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Nourin – 04

「君が見せた笑顔」 (Kimi ga Miseta Egao)
“The Smile You Showed Me”

Perhaps for Nourin, a four episode rule should be in place. Episode four easily matched the image of what I was expecting when I first decided to cover this series and boy, it made me happy. It gave us the framework of Ringo’s character and a general idea of how she’ll go about her development. By connecting the characters to Ringo through an explicit goal, the series created a framework where all the following episodes would logically make sense, something that the plot was sorely lacking before. For Baka to Test, it was getting Himeji back into Class A that united the team–for Nourin it is getting Ringo to finally learn how to smile again.

While this episode made me smile and feel good inside, it also provided a dilemma: how should one go about watching this show? Nourin can easily throw logic out the window for the sake of entertainment with one episode, but with following episode weave a narrative that’s pretty well-made. This episode forced me to swallow my words where I assumed that the agricultural setting would be more a convenient backdrop–the interesting metaphor of crop rotation, rest, and solid work brings up a lot of potential. So while we’re here this week contemplating about how the slow healing process of a farm contrasts with the gratifying yet unstable nature of the idol world, next week one could be flipping tables and laughing at how stupid the show is once again. What kind of mindset do we approach this show with?

That’s something I leave up to each individual to decide, but no matter how one approaches it, Nourin has demonstrated that it CAN utilize its premises and setting effectively while also providing lots of gags for us to either smile or outright laugh at. It’s a mixed bag that doesn’t always produce the results that we want, but somehow I feel like it’ll turn out alright in the end. After all, with that smile towards the end, how can one not have hope for this series?

February 2, 2014 at 3:03 pm
31 comments »
  • February 2, 2014 at 3:04 pmShanHaxx

    Finally got you. Nourin navigation only leads to Episode 3 and 4, the reviews for 1 and 2 are missing. Episode 2 links back to your first episode review for ‘Inari Kon Kon Koi Iroha’, please fix these hyperlinks, I’m counting on you!!!

    • February 2, 2014 at 3:08 pmShanHaxx

      Putting this aside, really well written review as always. Enjoyed reading it a lot.

    • February 2, 2014 at 5:19 pmZanibas

      Thanks for reminding me to add Nourin tags! Our linking relies on these, and since I was still considering whether to pick up or drop Nourin in ep 1 or 2, they didn’t have a proper tag to them yet. Instead, they were categorized as snapshots, where they would link to other snapshots instead of a specific show.

      Again, thanks for the reminder!

    • February 3, 2014 at 6:39 pmNebs

      “Finally got you”? What is wrong with you?

      • February 7, 2014 at 4:05 pmShanHaxx

        You would be agreeing with me if you’d noticed, and had been trying to point this out for 3 consecutive episode posts. That’s 3 weeks of waiting, so do try and understand the sense of desperation I had.

  • February 2, 2014 at 3:26 pmthedarktower

    it was such a great and lovely episode.

    this simply brought Nourin’s potential – comedy, agricultural stuff, pure character develop moments, a good solid story. and it proves Nourin isn’t at all just comedy and/or might be some stupid show. this show has big heart inside. and it was due to this show’s heart that I was touched at the end of the episode. it really made me smile.
    and in the end of the day, this what Nourin is about and try to bring out (and it’s working, sometimes more, sometimes less). sure, some of the eps might be more foolish or something, but it’s not like this is only for some energetic fellows in the farm village. there is some added value to it.

    • February 2, 2014 at 3:42 pmPeTdo

      Ok all the good stuff aside as a lover of environmental friendly agriculture- they took 7 year to fix the dead soil??? that’s way too long , i bet they did it the wrong way(i know how to make it faster a year is good for the best quality 3-4 year and you got quasi-pure land).(and no I don’t encourage using chemical fertilizer it’s bad for everything in the long run.)

      • February 2, 2014 at 4:10 pmthedarktower

        I am not claim to be an expert of this, but restoration of dead soil can take time that is depended on the how much the soil is dead (and sometimes is can be real bad situation with cracks and all). but yeah, there are faster and easy ways for this. in 7 years it should’ve been restored to a very good situation (as I thing at least).
        when I was watching I was thinking exactly like that “how is that if it’s going from the Senpais year by year, the soil is still dead and not restored?”. and I think it’s part of the deal. to left something for next year farmers or “next-generation” as project like this so they can take it as their own special project and develop their own meaning to this, yet with the general approach of how it’s important to take care of nature despite using it.
        and I think they connected this realistic issue with the character issue. thus, bringing some extra environmental issue to the viewers. this is lovely.
        true, it may be not 100% accurate. but it was very real issue, at least to me.

  • February 2, 2014 at 3:31 pmShippoyasha

    I think it’s great the show can have its serious moments mixed in with the serious. Love how they put in visual gags and parody at every turn.

    Surely didn’t expect Dr Zaius referencing all of a sudden!

    But I definitely agree the show definitely has heart. They really know how to drop something unexpectedly heartwarming after a nice laugh. It’s just a wonderful usage of absurd comedy and then showing that it’s all to live life to the fullest. Minori is the super fanservice comedy girl and her but I love how her antics plays off on Ringo. Thia show has really good chemistry all around.

  • February 2, 2014 at 3:55 pmPancakes

    The poster reference from the “experienced” NEET of this episode shows just how to approach Nourin: think Haiyore! Nyaruko-san with a little more substance. Personally I’m going to continue watching this just for the references. Haven’t had a show in a while with this many thrown in your face per episode :P

  • February 2, 2014 at 4:33 pmTheMoondoggie

    I wonder what were they parodying with that dream sequence.

    GAAAAAAAIAAAAAAA!

    • February 2, 2014 at 5:55 pmZhinvu

      If I’m not mistaken it has to be Saint Seiya.

    • February 3, 2014 at 6:57 pmCatsrofl

      It is saint seiya.

  • February 2, 2014 at 4:34 pmCroos

    • February 2, 2014 at 4:50 pmTheMoondoggie

      What am I looking for here that makes you say that?

    • February 2, 2014 at 6:22 pmGiorno Giovanna

      DOUBLE PEACE SIGN! SMILE FOR THE CAMERA.

  • February 2, 2014 at 4:38 pmTre

    I’ll be waiting for the appearance of Dark Gaia.

  • February 2, 2014 at 8:03 pmfrubam

    I know it wasn’t the big part of this episode, but I must say that I really do enjoy Minori’s and Kousaka’s relationship here(again, Kou is pretty much throwing out Aki vibes =03). I mean, there’s a wrong way to do childhood friends and a right way; and this show does it moreso the right way =03.

  • February 2, 2014 at 8:25 pmBolton

    I stuck for the gags and got something totally different and beautiful instead. This episode is the embodiment of everything I love in anime. It captured all the right emotions from me: perversion, intrigue, amusement, and heartfelt compassion. I really didn’t expect it all from one episode, and it is true that such a compact combination is strange; but damn, No-rin do it right with this one. I am in awe.

  • February 2, 2014 at 9:32 pmBraveSong

    Wakkadanna is literally God tier now. I knew that wasn’t just your everyday household pet!

  • February 3, 2014 at 12:52 amAsmalti

    Dark Matter!!! Did Kei just show his little john to Ringo? I’m surprised she wasn’t shocked by his act

    • February 3, 2014 at 2:30 amzztop

      Wonder why Kei calls IT Dark Matter… o_o

      Btw, ep 3 implies that Kei works in the ‘mizu shobai’, a term referring to Japan’s night-time entertainment business of host/hostess clubs, bars, etc.

      I’m guessing Kei works as a host at some sexy cosplay host club, given his mankini.

    • February 3, 2014 at 12:15 pmBolton

      I understood it as him showing his pubes.

  • February 3, 2014 at 2:33 amzztop

    Yoshida’s first plan failed before it even begun…

  • February 3, 2014 at 4:28 amBllloodyhell

    And I was just thinking: that’s quite the random pose, Minori. Actually is a kancolle reference.

  • February 3, 2014 at 12:25 pmchad28

    That took a turn to serious tone.
    I liked the episode. Where the characters and story is going seems interesting.
    I hope they don’t completely abandon the crazy humor, but I’m glad that the characters are going to be developed.
    From the second Kosaku said he was going to show her field I knew it would be a barren one and that she would smile when she ate the tomato.
    I really liked when everyone started giving her tomatoes to make her smile.

    Can anyone tell what anime are they referencing in this moment:
    http://i.imgur.com/fawcMgM.jpg

  • February 3, 2014 at 6:48 pmMaxwell

    “YES!” for Minori :D

  • February 4, 2014 at 9:44 amDangerism

    Finally, some much needed plot development. Though gotta say, the sudden drama makes it a bit jarring compared to the other episodes.

    I was trying to figure out why I just can’t quite enjoy this series as it should, and now I think I know why: this show is like a poor man’s Sakurasou Pet… except with wafer thin characterisation. Here’s to hoping episode 4 paves the way for better development.

  • February 5, 2014 at 12:50 pmsyncmaster793DF

    ahha mystery solve now we know why idol ringo kinoshita aka yuka kusakabe retired from idol world.nourin really is awesome i am glad not drop this anime from my watch list.you have to admit nourin have funny stuff,awesome best background music never fee lonely,agriculture lesson helpful.

  • February 7, 2014 at 10:54 amRockstarmoon

    Nice Danganronpa reference.

  • February 10, 2014 at 8:20 pmTrapMaster

    Lol one of the best episode so far by far, we got both some epicly hilarious gas in the first part, lots of refrences (Phoenix Wright when they were coming up with the plan, the danganronpa scene also when they were coming up with the plan, haiyore nyaruko san on poster, and I’m not sure but I’m pretty sure the dream with Gaia should be a reference but I can’t be sure) and then some nice warm touching scene right at the end :3