Anime Review: Non Non Biyori Repeat

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So technically I have already reviewed this series before. If you want to know what to expect out of this series, go ahead and read that. I suppose this is a sequel series, but Non Non Biyori is situational, meaning that each episode stands on its own as a mini-story. The events of Non Non Biyori Repeat actually take  place alongside the first season, not continuing from them!

I don’t always express favoritism or distaste in my reviews, as I absolutely abhor using rating systems for the purpose of discussion. But even so, this is among my most favorite anime series of all time.

I won’t try to convince you to watch it simply by explaining it. So instead, I will be sharing with you some of my favorite moments from Non Non Biyori Repeat, in the style of the highlights I used to do on this blog, which I will continue as the Spring 2016 season comes to a close (woohoo)! Note that these are only a handful of moments I enjoyed from this series and does not include moments from the first season. There are plenty more where that came from. These are 20 great (and funny) moments of Non Non Biyori Repeat!

20. Onion Fishing!!

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That sounds fun, Renge. Except that we’re hooking the onions as bait in a field of wild grass. We’re actually catching katydids!

19. Hotaru and Firefly

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For those who aren’t caught up to speed yet, Hotaru is the city girl in this light comedy about a bunch of country girls. Here, Hotaru can be seen with the other hotaru 蛍, also known as a firefly.

18. Pool Cleaning Day

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While Japanese animation tends to have much slower frame-rates than its North American counterparts, moments like Natsumi and Komari falling into the pool demonstrate Non Non Biyori‘s response that that’s not always a bad thing. The most popular of anime tend to focus on animation to intensify battle scenes or dramatic character monologues. On the other hand, this moment uses animation to capture something we might see in everyday life.

17. That Jojo Reference

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But of course, like most anime today, being a key animator is tough. And most animators in the industry live at the poverty level. Seeing repeated techniques from other shows like Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure might be used. And for better or for worse, the fans will still get a kick out of it.

16. Hotaru the Kid

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Hotaru is still an elementary school in the fifth grade, but because of her size, not everyone believes it. Maybe you didn’t either! But if anyone ever saw Hotaru at home snuggling in a blanket, then maybe Hotaru’s childish side will become more apparent!

15. Suguru: Ruler of the Knock-Down-the-Ruler Game

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Suguru Koshigaya is the silent older brother of Komari and Natsumi, and currently in his third year of middle school. But don’t be fooled. When Asahioka’s five students break for recess to play Knock-Down-the-Ruler, Suguru is the most formidable opponent! Here, he catches his falling ruler by the tip of his pen!

14. Look Familiar?

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Hikage is the middle child of the Miyauchi sisters Kazuho and Renge, and currently attends high school out of town in Tokyo. Here she is with her friend at the Tokyo Tower.

You know who else wanted to go to Tokyo at some point in her life? A certain heroine from the series that opened the doors to my own love for anime, who wanted to get into Tokyo University really badly! She also had long, brown hair and two antennae-like cowlicks. Could it be… Nah, maybe that’s just my imagination.

13. Magical Girl Talk

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Ah yes, the classic dialogue of “I have no idea what you’re talking about but I’m going to pretend that I do anyway” between Natsumi and Hotaru. But because anime is so predictable, we know exactly which colors represent which characters, right? Right?

It’s increasingly more obvious that Natsumi has never seen Hotaru’s favorite anime at the moment, as she doesn’t even know the girls’ colors. But aside from that, the central character is Green!? I would say “Please make it happen,” but it already has!

12. Renge’s Wooden Contraption

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For the wood shop activity day, Renge made this odd-looking thing shown above. What is it? You can’t tell when it’s on display. But when big sister/teacher Kazuho starts to doze off, WHACK!

Don’t sleep on the job, Sensei! Your class needs you!

11. The Big Haul

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When it comes to fishing for the biggest carp in the lake, leave it to Natsumi! She’s going for it… with her bare hands!

10. This is How Komori Adults

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Komori may be the middle child of the Koshigaya family, but she’s still smaller than Natsumi! And her older friends like Hikage and Konomi have already left their rural town for high schools in the city. Komari wants to act mature too. She can’t wait to be treated like a responsible adult!

Oh, the joy it would be to have a cell phone! Can’t wait! Must. Text. All the time!

9. They’re All Yōkai!

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Renge may not always be easily fooled, but when Konomi comes by to show her this finger trick, she flips out! And to make matters worse, Komari and Natsumi know how to do it too!

I can’t even imagine what’s going on in Renge’s mind right now, but she’s probably thinking, “Oh no! This whole town is infested with yōkai that can tear off their thumbs!”

8. Hotaru’s Non Non Biyori Plush Set

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Based on the gag from the first season, Hotaru has a thing for making plush dolls, especially ones that look like her beloved Komari-senpai. So when Komari comes over to ask her to fix an old stuffed animal, Hotaru has to disguise her weird obsession with Senpai, but how? Well, by making plushies of everyone in town, of course!

7. Country Girl Hikage

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Hikage may be going to school in Tokyo. She may even brag about how amazing it is. But when she spots a running garden hose on a hot summer day in this farm town, she can forget about the glory of the city!

You know what they say. You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl!

6. Avoiding Princess Kaguya

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For those who aren’t familiar with Japanese folklore, Non Non Biyori has plenty of references to it. And when the girls are out picking bamboo stalks, Komari makes a joke by telling Renge that Princess Kaguya might be inside one of them. Terrified by the thought, Renge wouldn’t dare hurt Princess Kaguya if she was living in it!

So in a twist of fate, Komari’s joke backfired, as she takes longer to pick bamboo stalks! Can’t go killing off Kaguya before she can grow up to find her way back to the Moon now, can we?

5. Natsumi’s Girl Power!

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If there is any character that has grown between Non Non Biyori and Non Non Biyori Repeat, it’s Natsumi. She may not be so girly as to like cutesy things or frilly outfits, but she’s got a lot of energy. And what I will explain later down this list, she’s actually smarter than most of us are led to believe!

No need for nice dresses or good manners, Natsumi. Keep doing what you do best with that energy of yours. You go girl!

4. The Legendary Sword

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At the beginning of this season, Renge finds a stick off the side of the road and calls it the Legendary Sword. She needed it so that she can get through school courageously! Now that the year is complete, Renge has passed the first grade. She can finally lay the Legendary Sword in its rightful resting place… in the Secret Base!

3. Bike Lessons with Candy Store

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I’ve already expressed this moment in my Great Moments in Summer 2015 anime highlights, so I will try to keep my explanations to a minimum. While I do have stylistic reasons for ranking things the way I do, this is easily the greatest moment in the entire series. It reimagines the tale of “The Crane Repays a Debt,” it illustrates the hard lessons of growing up and letting go, and it’s a Renge/Candy Store (Kaede Kagayama) moment.

Even if something like this has been done many times over, stories like The Crane Repays a Debt still have something to teach us to this day. And its meaning continues to live on in newer narratives.

2. Jump, Hotaru!

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Life isn’t always easy adjusting from one home to another. Hotaru has had a lot of adventures since her big move from the city to the country, and misses her friends in Tokyo. But she’s got a lot of good friends here in Asahioka now. And when she’s playing by the river with her friends, that jump means a little more than just taking a big risk.

Hotaru knows that she’ll be fine in this small town. She can enjoy herself. All she has to do is jump right in.

1. The Miracle of Life

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Renge loves watching the tadpole-shrimp grow. She affectionately called each one of them “Flatty-san” (Hirataira-san). She kept a log of their activities everyday when the school kept a tank full of them. But one day, all the tadpole-shrimp died, so the girls had to bury them. Renge, who doesn’t show her emotions very easily, was truly sad.

But then one morning, Renge was in for a big surprise when she came to school. Apparently, Natsumi learned somewhere that tadpole-shrimp leave their eggs in the dirt before they die. So she dug up the dirt, put it back in the tank, and filled it with water. And just in time, too. As Renge dusted off her classroom log, she added one more entry. And with the most excited expression on her face as well as in the drawing, Renge declared, “Flatty-san was born!” Maybe it was Renge’s reaction. Maybe it’s surprising that Natsumi pays attention in science class. Maybe it’s the smile on everyone’s face in this anime on the countryside.

But Non Non Biyori is filled with moments like these, and that’s why I love it. It’s funny, it’s cute, and in the end, I can guarantee that it will always leave me smiling.

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So if you liked Non Non Biyori or you just want to see a light anime about the adventures in store on the countryside, watch Non Non Biyori Repeat.

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