Firstly, an apology for the delays that is review has been subjected to. Surprisingly this is not a delay due to my being lazy but rather a delay due to my having a week-long internship that resulted in very long days that ate up just about all of my free time. I suppose that is the thing about being on holiday; you think that you have lots of free time so think that you can schedule as much as you want when in reality days are always going to be just as long. Anyway, these delays are nothing in comparison to the delays that my later Shirobako reviews suffered from so I will stop rambling on about my life (which I doubt anyone is really interested in) and get on to what you are here for; me rambling about the of life of cute anime girls.
In the fifth episode of Non Non Biyori Repeat we continue to watch the march of summer through rural Japan. For me, there are certain anime that I feel are well matched for different seasons. The example I normally give when explaining that much is how I feel Acchi Kocchi is an anime with a very distinctly winter feel to it. This much is not due to the fact that it is all set in winter, which it isn’t, but rather because of its defined but soft art style and use of vibrant but not bright colours and the general feeling that you want it to have some form of physical embodiment that you can hug. The kind of anime that you watch on an evening that is dark and cold despite it still only being 7pm. Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because I am very much fending that Non Non Biyori (Repeat at least, I haven’t gotten around to doing that rewatch of the original series but if memory serves me this much is true for it too) is an anime that fits well for summer (and no, this is not just because it is coming out in the summer, Acchi Kocchi was a spring season anime) with noticeable amounts of bloom and summer feeling pace that brings forth both the excitement of summer activities and the feeling of a long summers afternoon with little to do. If we continue on at the rate we are I would imagine that towards the end of the season we will see autumn and possibly winter themed happenings but I do feel that if and when I come to rewatch Non Non Biyori it will be on a summers day.
With regards to the episodes content we continue on from last week at least to the extent that we continue with the idea of our characters getting rather drenched. This much is foreshadowed right at the beginning of the episode with Natsumi teasing her sister by divining her a “beware of water” fortune and sure enough, despite the weather hinting that the rains have passed, a water related event quickly appears in the form of the students being tasked with cleaning the schools pool, a pool that looks suspiciously too swanky for a school with only five students. Needless to say things instantly go badly for Komari and, as you can probably guess from the title of this review, just about every possible misfortune thing that can happen to her does. But at the end of it all they have a nice clean pool and the weather in which to enjoy said pool so all is well that ends well (Also, fully clothed pool scenes; staying classy).
The second half of the episode, in which Non Non Biyori somehow makes a long summers day with little to do interesting to watch, stats off with weather that matches the first half quickly pulls a veto on the notion that the rainy season is over and sees our cast get caught out in the rain. This misfortune on the whole groups part does further the plot progression though as it lets them go and take shelter in Kagayama-san’s, more commonly know as candy store, shop. Kagayama-san is perhaps one of my favorites for the cast as she exists in a state where she is defiantly and adult to the main girls but the same sort of distance the exists between them and their parents/teacher, does not extend to her and so they are able to act that be more freely around her. The story paying the candy store a visit does not only serve as an excuse to have an amusing moment in which we learn that the tough, almost yankee like (yankee as in delinquent no American), wore frilly girly clothes when she was a child, though. It allows us to get some closure on the fortune divining toy Natsumi had at the beginning of the episode, reveling that it was not but a joke item that she bought from Kagayama-san and that it only gives out bad fortunes, making all of the misfortune in the episode just a strange coincidence….
In terms of characters in general though, Non Non Biyori does very well for itself. From the start it is somewhat limited in the pool from which it can pull characters due to its setting and overall feel, but this, as it has been appropriately considered, is in many ways a positive thing. Too many times have I found myself watching a series (harem anime are the worst for this) only to really like a particular background character or character who is no longer indicative to plot progression, leaving me watching entire episodes waiting and hoping for said character to make an appearance and get some -at least in my opinion- much-needed character development. Non Non Biyori is different however, it has a relatively small cast but is efficient with what little it has and as such all of the cast’s members, baring currently form various parents, are well characterised and get the screen time that they deserve. As such I would be neither surprised nor annoyed if at some point we get a flashback episode featuring Komari and Natsumi’s easily angered mother. In fact, I’d rather like that much.