Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hidamari Sketch x365 02

Hidamari Sketch x365 02 includes the four Hidamari residents, Yoshinoya, the Landlady, Natsume, Kuwahara, and Chika. The episode centers around Chika’s admission to a high school and the Hidamaris’ reactions, with a large part of the second half focused on a hot pot.

Scene 1: 00:24 - 00:36
C: Yu
Yuno wakes up and shivers. Nothing yuri to comment on. 0.

Scene 2: 00:38 - 01:09
C: Yu, Mi, Sa
Yuno greets Miyako and they both run into an impatient Sae. Yuno and Miyako’s conversation is pleasant but not especially yuri, being a simple exchange of comments about the weather. Downstairs, Sae is shown very tersely waiting for Hiro specifically, and although it’s later shown to be a redirection of her other anxieties it can still be read as a desire for Hiro to be near her during times of distress. Combined with her embarrassment at being caught waiting for Hiro, Sae gets a 2 overall.

Scene 3: 01:09 - 01:30
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Hiro catches up to the others. Miyako appears to merrily smell her crotch, but in fact she’s trying to get to whatever is in Hiro’s bag (implied to be food); the very close contact and Miyako leaning her hand against Hiro’s hip still get her a 3. Hiro pulls away rather than pushing Miyako away, taking the less familiar and thus less yuri route in stopping her and keeping her yurilevels at 0. Sae continues to be aloof, but it’s not aimed towards anyone in particular here and as such doesn’t affect her yurilevels here like it did in the previous scene. Everyone but Miyako ends with 0.

Scene 4: 03:07 - 03:33
C: Yu, Yo
Yoshinoya talks about Valentine’s Day and Yuno worries about Sae. The recipient of Yoshinoya’s chocolate is kept a secret, though later Kuwahara points out there aren’t any viable options other than the male principal, so she doesn’t get yurilevels for her Valentine’s chocolates. Meanwhile, Yuno wonders why Sae was acting strangely, displaying a concern for her well-being that is more easily interpreted as friendly but still gets her a 1.

Scene 5: 03:33 - 04:27
C: Yu, Mi, Ch
Yuno receives a text message from Chika saying she’ll receive her exam results soon. Communication via cell phones wasn’t taken into consideration in the definition of scenes at the start of the investigation (a scene being fixed characters in a fixed setting), and while so far it’s never been a major issue, this episode has a significant amount of interaction between the main characters and Chika, who only directly appears once but is still “present” through her messages and calls throughout the episode. The solution used here, and that will be applied to future episodes in which this arises, was to consider a non-present character making a text message or call as the entrance of that character and thus the start of a new scene. Here Chika’s entrance is not considered to have begun until her message first appears on-screen; this precedent is used to mark the dividing points between other scenes in this episode and will be carried through the rest of the investigation. Chika’s decision to tell Yuno about her entrance exams in a friendly, casual tone, and Yuno’s response of visibly feeling anxiety on behalf of her, show that the two formed a very close bond in their one and only meeting, strongly suggesting at least some yuri on each of their parts. The picture Chika sends of her in her school uniform adds to her yurilevels for resembling a picture of an idol, assumed to be a conscious parallel by her. Miyako reacts pleasantly but doesn’t display special concern for Chika. Yuno and Chika each get 2, and Miyako gets 1.

Scene 6: 04:27 - 04:50
C: Yo
The principal scolds Yoshinoya for impropriety. Her threat to withhold chocolate from the principal wouldn’t have any bargaining power unless she were heterosexual, and since she’s treating it as if it would change his mind, she gets a 0.

Scene 7: 04:53 - 05:38
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako continue to wait for news from Chika. Again, Yuno is the one more concerned with Chika’s success, but here Miyako takes notice and attempts to calm her Yuno. Her means of doing this are to first grab her hand and hold it for several seconds while they walk to the window and then to fondly reminisce about their own high school entrance exams, both of which get significant yurilevels for her and marginal side yurilevels for Yuno. Miyako ends with 4, Yuno with 2.

Scene 8: 05:37 - 05:47
C: Ka
The principal rests wistfully in a flower garden and Kuwahara takes notice. She doesn’t react with concern, simply muted curiosity, but either way since there aren’t any other women around and no noticeably yuri characteristics to her appearance she gets a 0.

Scene 9: 05:50 - 06:21
C: Yu
Yuno is unable to focus on math. Her doodle in the math book shows her desire for Chika’s success and happiness, raising her yurilevels to a 2 for the scene.

Scene 10: 06:21 - 06:33
C: Yu, Mi, Ch
Yuno and Miyako read Chika’s text saying she was accepted to a high school. Chika’s text, a simple “accepted,” doesn’t get her special yurilevels, though like earlier the fact she’s telling Yuno at all gives her a 1. Yuno and Miyako have the same excited reaction, and each gets a 1 for it as well.

Scene 11: 06:37 - 06:54
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako go looking for Sae. Nothing suggests significant yuri. 0s for both.

Scene 12: 06:54 - 07:26
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, Ch
Sae commends Chika for getting into high school. For the first time in the episode Sae appears relaxed and calm as she talks to Chika, though her praise is limited to a short congratulation and roundabout admissions of relief, so she gets very limited yurilevels here. Chika does try her hardest to make Sae excited, joking that there should be a party waiting and outright asking if she’s happy for her, so her yurilevels are higher than Sae’s. Of the other Hidamaris, only Hiro’s reaction is really significant, since she gets an additional shot at the beginning of the scene, with her warm observance of Sae suggesting a desire to share in her precious family moment, and consequently a desire to be included in Sae’s life in a close, important way. Sae gets 1, Chika gets 2, Hiro gets 3, and Yuno and Miyako get 0 since the only shot of them in the scene doesn’t show any significant difference in their mood.

Scene 13: 07:26 - 07:35
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno, Miyako, and Hiro smile at Sae. Yuno and Miyako both react with an open mouth, but Yuno’s has an additional closed eyes, so she gets 2 while Miyako only stays at 1. Hiro has her typical contented expression on and gets a 1 as well. Sae’s reaction to realizing they saw her is to suffer engine failure, but whether it’s shameful or romantic embarrassment is unclear (it could be both, even). Splitting the difference, Sae gets a 3.

Scene 14: 07:35 - 07:52
C: La
The Landlady stuffs pizza menus into the mailboxes at Hidamari Apartments. Her application of instrumental rationalism using the Hidamaris as pawns reflects poorly on the Landlady and cancels out the yurilevels she gets for singling out Yuno for “-chan” status to leave her with 0.

Scene 15: 07:52 - 08:07
C: Yu, Mi, Hi
Yuno and Miyako head to lunch before being stopped by Hiro. The pair don’t get any significant readings, but Hiro’s wave is seductive and alluring enough to get her a 2.

Scene 16: 08:09 - 09:08
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The Hidamaris eat lunch on the roof. Hiro’s homemade lunch made to celebrate Chika’s admission, and her accompanying explanation that she believed in her, gets her yurilevels both for being close to Chika herself and Sae by proxy, and she ends with 3. Yuno, Miyako, and Sae spend most of the scene saying the roof feels nice, so they all end with 0.

Scene 17: 09:08 - 10:24
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, Ch
Yuno shares Chika’s picture of her admittance and the Hidamaris discuss the possibility of her visiting Hidamari Apartments. Miyako makes the proposal that Chika come over in celebration and Hiro immediately seconds it, getting them both modest yurilevels, but Sae attempts several times to shoot the idea down (despite initially smiling when she sees the image, so it’s a wash overall). She then directly addresses Yuno* when she comments that everyone warmed up to Chika very quickly, explicitly noting Yuno’s close friendship with Chika and getting Yuno extra yurilevels, and Yuno and Hiro respond with praises of Chika as great and adorable. In the midst of this fawning over Chika, Sae ends up being the only Hidamari that doesn’t get yurilevels in this scene since she repeatedly attempts to brush away any positive feelings directed to her sister. Yuno and Hiro each get 2, Miyako gets 1, and Sae and Chika get 0s.

Scene 18: 10:24 - 10:56
C: Mi, Sa, Nt
Natsume attempts to catch Sae coming from the roof. From what can be discerned, it appears she planned to corner Sae, possibly to assert dominance, and is implied to have been waiting at the base of the stairs for some portion if not all of the lunch break. To her dismay, Sae manages to easily puncture her arrogance and leave her blushingly running away. Here we get the first implications that Natsume is taking her one-sided rivalry with Sae a bit too seriously, and she nets a 2. Sae is polite but firm in her counterattack, and doesn’t convey any yuri to note, getting a 0. Miyako only gets one line early on, and thus doesn’t get the chance to acquire any yurilevels.

Scene 19: 10:57 - 11:55
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako talk about Chika’s possible visit. The bulk of their conversation is based around the difficulties surrounding living alone, and Yuno gets some low-level yuri for openly discussing her emotions and memories with Miyako. Miyako doesn’t reciprocate except sporadically, so she ends up with 0 while Yuno gets 1.

Scene 20: 11:57 - 12:09
C: Yu, Mi
Miyako shows her middle school uniform to Yuno. She claims she wears it because she doesn’t want to get her other clothes dirty while cleaning, but the extended posing she puts on for Yuno somewhat undermines this statement. Miyako gets a 1 (again, somewhat: she is actually shown cleaning in it), Yuno gets 0.

Scene 21: 12:17 - 14:19
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The Hidamaris go to Hiro’s room. When Yuno mentions being embarrassed at her old drawing of a rabbit (shameful embarrassed, so non-yuri), Sae compliments it as cute, getting her slight yurilevels. Most of the readings in this scene come from when Hiro finds the orange under her sink and responds by hiding behind Sae, showing that she views Sae as a protective figure (similar to how Yuno viewed Hiro in the previous episode, but less maternal) and getting her substantial yurilevels, particularly with the strong show of intimacy from not washing her hands between touching the orange and then holding onto Sae. Sae gets side yurilevels for accepting and for actually doing something about the orange, showing she takes her role as protector for Hiro seriously. Hiro gets 4, Sae gets 3, and Yuno and Miyako get 0 for their minimal roles here.

Scene 22: 14:19 - 14:55
C: Sa, Ch
Chika “officially” tells Sae she was accepted. Sae continues to be unable to speak on peaceful terms with Chika, and Chika again tries repeatedly to open her up with appeals to family, sweet-talking, and claims of unfriendliness. The lack of communication is very clearly Sae’s fault, and she ends with 0; Chika’s attempts get her a 2.

Scene 23: 14:59 - 15:30
C: Yo, Ka
Yoshinoya and Kuwahara talk about giving chocolates to the principal. While Yoshinoya refuses to out of petulance, again getting a 0 for presenting this as a viable threat, Kuwahara speaks in very neutral terms about it, and the overall suggestion is that she’ll give him chocolate out of respect for his authority. Here and in her previous scant few appearances, Kuwahara is always portrayed as dutiful and diligent, focused on her role as a nurse and consequently tending to be the straight man to the other adults. It’s certainly commendable, particularly given the odd staff of Yamabuki, but this position doesn’t lend itself well to accumulating yurilevels and here again she gets a 0. She hasn’t really suggested a sexuality either way so far, so there’s still time for her; sadly, Yoshinoya seems a lost cause by this point.

Scene 24: 15:33 - 15:56
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, Ch
On the way to the store, Yuno gets another message from Chika. Unlike the previous Chika scenes, there are few yurilevels all around. Yuno says that “her tummy might explode,” but “tummy” strikes me as a localization that carries tones of familiarity that may or may not be present in the original Japanese. In the absence of an original Japanese script, I can’t give it yurilevels, so everyone ends at 0.

Scene 25: 15:56 - 16:45
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, La
The Landlady attempts to dump more menus on the Hidamaris. A joke scene continuing the Landlady’s quest to give out pizza menus, with no yuri from any characters on display. 0s all around.

Scene 26: 16:50 - 21:20
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The Hidamaris make a hot pot dinner. This scene is very heavily centered around the food and there’s little yuri in general, which will affect overall readings. Early on Hiro puts her arm behind Yuno’s back and suggests they get under the kotatsu, which gives her some yurilevels and gives Yuno slight ones. While cooking, Yuno displays concern for Miyako by warning her about her fingers, getting her additional yurilevels. Sae takes off her glasses, but nobody makes any observations about it and the opportunity is wasted to build yurilevels. Overall, Yuno and Hiro get 2 each, and Miyako and Sae get 0.

Scene 27: 21:25 - 22:05
C: Yu
Yuno thinks about Chika in the bath and then in bed. The intimacy implicit in Yuno telling Chika she’s taking a bath and Chika’s continued messaging after Yuno supposedly signs off raises both their yurilevels, and Yuno’s stated desire to want to see her again gives her additional levels. Chika with 1, Yuno with 2.

Final Yurilevel Readings: (both Aokis and Umes are out of 4)
Episode: 1.0329A

  1. Hiro: 2.046U
  2. Natsume: 2.000U
  3. Yuno: 1.130U
  4. Chika: 1.084U
  5. Sae: 0.640U
  6. Miyako: 0.421U
  7. Yoshinoya: 0.000U
    Landlady: 0.000U
    Kuwahara: 0.000U

Scene 26 ended up throwing off the character results by a substantial amount: Yuno and Hiro each got a 2 in that scene, and both ended up above 1 Ume for the episode. The impact on the episode reading was minimal since it was balanced by Miyako and Sae, and the overall episode reading ended up only being a little more than 0.01 Aokis above the previous episode.
This episode had a lot of secondary characters in it, tying with Hidamari Sketch OVA 02 for the most characters in one episode. It seems likely that this increased focus on the supporting cast will continue through the series, which will have an interesting impact on the season’s yurilevels. If current trends continue, however, then unless they all start getting very gay very fast it will probably bring down episode readings since they haven’t contributed many yurilevels between them (aside from Chika, and Natsume has yet to fully blossom).

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch x365 03.

*The honorific -tachi is used to refer to a group. Here, Sae addresses Yuno, Miyako, and Hiro at once by calling them “Yuno-tachi,” so even though she’s making a general statement it’s especially focused towards Yuno.

1/27/13: Corrected misspellings of Kuwahara's name as "Kawahara."

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