Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hidamari Sketch 12

Hidamari Sketch 12 features the four Hidamari residents, Yoshinoya, and the Landlady, and includes Chika in her first speaking role of the series. The first half of the episode centers on Chika’s visit to Hidamari Apartments, and the second half follows the Hidamaris on Christmas Day.

Scene 1: 00:02 - 00:24
C: Sa, Hi
Sae and Hiro wait for Chika to arrive. While Sae spends the scene being testy, Hiro seems to actually be concerned for both Chika and Sae. Her statements of concern aren’t quite yuri, so she stays at 1, and Sae gets a 0.

Scene 2: 00:24 - 00:42
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno and Miyako enter Sae’s apartment. A short connecting scene with no yuri to speak of. Everybody gets 0.

Scene 3: 00:42 - 01:18
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, Ch

Chika arrives and greets the others. Miyako and Hiro seem to take an instant liking to her, each getting yurilevels, while Yuno gets flustered and Sae gets frustrated, with neither of them getting Y. Chika herself is pleasant but formal, and doesn’t get significant yurilevels. Overall, Miyako and Hiro get 1, and the rest stay at 0.

Scene 4: 02:48 - 03:29
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, Ch
Chika talks with the other Hidamaris. She reminds us again that Sae doesn’t have a boyfriend, but it’s not framed in especially yuri terms so Sae doesn’t get yurilevels for this (not new) revelation, and her constant, unrelenting fury throughout the scene precludes any other yurilevels she might have picked up. Miyako asks Chika about her boyfriend, pushing her to a 1 for the scene, and Chika admits it’s just a one-sided crush, which is still unforgivable and keeps her at 0. Yuno and Hiro have somewhat minor roles, but both try to make Chika comfortable. While Hiro’s is more polite, Yuno seems very friendly to her, complimenting her cute name. Yuno gets 1, Hiro doesn’t.

Scene 5: 03:30 - 04:05
C: Yu, Ch
Yuno takes Chika to her bedroom. Chika conveys a sense of admiration to Yuno for being able to live on her own and calls it “amazing,” but Yuno doesn’t reciprocate. Chika gets a 1, Yuno gets a 0.

Scene 6: 04:07 - 04:30
C: Mi, Ch
Miyako takes Chika to her bedroom after Yuno finishes with her. Again Chika seems excited at the prospect of Miyako living alone, but not as much as when she visited Yuno. Both get 0s.

Scene 7: 04:32 - 05:06
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, Ch
Chika eats with the Hidamaris in Sae’s room. Yuno’s continued warmth toward Chika shows a very quickly formed friendship between the two, but is it yuri? For now Yuno only gets a 1 for it since it was very brief. Hiro reveals that Sae frequently comes to wake her up, showing their close relationship and getting them both 2s. Chika spends the scene preparing food and Miyako spends it eating the food, so neither one of them has noticeable yurilevels here and each get 0.

Scene 8: 05:08 - 05:22
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Ch
Sae shows Yamabuki High School to Chika, who promptly breaks into the premises. While crime is certainly cool, it isn’t very gay, and Chika gets no yurilevels since nothing conveys lesbianism from her. Her sister remains bitter, trying to get Chika to leave as soon as possible, and doesn’t have any yurilevels either. Miyako’s only line is to say that the school is 15 seconds away (which is assumed to be 15 seconds of time as 15 seconds in cartography is over 500 yards) and she stays at 0 as well. Yuno, in contrast, remains attached to Chika, but simply calling her “Chika-chan” doesn’t qualify for a 1. Everyone ends up with a 0 here.

Scene 9: 05:24 - 05:49
C: Yu, Sa, Hi, Ch
Chika explores the inside of the school, including Sae’s classroom. In general in this episode, Sae and Chika don’t get yurilevels from each other since their familial relationship seems far from romantic, particularly on Sae’s side, who again gets no yurilevels for her cold attitude to her sister. Hiro’s only involvement in the role is an attempt to keep the peace between the two, which, in context of her character, could be interpreted as a desire to keep Sae from being upset. She gets a 2. Afterwards, Chika and Yuno continue to grow closer, discussing favorite subjects. The discussion isn’t yuri but their increasingly strong bond is, and they each get 1.

Scene 10: 05:49 - 06:28
C: Yu, Sa, Hi, Yo, Ch
Yoshinoya runs into the group. Yuno and Chika don’t speak, but the animation studio has chosen to make them significant in this scene since they’re very centrally placed in the screen and shown to have the exact same reactions to Yoshinoya, conveying a sort of mental/emotional link or connection between them that again shows their deepening relationship and earning them each a 2. Yoshinoya also gets a 2 for her ambiguously yuri offer to model for Chika, while Sae and Hiro, who barely give off any yuri at all, stay at 0.

Scene 11: 06:30 - 06:43
C: Mi, Sa, Ch
Chika visits the reference room and laughs at a bust of the principal. Her question if it is a Martian shows that, like her sister, she has a lack of familiarity with the male form (even to the point of calling it alien, exactly like Sae in Episode 06), and the thought of it being human is enough to launch her into hysterics. Like Sae before, she gets a 3. Rather than display pride that her sister has taken after her, Sae continues to be irritated at the existence of Chika, keeping her yurilevels firmly at 0. Miyako only serves to reveal that the bust is of the principal, so she doesn’t do anything yuri either and also gets a 0.

Scene 12: 06:44 - 07:08
C: Yu, Mi, Hi, Ch
The Hidamaris return to the apartment building after a trip to the convenience store and see the principal. Nothing yuri worth commenting on here, but it should be noted they are all terrible for mocking such a great man. 0s all around.

Scene 13: 07:09 - 08:19
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, Yo, Ch
Yoshinoya visits the Hidamaris to give them a cake. At the start of the scene, Yuno and Chika are shown taking pictures of each other; Chika’s pose is a mildly seductive behind-the-shoulder glance which Yuno gladly captures. Chika gets additional yurilevels for her excitement at Yoshinoya’s Santa outfit, but Yoshinoya doesn’t get yurilevels for wearing it since she’ll be showing it to all her students, male and female. Nobody else is noticeably lesbian here, so the rest get 0, while Yuno gets 2 and Chika gets 3.

Scene 14: 08:20 - 08:43
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, Ch
Yuno, Miyako, and Hiro leave. Hiro gives her reason for leaving as wanting to give Sae and Chika time alone, suggesting either that she views their relationship as one that warrants “alone time” or that she feels bonding time with her sister would make Sae happy and thus that Sae’s happiness is a goal of Hiro’s. Either way, she gets a 2. Yuno and Miyako get 0s because they are presumably just tired.

Scene 15: 08:43 - 09:51
C: Yu, Mi, Ch
A tearful Chika asks Yuno to comfort her, just for the night. Chika’s disappointment in Sae for never replying to her messages is the first indication of actual affection between the two, and, Hidamari Sketch being an anime, their blood relation is no reason for Chika to not get yurilevels for it. Miyako furthers this by interpreting Sae’s coldness as teasing and indications of love, before showing a level of intimacy with her by saying that Sae is bad at expressing herself. Yuno gets yurilevels for letting Chika in, but for the rest of the scene she’s mostly quiet. Overall, Yuno gets 1, Chika gets 2, and Miyako gets 3.

Scene 16: 09:51 - 12:48
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, Ch
Sae bursts into Yuno’s room and Miyako invites her and Hiro to play cards. She is said by Hiro to be lonely at Chika’s absence, giving Sae some yurilevels as well as Hiro for having such deep insight into Sae’s character. Chika reveals that she wanted Sae’s autograph, displaying an admiration for Sae that gets her yurilevels as well. When they all go to sleep, Sae and Hiro share one blanket and Yuno, Miyako, and Chika share the other, which is about consistent with the pairings the show has suggested over the last season, and even if it wasn’t the fact that they were all sleeping together gets high yurilevels anyways. After waking up, Chika leaves to meet up with a friend. The subtitles give the friend’s gender as male, which would reduce Chika’s yurilevels, but from my limited Japanese there doesn’t seem to be an indication of gender in the untranslated script**, so the gender of the friend doesn’t affect Chika. Sae and Chika both get a 4, Hiro gets a 3, and Yuno and Miyako get 2.

Scene 17: 12:48 - 13:35
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro have a free-flowing chat after Chika’s departure. Sae (finally) shows warmness to Chika with a gentle smile at her chastisement of Chika making a ruckus, and Hiro joining in shows a desire from her to share in Sae’s happiness, so each get yurilevels. The rest of the scene is yuri-light, so neither Yuno nor Miyako have significant yuri readings. Sae and Hiro get about a 2 each.

Scene 18: 13:36 - 14:36
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The Hidamaris meet outside and see the principal again. In the first half of the scene, the only yuri comes from Hiro, who continues to wish the best for Sae. The second half of the scene is just everybody laughing at the principal, which is both lacking in yuri and, again, despicable. Hiro gets 2, the rest get 0.

Scene 19: 14:46 - 15:19
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The Hidamaris head to the art supply store and Yuno becomes excited by their supply. The discussion of the scene is focused on a news story on television that isn’t especially gay, so Miyako, Sae, and Hiro end with 0. Yuno’s enjoyment of the papers and brushes could suggest strange tastes, but (possibly aside from the paintbrushes) this particular fetish doesn’t seem very yuri. Yuno also gets a 0.

Scene 20: 15:20 - 15:51
C: Yu, La
The Landlady runs into Yuno at the art supply store. She calls Yuno “Yuno-chan,” which often conveys familiarity but may just be used here because she's older than Yuno, and wishes her luck with her break project. Yuno merely acts polite. Landlady ends with 1, Yuno with 0.

Scene 21: 15:51 - 16:40
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno tells Miyako, Sae, and Hiro that she saw the Landlady and together they look for items that represent each other and Chika. Miyako identifies Hiro’s item as a ram, and though there are sound, credible dictionaries of symbolism online (that are available in a five-minute Google search, at any rate), the ram appears to be associated with protectiveness, which ties in with Hiro’s maternal role towards the other characters. Its identification here gives Miyako yurilevels for having this connection form her view of Hiro. Miyako then goes on to give Sae’s item as a black cat, which in Japanese culture is symbolic of good luck*. While not especially yuri, her consequent demand that Sae sleep on her lap definitely is. In response, Sae identifies Miyako’s item as a dancing animatronic sunflower. Sunflowers are used in Japan as a symbol for a bright, cheery disposition (for instance, the first volume of “Yotsuba!” shows her holding a bunch of sunflowers), and since this is a fairly accurate description of Miyako it shows that Sae has an understanding of her. She gets yurilevels as a result. (The symbolism of the ukelele the flower holds remains uncertain.) When searching for an item for Chika, Yuno chooses a snowglobe expressly because she finds it cute and sparkling, which very strongly implies that she sees Chika as having these same attributes. Sae’s blush at Yuno’s reasoning suggests she agrees. Final readings give Yuno 3, Miyako 4, Sae 2, and Hiro remains at 0 for her limited involvement.

Scene 22: 16:43 - 19:32
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The four go back to Yuno’s room for dinner and Yoshinoya’s cake. All four get yurilevels for the symbolism of eating Yoshinoya. Hiro gets additional levels for hugging Sae when she becomes upset, Yuno gets additional levels for the extended shot of her cork-board showing lots of pictures of the others, and Sae gets additional levels for her embarrassment at being revealed to have given Chika a present. Miyako stays at 2, Yuno and Sae each get 3, and Hiro ends with 4.

Scene 23: 19:33 - 19:42
C: Sa
In a flashback to the previous night, Sae autographs one of Chika’s books. The gentle head pat is the strongest implication in the episode of love, but whether this is familial or yuri could be argued. As such, she gets a 3.

Scene 24: 19:42 - 19:46
C: Sa, Hi

Hiro explains the previous scene. Sae is shown to be very embarrassed at it, probably because it detracts from the image she maintains of the cool emotionless sempai by showing her care for Chika. She gets a 2 for implying implications, with Hiro getting a 1 since her comment could be construed as teasing.

Scene 25: 19:48 - 19:54
C: Ch
Chika appreciates Sae’s autograph. Her very warm and contented smile bumps her up to a 1 for the scene.

Scene 26: 19:54 - 20:45
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Sae downplays her gift to Chika, Yuno and Miyako talk about their family situations, and Hiro brings up the winter break. A peaceful scene, but one with minimal yuri content. Hiro gets a 1 for her concern toward Sae, while the rest end with 0.

Scene 27: 20:49 - 21:16
C: Yu
Yuno takes a bath and reflects on her life at Hidamari. She doesn’t convey noteworthy yuri in the monologue about her comfort at living in the apartment building, so she gets a 0.

Scene 28: 21:22 - 21:24
C: Mi
Miyako is shown to have fallen asleep while working on a crossword puzzle. She is surrounded by cats, which is feminine but not necessarily yuri, particularly since at least some of the cats she attracts are said to be male. 0.

Scene 29: 21:24 - 21:30
C: Hi
Hiro prepares diet jelly. Her eating disorders were decided to not be evidence of yuri, and since they are the sole focus of the scene, Hiro gets a 0 for yurilevels.

Scene 30: 21:30 - 21:40
C: Sa
Sae stores Chika’s pajamas and looks at the snowglobe she bought. This ties in with the love she has for her sister revealed in Scene 23, so similarly she gets a 3.

Scene 31: 21:40 - 22:06
C: Yu
Yuno goes to sleep. Her dream of snow shows her playing with Miyako, and then being hugged by her and Hiro. As established, dreams represent psychological desires, so this is a very clear indication of yuri. Yuno gets a 4.

Final Yurilevel Readings: (both Aokis and Umes are out of 4):
Episode: 1.5197A


  1. Chika: 1.968U
  2. Hiro: 1.829U
  3. Sae: 1.631U
  4. Yuno: 1.317U
  5. Miyako: 1.197U
  6. Landlady: 1.000U
  7. Yoshinoya: 0.715U

Like the last episode, there were lots of short and chopped-up scenes, but high readings in the longer scenes and consistent yuri ensured a high overall Aoki level, and the first season ends with a fabulous performance by Chika that puts her at the top of the character rankings in her first starring appearance. Sae’s yurilevels were buoyed slightly by her eventual thawing towards Chika in the second half, but her extreme frigidity to her through the first part weighed her down considerably. Chika also weighed down Miyako’s yurilevels, since she took Miyako’s role as Yuno’s partner for much of the episode, but Miyako got high enough readings later on to stay above 1 Ume for the episode. Yuno was helped by the bond she established with Chika, and she got lots of low-level friendly yurilevels in scenes where they both appeared. Yoshinoya received her second 2Y reading of the investigation, but it wasn’t enough to get her above last place, a position she’s held for every episode but one (that said, the title of “lanterne rouge” is by no means dishonorable). I’ve noticed through the season that Yoshinoya is by far the lewdest character; could that be part of the reason for her consistently low readings? The overview for Season One (currently expected for Saturday) will cover this question.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch OVA 01.

*In America, meanwhile, the black cat is symbolic of anarcho-syndicalism, a branch of anarchism whose philosophy views the state as the ultimate enemy of collectivized labor and the wage system as the source of economic inequality, and which seeks to abolish both. The connection to black cats comes from the height of the American anarchist movement in the late 1800s and early 1900s, when industrial workers would place black cat symbols around their factories with the aim of frightening their employers. This is another example of the differences between Western and Japanese culture. **Casual, conversational Japanese rarely indicates the gender of a grammatical object, especially for a neutral word like "friend," and will drop the pronoun of an object unless otherwise relevant (i.e., a literal translation of a Japanese sentence meaning "I saw him yesterday" could just read "yesterday I saw"). Again, my Japanese is rather shaky, so if Chika did explicitly refer to the friend as a boy please let me know in a comment or message and I will adjust the yurilevel readings accordingly.

12/28/12: The initial version of the write-up summary claimed this episode had Yoshinoya's first 2Y reading. She had in fact received a 2Y reading previously in Episode 04.
8/24/13: Yamabuki High School was initially mislabed as "Yamabuki Academy." The name has been corrected.

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