Non Non Biyori – Perfectly Capturing the Summer Mood
Sometimes, I wonder, do anime companies choose when to specifically air their anime depending on the seasons? Some anime just seem to work perfectly on certain season, like the current Non Non Biyori Repeat-very timely aired during the Summer season; not like the few starting episodes actually set in Summer however, more like Spring, as evidenced by the Sakura blossoms and the long sleeves worn by the characters, and I’m well aware the anime covers different seasons. But despite that, Non Non Biyori had always been pretty synonymous with Summer for me.
The cute girls doing cute things genre is always commonly set in a more densely-populated areas. In contrast to that, I had always love the countryside environment in Non Non Biyori, I’m not saying the former is bad, just that the latter’s setting is just more refreshing, at the same time, also feels more genuinely soothing due to the contrasting nature. After all, comparing a metropolitan with busy streets and a countryside brimming with greenery, it doesn’t really take rocket science to understand which would garner a more relaxing environment.
While watching the first season, I had always thought the anime had captured the essence of the countryside and the Summer feel perfectly, and I’m glad to see that magic carried it’s way over the second season too. The sound production very excellently contributed to this factor too. When watching Non Non Biyori Repeat, it really doesn’t take long for me to recall about all the Summer feels the first season exuded.
From it’s haunting tunes (mostly apply to episode 2, but can also be generalized. Remember how horror is so synonymous with Japanese Summers? Ghost stories, kimodameshi and the likes?), to it’s extremely relaxing music, Non Non Biyori really knows how to get it’s viewers into the Summer mood. Most of it’s music are great in what they set out to do-background music, I never once feel like the music overwhelmed what I’m watching on the forefront. Aside from music, there’s also the fact how the anime likes spending an extended periods of time without music-the humming of the cicadas, the chirping of the birds, the sound of rattling footsteps, hell, even Renge’s terrible Recorder performances as she strolls the grassy roadsides to school-all these “live sounds” are amplified as a result, and effectively creates an inviting atmosphere for it’s viewers.
Of course, Non Non Biyori’s great sound production values rival to that of the visuals. The anime’s aforementioned, is set in the countryside, and features a lot of lush scenery and backgrounds which are just soothing to see. While the anime focuses on the four main girls, of course, the angle however, always finds the opportunity to either zoom out or even cuts into a completely different frame-focusing on the greenery whenever possible. It’s subtle world-building, but effective, and this visual aspect of the show is also another factor in contributing to the peaceful atmosphere.
And when both these sound and visual elements meshed together, they fit together like two teas in a pod, giving you a relaxing escapade to mother nature.
Aforementioned, barely just watching the first episode of Non Non Biyori Repeat is enough for me to be in reminiscence of Summer and the countryside ambiance. In a different way like how Aria accomplished with it’s majestic and wondrous setting, Non Non Biyori manages to do the same with it’s simple, lush landscapes-it’s a “healing” anime which depicts an idyllic countryside lifestyle free from the pressures of a metropolitan life-and a very successful depiction at that.