Well we are now half way though the summer anime season, time really has gone quickly this year as it still feels like the spring season shows only just ended (or maybe that is just me thanks to the fact that I haven’t had time to catch up on the ones I missed yet despite months having passed). Either way I guess the fact that I feel there should still be a lot more content to come this season is as good of an indicator you can get that I’ve been enjoying this season. So on to the episode review.
Midway though the second seasons worth of content, this episode hits us with something right from the start; despite all of the content we have seen and all the happenings that have transpired, Natsumi and Hotaru really haven’t had that much in the way of interaction with each other. This honestly though me a little as it was not something that I really had noticed. Furthermore this revelation coming right before the opening sequence, I sat up and payed that bit more attention and sure enough, even in the opening sequence Natsumi and Hotaru always have someone between them. I also went back and checked the opening sequence from the first season and this much also extends to that (baring for one scene in which you can make a case that they are next to each other; showing the cast walking in the rain with umbrellas and Natsumi has run on ahead slightly, placing her just in-front of Hotaru). I guess that this distance is somewhat explainable on the basis of how different they are -Natsumi being the most “countryside-like” and Hotaru being the most girly of the group- which gives them little in the way of common ground but rather than ignoring this fact this much is rather neatly made into a plot point.
The actual exchange that comes about as a result of Natsumi’s realization that she doesn’t really know what to talk to Hotaru about when they are alone is a rather awkward one, hence this reviews title, with the subject of conversation being anime. Initially the choice of subject by Natsumi is a good one; discovering that both her and Hotaru have both watched Pretty
Cure Cute however, as conversations about anime often go, the topic of conversation moves on to another an anime that Hotaru is very enthusiastic about but Natsumi hasn’t seen (I personally would have found it pretty funny if silver link shamelessly used this to promote one of their own series but the only magical girl show that they animate is Illya and somehow I don’t feel that is appropriate for elementaryschooler Hotaru to be watching). It would seem that poor luck seems to be a trait of the Koshigaya household at the moment though as, not having the heart to tell Hotaru she has not even seen an episode of Hotaru’s favorite anime, Natsumi attempts to change the subject but her choice of new topics makes it seem as if she is talking about the anime thus leading Hotaru to continue. It all falls apart after a while though when Natsumi attempts to, deliberately make as if she has seen the show only to make massive mistakes in assuming that it just goes along with your typical tropes. Awkwardness at its peak, Natsumi comes clean and silence dissents. Natsumi’s standing is restored soon after though by her attempting to subtlety remove a gecko from Hotaru thinking that she would be bothered by it but in fact rather likes it. As fallout from the mornings happenings Natsumi and Hotaru manage to become closer, Natsumi realizing that just because Hotaru is from Tokyo it doesn’t mean that she is uninterested in the entertainment of the countryside.
This weeks episode has quite a lot of Natsumi in as in our middle section we she has another chance to show off her countryside girl character by impressing Hotaru and Renge with her knowledge of various things to do in the area though not missing the opportunity to troll her friends a little by telling them about onion fishing. Natsumi is still Natsumi though and as such as to fail at at least one thing so the punchline for this time is that as a result of her showing the other two all these various things it has made their homework easier but, as expected, her showing them was a form of procrastination on her part and her own homework still is untouched.
The episode is not exclusively Natsumi’s though and the failing is not limited to her either. Hotaru also suffers from a share of misfortune in the final section of the episode that is themed around fireworks or rather a lack there off. Fireworks are indeed a traditional summer event in Japan and as such are a common occurrence in slice of life anime. Though in this case it is said popularity that causes problems as, in what I am assuming to be a somewhat common occurrence, the shops are sold out. This would only be an annoyance if everyone had gone on a trip to buy fireworks but instead it is Hotaru’s parents who go to but them and Hotrau who tells everyone about this. I’m sure you can see where this is going but Non Non Biyori manages to make things delightfully awkward by letting the group have one firework to let off but make it the most anti climactic one ever. The night is saved from utter disaster by Kazuho-sensei and her out-countryside-knowledge-ing Natsumi but taking the group to see some natural night-time illuminations in the form of taking them to see some fireflies and giving us a rather deep moment thanks to “Hotaru” not only being Hotaru’s name but also the word for firefly.