First Impression – Nourin

winter14-romcom-norin

Idols can’t be Idle on the Farm

spring13-highwI think this is my last First Impression for the season, and it’s always fun to see these shows for the first time. Sometimes there are disappointments, sometimes there are complete changes in what you think, and sometimes you get exactly what you were expecting. So where does Nourin fit into that continuum?

Comparison to Other Anime
May Give You The Wrong Impression

Career suicide

Kousaku dreams of career suicide for Yuka-tan

I think when people heard this show was going to be set in an agricultural high school, thoughts immediately turned to Silver Spoon, whose second / continuation season has just started as well. But while the location of the setting may be similar, the two shows are really not comparable in how they use the setting. Silver Spoon is a very good fish out of water story, with Hachiken learning about life not in the city and about himself. In contrast, Nourin is a much less serious show, at least to start off with, and much more of a standard love triangle comedy. Kousaku Hata, our main character played by Shintaro Asanuma (he’s also the MC in one of my favorite harem romances, Hoshizora e kakaru hashi), is stuck on idol Yuka Kusakabe, wanting to become a ‘trendy farmer’ in Tokyo so that he can be with her, not to mention that he’s sent her fresh vegetables to try to get her to like him. Minori Nakazawa (Kana Hanazawa) is the local girl with the unrequited crush on Kousaku, who thinks that the eggplants are more scandalous to send than the cucumbers, and Kei Kamatori (Wataru Hatano), the straight man guy friend, rounds out the local group.

Kousaku gives up

Sometimes you’ve just given up

Pretty much the first thing that Minori and Kei have to do is pull Kousaku out of his funk when he hears that “Yuka-tan” is retiring from being an idol. There go his dreams of being with her in Tokyo. But as the audience already knows, a new transfer student (Tamara Yukari) is on their way to their podunk little school, and even though she’s introduced as Ringo Kinoshita, Kousaka is pretty sure that it’s Yuka-tan (and everyone else realizes at least that she’s really pretty).

sugee bishoujo

I really loved sensei’s ‘su-GE bishoujo’ description

Where It Really Feels Different

 Minori takes it off

Minori takes it all off

This show did bring out a surprising amount of fanservice and comedy. Minori’s contribution was giving Kousaku her t-shirt as a red flag for the bull and really? She’s not wearing a bra for working in the field when she’s that size? That’s maybe a little unrealistic. There’s also Oppai, I mean Yoshida, the haughty girl from the Livestock Division played by Marina Inoue.

Happy Becky Unhappy Becky

Happy Becky-sensei and Unhappy Becky-sensei

But the best supporting character has to be Betsuki-sensei, played by Chiwa Saito, both for fanservice and for comedy. Playing the almost 40-year-old teacher whose desire for a boyfriend has reached desperation levels, she’s the kind of off-the-wall character that can make or break a show. And so far she’s making it. From ordering a second glass for wine at the restaurant for her ‘boyfriend’ to oiling herself up in an effort to make her skin smoother, but realizing that now she’s just gotten all greasy and taken porn pictures with her video camera, but bouncing right back and introducing the new transfer student, she’s mastered mood whiplash in a hilarious way. I definitely hope this keeps up without going overboard.

Bonus Forever Alone Sensei (NSFW)

Show ▼

header-spr13-highwayThis kind of show isn’t really anything particularly new or special, but it’s right up my alley. So far it’s fun and energetic, and has set up some pretty good romantic tension possibilities, as well as giving us a couple fun extra characters. We also got it started right off with a Yukarin (in both senses) insert song, with some good animation, but some kinda uncanny valley CG movements in there. I’m guessing the song at the end is to be the OP for the rest of the series, and it seems acceptable, even if Yukarin slips a little bit too much into that overly nasal voice I don’t like as much. I’m definitely sticking with this one.

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Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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18 Responses to “First Impression – Nourin”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Becky’s fandom abandoned her once she grew out of her loli phase. Either that or all the abuse by her class during her early years snapped something 😛

    At least they got one allusion right. Oppai = COW.

  2. Foshizzel says:

    Becky-sensei is the best character! I didn’t really care for Hanazawa’s character, but this is just Silver Spoon with boobs and fanservice~

    I will give it two more episode before I decide to keep watching anymore of this.

  3. HannoX says:

    As far as I’m concerned, this doesn’t come close to holding a candle to Silver Spoon. But that is perhaps an unfair comparison made merely because they share the same setting of an agricultural high school. A better comparison is how does it stack up to other high school rom/coms? In my estimation it’s definitely subpar.

    I hate the characters of Kousaku and Becky, especially Kousaku. I don’t hold out any real hope that it’ll get better, but I’ll watch one more episode.

    • Highway says:

      As you say, it really shouldn’t be compared to Silver Spoon, it’s certainly not trying to do the same thing as that show. This is just to be a slightly different perspective on the high school romance, with the aspirational country bumpkin being the main character.

      I thought it was an acceptable first episode, but if you didn’t like either Kousaku or Becky, I can see where you’re not going to like the show. I personally thought they were both fine and interesting.

  4. akagami says:

    Loving this! A great VA cast, interesting characters, with a good mix of comedy and romance! Yes, this is what I’m talking about.

    The idol scenes were lacking, but since that’s a different setting and not the focus of this show, I’ll let it slide.

    How come all my teachers were boring plain old sticks in the mud? Wrrrryyyyy щ(゜ロ゜щ)

    • Highway says:

      I thought the idol song, if not amazing, was at least a very good representation of a solo idol concert. There was just some CG that didn’t look exactly right. The extra effects were pretty nice.

      • akagami says:

        Hmmm, but isn’t she supposed to be a top national idol? For a top-ranked idol to just sway along seems kind of weak. Granted, I’ve never seen solo idol performances so I don’t have much to compare to, but still thought there would be more to it.

        So there really was CG in that part? I thought I saw some CG parts because the movements were really stiff in the farther views, close-ups were nicely animated though. Thought maybe I was just imagining things though.

        • Highway says:

          The thing that points out to me CG is that fast movements are too even in speed. Think about when you’re moving your arm to the side, like throwing it out to put your hand in a particular spot. It’s not even, you move fast from initiation to a point near the final location, then decelerate and move to the final spot. CG tends to smooth that out too much, going either the same speed or stopping right on the position. That’s the stuff I notice, and it’s probably something that will get worked on more.

          The closeups were probably mostly drawn, at least of Yuka’s face.

          And that was pretty typical of a single song. Solo singers don’t run around or do a whole lot of dancing on their own. There’s a lot of gesturing and movement, but mostly in one spot.

          • akagami says:

            Well that’s disappointing. I want to see an idol group live someday because the videos all look pretty amazing with all the dancing and effects and all. Guess I can scratch a solo idol performance off my list of things to try.

      • Di Gi Kazune says:

        It’s the same for all the idol anime dancing CG. All derived from [email protected] and miku. It’s all preprogrammed! The animators just have to mash buttons like ‘twirl’, ‘hand wave’, ‘booty shake’, ‘wardrobe malfunction’, ‘striptease’, etc2.

  5. skylion says:

    Wow. This is my kinda wacky. I think you covered all bases, here. But I’m giving “Ringo” a bit more of a chance. I want to see her fish out of water story.

  6. AllenAndArth says:

    Becky-sensei is the future of Benio… U.U/
    man, Becky-sensei is the best character, she tottaly snappes
    super fun…the cow is also a pretty good character
    Kousaku?Yuka-tan?pff who cares, the cow is there!

  7. Restia says:

    That part where he said, “Kusakabe Yuka is god!” had extremely fluent English for not reason XD which was hilarious

    I’m waiting for the best Ringo face to be animated

  8. BlackBriar says:

    Thanks for the review. Good thing I decided to give this a try. At first I thought this would be a total moe blob show and was ready to skip it but instead it’s made my seasonal load of series that much heavier. No-Rin is totally wacky so there’ll be further expectations of outrageous humor.

    • Highway says:

      That’s why we write. :) Glad to give you more stuff to do. 😉

      • BlackBriar says:

        I feel that I’m being pushed to my limits every season but somehow I manage to get out with the majority of my listed shows watched. 😉

  9. MR.KLAC says:

    this farming anime oh my yea sure really watching yea it’s just hook me sure from cows to idol singer & that teacher?!

    good grief & yet other anime i got more to watch.

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