Idols can’t be Idle on the Farm
I 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
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.
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).
I really loved sensei’s ‘su-GE bishoujo’ description
Where It Really Feels Different
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-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)
This 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.