipped as Suguru Koshigaya, and speak out in the comments too!

Issa M.

Writer

Author: Issa M.

Issa is a pen-wielding mercenary by day, and an anime fangirl by night. She might seem anti-social at first, but she's actually quite friendly once you get to know her. Also, she's learned to like Google+ after getting locked out of her own Twitter account for some mysterious reason, so say hello to her there!

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