The Infinite Zenith

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Tag Archives: Kazuha Miyauchi

Hotaru Had Fun: Non Non Biyori Repeat OVA Review

The dark clouds fading for my mind
No pain will last forever
The seasons pass and the sunlight will shine
On my life again

Seasons, Dragonforce

A year ago, I was settling into my schedule as a second-year graduate student. My thesis paper was then a collection of unfinished Microsoft Word files, with only the background and motivation sections’ basic structure outlined. I had not yet begun writing any of the conference papers, and my project had just passed the milestone where I had generalised an algorithm describing protein interactions for use in Unreal Engine. At around this time, Non Non Biyori Repeat was drawing to a close, and in an off-hand remark, I mentioned that an OVA would almost be certainly within the realm of possibility, dealing with the Okinawa trip in full. It turns out that I only receive partial credit for this prediction: an OVA did indeed come out, although it does not deal with Okinawa in any way. Instead, this OVA is set in the tranquil and serene village of Asahigaoka, detailing the adventures Hotaru partakes in as the seasons progress. She frolics in the snow by winter, bakes cookies with Kaede by spring, helps Renge and the others drive Komari’s dreams in a positive direction under the summer season, and during the autumn, collects wild edibles under the brilliantly-coloured foliage.

The central theme in Non Non Biyori‘s first season is the wonder conferred by the four seasons (the second season presented more elements on life experiences); each season is distinct and confers a particular set of elements to be enjoyed. However, in the Non Non Biyori Repeat OVA, Hotaru is shown as having a ball of a time under different circumstances: whether she’s on her own, spending the afternoon with one person or all of her friends, things wind up being quite memorable even if what she’s doing seems quite unextraordinary. This exemplifies the magic that is prevalent throughout Non Non Biyori and other Iyashikei — being set in the countryside gives Non Non Biyori an even more laid-back tenour. It represents opportunity to step away from the high pace of life in the city, inserting audiences in a place where time itself appears to stand still and giving them a chance to appreciate things that might otherwise be missed.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • The twenty images accompanying this post were originally 1024 by 578, which is much lower than the resolutions I prefer watching shows at; technically, these additional episodes are considered to be OADs rather than OVAs, but nonetheless, they are of a sufficient quality such that the beauty surrounding Asahigaoka is not lost, as demonstrated by this opening image.

  • It is unsurprising that Hotaru is the star of this OVA, as her name adorns the title. While taking a walk with Pecci, her Shiba Inu, Hotaru marvels at the snow and stops for a few moments to partake in snow activities. Although I cannot say I’m fond of days where whiteouts and slick road conditions make it difficult to commute, there is a magic about clear, sunny days following a snowfall.

  • Here, Hotaru marvels at a particularly large pane of ice that’s formed on the creek. Even at the lower resolutions, subtle details, such as Hotaru’s fingers turning pink in the brisk air, are visible, attesting to the effort put into Non Non Biyori. It was quite pleasant to learnt that Rie Murakawa, Hotaru’s voice actor, also provides the voice to GochiUsa‘s Megu Natsu. As Megu, her singing voice evokes imagery of rabbits having a ball of a time in a large meadow.

  • After crafting a snowman, Hotaru builds a smooth surface to slide down. There is a hill at my old elementary school where students would do just this by winter, and although there was a fence at the bottom to prevent anyone from reaching the road, the school made it clear that students were not supposed to sled down this hill during school hours. Even with this in mind, students would slide down the hill anyways during lunch break, or else bring a full sled and partake on weekends.

  • En route to Hotaru’s house to spend the day, Komari stumbles across the results of Hotaru’s handiwork and promptly gets caught in a cascade of bad luck. After slipping on the ice pane Hotaru had found, she falls down the hill and smashes through the small igloo that Hotaru had built earlier, narrowly missing being drenched in the frigid winter creek.

  • Though quite shaken, Komari makes it to Hotaru’s house and promptly requests that they spend the day indoors on account of all the hazards. There is dramatic irony here, given that Komari is completely unaware that Hotari is indirectly responsible for her woe.

  • Asahigaoka takes on a lively green colour as spring settles in. Infinitely peaceful, the landscape is rife with opportunity for adventure, and Hotaru sets off the visit Kaede after her mother has to head off, promising Hotaru that they will bake cookies another day.

  • Kaede (known by her nickname “Candy Store” amongst the other characters) senses that Hotaru’s got a desire to bake cookies: she tries to purchase ingredients for such from Kaede, and so, the latter decides that, in light of the lighter business on this day, she will help Hotaru out.

  • The cookies wind up being quite delicious: edible flowers can be used on cookies to impart a special flavour, and in North American recipes, Lavender and pansies are commonly-used flowers for such a role, although, as Hotaru and Kaede demonstrate, sakura blossoms can also be used.

  • I’ve always longed to visit the Japanese countryside, having seen many photographs, accounts and depictions in fiction. I suppose now is a good time as any to mention that next summer, I’ve got plans to visit Japan. The specifics are not known yet, but it looks like I’ll be fulfilling one of the items on my list of things that I wished to do; back during the depths of 2014’s winter, I wondered if travelling would be a viable countermeasure against lovesickness and in particular, whether or not visiting Japan would cure said lovesickness.

  • Two years hence, I’ve experienced enough such that lovesickness isn’t too frequently on my mind, and I’d rather it stay that way for now: we return to Non Non Biyori and note that it’s now summer. Everyone’s completing their summer assignments together, and after Renge remarks that Komari’s got errors here and there in her work, Komari decides to take a kip.

  • Komari’s misfortunes in the OVA are adorable rather than piteous, and here, she drifts off with the aim of collecting her thoughts. I’ve found that short rests of around 15 or so minutes can be tremendously effective in restoring one’s energy, far more efficiently than any energy drink. I do not particularly enjoy energy drinks or coffee, for that matter, in bolstering my vitality.

  • Feeling bad for Komari, Renge decides to help guide her dreams such that when she wakes up, she’ll be feeling happier. Dreams are highly complex processes whose mechanics are not well characterised, and as Renge finds out, their application of stimuli have a range of effects on Komari. The comedy in this section, however, comes when it turns out that their efforts have an appreciable, positive impact on Komari, at least until she wakes up.

  • I was rather surprised to learn that Natsumi is voiced by Ayane Sakura (I know her best for her role as GochiUsa‘s Cocoa Hoto, Tsubaki Sawabe in Your Lie in April and VividRed Operation‘s Akane Isshiki); as Natsumi, her voice is much deeper here and consequently, I could not immediately recognise her. I’ve heard that some folks dislike Sakura for her voice for its acoustic properties (read “too squeaky”), but I find it appropriate for the characters she voices. Furthermore, she can do other roles quite well.

  • Autumn has become a season I’ve grown to love: that nature is able to put on such an incredible display with its yellowing leaves is impressive. A few years back, I remarked that the transition from light to dark, and warmth to cold was a bit of a disheartening one, and in E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, the crickets sing a song lamenting the end of summer. However, as Non Non Biyori graciously illustrates, there is joy and wonder to be found in all seasons.

  • On a pleasant fall day, Hotaru, Komari, Renge and Natsumi make to explore the woods in their area, picking wild edibles as they go. The page quote is taken from Dragonforce’s “Seasons”, one of my favourite songs from any of their albums for its composition and lyrics. I listened to it extensively during the summer of 2013 and fell in love with the song. In contrast with their other songs, which feature their signature speed electric guitar and percussion, Seasons is a much slower song that speaks of cycles and recovery. Here’s a bit of trivia about Seasons I did not know until now: the song is about the end of a relationship (which is something that, with the Flood of 2013, made the summer a more difficult one).

  • After being attacked by a flying squirrel (genus Petaurista in Japan), Komari loses her haul and promptly gives chase, finding the squirrel in a tree. In this here OVA, Komari sees more than her share of misfortune, although these are relatively minor and drive humour. Despite their name, flying squirrels do not carry out proper flight, and instead, make use of a membrane to glide very precisely. Aside from fruits and nuts, their diet also consists of fungi and some insects.

  • Komari’s indignation soon turns to amazement when she learns that the flying squirrel had sourced food for her offspring. This is the wonder of life, although my inner former biologist will note that flying squirrels typically mate during the Spring months of March and April. With a gestation period of roughly forty days, and reaching developmental maturity in two and a half months, most flying squirrels will be able to go out on their own during the summer months, rather than autumn as shown in Non Non Biyori.

  • The autumn sights around Asahigaoka are absolutely beautiful, with the foliage exhibiting yellows, oranges and reds. The differences in colours are a result of different pigments becoming visible once chlorophyll synthesis stops; carotenoids form a yellow or orange colour, while anthocyanins result in red. It is hypothesised that anthocyanin pigments result from evolutionary strategies where red pigmentation dissuaded insects from consuming the plants, but owing to the ice ages, the reduced threat of insects in European forests meant that fewer species needed to produce a red pigment, whereas in North America, the arrangement of the mountains meant that even with an ice age, there remained a need to ward of insects.

  • So ends the latest Non Non Biyori OVA, which acts as yet another gentle, refreshing installment. As I’ve now accumulated a fair number of posts regarding Non Non Biyori, I’ve created a new category to make these posts easier to find. I’m now largely caught up on all of my shows, and are in an excellent position for the start of Brave Witches: the first episode releases tomorrow, although as it’s a weeknight, I definitely will not be able to put out a post on the same day. I imagine that Saturday will be the earliest I can get that post out.

With another excellent Non Non Biyori OVA now in the books, I’m reminded of the shift in the seasons where I am. It’s definitely feeling like autumn, with the days shortening and giving way to much cooler skies. The leaves on the trees have begun turning gold, orange and red in earnest, giving rise of a particularly beautiful landscape. It’s the perfect time of year to go for hikes: it’s neither too hot or cold, and the number of insects are declining, as well. Thoughts of the seasons invariably lead my mind to recall Non Non Biyori‘s first season, and it suddenly strikes me that it’s been three years since that released. In that time, I’ve grown to appreciate the seasons more, and I do wonder on occasion if the large number of Iyashikei anime I watch has contributed to a differing, more open-minded outlook on the seasons themselves. With this review reaching its conclusion, I wonder if a continuation will be likely; the manga is ongoing, so there is no shortage of source material, and consequently, I hope that said continuation will probably be a “when”, rather than “if”.

Non Non Biyori Repeat: Whole-series review and reflection

“Living in a rural setting exposes you to so many marvelous things – the natural world and the particular texture of small-town life, and the exhilarating experience of open space.” —Susan Orlean

Non Non Biyori Repeat draws to a conclusion as a full year elapses after Hotaru’s arrival in Asahigaoka: in the anime’s final quarter, focus is given to particularly endearing moments in Renge’s everyday life, whether it’s her naïveté when it comes to monsters or hitherto unseen talent at arithmetic, or her journey towards learning how to ride a bike with Kaede’s supervision. Things as ordinary as a cell phone turn into an adventure when Komari’s short stature prevents her from reaching a cell signal, and Hotaru is shown to have a side more consistent with her age at home, even though she’s mature in front of her friends. When winter passes Asahigaoka and spring returns, everyone prepares to welcome the return of warm weather with a picnic while flower-gazing, and Hotaru expresses anticipation at her next year with Komari, Natsumi, Renge and the others in Asahigaoka. Ultimately, the decision to split one year’s worth of events in Non Non Biyori into two seasons allowed for the sequel to depict the notion that while the events of the first season were happening, there were numerous other memorable moments that were not depicted. Consequently, Non Non Biyori Repeat suggests (successfully) that in the journey that is life, there is value in cherishing even the smallest of happy moments with friends.

Continuing on in the same manner as the first season, Non Non Biyori Repeat excels at depicting aspects of pastoralism. Although shepherds and sheep do not figure in Non Non Biyori, the anime as a whole constitutes a pastoral work. It shares numerous characteristics with literature of this genre, depicting life in a peaceful, open and rural environment as the seasons pass. Complex aspects of everyday life are simplified, and society is in harmony with nature, exemplified in the girls’ everyday adventures and the anime’s frequent use of stills to stress just how calming and beautiful Asahigaoka is, almost to a fault. Although the girls do experience things that urban citizens experience (the joys of cell phones, school, chores, learning to ride a bike, sharing time with friends, disappointment, and the life cycle, to name a few), these events are placed in a idyllic rural environment that serves to really bring out the details and emotions in each of the aforementioned experiences. Consequently, Non Non Biyori (and Non Non Biyori Repeat) is widely regarded as an enjoyable slice-of-life, for exploring a variety of these events and adequately conveying the tenor of each moment to the audience. This experience is one that’s relatable, capturing all of the ups and downs in life that help the characters mature.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • So here we are, three days after the finale aired, and armed with twenty screenshots of the final three episodes. Here, Renge is playing with Konomi, a third-year high school student who was a graduate of Asahigaoka Branch School, and though she had a more limited presence in season one, she, along with other secondary characters, make more frequent appearances in Non Non Biyori to make things more dynamic.

  • The biggest draw about Non Non Biyori Repeat is being able to portray different facets for each character (e.g. Natsumi’s extensive, practical knowledge on nature). In Renge’s case, she expresses pure shock at the fact that Natsumi and Komari can become monsters by “pulling off” their fingers, suggesting that, despite being mature for her age, Renge is still a child at heart.

  • On the whole, scheduling and weather conditions precluded any opportunity to ride my bike over the last summer, but I’m still certain that I can ride my bike after two summers without having done so. I still recall learning to ride a bike for the first time and got the hang of it in around 35 minutes.

  • Renge catches a cold, so Komari and the others pay her a visit. Kaede also shows up, displaying some tsundere-like tendencies when Natsumi teases her about caring for Renge and when Kazuha asks her about the materials she’s supposed to be delivering. Hilarious this may be, it’s not too surprising that Kaede worries about Renge.

  • Kaede’s dedication in helping Renge learn to ride a bike was most heartwarming to behold, illustrating yet another aspect of the bonds that the two share. On the whole, scheduling and weather conditions precluded any opportunity to ride my bike over the last summer, but I’m still certain that I can ride my bike after two summers without having done so. I still recall learning to ride a bike for the first time many years ago and got the hang of it in around 35 minutes.

  • With Renge having learnt to ride a bike, she and the others finally set out to a region two stations away for viewing autumn colours. Hints of autumn are starting to make their way into Non Non Biyori at this point as the Autumnal Equinox approaches and passes. Summer’s finally over now, and fall is in full swing: from the top floor of the Information Technology building on campus, it’s possible to see a vast number of trees turning a golden yellow as the days cool.

  • The autumnal equinox this year was yesterday, and this Sunday, it’s the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, so I’ll be partaking in a dinner and moon-viewing (with mooncakes). In North America, the super-moon will coincide with a total lunar eclipse at 2207 MDT. Such events are extremely rare, and the next one won’t be seen again for another eighteen years.

  • Komari’s reaction to using a mobile phone is roughly similar to my reaction upon discovering all of the new features present in iOS 9; this simultaneously reflects on the isolation in Asahigaoka with respect to technology, as well as how awesome iOS 9 is. Curiously enough, the only reason I was able to find the time to write this post today (as opposed to tomorrow or the weekend) was because I finished grading the second assignment for the iOS programming course I’m TA’ing. I encountered some difficulties with the iOS Simulator, but thankfully, reinstalling Xcode 7 on the MacBook Pro appears to have rectified the issues.

  • My supervisor (also the iOS programming course’s instructor) asked me to prepare a lecture on debugging in Xcode for yesterday at the beginning of the month. Despite the preparation, giving a lecture was somewhat frightening, but in the end, things went reasonably smoothly, and I can breathe easy for the present. Returning to Non Non Biyori, it would appear that the phone signal in Asahigaoka is so faint that one must be standing in a very specific spot, with the phone at a specific height, in order to actually connect to the network. In her attempts to use the phone, Komari falls and nearly sprains an ankle, then swallows her pride as a senpai and asks Hotaru to carry her to accomplish something as simple as sending an SMS.

  • Throughout season one, Renge maintained a very cool, quite presence in Non Non Biyori, only succumbing to her emotions once when Honoka left suddenly during summer break. Here, Renge responds to Hikage’s persistent efforts in trying to sneak a peek at her New Years’ cards. The Japanese custom of sending New Year’s postcards is similar to the Western practises of sending Christmas cards, but rather than for the oft-parodied purpose of gloating about one’s own life, Japanese cards are sent to inform relatives that everyone is doing well (and the practise is suspended if there’s been a death in the family).

  • After yet another one of Hikage’s ill-conceived efforts at field-craft fails, she resorts to force to try and see what Renge is drawing. Ever-prepared for her sister’s antics, Renge uncharacteristically unleashes the hundred-hand slap on her in one of the noisiest scenes of all time in Non Non Biyori. It was incredibly funny (read “I laughed so hard tears appeared in my eyes”) and eventually led me to create another “Guile’s Theme Goes With Non Non Biyori video. Later, it turns out that Renge’s drawings are quite ordinary.

  • Hotaru is quite embarrassed whenever her friends mention how mature she is, and insists that at home, she’s like a small child. Humour thus is derived from the fact that she’s not kidding, when audiences are given a bit of insight into how Hotaru acts during New Year’s Eve.

  • Continuing with the trend of Non Non Biyori Repeat depicting different aspects of the characters, being able to see Hotaru act as one might reasonably expect someone of age eleven adds credibility to the anime. It was refreshing and fun to see the characters behaving in different ways, as it suggests that everyone is more complex than might initially be apparent: this is where Non Non Biyori Repeat excels. By filling in the gaps between the first season, one gains the impression that life in Asahigaoka is, though simple, one filled with joy and excitement.

  • It was somewhat of a surprise to learn that Non Non Biyori Repeat‘s run did not capture more winter shenanigans, but that does not detract from the show. On the whole, the predictions I made for the second season were quite close to the end product (I missed one or two elements), although the timeframes were completely different. With this trend in mind, I imagine that my speculations for Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka?? (i.e. the second season) will mostly be accurate, with variations in the specifics.

  • Spring returns again to Asahigaoka, and Renge’s faerie costume is seen once again, signifying that Non Non Biyori ends a short ways after the first season’s finale. Here, Renge comes across the “Legendary Sword” that made an appearance in the first episode. Hotaru remarks that it’s quite surprising how quickly a year can pass, and when I look back a year, I had just finished delivering the Giant Walkthrough Brain and was gearing up for my first year as a graduate student.

  • At Renge’s request, everyone visits the local bamboo grove to cut bamboo shoots for sashimi. Renge meets Pechi, Hotaru’s dog, for the first time here. I think Pechi is a shiba inu (but someone will have to correct me if that’s not the case), bringing to mind the first time I met my friend’s shiba inu. This was back during my final undergraduate year, and at the time, said shiba inu was still a puppy.

  • Renge wonders if they’ll find Kaguya-hime while cutting bamboo shoots: Kaguya-hime no Monogatari is a famous Japanese folktale about a bamboo cutter who finds a miniature princess inside a bamboo stalk and comes to raise her as their own. It was adapted in Studio Ghibli’s Tale of Princess Kaguya: I think I watched it back during March.

  • The soundtrack to Non Non Biyori Repeat, like that of its predecessor, is beautifully composed and succeeds in capturing the relaxed, languid atmosphere surrounding Asahigaoka. It was released yesterday, retails for 2500 yen (27.76 CAD on account of terrible exchange rates) and consists of thirty-two tracks on one disk. I’m looking greatly forwards to hearing the music for myself; tracks that were playing during Kaede helping Renge learn to ride a bike, or when the girls were watching fireflies are amongst these tracks.

  • Non Non Biyori Repeat ends where Non Non Biyori began its journey, wrapping events up with a delightful picnic underneath the Sakura tree to end things on a high note. Audiences have expressed an interest in a third season and an OVA. Because the manga’s ongoing, a third season is possible (whether or not it will be adapted will be left for time to decide), and an OVA is also likely. Should an OVA be released, it will continue on with the Okinawa trip.

  • For the present, though, Non Non Biyori Repeat draws to a close. I’m finding that this approach of reviewing anime seems to be quite efficient with respect to finding that balance between my thesis work and the things in the rest of my life, so for the present, I will continue to blog about a single show per season in detail, occasionally dropping by to review other shows where time permits. At some point in the near future (before the year ends) will be talks on Okusama ga SeitokaichouKnights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet 9Wakaba Girl, and perhaps a few other series. For the present, though, I’ve finished Metro 2033: Redux (the same day I visited Beakernight), so I’ll be looking to get a talk out on that quite soon.

It was a most pleasant surprise to realise that, despite being branded as a “Repeat” of Non Non Biyori, Non Non Biyori Repeat is able to fill in the gaps between the moments of the first season to present a novel second season. No moments are rehashed, and though familiar, Non Non Biyori Repeat presents entirely new content to the audiences. While most series tend to do this with OVAs or films (K-On!, Hanasaku Iroha and Ano Natsu de Matteru, to name a few), Non Non Biyori Repeat does so with an entire season’s worth of space. The fact that the anime is able to continue on with the same atmosphere of the first without compromising originality is worth mentioning; in fact, the second season is able to explore more serious topics such as death, disappointment and the significance of persistence without breaking the anime’s mood. Non Non Biyori Repeat is an anime that remains true to its settings, and concludes on a symbolic, satisfying note: the first season began with Hotaru flower-gazing with her classmates under a Sakura tree, and a year later, she’s now acclimatised to life in Asahigaoka with her friends, reinforcing Non Non Biyori‘s overall theme, that life is about cycles. Coupled with stunning visuals and a beautiful soundtrack, there’s no reason not to watch Non Non Biyori Repeat: this is an anime that can be recommended for all viewers.

Non Non Biyori Repeat: Review and reflection at the ¾ mark

“Some memories are unforgettable, remaining ever vivid and heartwarming!” —Joseph B. Wirthlin

After nine episodes have passed, Non Non Biyori Repeat has settled into a familiar pattern of portraying seemingly mundane or even inconveniencing everyday events as being an adventure in its own right. Things like summoning up the courage to dive into a river, turning a hunt for a bag at the bus depot into a memorable walk, woodworking, reminiscing about earlier days, catching fish, fashion and moon-viewing are presented in loving detail, allowing different combinations of characters to have their day in the sun together. The pacing remains as languid as ever, giving Non Non Biyori Repeat ample time to really draw out a moment and depict all of the subtleties that might otherwise be missed. In other words, Non Non Biyori Repeat remains quite (unsurprisingly) unchanged since the halfway point, but nonetheless manages to continue finding new content to explore to keep the anime a worthwhile watch every week.

Given that it’s almost next to impossible to pin down when the later episodes are happening relative to the first season, Non Non Biyori Repeat is painting the notion that life in Asahigaoka is timeless. This is one of the main attractions in Non Non Biyori, and Non Non Biyori Repeat continues to illustrate that there are some life lessons and experiences that stand independently of how far science and technology has progressed. Whether it’s trying new things for the first time, finding an old memento that evokes memories of one’s youth, or trying to cover for one’s mistakes out of fear for the repercussions, these are all experiences that the audience can relate to with ease (in most cases). For this reason, Non Non Biyori is something that succeeds in evoking a pleasant reaction in the audience and consequently, is a fine example of how crafting moments and themes that are universal can make a slice-of-life stand out above the rest.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • Almost everyone’s built a fort out of a couch and cushions as children, imagining themselves to be in a castle against imaginary invaders. The joys about Non Non Biyori‘s unique setting means that there’s actually the space to turn such things into reality. Active imaginations are very much a part of childhood, and can remain thus in Non Non Biyori, since Asahigaoka is far removed from the ceaseless energy of a larger urban centre.

  • After Hotaru accidentally leaves her handbag on the bus, she goes with Renge and Hikage to the bus depot to retrieve it from the lost and found. While such things are normally seen as an inconvenience and irratant, especially for people who’ve places to be, in Asahigaoka, life is so slowly-paced that the girls see it as an adventure of sorts, and here, stop to enjoy some pomegranates along the way.

  • Later, Hotaru finally summons the courage to dive into the river from a bridge, creating yet another cherished memory with her friends. The river in my AO is around 1.3 meters deep on average when it passes through the city centre, and although it’s legal to enter the waters and boat in it, jumping off our bridges into the river is prohibited by law. I took a stroll along the river today after a tempura-and-teriyaki chicken lunch, before heading back to buy some No. 35 side cutters so I can build Gundam models with greater ease.

  • Hotaru comes to greatly treasure her time spent with her new friends, as well as her memories of her old friends back in Tokyo. While it’s subtle and hardly explored explicitly, Hotaru’s transition from an urban to rural lifestyle is marked by the occasional bit of longing for the city, although as she spends more time with Komari and the others, she gradually becomes more integrated with their group.

  • I’ve never taken any woodworking courses during my days as a junior high or high school student, so I cannot undertaken carpentry-related tasks. Here, Natsumi and Renge team up to build something in their class’ carpentry unit, and although the pair struggle to come up with something, Renge eventually devises a rather clever contraption to prevent people from sleeping. She promptly and successfully tests it on Kazuho, illustrating that despite her active imagination, Renge’s also very practical.

  • Curry day is the Asahigaoka equivalent of pizza day at my old schools, and upon seeing Renge as the server, the girls recall their old memories of another eventful curry day. It’s said that our minds can immediately recall memories from a smell alone, where a certain olfactory receptor is triggered in response to an odor in the environment. This occurs because of how the neurons are wired and evolved for survival factors. Therefore, it’s plausible that the combination of seeing Renge serve curry evokes this memory amongst Komari and Natsumi.

  • Thus begins a recollection of the girls’ most infamous recollection of curry day, where Kazuho and Hikage bring a baby Renge to school on account of their parents being unavailable. As before, Kaede seems quite reluctant to look after Renge. These events are set some five years prior to present day, so at this point in time, Kaede is only fifteen, and Hikage would be around ten. Kazuho is also shown and is presumably close to Kaede in age (by around +/-2 years, implying she’s 22 at present, old enough to be a teacher).

  • I’ve noted previously before, but it’s worth reiterating that I greatly enjoy playing with children, and they seem to get along fine with me. Baby Renge, playing with Konomi here, remains by far one of the most well-received aspects of Non Non Biyori; I would imagine that different viewers would each have their own reasons why, and I’d be quite curious to hear what they are for everyone. For me, I just happen to like children a great deal.

  • While not all of us necessarily recall doing so, our parents may often remind us of what we were like as children. It’s sometimes endearing and sometimes embarrassing, usually in varying combinations of both, and here, Renge does seem to be more inclined towards causing chaos. Given her excitement and fervent desire to explore, it’s probably her first time at Asahigaoka Branch School, and here, she demolishes a tower of blocks that Natsumi (aged seven here) is building.

  • This bit of reminiscence culiminates in Renge disappearing off to explore the remainder of Asahigaoka Branch School, discovering the pot of curry and spilling it. In one of the child-care courses and food safety courses I took back in junior high, the proper procedure is to store such items above a child’s reach or in a secured area to prevent such accidents from happening.

  • Later, Komari comes across an old photo album of her with a stuffed bear that’d accompanied her practically everywhere while cleaning her room. When she does find it, it brings back memories but is also in a deplorable state, hence her asking Hotaru to help her repair it. With this, it appears that while my speculations about the second season were not entirely correct, some of the events that I saw in the manga were indeed featured in Non Non Biyori Repeat.

  • Besides Renge, audiences also get to see what Komari looked like as a baby. This figure caption also allows me to remark that some stuffed animals I received over the years (a fair number of bears, including a panda for graduation, and a rabbit) are still around my room and reasonably well-cared for, even if their ages are showing. Make of that what you will.

  • Komari proves to be remarkably understanding after seeing all of Hotaru’s Koma-plushies. They manage to fix Komari’s bear, and Hotaru creates new plushies in Kaede, Kazuho, Natsumi, Hikagi and Renge’s likeness, as well.

  • After noting that their garden’s pond is a little barren, Yukiko tasks Natsumi with finding some fish to fill said pond and also offers her five hundred yen to do so. Given that fishing is right up Natsumi’s alley with respect to know-how, she promptly agrees, but also cleverly delegates a portion of the task to her friends under guise of a fishing competition.

  • After catching what appears to be a large fish, Natsumi asks Renge to inform Kazuho and Kaede to provide additional support. The time it takes her to reach them and return suggests that Natsumi and the others have been fighting against this fish for quite some time, and even having extra hands there appear to be ineffective in reeling the fish in.

  • In Survivorman, Les Stroud often mentions the importance of having a fishing tackle while one is out in the wilderness, given that in some areas, catching fish with improvised gear can be quite difficult and having good equipment may mean the difference between life and death. Natsumi ultimately decides to leave the others fighting for the fish, and she decides to retrieve the fish in a most unconventional manner, diving into the lake to grab it.

  • Another moment from the manga makes it into Non Non Biyori Repeat as Hikage helps Natsumi adopt a more feminine appearance and manner. This is a storytelling element that’s quite common in anime and manga, where some female characters exhibiting preferences for more male behaviour are given a chance to see what it’s like to be more feminine and eventually find it too difficult to keep up.

  • Hikage and Natsumi later accidentally eat the dango that were being saved for that evening’s moon gazing, and after a duel of words between the two, they decide to make some more and attempt to apologise, as well. In Chinese culture, moon gazing during the Mid-Autumn festival is accompanied by mooncakes rather than dango, and originates from farmers in ancient China making use of the autumn full moon to gauge when harvesting of crops should occur.

  • Renge munches on gohei mochi (mochi-on-a-stick) while the others gaze at what is likely a supermoon. I say this is a supermoon because of the episode’s timing; last Sunday, there had been a supermoon, in which a full moon coincides with its closest approach to Earth in its orbit. I was in Banff and had just enjoyed a delicious steak dinner, and the moon began rising after we returned to the parkade, peeking out from behind the mountain. By the time we arrived home, the moon had come out, and the night landscape seemed much brighter than usual.

  • As punishment, Natsumi and Hikage are tasked with preparing the gohei mochi, which is particularly famous in the Kiso Valley and Ina areas of southern Nagano, as well as the Aichi and Gifu Prefectures. While Asahigaoka’s precise location has never been disclosed, this snack allows us to narrow down the regions in Japan where Non Non Biyori is set. With this, the fourth of my five Non Non Biyori Repeat posts come to an end, and I will return later this month to do a talk on the final three episodes.

As we enter the final quarter of Non Non Biyori Repeat, and still having seen no signs of the other seasons, it would appear that Non Non Biyori Repeat will follow the same trend as its predecessors; the final three episodes of Non Non Biyori Repeat is almost certain to deal with the days as summer gives way to autumn, and then winter. The preview seems to illustrate this, as we see Renge biking with yellowing foliage in the background. While I would have hoped to have more episodes set in winter, this is merely a minor bit of nit-picking at this stage, and moving into the anime’s last three episodes, I am certain that Non Non Biyori Repeat will end on an excellent note. It will be a little disheartening to see the last of this anime (even if there could be an OVA of everyone’s trip to Okinawa), but the plus side is that Non Non Biyori will definitely leave viewers feeling relaxed and with warm memories after it ends.

Non Non Biyori Repeat: Review and Reflection at the halfway point

“呢枝簽話呢!” -Sam Hui, 搵野做

We now come to the halfway point of Non Non Biyori Repeat, and as with its predecessor, the second season continues to find new avenues to explore to keep things fresh and interesting. Curiously enough, I am forced to redact my earlier statement that I was completely off with some of my predictions: it seems that at least some of the speculation on what Non Non Biyori’s second season would entail turned out to be correct. For instance, Renge does make a teru teru bōzu out of herself (using a paper plate as the mask and a white raincoat) to ward off some persistent heavy rain. To catch the sun’s attention, she makes use of a bucket and spade to make some noise, but scares Komari into tears when the latter encounters her while returning a manga. Renge also learns about the cycle of death and life after she adopts some tadpole shrimp: adorable and heartwarming, this moment demonstrate that children are definitely aware of and understand these more mature topics. Later, Natsumi predicts Komari’s fortunes with a loaded instrument, and both of them strangely enough become reality when the latter experiences an array of misfortunes with water. Later, while hanging out during their school’s anniversary, a rainstorm hits Asahigaoka: the group drops by the Candy Store and make okomomiyaki with Kaede. By episode six, Hotaru and Natsumi spend a rare moment together, eventually finding a common conversation topic, and also visits a field filled with fireflies after a disappointing turnout with the fireworks.

Non Non Biyori Repeat demonstrates that the familiar, languid atmosphere in Asahigaoka is nonetheless conducive towards exploration of different topics. The inclusion of a death-related one, and subsequent depiction of the life cycle was a meaningful story to portray: Renge becomes saddened when her tadpole shrimp die off, but subsequently is overjoyed to learn (with Natsumi’s help) that life is a cycle. Whereas her old tadpole shrimp had died, their descendent continue to live on, showing her the majesty of life. The other stories are, though not quite as moving, nonetheless very rewarding to watch, portraying some more commonplace elements of children’s lives. Hotaru’s anticipation for the fireworks, ensuing tears from fear that she’d let down her friends and Kazuho stepping in to find the silver lining in the form of fireflies serve reflect on a classic lesson learnt from childhood- that sometimes, while people might not necessarily find what they seek, what they discover in its stead can be as, if not more rewarding. These subtle elements meander their way into a calming slice-of-life anime, reminding audiences of the things they themselves might’ve experienced and learnt when they were much younger. These messages are but a handful that add depth to Non Non Biyori Repeat, allowing the show to continue offering a new experience with every new episode.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • There’s a surprising amount of content to actually talk about in Non Non Biyori Repeat: far from lacking the novelty of its first season, Repeat capitalises on its familiar setting to explore topics that are more diverse and even thought-provoking in cases, ultimately adding a new charm to the anime that sets it as unique, but equally enjoyable as the first season.

  • I might have mentioned Teru teru bōzu elsewhere before: these handmade dolls (lit. “Shine Shine Monk”) are used to ward off rainy days, and became popular during the Edo period. Hanging them inverted is supposed to invite rain, and if fair weather does result, eyes are drawn in. Here, Renge feels that the standard variants she’s created might not be enough to have an appreciable impact and winds up making herself into a teru teru bōzu with a paper plate and white raincoat.

  • While viewers have the advantage of dramatic irony, Komari sees Renge as a onryō reminiscent of Hideo Nakata’s Dark Water and flees for her life. While she later denies it, the event is sufficiently frightening to bring her to tears, and adding insult to injury, when she reaches the Miyauchi residence, Kazuho is also sporting a mask (but with the hopes of lifting Renge’s spirits).

  • It seems that, as of late, a growing number of blogs out there are picking up on the inherent strengths of slice-of-life anime such as Non Non Biyori and speak of such shows fondly. This increasingly demonstrates the anime community’s gradual acceptance (or at least, begrudging tolerance) for anime about daily life: moé has long been (erroneously) decried as the bane of the anime industry by a small but vocal group of English-speaking fans for whatever their intents are, but it appears that such claims no longer seem to be widespread.

  • The weather does clear out, and Renge finally has an opportunity to ride her new bike. It’s been quite some time since I’ve gone biking: most of my free time, I lift and hike for fitness. Note that Natsumi, Komari, Hotaru and even Renge are not wearing helmets. Where I live, the law requires that all minors wear a helmet while on a bike, but for safety’s sake, it’s just better to wear a helmet while biking.

  • The spotted bellflower (Campanula punctata) is known as Hotaru bukuro in Japan. They are edible and give a sweet taste, bloom during the summer months and are native to Korea. In a callback to the Renge flowers mentioned in season one, it turns out that these flowers also share a name with Hotaru: Komari refers to them as “Hotaru flowers”.

  • Early in the fourth episode, Renge collected some tadpole shrimp (of the Notostraca order): these flat organisms have remain largely unchanged in morphology since the Triassic, and have a lifespan of roughly 20-40 days. When they die, Renge becomes visibly saddened, and they are buried outside near the school. Death is a more serious topic that adults may encounter difficulty in presenting to children, which is partially why life-cycles for animals are a part of elementary school curriculum.

  • Tadpole shrimp lay their eggs in the sediment, and realising this, Natsumi risks missing the bus to pull some of the soil, returning it to the tank. Tadpole shrimp do not undergo metamorphosis, and so, the next day, Renge marvels at the presence of new “flatty-sans”. Her expression is one of pure joy, and through these visual cues, it’s quite easy to see that Renge has learnt that life is a cycle of birth and death.

  • The page quote is relevant to the discussion of fortunes in the loosest of senses: it comes from Sam Hui’s “搵野做” (lit. “Finding a job”), which speaks about a man who decides to finally seek employment and work hard when Chinese divination instructs him to do so. In his song, sung in casual spoken Cantonese, the man eventually succeeds and forces his son to do the same. The song typifies Sam Hui’s genius to compose music about social issues and topics that related to Hong Kong’s working class: the hanzi “簽” is a sign, referring to the wooden sticks on which the fortunes are written, and it is using one of these implements that Natsumi predicts Komari’s fortune, suggesting that he’d be unlucky with water.

  • Despite being splashed with cold water and even hit in the augen with twin streams of ice cold water (when Renge is learning about the joys of hydrostatics), Komari nonetheless enjoys their efforts after Kazuho allows the group to frolick in the pool, turning premonitions of an ill-fortune into another pleasurable memory.

  • This is the essence of youth, to be doing things for the sake of experience and spectacle. The reason why fortunes generally are seen as coming true is typically because of the vagueness of their statements, which would allow their claims to encompass a variety of situations. Thus, when Komari gets hit with water, she sees it as a sign that the fortune predicted things correctly: it is vague enough to include a vast range of inconveniences.

  • Hotaru spends the first bit of her day off (in commemoration of their school’s anniversary) at home waiting for a package and remarks that time seems to pass more slowly when one’s alone. I do not fully agree; this summer, I’ve spent a handful of days working at home, and time flies by all the same.

  • After the package arrives, Hotaru encounters Renge and the others. They go for a walk before a downpour appears, taking refuge at the candy store. The sudden onset of rain and everyone’s arrival turns the candy store into a very busy place, and this scene was quite active, with Natsumi, Komari and Hotaru talking over one another while Renge shakes herself dry and expresses excitement about using grass as a whistle.

  • After providing everyone with an assortment of clothes while theirs dried, Kaede prepares some Okonomiyaki and outlines some of the finer points to prepare it properly. Despite a bit short at times with Natsumi and the others, Kaede is very attentive and caring, being quite willing to keep engaged Renge and her friends while they wait for the rain to clear. Simple moments like these illustrate how minor inconveniences can be turned around with a bit of adaptability to make the most of things.

  • It is certainly true that Natsumi and Hotaru hardly spend any time together, and Natsumi inadvertently takes on more than she can handle when she mentions the anime Pretty Cute (a not-so-subtle callback to Pretty Cure, which I’ve never watched before): she finds it harder and harder to keep up until the illusion is broken, and Hotaru realises that Natsumi hasn’t seen too much of it. They later manage to find a common topic in reptiles when Natsumi learns that Hotaru is quite fond of them.

  • Despite lacking book smarts, Natsumi is reasonably knowledgeable about the ecology in Asahigaoka, knowing how to attract Tettigoniidae with onions, which plants are the Sorrel herb (it’s edible and is usable in a variety of things, ranging from soups to salads) and the various stages in a cicida’s life-cycle. This demonstrates that Natsumi is rather fond of exploration over study, and implies that with a more versatile education, her talents can be brought to bear.

  • We’ve just passed the halfway point of August, meaning that the days begin to shorten, the skies begin to cool and the world transitions towards fall once more. This means that there’s only an eighth of summer left, and before the month ends, I’ll aim to get a post on the Sabagebu! and Shirobako OVAs out. I forecast that at the absolute minimum, I’ll be able to complete the talks for Shirobako for certain.

  • Hilarious Hotaru’s reaction about the fireworks (or lack thereof) might be, it’s actual an honest, plausible reaction that someone around ten might have if they’re particularly empathetic with others and something disappointing has occurred, leading them to believe that they’ve let everyone else down. Despite the others’ attempts at reassuring her that it’s alright, Hotaru bursts into fresh tears nonetheless after Renge gives up midway. Fortunately, Kazuho is able to offer an alternative to fireworks: fireflies.

  • This scene was magical: with fireflies all around, Natsumi suggests dipping cattail leaves in the water to encourage the fireflies to come closer for a drink. The darkened world lit by a full moon, set to a very gentle background song means the elements come together to create a moment that could have come from a folk tale. It is scenes such as these that add a bit of flair to Non Non Biyori, and taken together, the first half closes off on a most enjoyable note.

  • The next Non Non Biyori Repeat talk will come out during the first week of September, after we’ve completed the third quarter. Moving forwards, I have no doubt that Non Non Biyori Repeat will continue to impress and heal in new ways. I’ve long since exhausted my speculations about the remainder of the season, and it turns out that some things did wind up happening. It’s likely that after Non Non Biyori Repeat concludes, there could be an OVA that depicts everyone’s adventures in Okinawa.

Familiar, yet so different, Non Non Biyori Repeat‘s been an absolute thrill to watch and even write about thus far. I have little doubt that as we move past the halfway point, this anime will succeed in providing audiences with something memorable with each passing episode. The first season dealt primarily with the seasons, and my impressions from three weeks ago have not shifted: I continue to maintain that the seasons will play a more noticeable role in providing new circumstances for Renge and the others. Fall and winter were only depicted after the three-quarters last season, but the passage of autumn, with yellowing leaves, and winter’s fresh snowfall might very well allow for different events and experiences to be shown. This could be immensely fun to watch, and illustrate that familiar settings can nonetheless feel very different as the seasons pass, which would reinforce Non Non Biyori Repeat‘s ability to truly bring Asahigaoka to life for the viewers. Such a message would hold the implications that slice-of-life anime can (and should) make use of their setting to complement their characters; rather than merely being a place for the events to take place, Non Non Biyori would exemplify how deeply the environment can tie in with the character’s everyday lives.

Non Non Biyori Repeat: Review and Reflection After Three

“I like to be lazy. I do like to be busy and really active, but when that’s done, you can be sure I will be a lazy boy. I like to take time and relax and enjoy life.” —Olivier Theyskens

It would appear that my predictions are completely off the mark about what the second season would entail: thus far, it would appear that Non Non Biyori Repeat is set in the gaps between episodes of the first season. Shortly after Hotaru moves in, the girls and Suguru play a tabletop game with their rulers. Hotaru then gets lost while walking her dog, and shares a moment with Komari as the two go stargazing. Exam season shows up soon after, and Natsumi performs poorly in her usual manner. Renge then invites everyone over to study, but finds herself trying to motivate Kazuho to be a more focused, effective instructor. I’m immensely grateful that no one is keeping score: it would appear that the entirety of my speculation was incorrect, and true to its name, Non Non Biyori Repeat will indeed just fill the gaps between episodes of the first season.

Non Non Biyori Repeat has successfully addressed is how it would go about depicting the aforementioned gaps without yielding a show that was too repetitive: the episodes simultaneously convey to new viewers the mood and pacing of the series, but offer enough new content to entertain Non Non Biyori veterans. One example of an anime that had successfully used this approach towards its storytelling was the K-On! Movie, which likewise was able to expertly integrate characterisation into the narrative without detracting from its progression. The K-On! Movie is widely considered to be a success, and in utilising similar techniques as did the K-On! Movie, Non Non Biyori Repeat could very well draw in interested viewers and retain their interests as the season progresses.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • Non Non Biyori exemplifies the capacity to portray the ordinary as extraordinary. Aspects of daily life are given a refreshing new take, reminding viewers that there are numerous subtle things in their lives that make things worthwhile. Despite this slower corresponding pacing, this post will have twenty images’ worth of content.

  • While the notion of learning to appreciate the smaller things doubtlessly apply to almost anyone, Non Non Biyori is intended for Japanese audiences. With 93.5 percent of their population in urban areas (GeoHive, as of 2015), life in Japan is said to be remarkably hectic and crowded: anime such as Non Non Biyori act as a form of entertainment that slows things down and allows the viewer to unwind a little in ways that even beer fail to achieve.

  • As such, in Non Non Biyori Repeat, something as simple as a game with rulers is turned into something engrossing, illustrating how people can nonetheless have fun with a powerful imagination and everyday items. There’s no need for apps on a smartphone to while away the time, and the advantage about such activities is that they are not dependent on a battery that only lasts for ten hours.

  • Compared to any large urban area in Japan, my home city is relatively small (with a population just a ways over one million). A city of this size is just large enough to have enough infrastructure so life’s not too dull without having too many people, and my favourite pastime when bored out of my wits (sufficiently bored such that blowing things away in Battlefield 3 or Modern Warfare 3 doesn’t cut it) is to go for a talk in one of the continent’s largest municipal parks.

  • The protensity to explain any move in a tabletop game or similar is an element that has origins in older anime involving tabletop elements: this is done to keep the viewers informed of what’s going on, but in-universe, simultaneously builds anticipation as the characters explore in-depth how they’ll counter one move with another. The back-and-forth dialogue is reminiscent of some of the games in Calvin and Hobbes, where both Calvin and Hobbes attempt to one-up the other as they make the rules up for a game.

  • Discussions about the rulers game is still going strong even as Renge and the others head home after their day’s done. Later, when walking the area for the first time with her dog, Hotaru gets lost, but manages to find her way back when her dog picks out Suguru’s scent from the main road.

  • The group agrees to go stargazing by nightfall, but when the time to do so comes, Renge and Natsumi are fast asleep, leaving just Hotaru and Renge. The dynamics between their friendship slowly begin to take shape here, and one must applaud how this is depicted, with traces of Komari’s desire to have Hotaru see her as reliable, and Hotaru’s growing crush on Komari, being shown in their early stages.

  • The reason why some insects exhibit positive phototaxis is not fully understood, but it’s hypothesised that insects may lack effective night vision and therefore instinctively navigate to sources of light to avoid predation. Regardless of what the cause is, the presence of numerous insects at the local vending machine strike fear into both Komari and Hotaru’s hearts, although in the spirit of maintaining her image as the senior, Komari fights her fears to buy a drink.

  • Because I live in an urban area, the faintest stars that can be seen with the naked eye is magnitude 2.5. To put that in perspective, Polaris (the North Star) has a magnitude of 2.0: I typically use binoculars for stargazing to see anything fainter. Curiously enough, rural Japan actually has darker skies than most areas in my province; because Komari and Hotaru reside in the countryside, it’s not inconceivable that their entire sky is filled with stars.

  • In a scene that winds up being as hilarious as when Hotaru and Renge get locked in the rabbit pen of season one, Komari’s flashlight powers down, leaving the two in near-total darkness. Fighting her own fears, Komari takes the initiative to help Hotaru find their way back, and a bottle cap that the former inadvertently dropped earlier proves instrumental in helping them find their way back. I made a Guile’s Theme Goes With Anything video of this moment a year ago, and I wager that a similar moment could be quite funny.

  • Komari collapses out of relief after they two make it out of the woods, and Hotaru decides to carry her back. Last week, I took an afternoon to drive to the mountains: there’s a small restaurant there of sorts that serves Montreal cuisine, and I’ve been longing for a good Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich ever since I began watching Pure Pwnage. It turns out that the sandwich is as delicious as it looks: compared to corned beef, it’s less salty and has a more savoury flavour to it. In the words of Jeremy, that was a pro meal (in conjunction with an epic poutine).

  • I’m sure to make a return visit at some point in the future to try out their other poutines. After lunch, I hiked the nearby trails before a thunderstorm rolled in. Returning back to Non Non Biyori Repeat, this here review/discussion/reflection focuses predominantly on the characters, rather than the scenery, because as gorgeous as the landscapes are in Non Non Biyori, there isn’t much to really discuss beyond praising the vivid colours and composition that serve to really bring out the tranquility in Asahigaoka.

  • Viewers are treated to the origins of the Komari plushies: they appear to have been conceptualised shortly after Komari and Hotaru go stargazing, so if this is anything to go by, their adventure together marks the first instance where the two have spent time together alone, leading to Hotaru’s gradual development of a crush of sorts on Komari.

  • Renge whistles to call forth her “pet” raccoon. For first time viewers, this is adorable, and for returning viewers, it’s a clever callback to the first season. By this point in the summer, I’ve finished building the latest features, a mitochondrion environment and protofilament assembly, for my thesis project. Although the latter just works, it’s sufficient to illustrate self-assembly, and with the content I’ve got, I can finally turn my attention towards preparing my project for a virtual reality environment. If I’m fortunate, I’ll also be able to start the thesis paper itself by mid-August.

  • Kazuho’s laziness at breakfast preparation leads her to combine fresh spring vegetables, salad oil, salt and pepper to form a meal. I generally put in a little more effort in meal preparation, although there are times when I do wish to eat special offers: today, I took a day off from my research to mow the front and back yards, then walked down to a nearby Subway restaurant for their seasonal lobster sandwich. The lobster in the sandwich was quite nice, with the lobster’s texture and sweetness quite discernible.

  • While trying to get an answer from Renge regarding a practise problem, Renge reacts with a nonsensical answer. Natsumi’s poor performance in her coursework formed the basis for numerous jokes during the previous season, and for the first time, viewers really get to see how Natsumi handles exams.

  • I still fondly recall my days as a secondary student, during which I floor with my coursework and nonetheless found plenty of time for extra-curricular activities, plus Ragnarok Online on top of that.

  • Natsumi’s terrible exam performance leads Kazuho to assign everyone additional homework during the course of a break, and Renge decides to invite everyone over to study with the hopes that having company would make studying more bearable than studying alone for Natsumi. Back during high school, for my high school diploma exams, I studied alone: armed with my notes, textbooks and study materials, I would put on some music and completed practise problems until I exhausted them. However, what works for me might not work for everyone, and as I found out in during my undergraduate program, there are merits to studying in a group, provided that everyone remains on-mission.

  • While Non Non Biyori Repeat is not the sort of anime that intrinsically has numerous spoilers, there are moments that are endearing to watch and cannot adequately be captured in words. Watching Renge offer suggestions to Kazuho on being a more effective teacher and her reaction to Kazuho’s mention of cake (and subsequent lack thereof) was easily the best part of the episode, and is best enjoyed by watching said episode.

  • That’s pretty much it for this review: don’t forget to like the review, comment on the review and subscribe to this blog if you want to see comment similar to this review. I’ll be returning after the six and nine episodes have aired to further discuss Non Non Biyori, but until then, I’ll be swinging in and out to write about various things, starting with the Strike Witches OVA.

The passage of the seasons was a major theme in Non Non Biyori‘s first season, and Non Non Biyori Repeat has already hinted, through its opening sequence, that the seasons will play a substantial role in the upcoming episodes: each of spring, summer, autumn and winter all have their unique charms and atmospheres. Thus, there is no doubt that the remaining three-quarters of Non Non Biyori Repeat will depict the different seasons set between Non Non Biyori‘s episodes. Quite personally, I would be most grateful for more episodes set in the winter; Asahigaoka is a beautiful place under a blanket of snow, and winter conditions would lend themselves to additional adventures for Renge and her friends.