Friday, December 28, 2012

Hidamari Sketch OVA 01

Hidamari Sketch OVA 01 includes the four Hidamari residents plus Yoshinoya and the Landlady. The episode focuses on Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro going to the public pool during summer.

Scene 1: 00:05 - 00:44
C: Yu
Yuno wakes up on a summer’s morning. This episode marks a change in translation groups from FuktLogic to SpoonSubs, and because the groups may have differences in how they choose to translate things yurilevels could be affected as a result. For this scene, however, it isn’t a concern since Yuno barely talks and conveys no yuri to begin with. She has a 0.

Scene 2: 02:19 - 02:47
C: Yu
Yuno prepares soumen for the others. Preparing food for the others is an indication that she wants to be close to the others, but whether this is friendly or more than friendly is unclear, and she ends up with a 2.

Scene 3: 02:47 - 05:30
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The other Hidamaris come to Yuno’s apartment and discuss their summers. Most of the scene is focused on the characters talking about their laziness. At one point, Sae interrupts the conversation to call Hiro amazing, an unexpected turn that suggests positive opinions of Hiro are always near the forefront of Sae’s thoughts. Yuno adds on, saying Hiro is cool, but Hiro tries to politely brush off these statements. Also of note is that when Hiro mentions having bought a new swimsuit, Miyako very quickly decides that they all should go to the pool as soon as possible, making it sound as if she wants to go because of Hiro’s swimsuit. She gets strong yurilevels as a result, ending with 3. Sae also gets 3, Yuno gets 1, and Hiro gets 0.

Scene 4: 05:34 - 06:24
C: Yo, La
The Landlady walks to Hidamari Apartments and sees Yoshinoya working on a summer project. Yoshinoya is monitoring morning glories, which represent “love in vain” in the Victorian language of flowers, but who this love is directed towards is not clarified. The Landlady acts as an observer here, likely stopping to watch the entire scene of the principal standing guard to keep Yoshinoya from running away and not to stare at Yoshinoya. Since that’s still a possibility, she gets 1, while Yoshinoya stays at 0.

Scene 5: 06:25 - 06:29
C: Yu
Yuno walks to the storage closet. There’s a rainbow in the bumper image, but generally that would only increase yurilevels if it was emphasizing anything yuri in the scene, and the scene is just Yuno opening a door. 0.

Scene 6: 06:32 - 06:42
C: La
The principal thanks the Landlady for taking care of the Hidamaris. Her response is more a stammered out nicety since she’s still in shock from the principal’s display of physical prowess, so no yurilevels awarded here.

Scene 7: 06:44 - 07:05
C: Mi, Sa, Hi
Miyako, Sae, and Hiro wait for Yuno but decide to leave without her. Nothing yuri to comment on. 0s for everyone.

Scene 8: 07:08 - 07:15
C: Mi, Sa, Hi, La
They run into the Landlady, who has brought them a watermelon. The three don’t speak and don’t get yurilevels, but the Landlady gets minor ones for the gift (which could be either a display of benevolence on the part of their landlord or a present to get closer to them). She ends with a 1.

Scene 9: 07:20 - 08:05
C: Mi, Sa, Hi, La
Miyako, Sae, and Hiro talk with the Landlady. Miyako is very happy about the watermelon, hugging it and rubbing it against her face in a spontaneous display of joy, but Sae and Hiro are reserved about their reactions, opting to politely thank the Landlady for it. She downplays her gift by telling them to think nothing of it, and there isn’t much in her mannerisms that suggest subtext to this request. Her continued interest in the well-being of her tenants gets her small yurilevels, though. She gets a 1, Sae and Hiro get 0s, and Miyako, whose reaction to the watermelon quickly translates into gratitude to the Landlady, gets a 2.

Scene 10: 08:08 - 08:56
C: Yu, La
The Landlady looks for Yuno but is unable to find her, and Yuno inflates a beach ball. Landlady’s attempts to find her get her a 1, but Yuno doesn’t get any for spending the scene being adorable instead of gay.

Scene 11: 08:56 - 09:07
C: Yu, Sa
Sae sees Yuno playing with the beach ball. Yuno’s embarrassment at being seen comes off as shameful instead of romantic, but her attempt to save face by excitedly showing Sae the beach ball could be seen as Yuno trying to display that she is still a worthy companion for her. Yuno gets 1, and Sae gets 0 for her general inaction.

Scene 12: 09:08 - 09:32
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Everyone goes into Hiro’s bathroom. With everyone focused on the watermelon, there’s no significant yuri to comment on and they all get 0.

Scene 13: 09:38 - 13:40
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The Hidamaris go to the public pool. Many of the yurilevels in the first part of the scene come from Yuno, who gets friendly Y with Sae and Miyako from playing with the beach ball and more substantial yurilevels for hugging Miyako to keep from sinking and then engaging in a double hand-hold (a brazen and shocking act, especially in a public area where it is clearly shown that there are children around). She later falls asleep against Miyako’s shoulder, displaying a high level of comfort and closeness toward her. Other yurilevels come from Sae and Hiro discussing the man at the water slide. Hiro initiates the conversation by calling her nice, and Sae immediately responds with blushing and attempts to tear down his character, as if she interpreted Hiro’s comment as him being a potential romantic interest for her. The way Sae responded to his instructions is subsequently poked fun at light-heartedly by Hiro, prompting further blushing by Sae. Their entire exchange is strong evidence of yuri, especially from Sae to Hiro. Overall readings for the scene are Yuno and Sae with 4, and Miyako and Hiro with 3 (Miyako doesn’t get a 4 for the double hand-hold since she’s only the recipient and doesn’t equally reciprocate).

Scene 14: 13:40 - 13:43
C: Yo
An extended shot of Yoshinoya setting up for the subplot where she swims in the school pool. The scene is a still image with no dialogue, and Yoshinoya gets no yurilevels for it.

Scene 15: 13:43 - 14:03
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno goes on the waterslide. The only yurilevel readings are Miyako’s question if she’s alright afterwards, displaying concern for Yuno and getting her a 1. Everyone else remains at 0.

Scene 16: 14:03 - 14:31
C: Yo
Yoshinoya enjoys the pool but is found by the principal. The rabbit on her kickboard isn’t an indication of yuri, merely her refusal to leave behind childish things, and she gets a 0 for the scene.

Scene 17: 14:34 - 16:57
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The Hidamaris take a break from swimming to eat. Aside from eating together, nothing much conveys yuri from them, and they spend most of the time talking about the merits of different places to swim. Yuno mentions that she would grab onto a friend’s back in the pool to play, but this doesn’t get as high yurilevels as it could in context of Yuno’s utter inability to swim. She gets 1, the rest stay at 0.

Scene 18: 16:59 - 18:04
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
After leaving the pool, the four wait for their bus. Yuno asks if there is a pool closer to Hidamari Apartments, prompting Sae to ask if she was comfortable at the large public pool. Sae’s question suggests she is trying to look out for Yuno and make sure she’s comfortable, and she gets slight yurilevels from it. Miyako also gets slight yurilevels for her encouraging words to Yuno that she’ll eventually be able to swim. She and Sae each get 1, Yuno and Hiro get 0.

Scene 19: 18:07 - 18:53
C: Yo, La
The Landlady thanks the principal for letting her swim in the school pool, and Yoshinoya and the principal engage in a water gun fight. Yoshinoya and the Landlady don’t interact with each other, with the Landlady acting just to give the principal a water gun and then appearing satisfied that he has used it to vanquish his foe. Neither gets yurilevels.

Scene 20: 18:57 - 19:37
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro eat the watermelon the Landlady gave them. They all enjoy the watermelon, but Yuno is the only one that redirects this appreciation towards the Landlady, and even then it’s to call her simply “nice” and suggest writing a thank-you card. She gets a 1, and since nobody else convey significant yuri they all get 0.

Scene 21: 19:38 - 20:07
C: Mi, Sa, Hi, La
The Landlady stops by and asks Miyako, Sae, and Hiro where they are from. Her interest in their home areas initially seems like it could be yuri, but is revealed in the next scene to be a transparent excuse to leech souvenirs from them. She gets 0, and since the others are only there to respond to her questions and none of them do so in any particularly yuri way the also get 0.

Scene 22: 20:07 - 21:30
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The watermelon finished, they light fireworks. In some of the shots, Yuno has her legs very clearly parted and it’s unclear if she’s wearing underwear. I put one of the shots in question into GIMP (an open-source photo-editing software) and used the Eyedropper tool to compare pixels from Yuno’s face, chest, and left leg to pixels from the area between her legs and found that, since her crotch was significantly lighter than the other areas (with a saturation value of 9 as opposed to an average of 17 in the rest of her body), she was probably clothed down there. Still, her action suggests that she is comfortable enough around the other Hidamaris that she doesn’t need to keep her legs closed, a lewd sort of camaraderie but one that nonetheless gives her strong readings. Through the rest of the scene, the Hidamaris have comfortable conversation about their plans and all of them at some point show interest in each other. Yuno gets additional levels for requesting that they communicate with her over the summer. Final readings give Yuno 3, and the rest 1.

Scene 23: 21:35 - 22:07
C: Yu
Yuno plans what to tell her family about when she sees them. Her cork-board is covered in images of the other characters in their swimsuits, some in lewd poses. While strongly suggesting yuri, it could just be the action of someone with low self-esteem trying to assure herself that she has friends, which would fit Yuno’s character. Because of the ambiguity, she only ends up with a 3.

Final Yurilevel Readings: (both Aokis and Umes are out of 4):
Episode: 1.3372A

  1. Yuno: 1.819U
  2. Sae: 1.797U
  3. Miyako: 1.670U
  4. Hiro: 0.971U
  5. Landlady: 0.638U
  6. Yoshinoya: 0.000U

This episode, more than any other, shows the influence one long and high yuri scene can have on the overall readings: Scene 13 took up one-fifth of the episode time and contributed more than half the episode’s yurilevels (if it was taken on its own, it would have a reading of 0.7196 Aokis, higher than some entire episodes). Is this system fair? Should an episode be so heavily weighted by one especially gay scene? It’s something that I’ve thought about during the investigation, and my conclusion is this: since scenes such as Scene 13 are often the focal point of an episode, if they have very high yurilevels then the episode as a whole will be considered particularly gay upon review. These readings are a reflection of the conscious decisions of the creators (Ume Aoki, SHAFT, or both) to place focus on specific scenes and to give those scenes high yurilevels. In this episode, Scene 13 was the bulk of the time spent at the pool, and this episode was undeniably a fanservice-y swimsuit episode. It stands to reason that such a scene would impact the episode readings because the producers have decided it should impact the viewers’ impressions of the episode itself. Consequently, I’ve decided the system of weighing scenes by length is valid, but if your opinion differs or there is a flaw in this reasoning that should change the methodology I invite you to share your views.
Back to the episode itself: Despite being a rather lewd episode, with lots of shots panning slowly over the characters in their swimsuits, yurilevel readings across the board were fairly high (except for Yoshinoya). Yuno usually appears in all but a few scenes in an episode, but here her total scene time was only slightly higher than the others since there was a long stretch in the first part when she was getting the beach ball where she didn't appear, and thus her steady 1s throughout the episode and her 4 in Scene 13 were enough to push her to the top of the character rankings for the first time in the investigation. The Landlady’s increased focus in this episode gave her the most total yurilevels she’s gotten thus far, but they were low and spread out, keeping her below 1 Ume. Everyone else’s readings were about consistent with established trends.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch OVA 02.

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