I’ll probably tackle one or two more FIs for the summer anime season, but for now have a normal review!
In this episode, the focus shifts to Hotaru, who has just moved into the countryside, and has started going to school with the others. She learns a fun game of “knock down the ruler” from Komari, Natsumi, and Renge and manages to snag her first victory. That afternoon, Komari suggests that they all go star-gazing that Saturday. Hotaru happily agrees.
On Saturday morning, Hotaru takes her dog Pechi for a walk. She decides to explore the countryside a bit but gets lost. Thankfully, Pechi is able to bail her out by tracking the scent of Komari’s notebook, which Komari had lent to Hotaru the day before. Pechi leads Hotaru to Suguru, who points Hotaru in the direction home.
That night, only Hotaru and Komari go out to star-gaze, because Natsumi fell asleep and Renge’s grandma is visiting. The two girls only have one flashlight between them to lead the way on the dark country roads. After going through a forest to an open clearing, the girls enjoy themselves by looking at the stars. However, as they start heading home, the flashlight’s batteries suddenly die. Although both girls are terrified of their situation, Komari manages to stay level-headed enough to lead them to the lighted vending machine that they had passed earlier. It’s only there that Komari’s fear overtakes her and her legs give way, causing Hotaru to carry Komari back home.
Now that the second episode of Non Non Biyori Repeat has aired, I can see what the second season is trying to do. Repeat seems to be doing exactly what it says in the title—that is, giving us a repeat of sorts of the first season. We are going through season 1’s timeline again, except this time we’re filling in the blanks between episodes. When I first watched the first season of Non Non Biyori, I knew a lot of material from the manga was probably skipped due to how rapidly the episodes went through the seasons. So now we can finally see those skipped arcs/chapters animated. I’m glad for this, but I do have one minor concern. I assume that everything that was animated for the first season was the choice picks of the series. So I’m just hoping that the material they have for the second season is also good and not just the “fluff” that had to be discarded because they weren’t as interesting.
Anyway, this episode was a bit more entertaining than the first, if only because the whole gang is finally back together again. We learn some new tidbits here, like the fact that Hotaru apparently has a dog; which was completely absent from the entire first season. There were also some nice callbacks and parallels between this episode and season 1’s second episode. In both seasons’ second episodes, the focus was mainly on Hotaru and Komari, who go on a little trip together. Admittedly, I do think the second episode of season 1 was funnier, but this episode certainly has much more relationship-building because it was more serious. Seeing Hotaru and Komari interact was just sweet. There’s a nice callback at the end of the episode with Hotaru sketching some rough drafts of the Komari doll she ends up making in episode 6.
Overall, this was a nice episode. Not too much humor here, but I did find the cast’s ruler game to be pretty entertaining. The countryside scenery is still beautiful and relaxing to look at, though I did notice a slight drop in animation quality. Ah well, it happens. I don’t actually like Hotaru and Komari interactions too much, because I find them a bit on the dull side, but I thought the last half of the episode showed off their relationship well.
Out of five for this episode: