It’s already winter break time in the Non Non Biyori universe. We are just blasting through the year here.

Summary:

It is now winter break for the girls, and also New Year’s!  Renge and her two sisters, along with Kaede (aka Miss Candy Store owner), decide to hike up a mountain in order to see the year’s first sunrise.  Along the way, Kaede reminisces about how she first got to know Renge.  Apparently, Kaede was called to babysit Renge when she was a baby.  Although there were some minor troubles, Kaede and baby-Renge got along rather well.

If I had Hotaru’s plushie-making skills, I’d be rolling in the cash by now…

I think this cap speaks to a lot of people.

Back in present day, Renge and the others have finally reached the top of the mountain.  They watch the sunrise there together, before heading home for a New Year’s meal.  As the episode ends, we’re shown that Kaede and Renge are still as close as ever, even though Kaede would probably never admit it.

I wish I had enough motivation to actually go see a sunrise once in my life…

My Opinion:

This was a really sweet episode that details the relationship between Kaede and Renge.  (On another note, I guess we’re just skipping straight past Christmas to New Year’s.)

After Renge and Kaede’s past interaction in episode 7, it’s nice that their relationship continues to get brought up.  And apparently, their relationship extends far back into the past too.  Even though this episode was mainly just one big flashback, I rather like episodes like this; where characters’ past relationships are explored.  I especially love seeing it in this particular series, because everyone (with the exception of Hotaru, the newcomer) seems to know each other well.  It gives the image of a very close-knit community.

This was another episode that wasn’t too concerned with being funny, which is fine.  The animation, especially background animation, is as lovely as ever.  I do wish we had seen more of the other girls celebrating New Year’s too, but they were probably cut for time.  While I have been greatly enjoying Non Non Biyori so far, I do have a bit of criticism.  I really hope that Hotaru gets some more focus.  Other than the first few episodes, she hasn’t really had an episode to herself, as the series seems more concerned with Renge’s family, along with Komari’s and Natsumi’s family.  I suppose this makes sense, as Hotaru is more of a “city girl,” and the series is more focused on showing what country-life is like.  Still, it just feels like she hasn’t featured prominently in a long time, so I hope we can see more of her in the last few episodes that this season has.

Overall, this was a nice, heartwarming episode.  But then again, it seems like Renge-centric episodes always are.

Out of five:

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