As we continue along Non Non Biyori Repeat’s, parallel to the original season’s, chronology we are now in the rainy season of June meaning that about a month has passed since last episode. The rainy season is quite a significant feature of the Japanese weather pattern and as such is something of a very common occurrence in, not just slice of life, but all kinds of anime but strangely enough was not featured in the first season of Non Non Biyori. In my eyes this should have really been a no-brainer as it would provide ample opportunity for many moescapes featuring beautiful rain washed scenery and umbrellas (though maybe my inherent like to rainy scenery is because I am British and in reality the rest of the world hates it) but thankfully Non Non Biyori Repeat has rectified this much.
As common as rainy season episodes and arcs are the inclusion of teru teru bozu in them but I had previously seen the height of teru teru bozu jokes in Minami-Ke with Kana re-purposing her sister as one against her will but I do perhaps feel that this episode may have topped that. When I released that this was going to be a rainy season episode I assumed that we would get a simple segment in which Renge makes teru teru bozu and then says something thought-provoking and a little bit weird, which would have been good but what we got instead was better, much better. To an extent we did get this but rather than Renge having a problem with the concept of teru teru bozu, her problem was that sun would not be able to see something so small. To address this she made herself into one using a paper plate mask and white rain coat before going out to play in this. Ink however runs in the rain and unbeknownst to her, her mask’s face became something rather different. This proved to be a problem when she was found by Komari -the second oldest student in their school-, who promptly became terrified of the trowel wielding specter before her. This segment was a lovely return to form after last weeks somewhat lackluster episode and made me question, if this is content from the manga, why it was not included in the first season.
The other sizable segment in this episode was quite nicely paced though out the entire episode and pertained to the tadpole shrimps that we saw the crew catching in the very beginning of the episode. These small animals were kept as class pets and are, as you might expect, subjected to much attachment from Renge who is very enthusiastic about keeping records of their development. However, unlike the other Rabbits and other class pets, these creatures have a very short lifespan and this much sadly effects events of the episode as despite being cared for they all die. This was in a way rather cheap of the writers as Non Non Biyori is a show I watch on a Monday evening to relax and unwind, not to be subjected to the feels that accompany watching an elementary school student have to deal with her pets dying. Sadness was defiantly this segments goal and sadness was achieved. Much like the rain though, sadness does pass and in this case thanks to Natsumi’s thinking, which is initially well disguised, the eggs that the shrimps laid were saved and as such Renge ended the episode with a new set of flatty-San’s (I guess even if she is a bit of an idiot, Natsumi comes though when it matters).
The episode was not just these two segments though as thanks to the well paced latter segment that allowed for a couple of extra slice of life elements to be added in; including a cameo from delinquent sweet-shop lady, who this season really needs more of, and another instance of Komari, Natsumi and Renge not realizing that they live in the countryside; thinking that a two-hour walk to a convenience store (you know, a store that is convenient to get to). The inclusion of little sections like this which in add very little, if anything to the plot are something that I like a lot as they add a lot to this kind of show; letting us feel like time is passing at a relaxed pace but at the same time not making the episode feel padded with fillers. Done well as it is, this much gives a soft cleanness to the episode; much like the post rain scenery it showcases.