I gotta admit; Renge’s growing on me.

Summary:

The episode starts off with the girls going on a field trip of sorts, though it turns out that it’s less of a field trip and more like unpaid manual labor.  The girls are forced to plant rice in the fields, but considering the anime they’re in, this leads to some funny shenanigans instead.

Natsumi, you should just accept that you’re not that funny. At least, not on your own.

Later on, we see a bit of Natsumi’s and Komari’s home life.  Komari watches a rented horror video that night and gets so scared that she has to sleep in Natsumi’s room.  Of course, Natsumi milks her older sister’s fear for all it’s worth, though it ends up back-firing on her in the end.

Later still, Natsumi gets into an argument with her mom over a broken vase, which she claims was broken by a stray cat.  However, her mom doesn’t believe her, as Natsumi is a… less than stellar child.  In anger, Natsumi decides to run away, dragging her sister Komari along with her.  They re-visit their old hideout that the had as kids, and Komari discovers some old relics from their past, triggering old memories.  Apparently, this wasn’t the first time Natsumi “ran away.”  Back then, Natsumi ended up getting sick so Komari had to drag her back home to their worried mother.  Remembering this, Natsumi decides that it’s time to go home.  Once the girls do get home, they get a pretty shocking surprise from their mother, which shows them both that a mother’s love is deeper than they think.

That’s a cool looking hide-out! What makes it even cooler is that they found this place out when they were even younger!

Well, this episode certainly ended up becoming rather somber.

My Opinion:

This was a rather serious and touching episode, which is kind of surprising for a series like this!  Even though the change in mood was unexpected, I still enjoyed the episode in the end.

I guess I’m a sucker for episodes where the characters’ family life is explored.  I guess I’m also a sucker for episodes where the characters’ relationship with their parents is shown.  Even though I’m not a parent or anything, the latter half of this episode really resonated with me.  I still remember all (well… most) of the times in my life when I was a kid and my parents didn’t let me do this or that or didn’t let me get something I wanted or whatever.  Back then, I’d get mad at my parents, thinking they were mean or cruel.  But now having grown up and (hopefully) matured a bit, I realize that they only did those things because they cared.  It always makes for a touching episode when a subject like that is touched upon in anime, and I think Non Non Biyori pulled that off really well, despite being more of a “gag” anime.

That’s not to say that this episode didn’t have humor, though.  The first half of the episode delivered the standard fare of humor for this series.  I mentioned before that I didn’t find Renge or Natsumi that interesting as characters in my previous reviews, but they certainly grew on me this episode.  Renge manages to be snarky while still keeping her child-like innocence.  However, Natsumi was definitely a character that took me the longest to like.  It was only after her extended interactions with sister that she became more likeable to me.

The only minor criticism I have for this episode is that Suguru has next to no presence, even though he’s Natsumi’s and Komari’s older brother.  He LIVES with them and yet we rarely ever see him.  I guess it’s perfectly normal for the two sisters not to be as close to their older brother, but it does feel a bit strange when we see their family life and he’s usually absent.  I suppose this is just a “thing” for Suguru so he’ll probably continue having very little presence on the girls’ lives.  I don’t particularly mind, but I guess I just sort of feel bad for him.

Overall, this was a pretty good episode.  It might seem a bit slow-paced for some; but then again this has been a pretty slow-paced series so far, so it’s not too out of the ordinary.  Probably not as much humor here, though I think the sisters’ interactions make up for it.

Out of five for this episode:

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