No-Rin (Comedy Anime Review)
Fandom is an interesting sensation within the human psyche. Those who are reading this are either fans of anime, looking to become fans of anime, or are trying to better understand fans of anime. While all fandoms may be slightly different, it is always amazing to the people from all walks of life that are brought together to enjoy the commonality their fandom provides. However, all fandoms and creators must endure some fans that are overly obsessed with the stars and creators of their favorite medium. Some fans are intrigued beyond normal fandom, because it is a way for them to live vicariously through the stories of obsession.
No-Rin focuses on one particular obsessive fan, Kosaku Hata, of the famous Japanese idol Yuka Kusakabe. Kosaku is a high school student at the Tamo Agriculture School, where he focuses on learning how to be farmer, after his family fractured due to their failed farm. When Kosaku was young, his family decided to leave the city and start a farm, but Kosaku adamantly protested the move. These protests would cause his family to slowly break apart, along with his family’s lack of farming knowledge which led the family into debt. Soon after the problems started, Kosaku’s mother died, and years later he would enroll into the agricultural school in hopes of achieving what his family was unable. During this hard time in his life, Kosaku would happen upon the work of Yuka Kusakabe, and would become an obsessive fan of the pop star. Filling his room with every possible item with Yuka’s face on it, Kosaku would imagine what his life would be like with her. Many of these fantasies stem from his desire to have a popular life in a large city. Eventually, his obsession would come to the point where he would send Yuka anonymous packages of fresh vegetable that he grew. Naturally, his friends were unaware of this routine, or so Kosaku thought.
When it is announced that Yuka Kusakabe has retired and seemingly vanished from the public eye. A distraught Kosaku, locks himself in his Yuka-themed room, and refuses to come out. Ignoring everything in his life, Kosaku becomes distraught, but is finally coaxed out of his room by his friends to help them with their daily work. Joining Kosaku at the agricultural school is his childhood friend Minori Nakazawa, whose family would care for Kosaku when his father was gone. Additionally, they are joined by mutual friend Kei Kamatori during their daily routines. Once in the classroom, Kosaku is met with a surprise in the form of a new transfer student, Yuka Kusakabe, now going by her real name, Ringo Kinoshita.
Ringo would join the Tamo Agriculture School, because in one of the anonymous packages Minori would include a heartfelt letter about the school. The fascination of how much better fresh vegetables tasted, brought Ringo to temporarily quit show business to attend the school. Now, Kosaku is able to spend every day with the girl he had obsessed over for so long. However, unlike her stage persona, Ringo is quiet and reserved, providing initial confusion for many people at Tamo.
This anime truly highlights the difference between the character portrayed by a celebrity and their actual life as a normal person. Both the prospective of the former celebrity and the celebrity’s most ardent fan are shown. No-Rin is endearing as it shows the important things in life are not fame and fortune, but the love of family, friends, and the satisfaction that comes with doing something that feels important. While there are some very well meaning undertones to the story of No-Rin, it is primarily a comedy about these students and their experiences at an agricultural school and the things they do to entertain themselves in a small town. This is an anime that would be great for anyone who has experienced life in small towns and dreamed of the day they could live in a large city. The comedy will be seen as inappropriate for younger audiences, but older teenagers fitting the aforementioned category, would be the ideal audience for this fantastic series.
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