The Infinite Zenith

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Tag Archives: Aoi Nizato

I Did My Best Doing the Club Activities: Non Non Biyori Nonstop OVA Review and Reflections

“The journey is never ending. There’s always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what’s right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment.” –Antonio Brown

Shiori begins class with Renge and the others, receiving her first-ever bit of homework. She accompanies everyone to the Koshigayas’ place to work on things, and after she finishes, tries to help motivate Natsumi. Natsumi ends up joining the others for some dodgeball after everyone else wraps up. The next day, Natsumi expresses a want to start a school club focused around badminton, and everyone visits Kaede, who’d formerly played the sport. While Kaede is reluctant to help, she relents after seeing the look of longing on Renge’s face. Despite not having played badminton in some time, Kaede is still skilled enough to give Natsumi trouble, and while helping Shiori and Renge with the basics, a stray shuttlecock hits Kaede on the forehead. She is knocked down and reminisces about a time when she had looked after Renge, who’d been a toddler at the time: despite being poor with children, she gives Renge some crayons, and after persuading Renge to draw in a sketchbook, is surprised to see Renge draw her. In the present, Kaede decides to help Renge and Shiori practise badminton. Later that evening, Renge sets out more food for the neighbourhood tanuki, who’s got offspring following her now, Hotaru and her mother prepare dinner while waiting for her father to return, and Shiori tucks her baby sister in for the night. Meanwhile, Komari helps with cooking dinner under her mother’s supervision, and Natsumi calls Aoi and shares a conversation with her: they long to visit one another again and promise to do so in the future. It’s now been just a shade over a year since Non Non Biyori Nonstop finished airing, and the arrival of one final OVA (technically, an OAD), provides viewers with a continuation of the events from Nonstop to show how life in Asahigaoka for each of Shiori, Renge, Hotaru, Natsumi and Komari has progressed; while things are still more or less the way they were previously, subtle changes do hint at how even in a seemingly timeless setting, people continue to mature and learn as a consequence of their experiences.

By the events of Nonstop‘s OAD, Shiori’s become a part of the tighly-knit group of friends at Asahigaoka Branch Elementary School; thanks to Renge, Shiori is showing enthusiasm in pursing her studies, unlike the lethargic and unmotivated Natsumi. Excitement at attending school has now transformed into routine for Shiori, but it is clear that she has no trouble in getting along with Renge and the others, even offering her own unique brand of wisdom and non-sequitur humour wherever Natsumi is concerned. Similarly, after Natsumi yearns to participate in after-school badminton and attempts to get Kaede to provide instruction, it turns out that Kaede’s soft spot for Renge and children of her age encourages her to step out of her comfort zone: in a flashback, Kaede reiterates her dislike of children. Natsumi and the others prove quite rowdy while in class, leading to these sentiments, but even at this point, Kaede is quite partial to Renge and actively goes out of her way to look after her. Viewers thus learn that Renge’s uncommonly high skill in sketching comes from being exposed to the activity at such a young age. Similarly, even as a baby, Renge’s become closer to Kaede as a result: all of the time Kaede had spent with Renge had left an impression, leading Renge to draw Kaede as a way of expressing thanks. The closeness in their friendship is why Kaede is willing to do things for her, whereas with Natsumi, she’s much more reluctant, and while this drives some of the OAD’s humour, it also gives further insight into how things were in Asahigaoka previously: even in a place where days are easygoing and languid, change remains inevitable.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • Previously, I focused discussions around the characters, and therefore, had very few screenshots of the landscapes surrounding Asahigaoka. Because this is the last Non Non Biyori post I will be writing for the present, I figured I could switch things up a little and show a moment of a misty, rainy day: it feels distinctly like Alaska, and while this OAD might be a swan song, Silver Link has done a phenomenal job with the visuals, with this scene here appearing photorealistic at first glance.

  • Having not sat in a classroom for shade over six years now, I’ve not done anything that can be said to resemble homework (save the annual tax returns that I’ll start this month, and looking after my bills every month). With this in mind, during the move, one of my hard drives suffered a catastrophic failure; this was the drive that carried all of my music, vacation photos and old homework files. Ordinarily, I’d do what I could to recover said files, but at the same time, I also realise that I actually never look through my old files or photos, unless it’s to blog.

  • As such, I’m not particularly worried about the loss of some of these memories: I’m certainly not going to use my homework files again, and the most critical of family photos, I have backed up to the cloud and on separate hard drives. Thus, we return to Nonstop‘s OAD, where everyone’s appeared at the Koshigayas for their study session. Looking back, while I’ve never studied or done assignments at a friend’s place before, I do have fond memories of going over to people’s places to work on school projects, and I’ve had people over for projects, as well.

  • When it came to studying or doing assignments, I usually worked best on my own. This approach worked through the whole of high school, but by university, a few courses were giving me trouble. A group of friends determined that it might be easier to study together, such that we could ask questions and bounce thoughts off one another. In this way, I was able to survive organic chemistry, and I applied the concept to my data structures class with success. When the MCAT rolled around, my friends similarly got us together so we could review concepts and techniques together.

  • It was ultimately this, in conjunction with consistent hard work, and taking breaks at strategic times, that allowed me to prevail over a foe unlike any I’d previously faced. In subsequent years, as I began taking more specialised courses, I reverted back to my old ways, but the methods I picked up from studying for the MCAT allowed me to be singularly effective. In Nonstop‘s OAD, Shiori has yet to reach that point in her life, but she demonstrates similar wisdom to Renge and, upon spotting Natsumi struggle with her assignments, suggests that she approach it as though she were doing something fun.

  • Natsumi’s a hands-on learner, and dislikes theory, so the best way to engage her would be to contextualise a given problem and provide practical application of the theory. Conventional studying won’t work on her, and Shiori’s suggestion has merit here; in response to a physics problem, Shiori convinces Natsumi to visualise it as something she might do in reality. Curiously enough, I work best in the same way: while reviewing data structures, I pick things up the most effectively if I’m able to see how something is used in a real world context. For instance, to quickly explain the difference between a queue and a stack, I think of a queue as a playlist in my music library, where songs are played in the order they are added, while for a stack, it’s the undo ability in a text editor.

  • The next day, Natsumi expresses a desire to be the captain of a badminton club, and while Kazuho is completely unmotivated to oversee such activities, citing the lack of equipment as the reason why their school won’t be able to host such a club, Natsumi is determined to start a club and make it to competition. This comes out of the blue, at least until recalling Non Non Biyori Vacation, where Natsumi had briefly played Aoi when they’d met. While Shiori and Renge are surprised, they decide to join, as well: while Kazuho isn’t particularly versed with badminton, she suggests visiting Kaede for a few pointers.

  • Kaede is surprised to find Asahigaoka Branch Elementary School’s entire student body in front of her candy store, and when she hears of their request, she prepares to decline, at least until spotting Renge’s expression. Of everyone around, Renge is the one person who can change Kaede’s “no” into a “yes”: Non Non Biyori has long established that Renge means very much to Kaede, and Kaede has gone the extra mile for Renge on numerous occasions. In this way, Kaede ends up taking the entire class out for badminton lessons.

  • It turns out that Kaede had dabbled in badminton while in high school and retains enough skill to smoke Natsumi. However, when Shiori unexpectedly hugs Kaede, she becomes distracted and misses a smash Natsumi sends her way. The resulting impact knocks her to the ground and sends viewers on another flashback. Originally, Non Non Biyori to me was an immensely cathartic and amusing series that capitalised on its setting to simultaneously create a few good laughs, while reminding viewers of how every season has its merits.

  • However, as the series progressed, things like the expressiveness of children and their world-views were also shown in greater detail as well. The breadth of topics in Non Non Biyori even encompasses life and death, taking responsibility and learning how to say goodbye. This is the main draw of slice-of-life anime: they provide the opportunity to present life lessons in an accessible manner. Rather than preaching ideals to viewers, hypotheticals are explored, showing viewers the consequences of certain actions. This is all done with humour in mind; Non Non Biyori has always excelled with using pauses and spacing to give viewers time to process what had happened.

  • By this point in time, I’ve come to greatly enjoy the insight viewers are afforded into Kaede’s past as a high school student: Asahigaoka feels quite different even though the scenery and aesthetic remains largely unchanged. This disconnect is a part of life, and I take comfort knowing that the thrill of adventure is balanced by the presence of the familiar. For instance, earlier this evening, I sat down to a delicious dinner from my favourite Cantonese restaurant. Although they’re now a much lengthier drive away, their food remains as excellent as ever. While we enjoyed their house-special yi mein, sweet and sour pork, shrimp and scallops on a bed of mixed vegetable with pine nuts, snow pea leaves with mushroom sauce, crispy chickenwor wonton and , a snowstorm raged outside, eventually giving way to a gentle sunset. The sights at the dinner table have shifted, but the food remains comfortingly familiar.

  • Whereas Kaede cannot get along with children, she absolutely loves hanging out with Renge, and Hikage wonders why Kaede goes out of her way to look after Renge even when their parents have babysitters available. Non Non Biyori has gone out of its way on several occasions to establish, via flashback, the sort of friendship that the two had, and while earlier instalments of the series presented these as strictly adorable, as Non Non Biyori continued, these became increasingly meaningful portrayals of how people’s opinions can change as a result of their experiences. While Renge might cause a minor bit of trouble, as evidenced when she starts drawing on the walls, once she’s shown the ropes, she very quickly grasps concepts, and this, in conjunction with cuteness inherent in children, wins Kaede over, bit by bit.

  • Kaede’s claims that she’s not good with children, then, is probably not a general one: she gets along with Hikage and Konomi well enough, but between the younger Komari’s constant need to be looked after, and Natsumi’s endless trouble-making, Kaede is probably under the impression that younger children can be troublesome. Renge changes this: even as a toddler, Renge is as every bit as inquisitive as she presently is, and here in Nonstop‘s OAD, begins to learn how to express affection in more abstract ways. Although not yet capable of expressing herself verbally, Renge makes it clear that she’s fond of hanging out with Kaede.

  • In the present, Kaede continues to not get along with Natsumi, but where the others (especially Renge and children closer to Renge’s age) are concerned, Kaede has no problems. She comes to, and then promises to give both Shiori and Renge a crash-course in badminton. The activities thus end up taking the whole of the day, and by the time everyone wraps up, night has fallen in Asahikagoka. Nonstop‘s OAD concludes with a montage of everyone engaged in their evening activities as a means of closing the series out.

  • Watching Hotaru and Komari cook was particularly nostalgic; a long time ago, I learnt to cook under my parents’ eye, and these days, while I’m not as efficient in cooking as they are, I manage to create mostly healthy and edible meals anyways. These sequences in Non Non Biyori show the characters as gradually learning the ropes of self-sufficiency, a part of the change I’ve frequently alluded to in this post. While Nonstop has shown everyone as being mature enough to deal with emergencies, like Shiori’s mother entering labour, everyone’s constantly growing closer towards becoming adults.

  • While Shiori herself is still very young, having a baby sister will accelerate her growth, too: being an older sibling myself, I was pushed to learn a little more so I could always be on hand to support and assist where needed, to be the reliable older sibling. Shiori is in good company; she can look to guidance from her seniors, with each of Renge, Hotaru, Natsumi and Komari all capable of helping with things, in turn allowing Shiori to be the best elder sibling she can be for Kasumi. Here, viewers are given a rough idea of how much time has passed between Nonstop‘s finale and the OAD’s events: since Kasumi is no longer swaddled, she’s learnt to roll over, and that normally means two to four months have passed. This corroborates with the rainy season in Asahigaoka, so I’d hazard a guess that it’s probably late May or early June now.

  • While Komari is rocking dinner under her mother’s supervision, Natsumi is afforded some time to herself: she’s chatting on the phone with a friend, and only parts of the conversation are heard. However, it doesn’t take much to guess at who she’s talking to. Initially, I was quite surprised that Natsumi was chatting with a friend over the phone: she sees Hotaru and Renge often enough as not to need phone calls, but then I recalled the events of Non Non Biyori Vacation from some three years earlier: Natsumi had met Aoi in Okinawa, and the two had bonded over shared experiences and a common love of badminton.

  • It was therefore rewarding to see Aoi appear again. In an era where instant messaging and small-scale social media applications like WhatsApp exist, it feels a bit nostalgic to watch as people communicate via telephone. Non Non Biyori‘s events are set during 2010, per the presence of calendars in the series. Back then, I spent hours upon hours chatting with friends over Windows Live Messenger, which had displaced phone calls, but I imagine that in rural Japan of that timeframe, DSL and broadband internet had not yet become common, so more traditional means of communications still dominate.

  • Seeing Aoi from Non Non Biyori Vacation promising to meet up with Natsumi again opens the floor to new possibility, and much as how Renge did get the chance to see Honoka again, one can readily surmise that Natsumi and Aoi will have a chance to visit one another in the future. Non Non Biyori‘s portrayal of life suggests that open-mindedness allows one to live fully, and that one can never rule out anything in life. Taking things in stride means leaving oneself on a path where miracles can happen, and this is one of the reasons why, while Non Non Biyori has reached its full conclusion, the series closes on a very optimistic, pleasant tone.

  • Barring my revisiting Non Non Biyori again in the future, this is likely to be the last post I write for the series for the time being. It’s been a superb journey, and here, I will note that Non Non Biyori Nonstop itself finished airing about a year ago. A lot can happen over the course of a year, and much as how Non Non Biyori had shown how some changes are inevitable, right alongside how other things can remain constant, my experiences over the past year have similarly been a combination of encountering both the new and routine alike. Even after the move, some things remain as they have previously: it’s now been a shade more than a week since I moved in, and I’m slowly, but surely, settling in. April will see me pull back the throttle on blogging, but I’ve still got a few posts in mind for this month.

Having now finished Non Non Biyori Nonstop in full with this final OAD, viewers have reached the very end of the series: Nonstop‘s OAD is the end of the road, an encore to what was a particularly well-done, touching and amusing series that covers a wide range of moments in the characters’ everyday lives to show the ups and downs, triumphs and setbacks. Non Non Biyori ultimately speaks to a variety of life lessons while at the same time, presenting them in a humourous fashion, and this balance is what allows the series to be so successful. When Nonstop‘s regular season finished airing a year ago, I had commented on how Non Non Biyori ended up being an enjoyable presence over the course of its run: this OAD is therefore a bit of a bittersweet experience in that it allows one to briefly relive those older moments that come from watching the series, but at the same time, it’s also a definitive ending to things. Befitting of a swan song for Non Non Biyori, Nonstop‘s OAD gives viewers both a chance to see Aoi again, and shows how far Shiori’s come since starting school at Asahigaoka: one is left with the distinct impression that the characters are well-prepared to handle whatever changes await them in the future, but at the same time, there are other things in their lives that will remain solidly, dependably constant, acting as a source of comfort and reassurance as everyone manages change in their own manner. I certainly will miss Non Non Biyori: previously, when an OAD aired, I would attempt to place where the events happen relative to the main story and then speculate on whether or not there would be a continuation. Here at the end of Nonstop‘s OAD, it’s quite evident that the events are set some time after Nonstop finished, and there won’t be a continuation because the story has reached a satisfying and conclusive endpoint.

Non Non Biyori Vacation: A Movie Reflection, Full Recommendation and Perspectives from Travelling to Okinawa

“I feel that as long as the Shire lies behind, safe and comfortable, I shall find wandering more bearable: I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again.” –J.R.R. Tolkien

After Suguru wins plane tickets to Okinawa in a shopping mall lottery, Renge, Hotaru, Komari, Natsumi, Kazuho, Kaede, Hikage and Konomi prepare for a vacation in the southern islands. Upon arrival, the girls set off for their inn and check in. Here, they encounter Aoi, the eleven-year-old daughter of the inn’s managers, and after settling in, spend a day on the azure beaches of Okinawa. That evening, the whole group enjoys a delicious Okinawan-style dinner at the inn, and after dinner, Natsumi encounters Aoi practising badminton on her own later, and the two strike up a friendship. Before turning in, Natsumi suggests grabbing some instant noodles, saying that the absence of adults makes things taste more intriguing. The next day, the group splits up for their activities. Renge and Kaede see a stingray, while Hikage is stricken with motion sickness when snorkelling. When they go canoeing, Komari and Hotaru are ensnared by a branch; Kazuho rescues them, and later, they climb up to a waterfall. On the spur of the moment, Kazuho jumps into the pond and is soaked. Later, the girls take photographs by a lighthouse as evening sets in, and spend time with Aoi, who mentions that she is available the next day. To help her out, the girls clean their room that morning, and Aoi’s mother gives her permission to spend time with the girls, since it’s to improve their guests’ experiences. They end up visiting Aoi’s school, and she takes them around lesser known spots around Okinawa, including an ice cream shop, a secluded beach and a viewpoint providing a beautiful view of the island. When night falls, Aoi brings the girls to the beach, where they admire the star-filled skies and frolic in the phosphorescent waters. When their vacation draws to a close, Natsumi is saddened to leave, and she bids farewell with Aoi, asking her to stay in touch. The group return home as evening sets in, and Renge announces that she’s back. Released on August 25, 2018, Non Non Biyori Vacation brings Non Non Biyori to the silver screen for the first time, and during its seventy-minute-long run, brings back the familiar elements that made Non Non Biyori such an enjoyable run, while simultaneously providing a new setting that broadens the girls’ everyday experiences.

Despite being a slice-of-life series, Non Non Biyori excels with its focus on the subtle details of everyday life that often are ignored or taken for granted. Non Non Biyori Vacation continues in the path of its predecessors, detailing the wonders found in the ordinary. In this film, Non Biyori focuses on the different aspects of a vacation. The girls (and Suguru) first experience the highlights of Okinawa from the perspective of a tourist, relaxing on the beach, as well as joining a group to go canoeing and snorkelling in the warm, inviting waters of Okinawa. Besides these more tourist-oriented activities that showcase the best of Okinawa, the girls also befriend Aoi, a girl roughly their age who helps out at her family’s inn. In doing so, they are able to gain a much more personalised experience of Okinawa from a local. Having grown up in Okinawa, Aoi knows all of the ins and outs of the island, and so, is able to bring Natsumi, Hotaru, Komari and Renge on an intimate tour of spots she’s enjoyed. The ice cream shop and viewpoint would not be on the list of destinations for a tour group; the girls thus learn that life on Okinawa is both quite distinct, but also quite similar to their homes. This is the joy of travelling that Non Non Biyori Vacation aims to convey to viewers: being able to travel means being able to experience for oneself the different ways of life people have in different corners of the world, but also appreciate that there are also many similarities in how people live. At the end of the day, we are all human and therefore, part of a global community; sharing many commonalities while at once, having unique cultural aspects that are all immensely valuable. Non Non Biyori Vacation presents both sides of this coin in a concise package: for Natsumi, Komari, Hotaru and Renge, going to Okinawa shows them both what is special about the southern island long considered to be Japan’s Hawaii, as well as the aspects of their lives that are not so different.

At the end of Non Non Biyori Vacation, the film portrays two conflicting different angles on the conclusion of a vacation: one is simultaneously yearning to stay for longer and continue exploring, while at the same time, also begins looking forwards to sleeping in their own bed once again. Natsumi channels the former, having had a much better time in Okinawa than she had originally anticipated, and having made a new friend in Aoi, feels saddened that they can’t spend more time together. Conversely, the other characters have had a similarly enjoyable experience (except maybe Hikage, who was beset with an unexpected number of minor grievances during the trip), and while satisfied, are also growing a little exhausted. The feelings of travel are captured well in Non Non Biyori Vacation, and at the film’s end, Renge expresses what I’m certain everyone feels upon returning home. The film strives to and succeeds in capturing the different facets of travel – these elements are accompanied by visuals that are incredibly life-like. Non Non Biyori Vacation bears the traits of an anime movie, featuring impressive visuals that are vivid and photorealistic. Audiences feel as though they are there beside the cast as they travel Okinawa, feeling the intense heat of summer, refreshing cool of the ocean and everything in between. The exceptional artwork is complimented by a very well-done collection of incidental pieces: the soundtrack for Non Non Biyori Vacation incorporates elements of Okinawan music into its composition, but at the same time, sounds distinctly like the Non Non Biyori soundtrack. This further accentuates the movie’s theme, that travel highlights both the uniqueness of another region, as well as the similarities despite our differences, and as such, acts as a solid accompaniment for the film.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • Non Non Biyori Vacation opens up in Asahigaoka, a small rural village located in the heart of the mountains and sporting some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve seen in any anime set in the inaka, which is saying something, considering that shows like Ano Natsu de Matteru also have solid artwork. For this post, I’ve given it the full silver screen treatment: besides an extended discussion, I also have sixty screenshots, each of which can be viewed in full 1080p – the movie is gorgeous from a visual perspective, and I absolutely intend to convey this to readers.

  • I’ve opted to spend less time at the shopping mall that everyone visits because this is a post about going to Okinawa, but have chosen to mention it in some capacity: the film establishes for viewers that Suguru manages to win a vacation while the girls explore a local mall. Because Asahigaoka is a small village, going to a mall such as this would be a very exciting experience. The mall itself is named “Weather” (hiyori is also pronounced biyori, 日和 in kanji), and the series’ name seems to be “non non weather”, a reference to Non Non Biyori‘s often nonsensical but genuine humour in everyday life.

  • Character-defining moments are also set early in the film: Komari is very sensitive about her short stature and diminutive figure, being quite jealous of Hotaru, who is seen here looking at belts and unintentionally embarrassing Komari to no end, who is under the impression Hotaru is looking at undergarmets. The dynamic between Komari and Hotaru is a hilarious one, and created some unique humour during the TV series. In Non Non Biyori, such antics are decidedly fewer, being condensed into the film’s opening moments.

  • Natsumi ends up purchasing a game console with Suguru, having pooled some of their saved money to do so. Despite purchasing a last-generation console, Natsumi remains quite excited and is looking forwards to giving it a go. I’ve never been much of a console gamer: the newest consoles I have are a PlayStation 2 and a GameCube. Despite my being a PC gamer through and through, I am well aware of the merits of a good console: for one, being able to play split-screen with friends means that multiplayer experiences are top-tier.

  • Komari is visibly still hot and bothered from the events of earlier, but when Suguru wins a mall lottery, all thoughts suddenly turn towards their impending trip to Okinawa. Non Non Biyori Vacation follows the structuring of the manga faithfully: the events in the OVA “We’re Going to Okinawa” are original and deal primarily with the preparations leading up to the trip, but scenes of the girls and Suguha at the airport are sourced from the manga.

  • It suddenly strikes me that four and a half years has elapsed since I wrote about that OVA, and presently, it’s great to see Non Non Biyori continue along its run. In that time, I’ve flown to a handful of conferences, went out of country for work-related matters and realised my dream of travelling to Japan for the very first time. While the time frames between anime releases are extremely long, and their waits can seem quite unreasonable, individuals with busy, productive lives will find that time passes in the blink of an eye: it only seems like yesterday that I wrote about the first Non Non Biyori OVA while taking a break from developing the Giant Walkthrough Brain.

  • After Renge takes off to grab some food, Hikage begs Kazuho and Kaede to allow her to accompany them on the trip to Okinawa, admitting that she was acting nonchalant to play it cool in front of Renge. Unfortunately for Hikage, Renge saw everything go down. Moments of exaggeration such as these form the joy in watching Non Non Biyori, and it also speaks to the characters’ familiarity with one another when Kazuho remarks that she’s already got a ticket for Hikage.

  • For the remainder of this post, I will be focused on Hotaru and company’s time in Okinawa: the OVA had covered everything up to their flight, so I’ve jumped ahead to everyone’s arrival in Okinawa. The temperature and humidity is immediately apparent: while the skies are precisely the same shade of vivid azure as they were in Asahigaoka, and the vegetation just as verdant, the tropical vegetation and ambient sounds create a sense of warmth that is not seen in Asahigaoka.

  • The long pauses allow Non Non Biyori Vacation to capture the atmospherics and sights around Okinawa: these visual gaps are intentionally chosen to mirror those of the stills from Asahigaoka, reminding viewers what while Natsumi and Renge are in Okinawa, there are some things that are similar to the sorts of things they might encounter back home. This dichotomy forms the basis for the theme in Non Non Biyori Vacation: travel might be about experiencing new things, but it also provides an opportunity to really see for oneself that there are similarities across the globe in how people live their lives, as well.

  • Upon arriving at their inn, Kazuho and the others check in. They are greeted by Aoi, an eleven-year-old who is the same age as Natsumi. Aoi is unique to the film and was not present in the manga. She is voiced by Shino Shimoji, an Okinawa native who previously played Stella no Mahou‘s Marika Shimizu and Aki from Girls und Panzer. Despite being the same age as Natsumi, Aoi actively helps her family run the inn and Natsumi’s friends point out that despite their ages, the two seem quite disparate as far as maturity goes.

  • After settling into their rooms, Renge decides to show the Okinawan landscape her drawing of home. After Natsumi tampers with the air conditioning (this is a perfectly natural choice of action, and I typically do the same while travelling, since unoccupied rooms usually have their units switched off to save power), the girls subsequently don their swimsuits and hit the beach, kicking Suguru out while they change. The manga has everyone lodging at a more modern hotel, but in the film, the choice to go with a more traditional style inn gives a more distinct character to things.

  • The water effects in Non Non Biyori Vacation are top-tier, comparable to the water seen in the Cry Engine and Frostbite. It looks photorealistic and captures all of the warmth that tropical waters possess. Years previously, I was in Cancun for a conference on artificial life, and during mornings, I would walk the beaches, marvelling at the fact that the water was not bitterly cold. I rather enjoyed that experience, and after delivering a pair of successful talks, one of which was for a colleague’s project, I sat down and sipped a lemon daiquiri under the evening sun.

  • Komari is not particularly skilled at swimming, and while Hotaru is enjoying the water, Komari hesitates to step further out. Everyone is shown as enjoying the beach in their own manner of choosing: Renge sips a fruit cocktail while Kaede watches her, while Natsumi and Konomi play in the waters. Suguha and Kazuho end up resting on the beachside. In Non Non Biyori, the taciturn Kaede is often seen watching over Renge, and despite her disposition, she seems to enjoy keeping an eye on Renge.

  • While it may seem like a paradise that remains confined to the realm of fiction, the beaches of Okinawa do look this nice. Non Non Biyori‘s Okinawa is more vivid and detailed than Harukana Receive‘s Okinawa: here, the setting itself is a character in its own right, while in Harukana Receive, the Okinawa setting was chosen because the warm climate accommodates beach volleyball nicely. Harukana Receive‘s setting is beautiful and well done, but it was secondary to watching Haruka and the others mature – it naturally does not hold a candle to the Okinawa of Non Non Biyori Vacation, whose surroundings are so well done that it does feel like I’m there with everyone else.

  • While it’s a tropical paradise equivalent to China’s Hainan and America’s Hawaii, Okinawa was the site of some of the fiercest fighting during the later days of World War Two. The American forces had advanced via island-hopping to the doorsteps of Japan in 1945, and in April, began a massive offensive to capture the islands. Casualties were staggering, totally some 160000, and by late June, the Allied forces had secured the islands. With ninety percent of the island levelled, and massive civilian casualties, the Allies would convert the island into an airbase from which offensives could be launched against the home islands.

  • Today, the United States maintains an air force base in Okinawa, and the islands have been redeveloped, making it a paradise. Okinawans are among the longest-lived people on earth as a result of their diet and lifestyle, and the karate that I practise, Okinawa Gōjū-ryu originates from Naha. As a result, I would very much like to visit the birthplace of the “hard-soft” style that I practise, and the karate whose principles subtly impacted many aspects of my life. Here, Renge does a sketch of the scene she’s seeing unfold before her: it is pure bliss.

  • This post actually would’ve come out a bit sooner, but this past week has been quite busy, and I’ve had not time to blog: the post about CLANNAD ~After Story~ was written back in mid-February. On my itinerary was a company retreat that saw me visit the mountains with the entire team, and despite being overcast, the weather was very warm. Aside from doing team-building exercises and pushing on with polishing an app for deployment, we visited a frozen-solid Lake Minnewanka, saw more wildlife than I’d ever seen in the National Parks (big-horn sheep and a herd of elk, including one with 12-point antlers), ascended Sulfur Mountain and reached the top as a break in a snowfall occurred, and took a horse-drawn sleigh ride around Lake Louise, where we saw an ice-waterfall.

  • For those wondering, ostrich is quite tough and chewy, with a dull flavour. Kangaroo resembles a very rich, gamy and flavorful steak, while the shark meat I tried is not dissimilar to cod. Alligator meat resembles turkey in texture but has a more fishy flavour overall. The Grizzly House is a Banff institution, although I think that it is only with more adventurous folk, such as my team, that we’d try these: my family would very much prefer a classic cut of AAA prime rib. Tonight, I hit the roads again to visit a local Chinese style buffet, and will need to diligently hit the gym to ensure the food doesn’t defeat me.

  • Following dinner, Natsumi encounters Aoi practising badminton, and then helps Aoi hide this when her mother comes out to check on her. Seeing that Aoi is not so different than herself, Natsumi strikes a quick friendship with her. This particular aspect was absent from the manga, but it adds an additional degree of depth to Non Non Biyori Vacation‘s theme: the story told in the manga alone merely depicts Renge and the others visiting Okinawa for fun, but the movie juxtaposes the differences and similarities of different places to create a much more compelling message.

  • Natsumi decides to pick up some cup ramen after dinner, commenting that no adults around means being able to do the sorts of things they might not normally do otherwise. Her sense of adventure is boundless, and Natsumi is certainly more bold than I am – supervision or not, I tend to be highly rigid, disciplined and quite unwilling to do things that deviate from what I’m used to for the most part. The singular exception is when I am in an environment that allows me to loosen up a little, and I decide that there is no major risk to lightening up a little.

  • Slice-of-life anime prima facie appear to have little by ways of conflict and story, but I’ve found them to be fantastic vehicles for exploring life lessons in a cathartic manner. This is why I have nothing but positive things to say about shows like Non Non Biyori, and why I might be seen as more lenient about such series than most. I particularly enjoy considering personal values and life lessons that these shows bring about: while action-oriented shows might have a more tangible message for its viewers, subtleties in slice-of-life shows make them worthwhile in their own right.

  • Hotaru is ecstatic to be sleeping in the same bed as Komari, but then realises that she always asks her mother for extra time when sleeping in, and then worries Komari might see this side of her. It turns out that she does exactly thus, and then bolts up in embarrassment. Meanwhile, Hikage sleeps on the floor, as they’d run out of beds, and finds herself dissatisfied with the arrangements.

  • For their second day in Okinawa, Kaede and Kazuho take the crew snorkelling and canoeing. They depart the inn under breathtaking weather conditions: the rich colours in Non Non Biyori Vacation give a very visceral sense of being in Okinawa, and I continued finding myself impressed with the artwork, the further I went into the movie. The stunning artwork in this movie is precisely why each and every screenshot can be viewed at full resolution.

  • While Renge and Kaede enjoy the sights of the ocean, even spotting a stingray, Hikage suffers from motion sickness and is unable to explore to the extent that she’d like. It appears that Hikage runs into minor misfortune after minor misfortune during this trip to Okinawa – while this device is employed as a means of comedy, I admit that I am not keen on witnessing people experience low-level problems on a frequent basis: the occasional moment of surprise is what keeps things fresh, and after a while, one would come to feel pathos for individuals like Hikage rather than experience any humour.

  • Inland, the girls in the other group join a canoe trip. Komari immediately requests a two-person canoe, citing the reduced risk of falling into the water, but when she boards the canoe, immediately falls in to the water. Dramatic irony and situational irony are abundant in Non Non Biyori: despite its gentle atmosphere, the series is very fond of placing the characters in a series of unfortunate situations to remind viewers that life can sometimes simply be unfair, but in spite of this, there’s plenty of good things, too. Portraying minor misfortunes as something to laugh off, Non Non Biyori shows that looking past these small ills means being able to enjoy things that are truly spectacular.

  • Hotaru and Komari pair up in a canoe and begin to make their way downriver, but while admiring the mangroves, they lodge their canoe in the roots of one of the mangroves. Canoeing down the river of mangroves is a quintessential experience in Okinawa, and the river’s course is smooth enough so that anyone ages three and over can participate. Hence, viewers cannot help but feel a twinge of pity mixed in with their laughs when Komari and Hotaru get stuck and begin panicking in an adorable manner.

  • Movies oftentimes give characters a chance to shine, and in Non Non Biyori Vacation, Kazuho has such an opportunity. Her students can evidently be a handful, and despite her laid-back, lax manner, as well as her tendency to sleep during work hours, she’s actually quite attentive and is mindful of her students. When Kazuho arrives and hears the pair’s calls for help, it’s just another day at the office: she helps Komari and Hotaru extricate themselves from the branches, allowing them to continue on with their adventure.

  • Despite having left their tea and bread in the car from excitement, Kazuho has noticed this earlier and brought the provisions that Komari and Hotaru have left behind. Being able to see another side of some characters in an anime movie serves to enhance the viewer’s ability to relate to them, showing that everyone is multi-faceted. I find that the joy of slice-of-life anime is precisely in seeing characters react and interact under different conditions, revealing a more complex character than one might have otherwise expected. Over time, these interactions shift gradually and the characters mature, mirroring how individuals in reality slowly change over time, as well.

  • After their canoeing adventure, the girls climb a trail leading to a beautiful waterfall. On the spur of the moment, Kazuho jumps into the water, feeling invigorated. It is here that everyone’s adventure begins transitioning from more tourist-oriented activities into a more personalised, self-guided one: Non Non Biyori has long conveyed that the best adventures are often those that occur unexpectedly, and the beautiful scenery surrounding this waterfall gives the cast a chance to explore on their own.

  • Konomi is a third-year high school student who had limited appearances in the TV series: being a ways older than the others, she’s looked up to as a role model and is voiced by Ryōko Shintani, whom I know for her roles in Saki and Love Lab. She takes a photograph of Komari, Hotaru and Kazuho in the water here. In the manga, Kazuho does not jump into the water, and her energy simply results in her crashing subsequently, whereas in Non Non Biyori Vacation, she tires out from a combination of heat and being soaked.

  • As evening sets in, Renge, Natsumi, Hikage and Kaede enjoy the cooling air and darkening skies by the Cape Zanpa Lighthouse. This thirty-metre lighthouse is located in a particularly picturesque area and is suited for photography. Renge sketches the lighthouse here, before joining Natsumi and Hikage in a photograph. The purples of the sunset convey a unique sense of distance to the day’s end: in Asahigaoka, sunsets predominantly have colours in the oranges and reds, but the Okinawan sunsets feature more purples and pinks. This is likely to hint at the different feeling that a tropical sunset might evoke.

  • The page quote for this talk is from J.R.R. Tolkien, whose perspectives on adventure and travel coherently and succinctly mirror my own personality. Being very literal and straightforward, I rather enjoy Tolkien’s style, and in this quote, he simply means to say that knowing there is a home to go back to makes all adventure and hardship more bearable. I admit that I am not much of a traveller; unlike others of my generation, I do not believe that travelling is the sole means to enrich oneself. Justifications for why people of my generation travel include notions that exploring the world is the single most effective way to become a better person, and to this end, travel frequently. While travel does broaden one’s horizon, it is also an endeavour that requires a time commitment. For me, I would much rather put my time into work, developing my interpersonal and technical skills to positively impact the lives of others in a tangible way.

  • While travelling would help me connect with people better, I still would need to prove it with my work experience, and as such, travel is a lesser priority compared to contributing to something much bigger than myself through my work. At the opposite end of the spectrum, one of my friends ended up moving to Japan after meeting someone there while doing a home-stay program, leaving behind family, friends and a prospective career. I don’t think I could pull off something like this: I’m rather like a Hobbit in many ways, preferring the comforts of home and a good routine. Having said this, I am okay with adventure in moderation, and at any rate, moving somewhere to pursue matters of the heart is not exactly a good ROI if things should go south.

  • After arriving back at the inn after a day’s worth of adventure, Natsumi greets Aoi. The gentle purple-pinks of the evening skies become more pronounced, and gives a magical quality to Natsumi’s growing friendship with Aoi. Despite different backgrounds, Natsumi finds that she shares similarities with Aoi, as well. I was quite surprised to learn that Natsumi is voiced by Ayane Sakura, whom I know best as GochiUsa‘s Cocoa Hoto: if one listens carefully, a bit of Sakura’s kawaii voice can be heard in Natsumi.

  • Another evening in Okinawa means another scrumptious dinner. Entering this month, the weather was still brutally cold, and as the work week began, I sat down to a hot and tasty fried chicken ramen with miso-sesame broth, charred corn and snap peas, plus a soft-boiled egg at a local pub. Their fried chicken stands as some of the best I’ve had, being crisply fried while maintaining juicy chicken on the inside. In moderation, good food during a cold day is the perfect countermeasure, and after a meal such as this, even -20ºC weather is not quite so cold. Of course, things are now warming up again, and I am quite glad to see the worst of winter behind us.

  • After dinner, the girls invite Aoi to hang out with them, where Renge shows her some of the drawings that she’d made. It turns out that Aoi is free the next day, and she offers to take them around different spots in Okinawa that are far removed from tourists. This is the side of the world that Rick Steves promotes in his series, Rick Steves’ Europe: taken the path less travelled, Steves highlights local cuisines and sights that often go missed by travellers in favour of more well-known attractions. Having a local guide who knows the area helps greatly and serves to create a more authentic experience: folk of my generation wish to experience this in particular, and I cannot fault them for that.

  • The next morning, Aoi wakes up bright and early to meet up with Natsumi and the others. Even at this early hour, the Okinawan heat is apparent: with the temperature averaging highs of 26ºC throughout the year, the humid sub-tropical climate of Okinawa is a world apart from the winters in my area. This year, winter came later: January was unusually mild, and then the bitter cold slammed the city with five straight weeks of cold. Forecasts are showing warmer weather incoming, and this will be a breath of fresh air, to finally be able to walk outside without a scarf covering my face.

  • Mirroring Aoi’s thoughtfulness, Hotaru and the others have given their room a cleaning so that she is not burdened with the task, and Aoi’s mother allows her to spend the day with Renge and the others, since it’s improving the customer experience. Simple gestures like these show that for their occasional misadventures, the cast of Non Non Biyori are ultimately good people. Some individuals have stated that this creates the impression that Non Non Biyori has no conflict, and in turn, this prevents the characters from developing. However, I find that exploring characters over time and portraying different sides in an individual is equivalent to character development, so it is inappropriate to dismiss Non Non Biyori on the basis that there are no conflicts in a traditional sense.

  • The soundtrack for Non Non Biyori Vacation is a well-composed one, integrating traditional Okinawan elements (such as the Sanshin) into the incidental music. Familiar motifs from Non Non Biyori also make a return, and together, this is meant to accentuate that Non Non Biyori Vacation is about the fusion of the familiar and unfamiliar. I greatly enjoyed listening to the music for this reason: it evokes imagery of Okinawa in the mind’s eye, while at once being distinctly Non Non Biyori in tone, and as such, the soundtrack is a perfect aural representation of the film’s thematic elements.

  • Aoi takes the girls to her school, where she briefly meets up with a friend before showing them around the grounds. Again, minute details in the environment, such as the stains in the walls surrounding the school and cracks in the pavement, give the environment a more realistic, worn sense. This stands in contrast with the near-flawless infrastructure of Harukana Receive – highly clean environments provide less visual clutter, which is excellent where the focus is on the characters. In something like Non Non Biyori, including these details immerse viewers in the environment.

  • While summer in the inaka often evokes feelings of melancholy in something like Yosuga no Sora, Ano Natsu de Matteru and Please! Teacher, the same colours and atmosphere in Non Non Biyori creates a sense of excitement and adventure. A similar palette was used in CLANAND ~After Story~ to great effect: long days are perfect for adventure, and skies of deepest blue that seem to stretch on forever might be seen as acting for a visual representation of this unlimited possibility. What effect the sky has is affected by the nature of an anime, and seemingly unending skies can also signal uncertainty, as is often the case where romances are involved.

  • Aoi gives everyone a chance to play badminton, and after Natsumi plays Komari, an irate Komari asks Aoi to play Natsumi after she’s beaten. With her experience, Aoi tramples Natsumi without much effort, and Natsumi is utterly exhausted after the fact. However, there’s little time for a rematch, as Aoi’s got an exciting itinerary planned for Hotaru and company. I know the excitement of stuff occurring: things have been hectic as of late, and earlier this week, I had the opportunity to go attend a live-event featuring former U.S. President Barack Obama. In his talk, he emphasised the importance of innovation, cooperation and above all, optimism. I greatly enjoyed the talk, and Obama is a very charismatic, presidential speaker: the reality is that in a world ruled by enmity and discord, we overcome it by showing equal bonds of friendship and trust.

  • This is why I am so insistent about optimism and positivity in whatever I do, whether it be in real life or for my blog. Back in Non Non Biyori Vacation, one subtle touch that I found to be pleasant is the fact that each of Hotaru, Renge, Komari, Natsumi and Aoi have different hats that mirror their personalities. Hotari has a simple but elegant sun hat, while Komari’s hat has a ribbon on it. Both Aoi and Natsumi have ballcaps, and Renge has a bucket hat. Having a good hat is essential in places like Okinawa, where the sun is intense and so is the corresponding UV index. While folks often associate pleasant weather with a high UV index, in places with a higher elevation, there can be a high UV index even when it is overcast.

  • Aoi takes the girls to a shop that sells hand-made Okinawan accessories. In a subtle call-back to Komari’s being perceived as a child, the others notice that a pendant looks sharp on Hotaru, who is more mature for her age. Viewers are largely dependent on dialogue to expose this fact: except for Renge and Kazuho, who have a distinct eye shape, the characters in Non Non Biyori have the same facial features. Barring their hair styles and eye colour, they look very much alike, and I have gotten into the pitfall of mixing characters up. In particular, I find that Hotaru looks very similar to Konomi.

  • After visiting an ice-cream shoppe and savouring sundaes, Aoi brings everyone to an observation point looking over Okinawa. While ice cream had previously not been something I was too interested in, I’ve come to realise that it actually boils down to the hardness and flavour of the ice cream; I’m fond of softer ice cream, and maple ice cream in particular hits the spot. During this past week, I had the chance to try a beaver-tail maple ice cream, which is about as Canadian as ice creams can get.

  • Having local knowledge of an area means being able to take in sights away from the crowds: Aoi brings the girls to a quieter beach, where they enjoy the sights of a calm, rocky beach that is quite far removed from path better travelled. I’ve long had a fondness for exploring the more hidden corners of my homeland and discovering local gems that I normally pass over. For instance, it was taking a second look for holes in the walls that I came across the 514 Poutine in Canmore.

  • In the manga, Renge decides to take a shell home, but in Non Non Biyori Vacation, Aoi suggests that the girls take some white sand home with them, having bought small glass vials with her. This is a wonderful souvenir of what was an immensely relaxing and enjoyable vacation, and also brings to mind a vial of sand from Cancún that I bought. This vial also has a few small seashells within, and the vial is stoppered by a glass ball to keep the sand from coming out.

  • By evening, Aoi takes the girls to the beach where, away from the effects of light pollution, Natsume, Renge, Hotaru and Komari are treated to a stunning view of the night sky, with the Milky Way plainly visible. This is perhaps a more optimistic view of the night skies in Okinawa; most of the island is as bright as Cochrane, which is around 36 kilometres from the city center. While the night skies at this distance are more pronounced than they are in the suburbs of Calgary, it’s still bright enough so the Milky Way would not be easily spotted. As Non Non Biyori Vacation is fiction, this is forgiven.

  • Aoi’s brought the girls here to show them a spectacular phenomenon: Noctiluca scintillans exhibit bioluminescence and when stimulated, will emit a blue light. The girls frolic in the water in a truly magical setting, and similar to a moment in Non Non Biyori Repeat, where Kazuho takes the girls to a pond to watch fireflies, Non Non Biyori Vacation sets one of its most magical moments under the night sky.

  • For me, Non Non Biyori represents a film where, despite the lack of a unifying conflict or an end goal, messages about life are nonetheless present in full. The film is working within the constraints of the manga, which presented the trip to Okinawa as a detour from their routine. There is not supposed to be a conflict or explicit lesson: life simply has breaks in it, and the movie has certainly succeeded in capturing this particular concept, bringing it to life with first-rate visuals and sound. Silver Link has done a phenomenal job on the movie, and presently, with an impressive collection of anime in their profile, I am happy that the studio has continued to find a way.

  • While the manga had Natsumi crying for no discernable reason, the film allows this moment to carry more weight: she’s clearly saddened to leave such a beautiful place, but also is saddened because she’s not able to spend more time with Aoi. The format in Non Non Biyori Vacation allows the film to do things that the manga could not, and this creates a more solid story that can be touching, as well as comedic.

  • For better or worse, the time has come to depart, and Aoi bids everyone farewell. Natsumi promises to write her, and improve on badminton in the meantime. A part of every vacation is the part where one must leave for home, and in my experience, this is usually a mixed bag. On one hand, being in another country engenders a desire to continue exploring, but on the other hand, being elsewhere also amplifies one’s appreciation for their own home. There’s nothing quite like sleeping in one’s own bed after a vacation.

  • While Natsumi is probably the rowdiest of the group, seeing her grow in Non Non Biyori Vacation was probably one of the strongest elements. Despite being unscholarly in manner, Natsumi is shown to have a strong knowledge of the outdoors and is also quite active. She tends to create trouble for others, but at heart is caring for those around her. The film offered Natsumi an opportunity to develop in a manner that the manga did not, and by taking advantage of this, helps viewers like myself warm up to her further.

  • The palm trees and pristine beaches of Okinawa give way to the rolling hills and endless fields of Asahigaoka as the group returns home. The deliberate choice of lighting here, with purples and pinks dominating the evening sky, mirror the sunset of the second day; this was done to remind audiences that while everyone might be back in Asahigaoka, they’re still under the same skies as Okinawa, similarly to how Aoi and Natsumi have commonalities.

  • Having the characters walking apart as they wave goodbyes for the present creates a visual break here. While everyone is parting ways for now, they’re still planning on hanging out in the time that is left before summer is over. I imagine that this film segues into Non Non Biyori Repeat: the manga seems to portray things as taking place after Hotaru arrives in a linear manner, but the TV series’ second season suggests that it’s set in between the episodes seen in the first season. With a third season announced, one wonders where it will fit in the timeline.

  • After arriving home, Hotaru shares her experiences with her parents. Non Non Biyori presents the girls as living in a more old-fashioned environment, and so, do not have access to things like smartphones. I usually communicate with my parents while travelling to inform them that I’ve arrived safely by means of WhatsApp. While I prefer iMessage and Skype in every way, I usually aren’t too picky about the choice of tool I have to use.

  • At the Koshigayas’, Komari recounts her experiences in Okinawa to her mother, while Suguru chills. Natsumi is seen in her room, fondly hanging up the image that Renge had drawn of her and Aoi. Everyone’s gotten something unique out of their experience in Okinawa, and come away with what will be memories to treasure for a lifetime. I note that for the most part, Suguru has not been mentioned to any real extent in my discussions: he’s unique in that he has no voice actor, and his presence is quite minimal.

  • When the Miyauchis arrive home, Renge immediately runs into their house and declares that they’re back. Earlier, Renge wonders if they’ll be able to go back to Okinawa, and Kazuho remarks that such a vacation is too pricey to be doing on a regular basis. Renge decides that in the future, she’d like to go back again anyways. Simple details in conversation give great insights into the characters, and I found that while still having a secondary role in the film, Kazuho was given a few moments that present her as being attentive, mindful of those around her and astute, leaving audiences with the sense that she’s qualified to look after elementary and middle school students despite her lethargic appearance.

  • For my readers, I’m also back in full now: I’ve been writing less so far because my priorities have been on work-related matters. With one major milestone now in the books, I look forwards to continuing on with my work, but for the present, this means that I will be blogging with at least a better frequency than I have in the past several weeks. I’ve long anticipated Non Non Biyori Vacation with enthusiasm, and having finished this post, which is this year’s largest (having some seven thousand five hundred and ten words), I look to the future. I have one final post left for CLANNAD ~After Story~, and will be writing about Ace Combat 7 now that I’ve passed the halfway point. Endro!‘s ending is coming later this month, and I still have one more post on Battlefield V‘s campaign, as well. Finally, I do have (tentative) plans to write about Nagi no Asukara. I would like to thank the reader who’ve stuck around long enough to read this entire post.

Taken together, Non Non Biyori Vacation is an excellent film that capitalises on the silver screen format to deliver a bolder, larger-scale theme while simultaneously remaining very faithful to the structuring and atmosphere seen in the original TV series. Like the themes the film conveys, Non Non Biyori Vacation is both familiar and different relative to the TV series. Watching all of the characters sightsee and experience a more personal side of Okinawa was superbly enjoyable. Non Non Biyori has long excelled at conveying subtle lessons on life in its gentle, cathartic run, and Non Non Biyori Vacation continues on in the same manner its predecessors did. This is a movie that I can easily recommend to anyone who enjoyed Non Non Biyori, and for folks who are looking for something relaxing, Non Non Biyori Vacation fits the bill even if one is unfamiliar with the series. Granted, there are some jokes that require some background in the series to fully appreciate, but the film itself is reasonably standalone such that one could enjoy it even without having seen the TV series or read the manga. It’s been a shade over six months since Non Non Biyori hit the theatres in Japan, and presently, having had the chance to see the movie for myself, I find that this is something that viewers should definitely experience for themselves. Finally, looking ahead into the future, I’ve heard that a third season of Non Non Biyori is in the works, and this is exciting news: Non Non Biyori‘s success comes from being committed to its ability to do more with less. By utilising a simple moment and then drawing the fun from the ordinary, Non Non Biyori shows the merits of taking a step back to smell the roses when the world constantly seeks to accelerate – this is something that is most welcome in my books.