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What’s in a Title: Non Non Biyori



The word 昔 can mean “former” or “olden days”. It kinda gives you a nostalgic sense of a simpler time in this context when we were younger. The から just means “from” or “since”. So to translate to English without sounding weird it would be something like “Back then” or “Since then” or “long ago”.


There are many kou(s) in Japanese but I think this is the best fit: 斯う. This こう means “this way”. It can be referred to something or someone around the speaker, the speaker themselves, or people around the speaker. Put this together with 昔から we get “like this since a long time ago”. 

We can’t glean who the speaker is from the title alone so this could be referring to the speaker or a group who have not changed even when they got older. Since this show mostly consists of elementary and middle schoolers, I guess the title is referring to how they were when they were even younger.


Past tense of です makes だった. In this context it means “was” or “were” depending on if the subject is singular or plural. Put this together with ”昔からこう”, we get a rough translation “I was like this since a long time ago” or “We were like this since a long time ago”

The pros did a great job with this one. It’s short and still holds the same meaning. This title comes from the 3rd season of Non Non Biyori called Non Non Biyori Nonstop. Came out this winter. Really reminds me of being back in my small town as a child. It can be kinda boring out in the sticks at times but I must say with a little imagination and initiative you can have fun just about anywhere.

Here’s a PV of the first season if you are interested (Plus they have this manga on BOOK☆WALKER in Japanese [It has furigana] and English). The manga finished in both languages with 16 volumes so need to wait for more releases. Plus, the Japan store for Bookwalker has a sale going on till March 9th JST for this series (403円 to 579円). If you want to buy the English version they have a coin boost going on for the series (250 coins) till March 2nd.

I watched this when it was still on HiDive but it looks like Crunchyroll has it now. Sentai Filmworks worked on an English dub for the show but this show could also be an easy step into learning new words. So give it a try if Iyashikei/Slice of Life anime are your thing.


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