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.
Overall Score: (4.98/10)