Non Non Biyori Volume 01 Manga Review (Rural slice of life fun.)

Non Non Biyori Volume 01 Manga Review
のんのんびより manga review


Non Non Biyori Volume 01Non Non Biyori is a series for which I’ve often seen many images of. As such, I had my interest piqued to find out what it was about. When I discovered that Seven Seas was selling the first volume of the manga, I had to try it out for myself.

The story, in brief, tells of 5th grade, female transfer student ICHIJOU Hotaru, who was living in Tokyo until her parents moved to the tiny community of Asahigaoka. She makes for the fifth student at the local school, where 1st grade student MIYAUCHI Renge, 1st year middle school student KOSHIGAYA Natsumi, 2nd year middle school student KOSHIGAYA Komari, and 3rd year middle school student (and only male) KOSHIGAYA Suguru attend class, taught by Ringe’s older sister, the very sleepy MIYAUCHI Kazuho-sensei. Becoming friends with the other girls, Hotaru and company go through country life in Japan.

This manga is purely a slice of life tale, designed to make one smile. In some ways, it reminded me of Azumanga Daioh, only much smaller in scope. It is amusing to think there’d be a school with only five students in it, and three of them be siblings.

I love that this manga is set in a rural area since I grew up in one, though nothing this small. However, the setting adds to the charm of the series, and I can relate to some of the farming stuff mentioned and the general slower pace of life depicted in the manga.

While I wouldn’t classify this manga as laugh out loud funny, it is amusing and often made me smile. The one time I did laugh out loud was when Kazuho takes her students on a field trip, which ends up being to her family’s farm. However, she denied that she was trying to use her students as cheap labor to plant rice.  That still makes me chuckle, especially considering she really didn’t need to use them since her family had a tractor to do the planting much faster.

I was also amused by the rabbit that tricked Ringe and Hotaru so that it caused them to be trapped in the animal pen.

The only other story that I found fairly amusing was when Komari invites Hotaru out, then Hotaru shows up all dressed up, so much so that Komari thinks Hotaru is a stranger, older girl who’s apparently lost.

That being said, whether the chapters amused me or not, they all seemed to make me smile, and that makes me want to return to this fun, little, rural, slice of life manga.

On the Seven Seas side of things, all of the Japanese honorifics are retained. Renge addresses her sister as “Nee-nee”, which I liked. There are four color pages at the beginning of the manga, which is always a plus. While there were no translator notes section, there were the occasional translator note in the margin. There are several pages of four panel (4-koma) comic strip that has nothing to do with Non Non Biyori (at least, not that I can tell), but are done by Atto-sensei. Rounding out the omake is an omake manga from Atto-sensei, giving some of his thoughts.

In the end, this was a cute, sweet, fun, slice of life manga that created a rural Japanese community that I am looking forward to returning to.

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5 Responses to “Non Non Biyori Volume 01 Manga Review (Rural slice of life fun.)”

  1. WMC says:

    Thanks for the flag. I love this kind of thing, so I’m right out to get it.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      You’re welcome. I hope you like it. I now want to watch the anime.

      • WMC says:

        Just ordered vol. 1, but I’ve been disappointed in many corresponding animes, with important exceptions like “5 cm per Second.” For me animes are too passive; one just stares and goes oooh. Or baaah. Mangas require active involvement by the reader. In good manga you can and must invent hidden actions and motivations, that are evident but not obvious, for the characters. On your third reading you can start to “fill in the blanks” in the story sequence. Space-time switching provides even more mystery. The illustrated nature of manga requires blanks, sometimes large ones, in the story to get it all in. Good manga actually thrives on these covert elements — the authors use this jumping and switching for the benefit of the tale.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          Many anime adaptations aren’t as good as the original manga.There have been two exceptions to that rule (from my experience only) — the anime PLANETES was better than the manga for me, and the anime RINNE is better than the manga for me.

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