It’s been a whole year already since Hotaru came to the countryside, and since Renge first started grade school. As it is springtime again, the gang goes to pick bamboo shoots. A few days later, they all pack picnic lunches and go cherry blossom viewing.
If you noticed that this episode’s summary is super short, that’s because nothing much really happened. This is probably the most laid-back episode of season 2, with the girls mainly just hanging out by sitting around, talking, and enjoying the scenery. Usually, I’d dismiss this all this “fluff” as the producers trying to save money, but Non Non Biyori manages to do slice-of-life well. Having such a laid-back episode was probably the only suitable way to end a series like this, because it reminds you to enjoy life and take it easy even after the series has ended.
I like the call back to the end of season 1—this episode starts off where the last episode of season 1 ended. I also like that the episode ultimately ended with a flower-viewing picnic. This is a nice call back to episode 1 of season 1, and marks the fact that a whole year has passed in-series.
Overall, this is probably the most relaxing episode you’ll ever see. It ends on a soft, yet happy note. And really, isn’t that the only suitable way for this series to end?
Out of five for this episode:
Non Non Biyori is such a lovely slice-of-life series. It manages to be funny, heartwarming, and at times beautiful. It is an anime set in the countryside, but it’s really more about the close relationships the characters have with one another.
Having seen the entirety first season, I can say that the second season is a vast improvement. The first season was a bit more “witty,” with more gags and comedy. The second season, on the other hand, feels more “mature.” Yes, there’s still comedy (and very clever jokes as usual), but the focus of the second season is on more heartwarming content, such as Renge experiencing her first pet death and learning to ride her bike without training wheels.
I have also noticed that the first season heavily focused on the Koshigaya sisters and Renge, while the second season focuses more on… Renge and Hotaru. I think that it’s nice for Hotaru to get so much focus, as she was kind of shoved aside after the first episode of season 1. Maybe the switch in focus is why season’s 2 episodes feel so much more “calm.”
The second season basically animates the manga chapters that hadn’t been animated in season 1. This is why there are a lot of summer episodes and barely a winter one (because most of those were covered in season 1). At first, I thought that we were going to be getting the less well-written chapters, but I was very wrong about that. Even though some episodes are slow, I think I like season 2 a lot more than season 1 in terms of content.
Overall, Non Non Biyori Repeat is a great second season to a great series. Of course, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, because it is so slow paced. However, if you can get past the “moe” art style, what awaits is a really charming show with a lot of heart.
Out of five for the series as a whole: