Comic Books Magazine

First Impressions: Non Non Biyori

Posted on the 11 October 2013 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

Non Non Biyori, you had me at:

Non Non Biyori

With it’s sweet background music, serene setting, and quiet humor, is it any surprise that Non Non Biyori‘s first episode has become another in the long line of slice of life shows to capture my heart?

As with most slice of life shows, the story is relatively simple. Hotaru Ichijou has recently moved to the countryside and is a little surprised at how different it is from her native Tokyo. Here people don’t lock their doors, a first grader can call tanuki out of hiding with her silent whistle, the school only has one class of 5 people, and nature is abundant. Despite being a bit of a fish out of water, Hotaru starts fitting in relatively quickly, making friends with her fellow classmates and finding herself kind of enchanted by her new surroundings.

Non Non Biyori

When it comes to stories like these, I always find myself at a bit of a loss when it comes to pinpointing what exactly I like because, as it turns out, saying “I like cute stuff” isn’t gonna cut it. With Non Non Biyori‘s first episode, what pulled me in the most, I think, (aside from the cutesy characters) is how serene it could be. There were moments in the episode where the camera simply panned around showing us the backgrounds with some slow instrumental music playing. These moments were surprisingly well done in how you didn’t mind that nothing was going on, and I, at least, appreciated how they built up a sense of peacefulness or serenity which is really nice because, truth be told, these types of shows tend to live or die by their atmosphere. Though it wasn’t particularly witty or loud, the humor in the episode was also pretty enjoyable in the sense that  it managed to make me laugh or at least smile throughout the episode.

In terms of characters, there isn’t a whole lot to talk about. We actually don’t get a huge glimpse to anyone’s personality besides Hotaru, Renge, and Natsumi, all of which you can pretty much take at face value. Hotaru is shy and quiet; Renge is just really stinkin’ cute; and Natsumi is a bit like the leader of the group.

Non Non Biyori

The show looks fine, although it’s probably not the prettiest thing airing. The character designs are as cute as you would expect them to be. The backgrounds, more than anything else, shine out a bit this episode, with the forest scene especially being particularly detailed and nice. What probably surprised me the most about the episode was the background music which is full of really pretty, low key classical stuff and an absolutely joy to listen to.

Though Non Non Biyori isn’t likely to be the star of the season, this cute little slice of life is more than good enough. It’s built up an atmosphere that I’ve already come to love and has characters that I already like. As long as more of the same is delivered, I will be a happy camper.

This show is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog