Anime Review: Nourin

Who Would Like this Anime?

If you’re into Japanese popculture with a bunch of comedy, romance, and a harem included, you’re in. The harem’s not really classic though, meaning that not all the girls are just into the protagonist. The overall quality of the show makes it a must-watch for everyone being into rom-coms. But beware the over-glorification of farming/bumpkin life.

For: A must-watch for comedy/romance fans.

Translation Where?

I’ve watched this release. It’s very good, the subs really take it up a notch. That’s what I’d expect from the translator, lyger (?), at work. I’d also recommend reading the translator notes (see below). Overall, here’s much to learn for aspiring fansubbers. Even in regards of typesetting.

Translation: Very, very good subs right here.


The protagonist, I’m-still-bad-with-names, is an otaku for a certain young idol. Going to a school that specializes in agricultural lecturing, he kept sending her vegetables to show his affection (cough). One day, she suddenly announces her retirement from the scene, which leaves everyone shocked – our protagonist included. And even more shocked leaves him the sight of a transfer student who’s looking exactly like his beloved idol. Yet, she seems strangely different…


It’s rather good art with rather good animations. They fit the show’s hunt for puns and generally I’d recommend the 1080p version since the art’s worth it in my opinion. It’s crisp enough to get something out of the extra pixels. I don’t really like the way they drew the eyes, though. As always, episode 1 will gives you all the visual quality hints you need.


Man, after months of tough luck with my anime picks, I try stuff that I had almost no hope for and am able to land some actual lucky hits! Go me!

This anime wasn’t what I expected at all. While it does revolve around farming in general, it’s more some kinda comedy hit-and-run with a whole bunch of popculture (or so) references. It’s sorta “Baka to Test” without the “sci-fi” battle thingies.

Nourin - 02.mkv_snapshot_20.43_[2016.01.08_21.54.02]

First of all, the characters. I liked pretty much all of them. Not like as in “I gotta buy a figure”-like, but just normal like. They went well with another and they all differed enough to add well to the gags. There’s hardly any development, but I’ve long since given up on that when it comes to anime – and you’d do good to do the same. Actually, now that I’ve said that it’s somewhat close to BakaTest, try finding equivalents of its characters in Nourin. You might be surprised how well that works. Personally, I liked the two male protagonists (?) best, not the best sign considering it’s a rom-com originally, but a not the worst sign considering it’s basically just comedy with light rom/ed flavor in its animated version. The most annoying character’s probably the teacher, but more like “the worst kid in class had a B” annoying. Altogether a good comedy cast.

Nourin - 02.mkv_snapshot_11.37_[2016.01.08_21.53.42]

What about the story? Ugh. From the start, you’ll have a hard time finding a greater goal, or something similar, where things are headed. It’s really just focused on the comedy and kinda slice-of-life’ish. If I had to break the plot down, I’d say idol-burnt-out-and-is-now-a-pokerface-trying-to-become-normal-again—probably. So there you have it. Sometimes, there seem to be parts mixed in that don’t really make sense, for instance when they go looking for the school deities. There appear to be some important story bits missing there to make it more substantial, guess they were mercilessly cut out. Towards the end there’s a more plot-driven arc with far less comedy, I’ve no idea whether it’s canon.

Nourin - 01.mkv_snapshot_13.59_[2016.01.08_21.51.18]

How’s the comedy? Practically crammed with references and I’ll stuff the pacing in here too since it mainly influences the comedy. The pacing shifts from very fast to mediocre now and then, but not in a boring manner. It’s nicely paced and fits the comedy. In short, the comedy hit my sweet spot, so A-OK for me. There are also slow, more serious segments mixed in, those are mostly educational. I learned a lot about soy beans. And a voice acting side note: the male voice actors do a really good job in bringing the comedy out, forming great impact on the punch lines.

Nourin - 01.mkv_snapshot_15.09_[2016.01.08_21.51.46]

Before I get to the bottom line, I want to discuss the point that ticked off the translator (assumably lyger). Namely that the anime production company (Silver-something) derped a bunch of times and also cut out some important lines that would’ve (probably) shifted the impression the audience’d get of the characters significantly. For instance that childhood friend sent the letters because it was protagonist’s first love and she wanted to support him, and that she also sent a huge amount of vegetables extra because she apparently started to feel with main heroine and acknowledged that she was having it hard (I’m not good with names, leave me alone). Point being that anime these days tend to reduce romcoms to a gag-fest and not care for the romantic developments – and that viewers seemingly don’t care and we’re all doomed.

Nourin - 01.mkv_snapshot_05.17_[2016.01.08_21.50.37]

Do I agree? Yes. Did I care? No. Why not? For the same reason assumably many, many other viewers didn’t care either: I haven’t read the source (yet). I can hardly miss something I never had. I’ve watched this show without any knowledge whatsoever about it – that’s how I like experiencing stuff – and after episode one I was like, “Well, I’m headed for a bunch of comedy.” And exactly that’s what I’ve got. A bunch of funny stuff with heaps of references. I can see why it’d annoy someone who read the source and liked it, which the translator did, or else I wonder why he’d bother researching the ridiculous amount of references in there – which I, by the way, greatly respect, I read all the translation notes. Nonetheless, the production company wanted to give the viewers a bunch of gags, that’s where they saw the show’s potential.

Nourin - 07.mkv_snapshot_06.01_[2016.01.08_22.02.49]

I’d assume all the ever-working Japanese viewer wants is to have a laugh, which they hopefully get out of it. They could’ve done better, granted. Even I would’ve liked more rom in it – implying this series has any rom that suits my taste; haven’t read it after all. But I’ve honestly seen much worse adaptions (OniAi, Campione! – Those were hardly fun to watch, even without knowledge of the original).

One thing’s unworthy of discussion: their script contradicts itself. Can’t smile -> smiled before, Call me by my name -> doesn’t in the next scene. Even I noticed those derps, which is a bad thing ’cause I wasn’t even out to find them. Hooray for consistency. Maybe they did a rush job on this show?

Nourin - 05.mkv_snapshot_09.26_[2016.01.08_22.00.02]

Which leads me to my final verdict: 7. I’ve had lots of good laughs out of it and that was to a great part thanks to the exceptional script, I could virtually read the passion. I hope to one day reach that level of proficiency regarding listening comprehension, but getting all those references spot on? I lack two decades of living in Japan for that. It won’t get higher because of the points I didn’t like: it felt kind of flat and rushed, and the last arc. It lacked a point. Probably because it was cut down but who knows? I don’t. The last few eps were more serious and it soon bored me. The blabla revolving around the town and farming wasn’t substantial and also lacked a good point. To me it felt like, “We gotta end it with some bang.” Watch it up to episode 9 and call it quits. The ending will still be meh, but at least you’ll still have a smirk on your face. Judging by the anime, the author’s talent lies with comedy, not with drama. I also dislike the glorification of farming culture and bumpkin life in this show, but what do you expect? A little less pathos would’ve done it better though.

However, there are certainly worse shows to watch and I wonder how this comedy gem made it past my radar? You should give it a try. In case you’re looking for the translation notes I’ve talked about: they’re on the very last frame of the episode (basically on the next episode’s preview), so you gotta be quick.

Closing line: Boobs-san = best girl. Also: dat feel when your best girl is never the main heroine. Then again, Nyaruko. Oh well.

Rating 7/10


Best girl.
Best girl.

Leave a Comment