Second season of Non Non Biyori, whoo! I actually blogged the entire first season on here, if you want to check that out.
We go back in time a bit to before the start of the first season; as Renge has just gotten a brand new backpack from her grandmother and prepares to enter the first grade. Renge is so excited to enter the first grade that she follows the sisters Komari and Natsumi as they go to the school to help clean up before the entrance ceremony. Thus, she gets her first glimpse at the school that she’ll be going to for the rest of her school years.
Later that day, Renge bids goodbye to her middle sister, Hikage, who’s going off to Tokyo (by train) to attend the school there. That night, she tells her oldest sister, Kazuho, that she wants to go to school the next morning by herself. Kazuho agrees. Renge manages to make it to school safely the next day, and is greeted with a school entrance ceremony. After the ceremony, Renge receives her textbooks, and also a brand new recorder. Renge immediately becomes fond of the recorder, attempting to play it as they all start heading home.
Meanwhile, a girl named Hotaru has just moved in from the city…
Well that’s certainly an interesting way to start off the second season. I was expecting the series to just start where it last left off, but Non Non Biyori instead takes us back in time a bit so that we can see Renge entering the first grade. I thought this was clever idea, because it gives us some more back-story for the characters while also introducing them for anyone who’s watching the series for the first time. However, I do wonder how they’re going to transition from this to the current timeline. In the next episode it looks like the series will pick up from last season’s last episode, and that seems pretty jarring. It’s probably even moreso for newcomers, as we see Hotaru just moving in at the end of this episode, so it’ll probably a bit weird that everyone’s suddenly friends in episode 2. Then again, this IS the second season already, so I guess it’s assumed that everyone already watched the first. (Seriously, if you haven’t yet, please watch the first season.)
This episode feels rather slow-paced, even by Non Non Biyori standards. (Or maybe it’s just been a while since I’ve last watched the series?) The episode focuses on Renge, who’s arguably the most popular character of the series. Seeing her be so excited about school was quite fun and charming. Maybe the reason this episode feels “slow” is because Renge is so heavily featured here? She is probably the calmest character of the series, and the youngest; so it makes sense that scenes linger on to show how fascinated Renge is with the outside world. I admit, the episode did feel a bit boring in places, but at least the beautiful countryside scenery made up for it.
Overall, this was a decent episode. As slow-paced as this episode was, it was also very calming to watch. It was very nice to see these characters again, and I still can’t believe it’s been a year and a half already since the first season ended. The animation so far is top-notch, and maybe even possibly higher than the previous season. I’m not always fond of slice-of-life anime, but Non Non Biyori manages to be a good and funny slice-of-life series without all the shouting and hyperactivity that far too many slice-of-life series rely on. Maybe its extremely relaxed atmosphere is the reason I’m so drawn to this series. Here’s hoping the second season has as much heart to it as the first season did.
Out of five:
I’ll most likely be blogging this series, because it’s so calming to watch (and I certainly need a calming series with my upcoming hectic schedule). Should I blog this series, it will be put under the Non Non Biyori category we already have.