So with this episode being the third we are already a quarter of the way though the season even if it really doesn’t feel like it, but I guess this much should be expected as the first episode was really something of a prologue. Either way we are getting into the swing of things now.
I can’t claim to be a hundred percent sure as I do not have a time line of events, but I am getting the impression that the events of this episode are not the next events to come after the introductions and lack luster senses of direction we saw in episode two, which means that we are filling in blank spaces on the original series. Though in terms of the order of events, Non Non Biyori Repeat’s events seem to be going in their own chronological order that is parallel and overlapping with that or the original making the spacetime for this show look as though it has been dovetail jointed together. Though the events of this episode did have me confused for a bit and ended up requiring me to look up the time-table of events in the Japanese school year.
The events of this weeks episode are themed around exams and studying, which initially had me thinking that we must have jumped forward quite a lot but the fact that post exams the cast goes for their golden week holiday, golden week being the end of April and first few day of May (yes, I did have to go and look this up), and the fact that the Japanese school year starts at the beginning of April means that they are having exams after only a month of schooling. Which is rather harsh in my eyes as they wont have really done anything yet. Though based on what we see Kazuho-Sensei, the only representation of the school’s staff, doing this episode and what I remember of the rice planting event from the first season, I am rather concerned that she is capable of malice/thoughtlessness to that level.
My confusion at and fear of the Japanese school system aside, he chronology of this episode with respect to the rest of the series is worth mentioning. In order to keep the plot concise and contained to the one episode, we have so very major time jumps. In fact we skip the vast majority of the Golden week holiday save for an exchange between Renge and Kazuho-Sensei. This much allows for us to have both the problematic initial exams, the extensive homework that is given as a result -or more specifically the motivation is gained at the same time- and the aftereffects of side homework to be covered in a single episode. This self-contained story format is rather nice as it means that there is very little that you have to remember between episodes which fits this kind of relaxing anime very well as you can simply sit down for 24 minutes and be comfortable without having to think about anything too hard (well you can at least, I have to fuss about chronology and reviewing stuff).
As for the actual happenings of this weeks episode we are back on form with Non Non Biyori academic things and we have, Natsumi being a complete fail, Renge being concerning profound and Suguru being quietly awesome until he is foiled by Natsumi’s trolling. On form does not necessarily mean dull but I am sad to report that in this case, to a small extent, it does. Let it be said that it does not mean that the episode is a bad one though but it is a little lack luster and almost everything in it feels like it has been done before. My opinion may be slightly coloured by that fact that the first two episodes were so perfectly capturing of the anime’s essence and down right funny respectively but I do feel that this episode is lacking somewhat. It relies heavily on “Natsumi is not academically gifted” jokes that have already been done and Renge’s new pose thing strikes me as an effort to recapture the magic of Nyanpasu but falls flat and comes across as weird. The episode did definitely have a highlight though was defiantly the exchange between Renge and Kazuho-Sensei in which we were able to watch Renge talk logical circles around her sister and then after having failed to correct her sister/teacher’s behavior proceeded to punish her in a very “just deserts” manner which has the coincidental side effect of motivating all who saw it out of fear of ending up like her.
And that is that for another week. The idea of the three episode rule is one that I am sure most are familiar with so at the episode three mark of a series I am reviewing I like to give an initial impression having gotten a good feel for what the show is actually like. Though I don’t really feel that that is really necessary here as Non Non Biyori can be described as more of the same, I would like to say that, even with the fact that I have found this episode to be not quite as good as the other two I am still enjoying it and even were this episode devoid of any good parts two out of three is certainly not bad.