Non Non Biyori Repeat Episode 2: We Went to Look at the Stars
So this is how it all started.
I sometimes see shots like this and think to myself: ‘…is she really a fifth-grader?’
If last week’s episode had its focus on Ren-chon, then this one was all about Hotaru! I definitely missed her more than I thought I did. I guess it’s also confirmed that last week wasn’t some sort of chronological blip, and that we will literally be ‘repeating’ the time-span of the first season, presumably telling different stories that happened throughout this particular year (i.e. the year that Hotarun transferred in and Ren-chon became a first-grader). I don’t really mind this at all – there’s no real continuity with these episodes apart from the progression in seasons from what I remember, so after Hotaru transfers in it largely doesn’t matter when these events all occur. I mean, there’s some minor character development like how Hotaru eventually gets her little… crush on Komari, but this episode’s taken care of that rather nicely.
And we got to see a fresh reaction to ‘nyanpasu’! Her expression spoke volumes, it was like she was thinking: ‘…Eh? Is this… some sort of fad here? Do I… respond?’ I’ve always wondered why Ren-chon abandoned such a great greeting – she hardly said it after the first episode of the first season, if at all. Maybe it was just what she was into at the time – I remember her running up to Candy Store and Nee-nee once and yelling that she was ‘funky na non!’
I want to play knock-down-the-ruler now, although I have a feeling that the version of myself young enough to play it without getting some odd looks would have chosen to scoff at it instead. He knows nothing. After all, this game is deep. It’s like air hockey, except without the air or the hockey puck. It’s filled with super secret moves, complex tactics and ruler mods – masters like Nii-nii dominate (it’s another one of his diverse array of skills) and a noble sacrifice by Ren-chon was needed to defeat him. She displayed dazzling technique with her Tsubame Gaeshi – Assassin would have been proud.
Both golf and eraser flick sound super exciting as well! In all seriousness, that scene was a reminder of how a rural lifestyle doesn’t automatically mean a boring life – so long as you’ve got creativity, the games you’re entertained by don’t have to only be the ones generated for you via technology. Then you’ve got hardcore enthusiasts like Nattsun.
Is it bad that I want Hotaru and Koma-chan to get lost again, just so I can see them being cute one more time? Actually, I guess I kind of did get that, because Hotaru started crying adorably after seeing that the nearest confirmed human settlement was 40 kilometres away. Then it turned into a dramatic few seconds when Pechi escaped Hotaru and jumped off a cliff. Not that I’d understand why any dog would want to leave a kind and fluffy girl like her. Again, Nii-nii saves the day, and even a dog jumping on him is not enough for him to break his everlasting silence. The hero they all deserve, but not the one they need right now.
I got all excited for a moment when Natsumi didn’t end up going to watch the stars, which meant that it’d just be Hotaru and Koma-chan enjoying a romantic night together. I felt so happy for Hotaru, so it was confusing to see her not act like she’d won the lottery until I realized it hadn’t all started yet. I wonder when exactly it happened? Was it a gradual thing throughout the night? I can see Hotaru admiring her for still trying to act like a senpai despite her so obviously being scared. Or was it because she was just too cute? Maybe both? I honestly envisaged the two just bawling in each other’s arms until Nii-nii or Natsumi came to rescue them, but it was great to see Koma-chan brave her way back instead. After all, the dark is a very Koma-chan-like thing to be scared of.