Non Non Biyori - As Calming and Relaxing as it Gets

Iyashikei is, or may be, my favourite genre of anime. Although I love my long running drama's, there's not much which is able to outclass a quality iyashikei anime. From Mushishi, to Aria to Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, iyashikei (or simply "healing") is an often contentious subject within anime discussion. Many claim it to be boring, although I am of a different opinion. It is most certain that they are slowly paced, although that is the entire point. But I'm not here to do something as grand as discussing the mertits of an entire genre, all I intend to do is reccomend one: Non Non Biyori.

OK, let's get this out of the way first: if you don't already enjoy iyashikei, then Non Non Biyori is in no way going to change your mind on the subject. It may even feel a bit too "normal" or "distilled" in that regard. But do not mistake those qualities as being negative. While it may not take place on Mars, be filled with youkai, mushi or highly advanced androids, it does have cute character designs and a japanese countryside. The first episode of the show is exactly that, as our main character Renge, a 1st grader, contemplates over whether her home is "in the sticks" or not. And while she concludes that yes, she may live in a less high tech place than Tokyo, that doesn't lessen the beauty of her home in any way.

Non Non Biyori is really comfy, and one of the best ways to convey comfiness is by utilising small spaces. Whether it be something simple like a kotatsu, or something like a candy store, the design of the general surroundings in Non Non Biyori is top notch. The voice acting is also of very high quality, although I do recognize that the "sqeauky moe voice" may be a bit too annoying for some people. In that case, I just suggest you watch something else instead, because if you don't like the voice cast in this show, you're not exactly going to be enjoying it on an episode to episode basis either.

While Non Non Biyori is most certainly a good show, I do want to stray away from praising it too highly. This is because while the series is enjoyable and all, I've seen it done way better before (the aformentioned Aria, Mushishi and Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou come to mind). Mind you, this does not mean that Non Non Biyori is not worth checking out, just that if you're interested in an introduction to the genre, or simply seeking to only check out the best it has to offer, then there are many better alternatives. Overall, I really enjoyed Non Non Biyori, and I definetely look forward to checking out more of the franchise in the future.

If you're in the market for something with a likeable cast of characters, calming music, cute anime girls or just looking to relax for a short period of time, then Non Non Biyori has got you covered. While it may not reach the same hights as its other peers in the genre, that does in no way lessen the enjoyment you'l (most likely) recieve from this show. Non Non Biyori gets a 6/10 from me, or in other words, a mild reccomendation.