Kosaku is now attending an agricultural college after moving from a small town. He's obsessed with pop idol Ringo Kinoshita and is crushed after hearing she'll retire at the height of her career. While moping on campus, he meets the new transfer student who is none other than Ringo! But she seems so different compared to the energetic idol he'd seen on TV. Ringo is subdued and never smiles. What happened to her? Kosaku is determined to make his favorite idol happy again but his childhood friend isn't so enthused about the competition.
I'm burned out on idols, but figured the agriculture school aspect could compensate. No-Rin has little idol content, and the comedy is only so-so. Assuming those are the main features of the show, does that mean it bombed? Not quite, as other things made it worth picking up (for me anyway). Whether most people will agree, I'm not sure.
While the anime starts with an idol concert, the idol stuff is sidelined after the first episode, only playing a part towards the end. It's a cute idea though: the idol who loses her smile, trying mend the hole in her heart at an ag-school. She forms the second leg of a love triangle between Kosaku and his childhood friend. There isn't much to say about the characters, aside from the girl with huge boobs in the animal husbandry course is really cute when flustered. No-Rin has many silly side characters which are too gimmicky, but are amusing enough.
The story, as well as comedy; are hit and miss - never good enough to fully hook me, nor bad enough to make me give up. What kept me watching a show seemingly unremarkable? The agriculture side. It's something rarely seen in anime. Not only gardening facts, but plenty of culture from the perspective of Japanese farm kids. When you combine college, agriculture, and students from "the sticks", you get an anime with a unique mix of Japanese culture.
After episode 10, my two favorite characters left on a plane trip, leaving behind the main characters in their love triangle limbo (I never took to). However the last two episodes are the best of the series, making me wish the rest of the anime lived up to them. It addresses things like small town life (which is struggling in Japan as people continue to migrate to cities), and the difficulty of farming.
I'm not sure it's worth seeking out unless you're a Japanese culture fanatic who wants a different perspective. If you're burned out on the same old anime stuff, No-Rin has.. well the same stuff, but with a different spin which might make it refreshing enough to watch.
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