Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hidamari Sketch 06

Hidamari Sketch 06 includes the four Hidamari residents and Yoshinoya. In the first part, Yuno and Miyako have their semester final exams, and in the second part they set up a vinyl pool and play in it with Sae and, later on, Hiro.

Scene 1: 00:00 - 00:31
C: Yu
Yuno has a dream in which she is running from an unknown red, curtain-like object but trips over a miniature figure of Yoshinoya. The scene is straightforward and brief enough that there shouldn’t be any significant issues arising from differences in Japanese and Western dream interpretation, but it should be noted it is possible there are differences. This is a chase dream, with the main symbols being a maze, a red pursuing object (that sounds male and is later described as a man), and the figure of Yoshinoya in a maid outfit. In dream interpretation, chase dreams represent that the dreamer is anxious over something and trying to avoid the issue, but the object she is running away from is vague and it is difficult to determine what it could be. Going along with this, the maze indicates Yuno is confused or feels lost as to how to deal with the issue.* Here and in Episode 05 Scene 5, Yuno’s mental image of Yoshinoya is seen to primarily surrounds her cosplay, which is itself an expression of Yoshinoya’s libido. Therefore, Yuno’s dream presents sexuality as a detriment or something that is hurtful to her. If we combine this with the imagery of the curtain as a threatening, scary, and masculine object and the widely-accepted notion of yuri as the purest (that is, least sexual) form of love, the dream can be interpreted as Yuno vaguely recognizing, if not quite yet acknowledging, her innate yuri nature. She gets a 3 for the scene.

Scene 2: 02:05 - 02:39
C: Yu
Yuno does last-minute studying for her exam and checks on her caterpillar. Like in Episode 03, she’s overly familiar with the caterpillar, and so like in that scene she gets a 0 for it.

Scene 3: 02:42 - 02:58
C: Yu
Yuno knocks on Miyako’s door to wake her up. Her concern for her friend comes across as friendly but not romantic, so she’s limited to a 1 here.

Scene 4: 02:58 - 03:20
C: Yu, Mi
Miyako answers the door and says that she’s been sleeping for 12 hours. Clearly friendly, with no yuri subtext. Both get 0s.

Scene 5: 03:22 - 03:50
C: Yu, Mi, Hi
Yuno and Miyako head downstairs and see Hiro watering plants. Yuno expresses admiration of Hiro’s (imagined) harp skills and imagines her in a revealing dress. It falls somewhere between a 1 and a 2, so I rounded up to give her a 2. The others don’t do anything yuri to note, so they get 0s.

Scene 6: 03:53 - 04:52
C: Yu
Yuno realizes she doesn’t have an eraser and begins her exams. This scene and the next are interrupted regularly by short shots of the principal doing summer activities, but since he isn’t tracked in the investigation and the show cuts back to the classroom each time I didn’t count each instance as a separate scene. Miyako, who appears but sleeps through her only screen time, isn’t tracked in this scene. Yuno, mostly focused on her exam, doesn’t convey any yuri here and gets a 0.

Scene 7: 04:55 - 07:29
C: Yu, Yo
Yuno does Yoshinoya’s art exam. In including a picture of the principal with a rose in his mouth and requesting her students to name three “wonderful” points of her to the principal, Yoshinoya suggests a desire to make herself more favorable in the view of the principal and gets a strong 0 for it. Yuno, meanwhile, is still focused on her exam, and again does nothing to suggest yuri, also getting a 0.

Scene 8: 07:29 - 07:49
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako discuss how the exam went and the nearing summer break. They’re very comfortable and easy around each other, but in a more friendly way. 1s for each, barely.

Scene 9: 07:54 - 08:24
C: Mi
Miyako goes on the roof, intending to tan. Given her character, she’s probably not tanning to make herself more presentable to others (as would be expected of an impure character), and it’s unclear what the gender is of the cat she lays with so it won’t be held against her. Still, it’s not a yuri action in itself. A 0 for the scene.

Scene 10: 08:25 - 09:39
C: Yu, Mi
A browned Miyako appears to Yuno, who admires her body, and then there are kanji puns. Miyako isn’t particularly yuri here, but Yuno gives off yurilevel readings with her careful and physical examination of Miyako’s bare torso. Not enough for a 3, but a definite 2.

Scene 11: 09:30 - 10:01
C: Sa
Sae speaks into a fan. Among the things she says are “we have four arms,” a possible reference to the Greek philosopher Empedocles’ concept of the “beast with two backs” as a means of explaining the desire for heterosexual intercourse as an instinct to return to the “original” form of the human body, and “organic carrots,” carrots likely being a phallic symbol here. The link to aliens suggests both heterosexuality and penises are “alien” or unknown to Sae; additionally, organic foods are a popular meal among lesbians. Sae has a 3 for the scene.

Scene 12: 10:01 - 14:02
C: Yu, Mi, Sa
Yuno and Miyako visit Sae, and together they set up a vinyl inflatable pool. Sae’s embarrassment at being found talking into the fan isn’t especially yuri, but her embarrassment at Yuno saying it would be more fun to include her in Yuno and Miyako’s play certainly is, and increases her yurilevels notably. This scene first shows that Sae is a romance writer, including excerpts of a heterosexual romance. She doesn’t lose yurilevels for it, since one need not be straight to write a straight romance just as one can be straight and write a gay romance, but the decision on the part of Ume to make her a writer of romances is almost certainly not coincidental. For now, since little is revealed about her writing, it won’t affect her yurilevels. Later, Sae lends Miyako a T-shirt and bikini bottom to use for a swimsuit, which Miyako accepts, conveying a strong bond of familiarity between the two. Yuno says Sae has a slender figure to keep her from feeling upset over her small breasts, raising her yurilevels slightly. Miyako is here to keep comedy going, so her yurilevels overall are fairly low. Final readings give Sae a 2, Yuno 1, and Miyako 0.

Scene 13: 14:04 - 15:39
C: Yu, Mi, Sa
Yuno, Miyako, and Sae bring the pool out to the backyard and inflate it. Nothing yuri to speak of, all three get 0s.

Scene 14: 15:44 - 16:19
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno, Miyako, and Sae go to Hiro’s room, where she is trying to heat the room as much as possible to lose weight. No yurilevels, but Hiro does get mental instability-levels. (I do not plan to track mental instability-levels.)

Scene 15: 16:19 - 16:58
C: Yu, Mi, Sa
Yuno, Miyako, and Sae play in the pool in between periods of waiting for it fill up with water. The three splash each other, but only between Miyako and Yuno does it come across as a close type of splashing rather than a game type of splashing. They get 1, Sae gets 0.

Scene 16: 16:58 - 18:26
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The Hidamaris discuss food. In the context of discussing hotpot servers, Hiro subtly slips it in that she “loves or admires” Sae, raising her yurilevels for the scene to a 2 overall. Nobody else catches it, not even Sae, so they end up with 0s.

Scene 17: 18:29 - 20:49
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The four float in the pool and chat about seas and Yuno’s dream from Scene 1. Despite lewd shots of the four at the end of the scene, there’s nothing here that overtly conveys yuri (other than that they are physically next to each other in swimsuits--again, possibly lewd but not yuri since nobody acts on it). The bumper image after the scene shows a rainbow coming out of Hidamari Apartments, so the production staff may be trying to convey more yuri in this scene than the investigation is picking up on.** Nonetheless, the characters still end up with 0s each.

Scene 18: 20:53 - 21:24
C: Yu
Yuno takes a bath and worries about her exam grades, then notices the caterpillar is about to hatch. No yuri to see in this short interlude, and Yuno has a 0.

Scene 19: 21:26 - 22:09
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The Hidamaris watch the caterpillar hatch, to find it is not a caterpillar. Again, nobody does anything yuri, mostly reacting in fear to the insect.

Final Yurilevel Readings: (both Aokis and Umes are out of 4)
Episode: 0.4957A

  1. Sae: 0.779U
  2. Hiro: 0.543U
  3. Yuno: 0.307U
  4. Miyako: 0.069U
  5. Yoshinoya: 0.000U

Several long, yuri-less sequences drove the individual and overall yurilevels down substantially, with no character breaking 1 Ume and Miyako barely hovering above 0. I expected Yuno to perform more strongly in this episode, since she had considerably high yurilevels in a few scenes, but they were short ones that got overshadowed by the longer scenes. Sae’s 2 in Scene 12, the longest of the episode, is the main reason for her continued dominance of the character rankings.
Halfway through the first season, one trend that is especially striking is that in episodes with considerable lewdness (such as Episode 02, Episode 03, and this one), the yurilevel readings are considerably lower than in episodes without much lewdness (such as the previous one, Episode 05). Could we be on our way to mathematically proving that yuri is the purest form of love? The investigation has not been tracking lewdness readings, which would be even more subjective than yurilevels, but informal correlations can be drawn.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch 07.

*Definitions for the symbolism of chase dreams and mazes come from, which was determined to be credible since it appears to derive its definitions from dream research and studies rather than speculation.
**The picture would actually be a very good logo for the Hidamari Yuri-Levels Project. Watch for that in the next few days, maybe.

Corrections: 12/26/12: The original write-up gave Sae a 1 for Scene 11 due to a mix-up between drafts, giving her 0.716U for the episode and lowering the episode readings to 0.4588A. These errors have been fixed.

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