We take a break from action with Non Non Biyori, by Atto. This light and fluffy series is nothing but 100% relaxation. No action, no drama, just plain old slice of life. In the Countryside, not many things happen, since it’s all farmland anyways. If cute girls doing random things isn’t up your alley, so be it. We follow four girls who all go to the same school and the same class, since the countryside has few people living there, and as such fewer kids to go to school.
Hotaru is a transfer student from Tokyo, and is in the 5th grade. Despite being a 5th grader, and thus a grade school student, Hotaru looks like a middle to high school student, much to Komari’s dismay. Being from the city, she feels out of place in her new classroom initially. This is because her class has only 4 students other than her, and each one being in a different grade. Hotaru quickly settles down however, after talking with everyone and having fun together in class. Another thing that helped Hotaru warm up to her new environment is Komari, as she finds her adorable despite her being in middle school. This adoration quickly sprouts into love to the point she makes Koma plushies, and fills her room with them. This love makes Hotaru want to impress Komari whenever possible, and treasures anything she gives her.
Komari is the sister of Natsumi and ‘Onii-chan'(his name is not given). She is a small girl, often being mistaken as a grade school student despite being in 2nd grade middle school. This small stature leads to some funny scenes, as she desperately tries to assert her age, only for it to backfire or not work at all. Due to her small stature, she is nicknamed Koma-chan by her classmates, despite some of them being younger than her like Hotaru. Komaru’s taste in fashion also doesn’t help her out, as she makes herself look just like a little girl, and her fear of spooky things also shatter her image.
Natsumi is Komari’s sister, is in 1st grade middle school, and the most annoying of all others. While she does have her good scenes, for the most part, Natsumi causes more trouble than she can solve. If she messes up, she’ll try to toss the mistake aside and hope they solve it for her. The good is that it always backfires, and causes her to take responsibility in the end. This tendency to never reflect on her actions always gets her in trouble, only for her to not learn, again.
Renge is a first grader, and the most energetic of the bunch. Her cheerfulness even in somewhat ‘dire’ situations keeps the show light. While she’s a little weird, her weirdness adds to her colorful character, as she makes unusually sharp comments or names creatures strange names. Her cheerfulness allows her to make quick friends with Hotaru and Honoka, a girl she met on summer break. She’s quick to jump back after being down, and likes to have fun.
Non Non Biyori is 100% relaxing content. There’s no drama or action, no full throttle romance or plot. There’s some comedy sprinked throughout it, but nothing to make you burst in laughter. Hotaru’s crush on Komari makes for some funny and interesting ways she keeps it hidden, but is never super serious. If you like nothing but slice of life, then Non Non Biyori is a good read. If you don’t like these kinds of stories, then go ahead and pass this manga by and look at our other reviews. For me, it was a nice break away from the others.