Road Rash Reviews

Non Non Biyori Season 1 [Blu-ray] Review****-

Cert PG | 300 mins | 2023

4 star relaxing and laid back anime series.

Non Non Biyori is a Japanese slice-of-life anime series, originally released in 2013. Based on the Manga written and illustrated by Atto and adapted for anime by Silver Link (No-Rin, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya).

It is now available on Blu-ray in the original Japanese with an English dub, courtesy of MVM Films.

“Even in Tokyo, monkeys randomly show up. So just because a Tanuki shows up, it doesn’t mean this is the country, right?”

Hotaru (Rie MurakawaIs it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?) is a fifth grader from Tokyo. Her life changes completely one day when her family moves to the small countryside town of Asahigaoka. Here she is in for a bit of a culture shock as it lacks any of the amenities available in the city.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is the Asahigaoka Branch School, which has only one class despite the fact that the students are all in different grades. Here she meets her new friend, Renge (Kotori KoiwaiPsycho Pass) who is in the first grade and whose sister Kazuho (Kaori NazukaEureka Seven) is the school’s only teacher. Also in the class are the three siblings, Natsumi (Ayane SakuraYour Lie in April) a mischievous 7th grader, Komari (Kana AsumiA Certain Magical Index) a diminutive 8th grader and their older brother Suguru , a 9th grader who never speaks but is the master of visual comedy. These students make up the whole school.

Hotaru is made to feel welcome by the other students and she soon settles into her new life, going on daily adventures with her new friends and taking a shine to Komari who she thinks is adorable. This series covers the first year of her new life in Asahigaoka.

“Before summer vacation starts, on the last day of the semester, we all eat the watermelons we raised together.”

Non Non Biyori is a very chilled out experience. It is the epitome of a slice-of-life story, literally dealing with the day to day minutiae of the lives of these children. It’s full of sunshine and laughter, with the occasional bit of mild angst and it’s pure bliss just to sit back and immerse yourself for 25 minutes. It’s a gentle look at life in modern rural Japan and although I have no idea how accurate it is, I sincerely hope that it’s true to life.

The opening and closing music is also good, adding to the feel of the whole thing and if you just fancy a break from the troubles of the world for a few minutes then look no further than Non Non Biyori.

Thoroughly recommended and well worth adding to your collection.

“Actually, I splurged a while ago and bought a portable CD player. It feels like I took a step up the stairs to adulthood.”

Non Non Biyori is available to buy now on Blu-ray.

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DirectorShinya Kawatsura
GenreComedy, Slice-of-Life
StarringRie Murakawa, Kotori Koiwai, Ayane Sakura, Kana Asumi