Random Curiosity

Nourin – 02 »

Nourin – 01

「厨脳ラブストーリー」

Apologies for the delay: certain family members were in the ER this weekend.

Welcome to Baka to Test S3! Wait, no? Awwwwww. It’ll never get a third season, will it?

With Silver Link listed as the animation studio and Oonuma Shin as director, its certainly easy to see why this series parallels Baka to Test so much. Aside from the molded roles of rom com standard, Nourin brings the comparison closer though the high energy of the show (slapstick, gag comedy, over-the-top situations) and certain artistic decisions (constantly blushing females, heavy use of explaining-chibis). I’m sure that this point has been hammered on the nail several times throughout the internet, so I won’t waste anymore time there.

What’s important is to label what distinguishes Nourin from the rest (and Baka to Test).

An easy one to start with is the increased fanservice of the show–all-out naked service is on the rise. One can argue that the bull scene was meant to illustrate Minori’s (Hanazawa Kana) idiocy and the milk scene to be an illustration of sensei’s (Saito Chiwa) single desperation (why are all anime female teachers single?), but that’s beside the point. Nourin, while no Queen’s Blade, steps up its fanservice intensity as compared to its comparison partner, where stepping up is an understatement. This may prove as a large turn-off for those watching primarily for the comedy if the nakedness proves too distracting and random.

Second, Agricultural School. Moyashimon and Gin no Saji are the first that come to mind, and now we bring to the fray Nourin. Just as Gin no Saji uses the agricultural setting to bring a humbling and down-to-earth reality to a character, we will most likely see Nourin doing the same. While this isn’t necessarily a distinguishing factor by itself, it is an important distinguishment to apply it to a romantic comedy setting. Rather than placing focus on why the rice fields grow because of certain fertilizers, or how the rice tastes because of hard work, this show will focus on five kids’ approach to picking the rice and how that creates romantic and friendly bonds between them. Less education and philosophy, more focus on characters. This could be a great distinguishing factor for Nourin if they can pull the right humbling and comedic strings and focus on a part of the agricultural genre that’s generally placed in second.

So, who should be watching this show? First, Silver Link fans. If one liked Baka to Test and didn’t mind the brazen fanservice, give the first three episodes a go. The gags are pretty funny, the characters are unoriginal yet likeable, and the school atmosphere puts a smile to the right faces. It helps that so many experienced seiyuu are part of the cast, because the execution of various scenes such as Natsuki-sensei’s outbreaks and Hata Kousaku’s (Asanuma Shintaro) lament at a god’s death would not have been a fraction humorous if not for the skilled voice acting. If one is looking for some of the more random and high-octane comedy offerings this season, this show also qualifies. Bulls appearing in classrooms, dakimakura shame, and of course the adorably random pet Wakadanna–there’s no shortage of energy anytime soon. That’s not to say that the serious character exposition won’t happen on occasion–there is much potential in exposing an idol who’s actually reserved in real life (Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury immediately come to mind as real examples), as well as breaking the expectations of her number one fan. We’ll focus more on that emphasis later on in episodes two and three, but today’s focus was more of introductions to get out of the way.

However, seeing the polarized opinions of various other forums, it’s fair to point out that the fanservice can be a killer for some, especially if of the type that has high standards for “tasteful fanservice.” The generic layout of the show in terms of characters and plot may become boring for veterans who’ve seen this schtick many times before, where new gimmicks just don’t cut it. The idol aspect is also a potential unoriginal breaker, where the “I’m not perfect after all, I have a sad story,” setup isn’t as emotionally successful as it once was.

As always though, it’s best judgement to try out three episodes if the slightest of curiosity or interest is piqued. After what I’ve seen this season, it looks like comedies could well be on their way on being the most successful genre this season, with Nourin definitely joining their ranks as contender. Overall, it is a well-produced show with good animation and excellent voice acting, where presentation is the least of its concerns. I personally will keep blogging this show for at least the three episode rule to see how it pans out after introductions, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that things go better than expected–that Nourin can break away from comparison to stand on its own.

Full-length images: 11, 43, 44.

OP Sequence

OP: 「秘密の扉から会いにきて」 (Himitsu no Tobira kara Ai ni Kite) by Tamura Yukari

January 12, 2014 at 2:24 am
56 comments »
  • January 12, 2014 at 2:29 amKurisu Vi Britannia

    • January 12, 2014 at 2:32 amTassadar

      I like how she was thoughtful enough to put the newspaper on the floor as to not make a mess of things!

    • January 12, 2014 at 3:15 amlol

      HanaKana is everywere this season! lol

      • January 12, 2014 at 3:16 amlol

        oops wrong comment placement, stupid computer…

      • January 12, 2014 at 6:31 amP Ko

        That’s never a bad thing.

    • January 12, 2014 at 3:18 amkyuuzo

      lol. i lost it on that scene, i just could not stop laughing. oh man, this is gonna be a fun ride.

    • January 12, 2014 at 4:45 amlolicon

      hmmmmmmm….

  • January 12, 2014 at 2:33 amnooooo

    the sensei gags lol

  • January 12, 2014 at 2:35 amGiorno Giovanna

    Why is KanaHana so goddamned cute?
    First, she insults the guy saying that she knows his type, and that he’ll eventually give up and settle down, marrying a local girl.
    Then starts blushing when he mentions that the only local girl around his age is her, suspiciously denying any knowledge of it.
    Suddenly, she strips and ties her clothes on his arm, followed by smacking him for making her say “penis”.

    It feels weird (kinky) hearing Senjougahara in such a state, but great to see Yukarin still dominating shows by herself.

  • January 12, 2014 at 2:46 ambaseone

    I personally will keep blogging this show

    YES!!!1!

    for at least the three episode rule to see how it pans out after introductions, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that things go better than expected

    *Crosses fingers*

    • January 12, 2014 at 3:20 amCroos

      Then Zanibas and Enzo will battle which is the best agricultural anime this season. Though Silver Spoon is leading.

      • January 12, 2014 at 4:04 ambaseone

        I think this one is more focused on extra curricular activities(if you know what I mean duhuhu)

  • January 12, 2014 at 3:11 amricz

    Damn that teacher… It caught me off guard
    and to make it worse…. my lil sis(7 yrs old) is watching *insta alt f4* lol

    She’s cute though…

    • January 12, 2014 at 8:07 amboingman

      Your sister? You go, siscon!

  • January 12, 2014 at 3:12 amoliviaven

    The brilliance of Saito Chiwa is unparalleled.

  • January 12, 2014 at 3:14 amCraig McLeod

    Like Baka And Test eh?

    (Teacher Secene)

    No, this isn’t like Baka Test at all.

    • January 12, 2014 at 4:05 amCroos

      What his trying to saying is that their uniform, and art style is kinda similar to that of Bakatest.
      They’re both SILVER LINK after all.

  • January 12, 2014 at 3:21 amwxiagz

    I saw the childhood friend and thought “Oh okay, spotted the big breasted female character already” and then this happens:

    http://i.imgur.com/GGWYr2r.png

    “Udder Madness”

  • January 12, 2014 at 3:32 amx

    I found this amusing and entertaining (even if the sensei feels rather creepy ^^; ). I’m not sure what people are expecting, but so far, none of the other new comedy animes this season made me laugh as much as this one :p.

  • January 12, 2014 at 3:56 amZhinvu

    When faced with a raging bull, a girl removing her red shirt and tying it to a guy’s wrist was the last thing I expected. That’s quite a thought process Minori has. Also actually Zanibas when you mentioned the chibis popping out of the screen, the first thing I remembered was Pani Poni Dash, but yeah BakaTest too.

  • January 12, 2014 at 4:37 amAmiluhur

    Perhaps i will not continue watching this. Well, i thought it has potential to go either way after this point; playing the romance straight or beating around the bush with over-the-top comedy, in which the latter will be more likely. But my problem is i simply have no patience for this kind of show anymore, particularly with how much romcom cliches and tropes that, generally didn’t bother me too much few years ago, have become really annoying and cookie-cutter at this point. Osananajimi having secret crush with the lead? Check. Cute girl coming out of nowhere to break the status quo? Check. Bespectacled, level-headed foil? Check. Eccentric female teacher who doesn’t look her age? Check. And so on and so forth. Besides, while this may sound like nitpicking, i found some attempts at joke pretty insulting. The joke with huge-titted girl and her cow in particular left me cringe a lot. And the characters themselves don’t feel like human whom i can identify with, but more like brainwashed aliens who behave as wacky as possible and capable of doing even the most bizarre things, which is another problem of mine with 90% romcom shows; “Trying too hard”.

    I’ll drop this and just stick with silver spoon then. Because, while both share similar theme and premise, i generally find silver spoon to be better-executed, has less insulting comedy, and more down to earth (hence easier to relate to any of characters).

    • January 12, 2014 at 9:07 amDangerism

      I think this is the first time I like a show but hate all of its character designs. It’s very pretty, but the characters… ugh, instead of being trope, they are borderline caricature. I seriously couldn’t like any one of them, not even the idol (who seems kuudere gap-moe).

      Perhaps it’s because I just recently watching Mikakunin, which did a great job of handling characters, kinda the opposite route of this show. Perhaps I’m too harsh, but this supposed to be a romcom drama, and thus, making everyone gag-comedy character type doesn’t really fit in well. As Amiluhur says, it just makes everything seem like they’re trying too hard, especially the sensei.

      I like the premise though, so I hope they tone down the ridiculousness of the show once they get back to serious agriculture action.

    • January 12, 2014 at 9:57 amPancakes

      It seems like the generic fanservice romcom of the season. After the siscon ecchi Imouto all that was missing was the romcom ecchi, and it looks like we have it here in Nourin. I’ll give this 3 episodes to see if the comedy can at least bring this above all the same tropes seen dozens of times before, but so far all I’m getting is the “fanservice to your face”.

  • January 12, 2014 at 4:47 amlolicon

    baka to test and gin no saji hybrid much?

  • January 12, 2014 at 4:53 amSetsunah

  • January 12, 2014 at 4:54 amDvalinn

    The fanservice didn’t bother me too much, really – it’s still nothing compared to something like ImoCho. Besides the teacher scene (which was supposed to be disgusting anyway) it doesn’t really step it up too much (not like the taking-off-her-shirt scene showed all that much). But eh, your mileage may vary.

    As for the rest of the show, it amused me. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, anyway. Some of the gags were funny, the visuals were interesting and it has a lot of energy. The basic plot setup does seem kind of tired, but maybe they’ll do something interesting with it (or I hope they do, anyway).

    So, three-episode rule for me too. It’ll probably have to duke it out with D-Frag! for a place in my watching schedule.

  • January 12, 2014 at 5:06 amWanderer

    …Crud. The idol-girl is voiced by Yukari Tamura. I don’t want to watch this at all, but that pretty much requires that I give it a try.

  • January 12, 2014 at 5:18 amTarage

    It took me half the episode to figure out that creature is a kangaroo.

    • January 12, 2014 at 7:41 amkouchan

      That creature in picture 30 looks more like a quokka to me. The head is a little too round for a kangaroo.

  • January 12, 2014 at 5:25 am~fineyristensen

    My random thoughs on this show so far:

    The male protagonist comes close to an agricultural version of Hyoudo Issei from Highschool DxD, his talking, how he floats off in his mind (not that its bad, he does seem to have some masochistic traits though, referring to the eggplant scene)

    The teacher is almost as mentally untstable as you can be/at the edge of keeping the job as teacher, other than shes actually really cute and not age shes say she is (Would have loved to have her as teacher back in school, that was fun for damn sure!! :D)

    Okay okay – what the hell is this small genius of a small kangaroo doing there, sticking to such a chaotic bunch of people, almost wondering they arent using it for mental therapy, but thats just me (I so wish I had such a pet D:)

    The girl with the biggest bust – of course has to be a tsundere girl – but no shit, shes hot (not only because of her well endowed chest and that move with the cow was just clever :X)

    The super cute idol girl, unreachable for the male protagonist, suddenly in his class, yet he doesnt buy it is her GOD YOU FOOL

    The female protagonist, all lovey dovey with the male protagonist, but he just wont let her do what she wants, shows shes going to be a big part of the love triangle, but in the way of denying and refusing it all at first ha ha

    Poor leftover is the friend of the male protagonist, hope he finds his luck too, instead of staying a critical spectator!!!

    Oh well, but all in all, I agree to Zanibas and am sticking to the show, hoping it has more hilarity in store for us!

    • January 12, 2014 at 8:57 amZnail

      You missed how the wellendowed girl had it in for the male friend? It doesn’t look like he will be left alone.

      • January 12, 2014 at 9:13 am~fineyristensen

        Oh yeah, if thats going to end well, he will be the luckiest of them all!!

  • January 12, 2014 at 5:52 amTheMoondoggie

    Kinda reminded by Baka Test here too. And its kinda ecchi-er than normal. Who’d strip so they can use the shirt to make a rampaging cow chase their friend?

    • January 12, 2014 at 6:06 amCroos

      When she said “I’m Kinoshita, Ringo”,
      my head search for Kinoshita from BakaTest at once.

  • January 12, 2014 at 6:09 amP Ko

    Here come the boobs!

  • January 12, 2014 at 6:51 amchad28

    This is my first rom com anime. So this: “become boring for veterans” won’t happen to me. xD
    I’ve seen rom and I’ve seen com but I never seen rom com. First idol anime too.

    I gave this a try because I really liked Silver Spoon and I liked the idol episode of Beyond the Boundary.

    Glad to hear you’ll be blogging this Zanibas, at least for a while.
    Hope the family member is better.

    • January 12, 2014 at 8:29 amVoyager

      Welcome to this community (if this is your first time here). This may be a good starting anime for the rom-com genre, as it seems to be pretty “standard”. That doesn’t mean it won’t be good, we’ll see.
      Enjoy your stay

    • January 12, 2014 at 9:49 amPancakes

      I wouldn’t call this standard by any form of the imagination, unless you’re looking purely at how many bases it covers. Ecchi level separates this from what I would consider the more beginner-friendly stuff like Chuunibyou or ToraDora, heck even Oreimo.

  • January 12, 2014 at 6:57 amHakumeiJin

    Let’s all be honest here and accept that the best part is HanaKana doing her best to use a country accent.

  • January 12, 2014 at 8:24 ams_w

    TBH, Zanibas, when I read the first part of your review, BakaTest wasn’t what jumped into my head, but Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo. So yeah, this isn’t what I’d call original in any way, shape, or form.

    It is definitely tropes that they are harvesting in the tropefields of this school, but if it’s well done, I’m okay with it. (If it’s not, it goes in the bit bucket with other failed anime.)

    Too early to tell if it’s going to fly or crash yet. Either way, I hope it’s spectacular, and not mediocre.

    Be great, be awful, but don’t be “meh.” That’s worse than being awful, IMO. At least awful can be entertaining in its own way. “Meh” shows aren’t even entertaining.

    • January 16, 2014 at 9:50 amTheWalker

      I agree with s_w. When I saw this, the first thing that I thought of was Sakurasou no Pet as well. That was the main thing that kept me watching (That and the teacher. I have a thing for the dateless Christmas Cakes. Don’t judge me.) When I first watched Sakurasou, I thought it was going to be filed under my guilty pleasure ecchi anime for the season, but it turned out to be far deeper than I gave it credit for being. I have no clue if this show will achieve surprising depths, but then part of the fun and love I felt for Sakurasou was that I didn’t think the show was capable of such intelligence, but it proved me wrong. Part of me (a very, VERY small part of me) is gambling on that same feeling happening again with this show.

      TL;DR
      I’ll follow the three episode rule on the off chance something amazing happens, but even if it becomes a total waste…I’ll probably keep watching for teacher-sensei-chan <3

  • January 12, 2014 at 8:28 amLogeres

    Weird. I watched this and Bakatest coincidentally on the same day (at least I think it was coincidentally), and yet I didn’t make the connection. Admittedly, there is one big difference between Bakatest and this for me: I don’t find Nourin funny. At all.

  • January 12, 2014 at 9:52 amVsAllGaming

    Definitely gonna keep watching this :D
    I liked the first episode a lot.

  • January 12, 2014 at 10:27 amLonghaul

    Rooting for the childhood friend.

    • January 12, 2014 at 2:24 pmIbreaker9736

      I agree with you. Sadly childhood friend will never win. Prove me wrong Nourin.

      • January 12, 2014 at 3:02 pms_w

        Childhood Friend exists just in case Main Girl gets on your nerves, to keep you watching even though Childhood Friend never stands a chance.

        They’ll even make it look like Childhood Friend is going to win, to keep you holding on to hope, only to dash it in episode 10 or so. OMG. I’ve watched too many of these shows.

        If we get lucky, maybe she’ll pull a Kaede a la “Shuffle” and liven things up that way. Ahh, Shuffle… good times.

        I will say this though– the Childhood Friend in Nourin has the best eyebrows since Mugi.

      • January 12, 2014 at 3:29 pmCrook

        I haven’t seen a Main Girl lose since Mashiro Iro, although that was about the only new ground the series broke.

  • January 12, 2014 at 3:49 pmGinobi47

    Knee to the nuts…. I felt that one

  • January 12, 2014 at 4:16 pmel_boy

    when i heard the conversation about the eggplant i thought about okabe ,daru ,kristina and the Bannana in ep 04 of Stein;Gate.

  • January 12, 2014 at 4:22 pmMagoiichi

    It’s more like Noukome mixed with Silver Spoon or Moyashimon. Noukome and Nourin have fake looking big boobed characters, the female that likes the male lead from the start, and a teacher that is not normal.

  • January 12, 2014 at 6:41 pmBraveSong

    An idol stepping down and showing up in the rurals because some poor guy sent her veggies? That’s kind of cute and new. I’m in.

  • January 12, 2014 at 10:01 pmzombieland

    Love the Macross reference their ^_^; Kakizaki hahhaha

  • January 13, 2014 at 9:37 pminanis

    omg that kick…

    ok we are to a good start , waiting for the next episode of baka.. erm i mean Nourin!

  • January 13, 2014 at 11:02 pmHelvetica Standard

    Man I have a thing for the teach.
    I must be getting old because I think she’s hotter than our current mains.

    • January 16, 2014 at 10:06 amTheWalker

      Then I’ll gladly get old with you HS! These days I prefer the characters that are older than the 14-16 year old moe they try to sell me. And then have the nerve to call a 25 year old woman a hag. Gimmie the Christmas Cakes! Christmas Cakes BONZAI!! …Man. I think this show flipped a switch inside me that I’m having problems turning off. Forgive me.