Non Non Biyori

Non Non Biyori

Non Non Biyori anime cover art featuring Natsumi, Renge, Hotaru, and Komari
Non Non Biyori Cover Art

Overview

Non Non Biyori is a slice of life anime which follows the daily lives of four girls, much like many other series in this genre such as Yuru Yuri, Lucky Star, Gabriel Dropout, etc. However, while these other series generally take place in either urban or suburban locations, Non Non Biyori takes place in rural Japan.

In fact, the town the girls live in is so rural that their school only has five students spread between first through ninth grade. The fact that the girls live in the country is something they struggle with daily, always dreaming of what it must be like to live in a city like Tokyo.

As with most slice of life series, the characters are the primary focus, so we’ll just move onto that section now.


Characters

Renge Miyauchi is the youngest character in the series and youngest of the Miyauchi sisters. She’s in first grade and is really the main reason anyone should watch this anime. She likes to play her recorder, take care of the school’s rabbits, and do anything else she feels like doing.

While the older girls want to know what it’s like to live in a big city, Renge seems to be in denial about living in the country. She often asks the other girls if they live in the country, and points out things around them as potential proof that they do, in fact, live in the country.

The next youngest girl is Hotaru Ichijō, a fifth grade transfer student from Tokyo. Despite only being in fifth grade, Hotaru is the most physically developed of the students which is often used in contrast with one of the older girls, Komari.

Since she’s from the city, Hotaru has a distinctly more fashionable sense of style than her peers. She also has a crush on her upperclassman, Komari, and even has a collection of stuffed Komari dolls.

Natsumi Koshigaya is the seventh grade student and youngest of the Koshigaya siblings. She’s a tomboy who tends to get into trouble with both her teacher and her mother due to her performance in school. It seems that Renge is conflicted about whether or not Natsumi is a girl.

Komari Koshigaya is in eighth grade and is both the older sister of Natsumi as well as the middle Koshigaya sibling. Despite being the oldest of the four main characters, she’s the second shortest (Renge is shorter).

As the oldest of the four girls, she tries to appear mature and often attempts to show off her mature tastes in things such as music or fashion. However, she doesn’t have mature tastes and is usually overshadowed by Hotaru.

The oldest student in the school is Suguru Koshigaya, the eldest Koshigaya sibling. He’s also the only recurring male character, but doesn’t have any dialogue. He appears to be an otaku, but that’s really all we know about him.

Hikage Miyauchi is the next oldest character and is the middle Miyauchi sibling. She goes to high school in the nearby city, and although it isn’t as modern as Tokyo, it’s definitely a step up from the town the rest of the cast lives in.

After Hikage there’s Konomi Fujimiya, a high school student who goes to school nearby. She lives next door to the Koshigaya’s and that’s all the necessary information about her.

Kaede Kagayama is the second oldest of the recurring characters and runs the local candy store. Because of this, she’s referred to as “candy store” by the girls instead of by her actual name. She used to babysit Renge when she was younger.

The oldest character is Kazuho Miyauchi, the older sister of Renge and Hikage. Kazuho is the only teacher at the local school, but since each of the students is in a different grade and so work separately, she doesn’t really need to teach. Instead, she takes naps while the students work.

Renge Miyauchi from the anime Non Non Biyori
Renge Miyauchi

Conclusion

The first season of Non Non Biyori was a 6/10 and although I won’t be watching the second season for some time, I don’t really expect it to be rated any higher. Like most slice of life series, there isn’t too much going on and so it really depends on having good characters.

Unfortunately, I really care for most of the characters and found the series lacking in the comedy it needed in order to be considered good. Renge, Hotaru, and Kaede were my favorite characters, but I found Natsumi and Komari to be a bit annoying.

If slice of life anime are for you, then you’d probably enjoy this one. If not, then you aren’t really missing out by skipping it.

The OP for Non Non Biyori is available here.

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