Friday, December 21, 2012

Hidamari Sketch 02

Hidamari Sketch 02 features all four residents of Hidamari Apartments and Yoshinoya, like the first episode*. The first half shows the Hidamari residents making the nameplates outside the building, and the second shows them going to a festival later that night.

Scene 1: 00:11 - 01:20
C: Yu
Yuno wakes up early despite the summer break, violates a teddy bear, and performs erotic dance moves on the sidewalk outside the apartment. It’s certainly a very lewd scene for Yuno, and it's a good time to address the question: what is the distinction between lewdness and yuri? The same threads on /a/ that inspired this investigation by claiming Hidamari Sketch was getting gayer also argued the show was getting lewder, and it’s logical that an all-female cast acting lewd around each other would also raise the yurilevels significantly. That said, just because a character acts sexual it does not necessarily suggest she’s a lesbian (Yoshinoya is a good example of this, flaunting her body in front of both male and female students), and similarly just because lewdness and yuri correlate it doesn’t mean lewdness is automatically proof of yuri. This scene, lewd as it is, doesn’t convey any specifically yuri subtext, and, because this investigation is an analysis of yuri alone, Yuno gets a 0.

Scene 2: 02:58 - 03:30
C: Yu, Mi, Sa
Yuno, Miyako, and Sae start preparing the nameplate boards, and Miyako accidentally ruins one of them. A short and comedic scene that doesn’t lend itself to yuri, so they each get 0s.

Scene 3: 03:30 - 08:14
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Hiro joins Yuno, Miyako, and Sae and the three start working on the nameplates, and the peculiarities of Miyako’s room are discussed. Like in the last scene, Yuno and Miyako are here for jokes and don’t get anything in the way of yuri, so they get 0s for the scene. The scene opens with some light hinting from Hiro toward Sae when she praises Sae’s cleaning of the room, which alone would get them both 1s. Sae gets extra levels from her touchy-feely approach to comforting Hiro in the face of Miyako’s teasing about her weight. Ordinarily that sort of teasing would bump up a character’s yurilevel, but Miyako does it repeatedly and frequently throughout the episode, and at a certain point it started to feel less jokey and just came off as mean, which is why she still ended up with a 0. Hiro received a 1, while Sae gets 2.

Scene 4: 08:15 - 08:34
C: Hi, Yo
Hiro runs into Yoshinoya outside Hidamari Apartments and Yoshinoya shows her a new swimsuit. Hiro’s yurilevel here is a pretty solid 0 (she doesn’t seem at all pleased to get flashed by Yoshinoya and speaks of it afterwards like it was traumatic), but Yoshinoya’s is more complex. She was flashing a girl, which is pretty gay and would net a 2, but would she have flashed a boy who was in the same place at the same time (and thus net a 0)? Figuring this out would require a complex and nuanced analysis of Yoshinoya’s character and motivations. That’s outside the scope of the Hidamari Yuri-Levels Project, but fortunately one had already been done here that suggested she’s afflicted with hyperthymia, a personality type characterized by a love of attention and an overactive libido**. Assuming this is an accurate pathologization, one could safely claim that it was a coincidence that she flashed Hiro and not a man, which defeats any yurilevel Yoshinoya might have gotten out of this scene and leaves her with a 0.

Scene 5: 08:35 - 14:02
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The Hidamaris continue to work on the nameplates and Hiro and Miyako visit the Landlady to find out why Miyako’s rent is so low. For such a long scene, there was barely any yuri from anyone, with most of the time spent on how the nameplates were designed and speculation over the drying packets in Miyako’s floor, but Sae gets a (still low) yurilevel for calling the female Landlady “gorgeous.” She gets 1, everyone else gets 0.

Scene 6: 14:07 - 14:28
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro admire their handiwork on display outside the apartment building. There are some compliments thrown around, but they’d only get yurilevels for addressing specific characters (i.e., if Miyako’s line had been “Yuno, yours came out well” instead of “They all came out well”). A short scene with little to read into, 0s all around.

Scene 7: 14:30 - 15:50
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Miyako tells the others about a festival later that night and borrows a small yukata from Hiro. This is another scene where the line between lewdness and yuri is clear. Miyako’s revealing yukata is by all means lewd, but since she never makes anything of it or uses it for yuri purposes, she actually gets a 0 for the scene. It’s the people around her that get yurilevels here: Yuno and Hiro each get 1 for their happiness to see a lewd Miyako, while Sae, who openly admits to sexual arousal from the sight, gets a 4.

Scene 8: 15:51 - 16:04
C: Mi, Sa, Hi
Sae and Hiro join up with Yuno and Miyako outside the apartments. Yuno doesn’t make significant contributions to the scene, so she’s not tracked here. For a short scene there’s considerable yuri content: the implication of Sae and Hiro changing together, Sae’s gender confusion in yukata selection, and Miyako’s eager interest in the whole affair. Hiro and Miyako get 1s while Sae gets a 2.

Scene 9: 16:06 - 16:28
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
They head to the festival. Another scene focused more on jokes than yuri teasing, with nothing to analyze. 0s.

Scene 10: 16:34 - 17:15
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The characters arrive at the festival. Yuno and Miyako run off to enjoy the night while Sae and Hiro watch and comment. Sae manages to sneak in a compliment to Hiro for her pretty yukata, for which she gets a 1, but is apparently successful enough in diverting attention from it that Hiro doesn’t notice, for which Hiro gets a 0. Yuno and Miyako hold hands, an automatic 2 or greater. They don't do anything else significant, so it stays at 2. Other than that, nothing to comment on.

Scene 11: 17:15 - 17:50
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, Yo
Yoshinoya runs into the quartet and compliments their yukata. Similar to in Scene 6, she gives them all a general compliment, but then specifically targets Miyako, calling her’s “wonderful.” It’s too vague to say with certainty that she’s flirting with Miyako, but it’s definitely evidence of yuri on her part, and since it’s similar to the comments Hiro and Yuno gave in Scene 7, she gets a 1 just like they did.

Scene 12: 17:52 - 20:44
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Miyako fishes for yo-yos and buys small fireworks, Hiro suggests that the yukata she loaned Miyako is possessed, and all four watch fireworks together on a hill. The first parts of the scene don’t contribute much in the way of yuri, though Yuno acts very close and familiar toward Miyako, but the firework watching does raise the yurilevel of the scene (watching fireworks is a common activity for romantically-interested characters in anime). Everybody gets 1.

Scene 13: 20:45 - 21:06
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The Hidamaris walk back home and wonder about Miyako’s sharp sense of hearing. Nothing to suggest yuri, but this would be a good scene to use for analyzing the magical realism elements of the series. Four 0s.

Scene 14: 21:10 - 21:46
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno relaxes in her bath until Miyako suddenly appears and asks for shaved ice. Both characters get 2s, but for different and unconnected reasons. Yuno’s yurilevels come from the pictures she’s shown to have posted on the cork-board in her room, one captioned “Miya-chan, so cool” and the other captioned “Sensei, so sexy.” Both convey noticeable yuri tendencies, but not enough to get anything past a 2. On Miyako’s part, she barges into Yuno’s bathroom as if there’s nothing inappropriate about it. Whether it’s a very, very comfortable friendship or evidence of something greater, either way that’s a 2 for her as well.

Scene 15: 21:46 - 22:07
C: Yu, Mi, Hi
Miyako asks Hiro for shaved ice and Yuno wonders about Miyako’s supersenses. No yuri to talk about. 0s.

Final Yurilevel Rankings: (both Umes and Aokis are out of 4):
Episode: 0.6117A

  1. Sae: 1.387U
  2. Yoshinoya: 0.700U
  3. Hiro: 0.521U
  4. Yuno: 0.349U
  5. Miyako: 0.306U

Unexpected results to be sure. Yoshinoya nabs second place despite only having a reading of 1Y due to a low scene time, while Miyako winds up at the bottom, below even Yuno, since she displayed her yurilevels in shorter scenes. The low readings across the board are probably a result of the longer scenes in this episode (3, 5, and 12) being mostly yuri-free, with the yurilevels centered in shorter scenes and subtler hints than were in the previous episode. It’s a sharp drop from last time, but from my memory I would guess this is more indicative of the average Season One episode.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch episode 03.

*: The Landlady is introduced, but does not appear and does not contribute except incidentally, so she is not tracked in the analysis of this episode.
The article is a pretty well-done analysis of the Hidamari cast and I think it’s credible and even-keeled enough to be cited here. My only issue with it would be Miyako’s diagnosis of hypomania bordering on “full-blown mania and possibly even dementia or psychosis” since I think it relies too heavily on a liberal interpretation of the scant information we have of her background. By my reading she’s just overactive and a touch scatter-minded, but then I’m not one to complain about people reading too deeply into things.

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