To be completely honest, this week Non Non Biyori gave me a scare. As we begin the second episode we start off following directly on from where the first episode ended, witnessing Hotaru giving her class introduction in a genuinely identical manner (I actually felt the need to go back and check) to that of the original series. It was at this point that the horrifying though of the entire of Non Non Biyori Repeat being a from the ground up remake of the first series and that I would end up knowing how the people who had to review Haruhi’s endless eight felt.
Thankfully, I am easily concerned and presumptuous in having such concerns as the deja vu only lasted until the opening credits and post them we are back into the original content that we are watching for. Thinking back I’m not really sure why I had this concern the scene is very much a formality as it is fitted into the minute and a half before we get into the body of the episode and in reality only serves as a time stamp for the events of the episode (A time stamp that is short-lived as we get a “a few days later” right after the credits are done). Though I am fairly confident that its inclusion is also to facilitate the return of a certain greeting.
As for the happenings that occur this time; we have three events. Firstly we have a table top game of intensity rarely seen outside of the magic mahjong found in Saki; knock-down-the-ruler. The way in which this game is presented is very much praise worthy to me as it is exactly the kind of game that children would make and was, for me very reminiscent of the sorts of silly games I used to play in school when I should have been paying attention. I wont bore you with my nostalgia induced ramblings though as sadly my childhood was not set in a SoL/comedy anime and therefore the kind of things that the cast of Non Non Biyori -with the exception of Koma-chan, whose performance is probably similar to what mine would have been- are capable are considerably more impressive and entertaining to watch. The section also is one that manages to make use of Natsumi and Komari’s elder brother, Suguru, (who actually has a name!) casting him as a final boss type player of such power that the rest of the cast must put aside their rivalries in order to defeat. Suguru’s character is possibly one of the best done novel character, we never hear him speak and he normally has a completely blank expression but silently does the most impressive things and has the uncanny knack of being there exactly when he is needed both for the small things, like in this episode when he presents a way in which all of the girls can win (except Koma-chan), and for the important things.
The episodes other two happenings are sort of one and the same and are the reasons for this episode review’s namesake (Kill la Kill really want my kind of thing but I’ll reference it because it works too well). Getting lost while walking around an area that you have just moved to is something that can an expected for a child, especially when said area has very little in the way of land marks or people who can be asked for directions and it is this idea that Hotaru’s next adventure is based on. Previously, Hotaru had borrowed a notebook from Komari and so whilst walking her dog, goes to return it. From the way that I’ve started this paragraph I don’t think that I need to explain how well this goes but all is nicely resolved thanks to her dog, which has apparently been trained to track smells, finding Suguru by smelling Komari’s notebook (quod erat demonstrandum on my points about him being wherever he is needed). A nice simple short episode with an amusing conclusion. This day is really not a good one for Hotaru’s sense of knowing where she is as later that evening, while out stargazing with Koma-chan-senpai, she and her friend find out what happens when your torch runs out of battery in the middle of nowhere, in the dark, with no phone. Amazingly, it is not Suguru who saves them this time as Hotaru’s obsession with Koma-chan needs to be established and they find their way back to the road thanks to Komari taking the lead and luckily stumbling upon a bottle lid that she dropped, but couldn’t find, earlier. When we saw the lid being dropped it was fairly obvious that it would be a plot point of some form (I can’t really see a SoL anime promoting littering) but I can’t complain as Non Non Biyori is hardly a detective anime and the point in this event is to establish Hotaru’s adoration for her pocket-sized senpai. Though that said, one of them going full Sherlock Holmes and analyzing the disturbance in the wind pattern caused by the road or something equally convoluted would have been hilarious but alas it was not to be.
Well I guess that is that for the second episode ofNon NonBiyori Repeat, my minor worries at the beginning of this week aside, I am very much finding myself enjoying watching this show. Its relaxed atmosphere and charming insolent, genuinely funny, humor really makes it a show that you unwind with and sooth your soul with. I’m interested to see how the chronology of the series turns out as it has the potential to either completely disregard any form of chronological order like many other SoL/comedy shows do, or keep going as it has been for these last two episodes and follow the original but filling in the blanks as it goes along. Either way I’ll be entertained.