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Non Non Biyori

October 31, 2013

Undoubtedly my favorite series so far this season is “Non Non Biyori”, the anime adaptation of the “のんのんびより” slice-of-life manga by Atto.

While am unfamiliar with the original manga, was still keen on watching this series after spotting it advertised in the autumn season line up, since I was convinced it would be a lovely slice-of-life show.

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Although do watch anime of almost any genre, over the years have noticed that slice-of-life became my favorite genre. Especially series like “Tamayura”, “Aria”, “Yama no Susume”, “Kiniro Mosaic”,“Aiura”, “One Off” or “A-Channel”, so always interested in checking out new shows that seem similar in style and atmosphere.

Got hooked on “Non Non Biyori” from the first episode on and am totally delighted by this heartwarming slice-of-life series that shows the mundane yet enchanting daily life of a group of school girls living in the Japanese country side.

Even though character depth and development aren’t a particular prerequisite for a good slice-of-life show, having endearing characters that the viewer will adore definitely is a must and “Non Non Biyori” certainly delivers there.

From cute transfer student Hotaru, responsible but tiny Komari, boisterous Natsumi, to peculiar Renge, all the girls are adorable! Watching their idle chatter and silly shenanigans makes for terrific entertainment and marks a relaxing moment watching anime in my week.

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Animation by studio Silver Link is excellent. Although it isn’t particularly exceptional either, do feel that the animation is quite good for a slice-of-life series, a genre where sometimes they do tend to simplify or cut down on the overall animation detail.

The studio paints wonderful and enchanting backgrounds of the Japanese countryside, shows good use of lighting and plenty of attention is still spent on rendering the characters facial expression and their outfits well.

Was pleasantly surprised by the opening track ‘Nanairo Biyori’ by nano.RIPE. Instead of a mellow tune so often used in this genre like in “Tamayura”, “Sketchbook ~full color’S~” or “Aria”, here we get a lively and upbeat song that is nonetheless a perfect fit for such a show. Although they have contributed music for other series like “Sankarea” and “Hataraku Maou-sama!”, this new track reminds me most of nano.RIPE’s music for “Hanasaku Iroha”.

Asumi Kana voices Komari, she also voiced Nyaruko in “Haiyore! Nyaruko-san”, Miya in “Amagami SS”, Nakuru in “Mayo Chiki!”, Yukikaze in “Dog Days”, Yuno in “Hidamari Sketch” and Kaoru in “Tamayura”.

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Lively Natsumi is voiced by Sakura Ayane, she previously voiced Akane in “Vividred Operation”, Marii in “Joshiraku”, Merry in “Yumekui Merry”, Yuiko in “Love Lab”and Mei in “Aiura”.

Hotaru is voiced by Murakawa Rie who next to having voiced Aoi in “Vividred Operation” doesn’t seem to have other major roles credited to her name yet. Koiwai Kotori voices twin-tailed Renge, she voiced Kigurumi in “Joshiraku” and Utsu-tsu in “Gatchaman Crowds”.

Renge’s oldest sister and teacher Kazuha is voiced by Fukuen Misato, she’s tackled roles like Yoshika in “Strike Witches”, Rika in “Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai”, Golden Darkness in “To Love RU”, Hime in “Yozakura Quartet” as well as Marie in this season’s “Valvrave the Liberator 2”

Hikage, Renge’s sister who attends school in Tokyo, is voiced by Nazuka Karoi who also voiced Tsukasa in “Amagami SS”, Miyu in “Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya”, Lynette in “Strike Witches”, Yui in “To Love RU” and Eureka in “Eureka Seven”.

If you like slice-of-life series or simply long to relax and watch an endearing anime, then I highly recommend you try “Non Non Biyori”. It’s the top contender to become my favorite anime show of the season.

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