If Your Kigurumi Luck Fails, Try Harder? - Part One
The school festival is coming soon.
Well actually, there are no school festivals in Asahigaoka. It would be hard to organize one officially when there's just a total of five students on the entire campus. This is made even worse with the fact that one lazy big sister represents the entire faculty and administrative staff.
"A school festival? That school doesn't really have such flashy activity from what I remember"
Despite that, at the sudden suggestion of the youngest sister Natsumi, it has been decided that a school festival will be held at their empty school for that year. Their planned presentation, at least according to Hotaru, will be a cafe and some sort of exhibit.
Turns out, a single-classroom school festival wouldn't really feel complete with just the presentation: they need visitors.
"Alright, let's call upon our senior alumni!"
So, after realizing the fact, they embarked on a short errand to gather all the visitors that they could. Since this is a rural area, plus most of the adults are excluded, the selection narrowed down to just a few invitation candidates, namely:
"Hikage, we're going to the school festival okay? The meeting spot is at my place as usual."
Konomi Fujimiya, she is sort of the extended big sister to both Komari and Natsumi. She already knows the plan so she was included by default.
"Hey there, didn't expect you to call me at this time."
Hikage Miyauchi, Renge's older sister who has moved to Tokyo. She originally didn't want to attend, but was tricked by Konomi into coming anyway.
"Huh? Wait, what I said wasn't meant for you, Renge."
Kaede Kagayama, the 20-year old current manager of the only candy store in town, who is also an alumnus of the Asahigaoka Branch School. Successfully guilt-tripped by Renge to attend.
"Been quite a while since I've been here."
"I only graduated a year ago, so it wasn't really that long for me."
"Amazing that you people can still use this completely run-down thing."
Aaaand that's about it really. Renge's other big sister Kazuho, doesn't really count since she's the school's principal, advisor, teacher, counselor, manager, and administrator. So what's in store for our three hapless school festival guests?
"Umm, so did you enjoy my performance?"
Long story short, it didn't quite go as well as they thought, with mostly Natsumi causing the collateral damage as usual. Though, there is one particularly interesting performance by Komari.
"Do I really have to do this...?"
"Erm, I lost the rock-paper-scissors game, so I had to wear this..."
"Stop yapping and just perform."
"Commencing belly exercise!"
"Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam!"
This continued for quite some time, much to the cringe of all four spectators... plus Komari herself. Needless to say, it didn't take long before she finally uses up her last bit of mental strength.
"Nope. Not doing this anymore."
And so, Komari's short-lived role as the belly drumming raccoon kigurumi girl ended. So did the entire school festival apparently.
Non Non Biyori (のんのんびより) always has this oddly soothing atmosphere, that overpowers its otherwise mundane and boring setting as a rural slice-of-life show. We can presume that this is due to the close-knit, but never too over-the-top interactions of each character in the series.
For one, all three siblings (sisters Natsumi and Komari, and their brother Suguru) of different school levels stay in one school, and in one classroom. Then, there is the fact that there are so few middle school and younger students at Asahigaoka that each one of them must be acquainted well with each other beyond just coincidence. Lastly, Asahigaoka itself is realistically alive on its own, and we get to see just how lively this rural setting really is through our main characters.
In fact, a testament to this is that the series had two whole seasons, a big-screen film adaptation, and a third season has been announced and is currently in the works!
As for our poor Komari, her journey into the kigurumi realm had just begun...