Teenager Hata Kosaku is crushed when his favorite singing idol, Kusakabe Yuka, stuns the world by retiring from show business. Kosaku’s friends try to cheer him up, but nothing can chase away his gloomy mood until Yuka herself transfers into his class at Tamo Agriculture School!
I enjoyed making this review a little more than usual. I do not know why, per say, I just did. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did in writing it. Story: 3/30 The opening Idol musical number, sung by the lovely Jād Saxton, sets the perfect atmosphere for an anime about farming. As you witness the CG crowd going crazy over Yuka Kusakabe’s energetic performance, it is difficult to not think about all the agricultural cultivating methods we are about to learn. After all, Japanese idols are all about farming? Huh? What am I writing? That’s right folks! If you did not read an actual detailed synopsis of No-Rin before sitting down to watch it, then you would be in for a shock! The turn of events from just the very opening of episode one to its conclusion could have you completely falling from your chair or couch and onto the floor. It is an Idol anime gone farming, or to be more precise…a farming anime flavored with the seasoning idol perversion. Get it? Hahaha! As mentioned, No-Rin is about farming (aka Agriculture), which includes both plant-based and livestock cultivation; from the harvesting of multiple crops, to poultry, to chickens’ eggs, to bitch-fight planting of rice fields, to the bovine fat of Kouchou Yoshida’s “unofficial” Huge Breasts. Everything about what you just read spells agriculture. Am I right? (OK, I get it…enough with the ending every paragraph with a question.) In the very beginning, No-Rin attempts to establish some sort of plot in episodes 2-4, but ultimately fails and becomes nearly devoid of any sensibility or plot. However, where it does surprisingly succeed is its completely off-the-wall, raunchy humor; oodles and oodles of it. What is more impressive is that it is funnier than not, which is incredible in its own way, especially since the fanservice concept of Ecchi is kept out of No-Rin. I will say this though…if raunchy, sexual innuendo type jokes is not something you are into, then do not watch this! You will be heavily disappointed. Animation: 5/10 The overall artwork is generic, plain, and simple. The characters look rather basic, but not to where they are awful looking. The backgrounds are flat out dull! On the positive side, there are some nice colors that are pleasing to the viewer’s visual aesthetics, but that is about it regarding the artwork. The animation itself is average at best. The “freaking out” character expressions of Kousaku, Minori, and Kouchou are entertaining though. Sound: 6/10 Both the OP and ED are skippable once you have had a once over listen to them, and the music and sound effects throughout are OK. However, you do not watch No-Rin for either the music or other audio tidbits, unless of course you thought this was an idol anime. You just fell for that trap then! You should have read my review first (cough, cough). One super surprising, quite unexpected feature is the fact that some of the English voice actors are dub singing! That’s right! You read that correctly! Both prominent VA stars Jād Saxton and Tia Ballard sing their own parts! It is great! As I am sure you notice, all exclamation points here in this small paragraph! Why!? This is because it is SUPER RARE for English VA’s to perform singing dub overs, hence the escalated excitement and score! Woohoo! Characters: 15/30 Now we arrive to the second extremely juicy part of many reviews, the character section (the first juicy part being the story breakdown in the review). Sadly, there is little to almost nothing in terms of structured development of this wild cast of mostly likeable goofballs. I say mostly because there is one repulsive, disgusting, crude character in the entire series, and that is Miss Becky. Miss Becky is so over-the-top that it is repulsive. She can be somewhat tolerable until episode #8. While the episode itself is rather humorous with some genuine LOL moments, especially from Ringo, Miss Becky ends up ruining it. She is the first (and only character) dubbed by the lovely Tia Ballard that I cannot stand; even the talented Tia cannot save this poorly written character! Ah hem! Quickly moving on to the rest of these goofballs, I will start with who I believe is a brightest spot in the series and that is Ringo. She is so wildly different than the rest, which means her Stoic personality really stands out. Plus, she happens to fit the Kuudere type perfectly! The fact that Jād Saxton does her English dub voice over only enhances her character even further, assuming you watch the FUNimation English dubbed version. All in all, Kei, Kousaku, Minori, Ringo, and Kochou do make an entertaining comical group who produce some good funny moments. The biggest downfall is that the lack of plot carries over into the lack development of these high school farmers. A little more background could have gone a long way in making up for the plot’s deficiencies. That mishap by the writers is a major one that ultimately dooms No-Rin from being better than just mediocre at best. Sadly, because we get to know little to nothing about most of them in any real detail, they are quite unrelatable, except for possibly Ringo. Overall: 39/100 In the end, the funny but raunchy humor could not save No-Rin’s plotless, pedestrian performance in an industry where this style of humor has been attempted before, except with an actual story and better characters, overall. I had average expectations to begin with, but the anime has too many fallacies to overlook, especially in the already limited plot potential that was presented; it went sour faster than a mouth-puckering spoiled grape, and stung harder than a sliced lemon squeezed on an open wound. OK, maybe I am exaggerating a small teensy bit. I did laugh a fair amount in nearly every episode, just to a hap hazardous, disappointing undertone in my laughs. Entertainment Score: 12/20 Achievement Score: -2 to Overall My expectations were Moderate, and it delivered Slightly Below those expectations. Age Rating: TV-14+ (loads of sexual innuendo) Additional Information: Video Format: Blu-ray Audio Format: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Publisher: FUNimation Equipment Used: LG 60UH6550 4K TV, Vizio 5.1 Sound Bar System SB3651-E6, Sony Blu-ray Player BDP-S5200
Story is quite easy to follow, and with good animation and sound No-Rin is good option to long evening session. The weakest point about this title are character with very slow development and sometimes gross teacher as support character.
No-Rin is a decent comedy, with it's own rare flavour of comedy. I didn't think it would be anything different to any other ecchi/comedy shows, but it proved me wrong. Episode 8 was hilarious, probably one of the funniest anime episodes ever. I enjoyed the characters and find it impressive that the lead character can actually be interesting, even the classmates all had different personalities and quirks. If you're ever in the mood for something easy to watch, try this, or just skip to episode 8 and try to enjoy the craziness.
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