Idol-obsessed Kousaku Hata is left devastated when his favorite, Yuka Kusakabe, unexpectedly announces her retirement at the peak of an illustrious career. As Yuka’s biggest fan, this news proves to be more difficult than he can bear. Shaken to his very core, he sinks into depression and places himself in self-imposed isolation. However, on the day his friends managed to convince him to attend school again, he gets a pleasant surprise.
It turns out that his beloved idol, under the guise of Ringo Kinoshita, has transferred into his class. This miraculous development fills Kousaku with newfound resolve, as he dedicates himself to take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. With the support of his teacher and friends, Kousaku works toward getting close to the girl of his dreams and uncovering the reason for her retirement from the entertainment industry.
#1: "Himitsu no Door kara Ai ni Kite (秘密の扉から会いにきて)" by Yukari Tamura (eps 1, 12) #2: "Mogitate ♥ Fruit Girls (も・ぎ・た・て♥フルーツガールズ)" by Ringo Kinoshita (Yukari Tamura) and Minori Nakazawa (Kana Hanazawa) (eps 2, 4-7, 9) #3: "Minori no Zokkon Mirai Yohou (みのりのぞっこん未来予報♥)" by Minori Nakazawa (CV: Kana Hanazawa) (ep 3) #4: "Ponytail no Shijuu (ポニーテールの四十)". by Bekki Natsumi (CV: Chiwa Saito) (ep 8) #5: "Kimi to New Day (君と＊にゅう＊DAY♡)" by Kochou Yoshida (CV: Marina Inoue) (ep 10) #6: "Cordless☆Dere☆PHONE (コードレス☆照れ☆PHONE)" by Ringo Kinoshita (CV: Yukari Tamura) (ep 11)
The anime is more comedy than "romance". It has some parts with kind of drama/romantic themes but the main thing here is the comedy borderlining silly and nonsensical. Every episode was fun to watch. The characters are interesting, the main is well balanced between wacky and serious, the support characters are interesting. The main theme is very interesting, the references and self awareness are good too. I really enjoyed and I wish there was another season or more episodes.
In life, there are things that are misleading, such as commercials on TV, ads on the internet, and even, anime. There are certain things in anime that I require in order for me to really like it, and that is a good exposition, a decent amount of character development, and a nice end in the last few minutes of the series to wrap it all up. Nourin here...broke every single one of those foundations I set down for myself. In any case, here's the review.
Story (3.43/10): The story of Nourin is set in an agricultural school, where a student by the
name of Kousaku Hata, aka our main protagonist, is shattered by the fact that his precious little idol superstar Kusakabe Yuka has retired. Due to this fact, he is rendered helpless, as without the existence of his little goddess to keep it up, his world is shattered, making him miserable and sad. It is until a few days later, that a transfer student by the name of Kinoshita Ringo transfers into his class, a girl who has a remarkable resemblance to his favorite idol star, and from then on, he intends to find out why this girl has come into his school.
From an idea standpoint, this could create a good deconstruction of the life of an idol, focusing mainly on the characters for the majority of the series, and maybe tossing in a bit of character development and romance here and there.
At least, that's what I hoped for before my dreams were completely smashed and grounded like miso. The main idea that is in the paragraph above is a complete and utter lie. In no way shape or form beyond the second episode will they ever touch on this subject again as heavily as they did in that time frame. Beyond the second episode, this main idea is completely obsolete beyond measure, to the point that by episode 8, you're not even watching the same anime.
What I mean by that, is the fact that Nourin is basically an episodic series, and not a good one at that. The entirety of an episode can be summed up as random, almost to the point that I could compare it to another well known random, episodic anime called FLCL. However, unlike FLCL, this series was supposed to have an idea for it to follow. Every episode contains a singular plot point, which the whole episode follows suit. After the episode is finished, that singular plot point is pretty much disregarded for the rest of the series. The thing is, this whole series is just improv, as it feels like the creators just threw in a bunch of ideas into a box, and drew them out one by one to determine the ideas that would be made into episodes of the show. Here's a few examples; Having a beach party in a flash flood thunderstorm, making money off of a moe themed egg brand, and even a battle bikini farming showdown. If these ideas aren't random, I don't know what is.
The randomness was only one factor to this show's downfall. Another thing it did wrong, was its comedy. The show tried to be one of those animes that exaggerated itself so that it could ridiculous to the point that it was funny. It didn't work. The show tried WAY too hard to be funny, featuring characters riding on goats, having jousts in farmlands, etc. Because it tried so hard to be funny, what with it failing in the end, I was just bored and saddened by how pathetic it really was.
The end I felt was just as terrible due to the fact that it basically ends, like how it felt watching this series, a punch to the face. Not even kidding. The fact that this series was just so terribly written, due to how distant the anime made itself from its main idea, was just enough for me to hate this series to my very core.
Overall, the story was a mess, what with it not pertaining to the original idea it was supposed to follow, trying way to hard to be a good comedy show, and even failing to deliver a good end in the final episode, I was rather disappointed as a result. On the plus side though, more than likely, you'll learn something about modern day farming, so that's a plus, I guess.
+ Good starting idea
+ You learn stuff about farming.
- Terrible execution of starting idea
- 90% of the series wasted on stupid side episodes
- Tried way too hard to be funny
- Strange ending
Characters (4.21/10): The characters of Nourin were similar to the story they were based in, terrible. But, towards the end, some of them did have some redeeming factors, but not enough to save this show.
Starting with the main protagonist, Kousaku Hata. Without spoiling anything, (since any character development he gets is shoved to the end. Yes, there somehow is character development in this.) Hata is a very ambitious person. He aspires to have his own little farm one day and just lead a nice little farm life. That is all you pretty much get in terms of character from him till about episode 11. What I didn't like also about this series, was the fact that they shove any if not all character development within the last 3 episodes. Hata here, is no exception. With such a vague idea of who he really is, he mostly remains as a mystery to the audience as we don't know who he is. But we don't even get enough time to think about it since the sporadicly unnecessary plot takes most of the audiences attention. It isn't until the very end, the very last 7 minutes, where he accepts his own past and ultimately changes his outlook on his life. Little late there, buddy.
Up next is Kinoshita Ringo. Ringo, as the supposed focus of the show, is mainly pushed to be the new kid, questioning things at every turn, so that us, the audience, can learn about how farming works. This show is basically a messed up farming training video. While for the most part, she is shown to be utterly emotionless in terms of expressions, (she's a kuudere!), she does express the fact that she has emotions and wonderment about her new life, and even explaining what she went through as an idol. Still didn't explain why the f**k she's here. She is also shown throughout the series to have some sort of attachment to Kousaku, but it's so minute and rarely shown, that it was pointless to make her a love interest.
Nakazawa Minori is the next one on the chopping block. The way I see it, her purpose for the show is actually rather pointless. Sure, she can help create the non-existent love triangle that is really not shown/explain, but other then that, I don't see her really being all that important. She plays a role really only at the end of the series where Kousaku is contemplating shit at the end of the series like any other stereotypical guy in a romance anime. She also has a crush on Kousaku and wants to be his wife, or a bride in general. Other than that, there's nothing else to really talk about. Moving on.
Kamatori Kei is the "glasses" character of the group, being a lot more knowledgable about farming than the rest of the cast. Due to his past that becomes the main focus on the 10th episode, (For some reason, they liked pushing the character development at the end), he has aspired to become a very "natural" grower of vegetables. Still though, I find him very awkward because he has that look to basically make any ridiculous topic sound "super cereal" and just weird to watch because it gives the impression that he talks about everything WAY too seriously.
And finally, the last character that I will be formally mentioning, BOOBS! Or as her real name is in the series, Kochou Yoshida. (Though she's in the supporting role, she appears quite often and is regularly shown in the series to help out with the main cast.) First off, why? When you nickname a character, boobs, you're instantly going to lose credibility. Though she doesn't appear quite as often as the rest of the cast, she's usually helping out with the main cast, and is often involved with anything they do. More or less though, she plays the extreme supporting role of helping the main cast. (Honestly, that nickname though...)
While the main cast themselves were were a main problem with the series, it's really the side characters I think that really killed the show. First off, the homeroom teacher, Bekki. She a lonely 40 year old woman who wants to get married. Based off of what you know of the lonely teacher anime troupe, multiply the desperateness by 9000. Bekki's ridiculousness of a character I felt, hurt the show too.
Above all, what I felt was the real nail in the coffin, was the fact that the series kept adding in more, and more, and more, and more pointless side characters that didn't matter. Adding in characters is fine, but it's the way they did it, that felt really pointless and stupid. The show makes you feel like you should know about these side characters beforehand, because the main characters freak out or are aware of their existence before we know anything about them. Above all, they don't really give much of a character explanation much less a trait about them. All of them, literally, all of them are one note characters that have a singular trait that exists as their existence. Personally, I found the additives of more and more characters hurt the show more and more, adding to the already badly explained plot.
+ Ok main cast?
+ Character development
- WAY too many side characters
- Introduction of most of the cast way too late
- Generic one sided troupes as the majority of the cast
- Bekki..... (personal complaint more or less)
Art and Sound (7.10/10): (While I have been bashing this show left and right for its terrible writing and characters, one thing I have to compliment, are its aesthetics.
The actual art for the series is actually quite nice. The backgrounds are very nice and colorful with very nicely drawn out produce and flora. The characters themselves look a bit odd, but for what this show's worth, it's still pretty nice. The color palette is mainly on the white side of the spectrum, making blinding colors of a very high gradient prominent in their characters. (They even reference their own show's original artwork creator at one point. Humble much, Nourin?)
Now, for ecchi. The show has a lot. It was so much to the point that I covered my screen because of the sheer amount of it, as well as how pointless it all was. Like its comedy, they went over the top with it, and in the end, it didn't help the show at all. And it's not just the female characters; there's even some manservice for the girls too in the show. Personally, I think the show could've done without the ecchi, since the actual storyline was hurting it enough already. (I'm fine with ecchi, but personally, this was just too much.)
From a music standpoint, the show's music is actually somewhat decent. The OST is quite high spirited with an idol song as the soundtrack. Personally, I felt like this was a nice touch for the series due to the fact that this was about an idol in an agriculture school. What better way to start it off than to make an idol song the OST?
Personally, I don't like the ED, due to how it was presented, and I more or less found it to be a generic song that I skipped after every episode. I still listened to the OST though.
+ Interesting character designs
+ Nicely colored and made backgrounds
+ Enjoyable OST
- Too much ecchi even by ecchi standards
Personal Enjoyment (5.56/10): Week after week of me watching this show, I asked myself, why the hell am I still watching this. I still ask this to myself. While the first few episodes peeked my interest, I quickly found myself facepalming at the episode ideas and shouting REALLY? at my computer screen for the whole 30 minutes of me watching this show. I'm all for really stupid and pointless comedy, but this was brain damagingly stupid.
Somehow though, I can't disregard this show completely. I was still watching it, and even made it to the end, watching the entire show, but I still didn't think it was worth it. What troubled me the most watching it, was the fact that the actual main idea that the show was supposed to originally follow, didn't exist, and just recently at the end of the show, found out that the character development happens at the end of the show. Personally, I felt like the show didn't need any character development because it just clashed with the path it was going on, which was the random anime path.
I won't recommend anyone to watch this, since there are just so many flaws with the execution of this anime. Personally, I found this show to be quite an awkward watch, and felt glad that I finished it.
Who knew farming could be filled with so much passion and fun? Well, probably not as much in real life, but certainly in anime anything can be made fun, even something as mundane as farming. And oh boy, did I have fun watching this one.
With unique characters and strange, humorous twists at every episode, I was grinning most of the time. The personalities of the characters were simply and elegantly presented, allowing for easy understanding of where they were coming from and the kind of person each character was. Well, except a few. A bonus was that, amidst all of the fun, there was a
plot! Not a flawless story, but something to add a bit of drama and set a level of seriousness.
As I continued to watch, and as the existing plot continued to develop, I realized that I was watching Nourin more for its humor than for its serious undertone. I could appreciate where the seriousness fit into the grand scheme of things, but the most memorable parts of this series were the funny and ridiculous.
Why? The story is somewhat original, the jokes are pretty funny, the music and the animation are on pretty ok levels, the fanservice is good. But the ideology makes me want to burn rainforests, preferrably filled with endangered species.
The anime begins with our protagonist, Kosaku, 100% obsessed over a certain pop idol in Tokyo, far away from the countryside where our protagonist attends a Farmer's School (something like a regular high school with lots of focus and special lessons about various aspects of farming). The pop idol on the other hand, Ringo, is going through depression due to
being forced to smile all day. After a certain point she has a mental breakdown and can't show emotions anymore. (By the way, did I mention she's practically a loli? We're talking emotionless loli here! (Y) ). She decides to take a break from the world of showbuis, and visits the place where one of her fans sent her vegetables from (reaaaaaal smooth Kosaku... Send tomatoes to the person you admire.) Anyway, she rerolls at the protagonist's school where she's trying to learn about farming in order to get over her depression (And yes it's a fact. Freud just came back from the dead so he can commit suicide!).
The supporting cast consists of the rest of the school's students, most notable of which is a classmate of the protagonist (with rediculously large b.. cleavage ... No, screw it. Her boobs are huge.) who has a crash on him and an eyeglasses dude that from the beginning to the end you will suspect of being homo. As the loli (Ringo) attends the farming school, the show throws at us the "wisdom of country folk" with Ringo learning their ways.
Let me be clear with this: I do not have anything against people from villages, farmers etc. But the way the anime is trying to force on us the "wisdom of nature and countryfolk" is making me puke. First of all, Ringo has lived in Tokyo, doing a pretty hard job there too. And after leaving Tokyo she comes to a place where she is practically taught that the ways of the "ignorant folk" in the cities are wrong (obviously the anime never 100% puts it like that, but it is kind of the general message). Most of all, I am angered by the fact that Ringo accepts this instead of reminding them that practically none of them has dared stepped out of their small community (as in, never). People, you shouldn't get life lessons from someone who hasn't left the safety of his neightbours & family for his whole life. Seriously, it's not smart.
I HATE the "noble savage" idea. I get that staying close to nature and respecting it is the right way and all that, but unless Peter Jackson directs it history has shown that our "evil corrupt civilizations" have repeatedly kicked "a$$ while a few billion "good respectful nature folk" have gone extinct. I don't have a problem with the show questioning our morals, or saying that life in the big cities may be stressfull for some, but presenting us as morons I will NOT stand for.
The animation and sound are definitely well done, the sub-plots are interesting (so long as you can avoid puking) and the fanservice is acceptable. But I really, really can't stand the idea of a pop idol dirtying herself and sweating to plant a potato while some random guy keeps giving her monologues about how the potato represents life and the ground feeds us and by-the-gods-shut-up-already!. If I were in Ringo's position I would be burying something else beneath the soil.