Non Non Biyori — First Impressions


Girls live in the country and do nothing.


It wasn’t as bad as most of these things go. Some of the jokes even made me laugh a little. Still, I hate the entire genre where girls sit around and do nothing so I’ll probably skip this one.

I always find it hilarious when Japanese shows take place in the “middle of nowhere.” Japan has no idea what the middle of nowhere even means. Anywhere you can ride public transportation to school is not the middle of nowhere. Or like Higurashi, where the “isolated” villagers could take an hour bus ride on public transportation for a day trip to the big city. Come on. On my trip this summer I drove through two 130 mile stretches of Nevada where they didn’t even have a single gas station. That’s probably wider than Japan is?

12 thoughts on “Non Non Biyori — First Impressions

  1. It’s roughly 200 miles, by car, from Yokohama to Joetsu. Which is pretty much “Sea to Sea” in the middle of Honshu.

    It’s 300 Miles (or so) from Nemuro to Wakkanai. That’s across the “top” of Hokkaido.

    I think traveling across Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada, Utah or other bits of the Midwest would cause a lot of Japanese to have an existential crisis. And I don’t think most of them could make it through West Texas or the Panhandle.

  2. Honestly, I think the problem is that it’s you Americans who really have the most middle-of-nowhere places amongst all the middle-of-nowhere places in the world. 200 km without even a gas station sounds like Lovecraftian mind-boggling madness to my European mind.

    1. Haha perhaps. To my American mind a town with public transportation being considered in the middle-of-nowhere is Lovecraftian mind-boggling madness. 🙂

  3. Traveling the Alaskan highway is similar. If you see a gas station, you MUST buy gas at any price because there might not even be a ‘town’ (by which they mean a gas station) for at least 50 miles. Japan does have some islands (i.e. certain islands near Okinawa, or the seto, or those ar south of Tokyo, some of which have even been abandoned because no one wanted to live there anymore) that are pretty far removed, but for most the government generally makes sure there is always a ferry a couple times a week. Its move removed in the sense that you are bored there, and there might only be one family operated restaurant that is open part of the day.

    1. Hm, being on an isolated island would give an entirely different sense of isolation. You couldn’t even leave if you wanted to. Now that would be an interesting setting for a show.

  4. I think this was even less than your usual “girls sit around and do nothing” show. Usually, I’d say, in these shows girls at least talk and drink tea. Here, there were long sequences where nothing happened at all. I’m not sure yet if I find it relaxing or boring. But after Tamayura More Aggressive unfortunately turned out more dramatic than I had hoped I might pick up this one for a change. At least the scenery is lovely and I also liked how the same pickup truck (the only vehicle around apart from the bus) appeared in the background several times. The old lady in an electric wheelchair was funny, as well!

    1. Huh. I am shocked to hear that Tamayura More Aggressive actually was more aggressive. Didn’t think it was possible for Tamayura…

      I didn’t even notice that the same truck appeared multiple times. Interesting. Maybe they were too cheap to draw multiple trucks.

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