Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hidamari Sketch x365 06

Hidamari Sketch x365 06 includes the four Hidamari residents, Yoshinoya, the Landlady, Natsume, Kuwahara, Chika, Sae’s editor, Hiro and Sae’s cooking teacher, and several of Hiro and Sae’s classmates. Part A deals with Sae submitting a story to her editor, and Part B mainly focuses on Sae and Hiro’s cooking class.

Scene 1: 00:13 - 00:34
C: Sa, Hi
Sae wakes up and Hiro knocks at her door. The prologue scene to this episode is a marked contrast to the norm of following Yuno waking up and establishes that this part of the episode will focus primarily on Sae. To add to the contrast, Hiro joins the scene, whereas a regular prologue will only include Yuno (Miyako and Chika sometimes but rarely appear). The series very often shows Sae and Hiro together, and I’ve mentioned before how their characterization is as much tied into their relationship to each other as it is who they are as individuals; this is not the case for, say, Yuno and Miyako. This scene, then, reinforces Sae and Hiro’s inseparability. The scene itself has little yuri to note, spending time establishing the scene and then throwing in a quick slapstick gag of Sae falling over in her chair; as much as I tried, I could not find an animated GIF of this, which is a tragedy to say the least. Sae and Hiro each get 1 for the implications the scene is making.

Scene 2: 02:07 - 02:28
C: Sa, Hi
Sae and Hiro talk about Sae’s work. Nothing much in the scene to discuss, though Hiro seems to be worried about if Sae’s well-being is affected as she pushes herself to finish her work. She gets 1, Sae gets 0.

Scene 3: 02:28 - 02:50
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno and Miyako join Sae and Hiro in Sae’s room. Yuno wishes Sae good luck in her meeting with her editor, getting her a slight increase in yurilevels for wanting her to succeed. Hiro gives Sae an extra wave goodbye as she leaves, and though Sae reciprocates it’s unclear whether she’s doing so politely or if she’s reciprocating Hiro’s sentiments. Since it’s ambiguous, Sae stays at 0, while Yuno and Hiro each get 1.

Scene 4: 02:51 - 03:25
C: Sa
Sae talks to her mother about Chika. The mother is not tracked since she’s canonically heterosexual. Through the conversation, Sae insists that she’ll talk to Chika about summer school but seems reluctant to do some. She doesn’t get any yurilevels here.

Scene 5: 03:26 - 03:33
C: Sa
Sae thinks about Chika as she leaves. Again, nothing in her attitude towards Chika would suggest yuri toward her and she gets another 0.

Scene 6: 03:35 - 03:50
C: Yo
Yoshinoya runs for her life. Another joking scene, this time about Yoshinoya’s lack of responsibility. She gets a 0 as well.

Scene 7: 03:51 - 04:01
C: La
The Landlady again succumbs to her nicotine craving. It’s odd to see these scenes in an otherwise lighthearted slice-of-life comedy, since they amount to what is essentially watching the Landlady letting herself be consumed by addiction, and if followed as a series portray her repeated doomed attempts to escape its clutches. She gets no yurilevels, but if she set up a camera in her apartment she might get a Palme d’Or.

Scene 8: 04:04 - 04:48
C: Sa, Nt
Sae runs into Natsume at the cafe before her editor arrives. Natsume continues to display more ambiguity in her feelings toward Sae; here she initially seems somewhat uncomfortable around her presence before slipping back into being a haughty rival. While she blushes slightly at the start, it’s hard to tell how much of the blush is just from the general Hidamari Sketch art style, and nothing else about her obviously displays yuri here, so she has a 0. Sae spends the scene trying to hide her manuscript and get Natsume to leave, and she stays at 0 as well.

Scene 9: 04:49 - 05:35
C: Sa, Naoi-san
Sae and her editor talks about her latest work. Sae wrote a love story, but based on her response to Naoi’s advice she apparently did not write it from experience, putting a damper on the theory that her romantic works are based on her experiences with Hiro. Other than that, Sae and Naoi’s relationship looks to be simply professional, and Naoi’s use of “-chan” can be dismissed as representing her position of authority over Sae rather than any sort of familiarity. Both end with 0.

Scene 10: 05:37 - 06:42
C: Sa, Hi
Sae returns home and visits Hiro in the backyard. The atmosphere of the scene is one of ease, and Sae feels comfortable telling Hiro about her day and the problems she’s encountering, displaying an openness between that warrants a 2 for each.

Scene 11: 06:43 - 08:54
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The Hidamaris eat ice cream in Yuno’s room. For unknown reasons, Miyako is already in Yuno’s room, showing a familiarity between the two by Miyako’s frequent unnecessary visits to Yuno. The first few seconds of the scene are just the Hidamaris eating, but it’s worth mentioning there’s a doll on Yuno’s floor that changes to various different anime characters, most notably Yoko from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. There’s no evidence to suggest Yuno is a fan of mecha anime, so why does she have the doll, particularly since it represents Yoko in her more revealing outfit? Whatever the reason is, it probably raises Yuno’s yurilevels slightly. In a sudden break from the main topic, Sae asks the others if they have someone they like. They express shock at the question, especially Hiro, who asks Sae if something is wrong. She quickly backs down and explains it’s research for her story, after which the others relax. Miyako asks the question to Yuno again, who, after some thought, comes up with her father and her cat, Nyanta. Though both are non-romantic choices meant to show Yuno’s innocence, both are male and as such her yurilevels are negatively affected by it. Hiro gets the same to a lesser effect by saying she also likes her dad. She then puts forward the definition of love as having liking someone enough to spend hours a day thinking about them, a gender-neutral definition that can just as easily refer to yuri and non-yuri romance, increasing her yurilevels. For Miyako, who, according to Yuno, spends hours a day thinking about dried food, this definition doesn’t help her readings, though Yuno’s increase since she is apparently close enough to Miyako to be privy to her thoughts. The scene ends with Hiro asking Sae if she likes anyone, which then becomes another instance of Sae insisting she’s a loose woman. Unlike other times this happens, Hiro is barely able to contain her laughter, shown quivering and shaking from the apparent hilarity; Yuno and Miyako still seem to take Sae’s claims at face value, though. Final readings are Yuno and Hiro with 2, Sae and Miyako with 1.

Scene 12: 08:54 - 09:04
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Miyako, Sae, and Hiro leave and say good night. Nothing suggests anything more than friendliness, so 0s all around.

Scene 13: 09:05 - 09:25
C: Sa, Hi

Hiro talks to Sae before saying goodbye. Hiro’s question about if Sae is going to stay up late and her suggestion to call Chika both show a desire to see Sae secure and happy, getting her a 2, while Sae’s passive responses don’t similarly raise her yurilevels and keep her at 0.

Scene 14: 09:27 - 11:15
C: Sa, Ch
Sae calls Chika to talk about summer school. She has difficulties trying to figure out what to say and ends up giving rather vapid advice about studying before the conversation devolves into another argument between the two. Chika asks if she’s worried about her and asks why she isn’t more honest, saying it’s why she doesn’t have a boyfriend despite being in high school. This comment is direct confirmation that Sae’s stories of prowess are lies, even if it was already fairly clear beforehand, but Sae continues to tell Chika that she’s busy having lots of dates. At what point does Sae’s web of lies become pathological? Could she really believe her stories, imagining this life of vast romantic successes while sitting alone in her room and writing them down? Is Hiro taking care of Sae out of yuri interest or out of pity? While it’s not entirely likely, either way Sae would get a 0 for her unrestrained belligerence here. Chika, meanwhile, gets a 1 for wanting to reconcile with her sister.

Scene 15: 11:15 - 12:08
C: Sa
Sae ruminates about her relationship with Chika. Her thought that she spent hours thinking about Chika is a misapplication of the definition of love from Scene 11, since she was concerned rather than warm in her thoughts. The concern still gets her a 2.

Scene 16: 12:08 - 12:28
C: Sa, Hi
Hiro sends Sae a message. I can’t be entirely certain about what either message says since on-screen text isn’t translated in the subtitled episodes I have, but I believe Hiro’s reads, “I forgot to say a while ago, but go to sleep in a good futon [because you have to stop not sleeping?],” and Sae’s reads “sorry for a while ago, good luck studying.” Hiro continues to be looking out for Sae and trying to keep her well, getting her a 2, and Sae’s warm response gets her a 2 also.

Scene 17: 14:44 - 14:52
C: Hi
Hiro wakes up. Again, the prologue scene has been given to another character, but unlike in Scene 1 nobody else appears, so the entire scene is just Hiro appearing groggy. She gets a 0.

Scene 18: 16:27 - 16:47
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi

The Hidamaris head to school. While talking about her excitement for Sae and Hiro’s cooking day, she appears to briefly contemplate eating Hiro’s hair buns. The implication that she wants to put parts of Hiro in her mouth gets her a 3, and everyone else stays at 0.

Scene 19: 16:51 - 17:09
C: Sa, Hi, Students
Sae and Hiro start their cooking class. In general, the other students in the cooking class are basically interchangeable, so in these scenes they’re only treated as one collective side character. Hiro gives Sae an apron (which looks to be one of the aprons she wears at home), which two students make fun of Sae for. Their joke is probably teasing Sae that the cutesy apron is unfitting for her rather unfeminine character, and it seems to affect her since she tells them to stop. Hiro gets 2 for giving Sae the apron, Sae gets 2 for wearing it, and the students get 1 for their joke.

Scene 20: 17:10 - 17:43
C: Yu, Mi, Yo
Yuno and Miyako talk in class. The bulk of the scene is another joke about Yoshinoya’s unconstrained libido, and Yuno and Miyako’s brief chats don’t have any significant yuri to them, so everyone gets 0. There is one girl in the bumper image who stares at Yoshinoya in her swimsuit-apron combination, and if she was tracked she’d probably get yurilevels. Maybe we’ll see her again and she can get added to the investigation.

Scene 21: 17:45 - 18:40
C: Sa, Hi, Students
Hiro cooks everyone’s project. One of the students comments that Sae must be bad at cooking, suggesting she assumes that Hiro cooks everything for Sae. Unlike the viewer, who knows that Hiro actually does cook for Sae, the student wouldn’t know this and would just be guessing based on what she sees of Sae and Hiro’s relationship in class. This suggests their closeness at Hidamari Apartments carries over to be closeness in school, giving them each a 2, while the students get 3 for noticing and interpreting.

Scene 22: 18:42 - 19:08
C: Yu, Yo
Yoshinoya makes presumptions about Yuno. While Yuno asks a question about her art, Yoshinoya thinks that Yuno has become more mature as an artist, then jumps from that to the conclusion that Yuno is mature in the sense that she has lost her virginity, complete with a thought bubble showing Yuno nude and with a suggestive look. We’re not shown Yuno’s partner, but since virginity loss for a woman is usually associated with being with a man more so than a woman, Yoshinoya is probably thinking of a man and thus stays at 0. Yuno, who just stares on in confusion, also gets a 0.

Scene 23: 19:10 - 20:06
C: Sa, Hi, Students, Cooking Teacher
Sae and Hiro finish cooking. They don’t interact with each other and neither one gets yurilevels, nor do the students. The teacher, though, enters a state of orgasmic pleasure from Hiro’s cream puff, and she gets a 3.

Scene 24: 20:08 - 20:53
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The Hidamaris eat Hiro’s cream puffs. Yuno compliments the sweetness of the pastries and asks Hiro if she’s become more mature, both of which bring her readings up substantially. After Miyako finishes her cream puff and sits motionless in ecstasy, Sae wipes some cream off of her skirt by stroking her crotch area with a napkin; as far as yurilevels are concerned, the scene doesn’t really have to keep going after that since it would be hard to top that, but somehow it continues. Yuno asks Hiro to teach her how to make the cream puffs, getting them both slight yurilevels since it could be friendly but could also be indicating a desire of Yuno to emulate Hiro. Hiro then asks/tells Sae to come along, and Sae, blushingly, tells Hiro “I’m in your care” (よろしくお願いします, “yoroshiku onegaishimasu”), eliciting confusion from Yuno and Miyako. The odd choice of words effectively means that Sae’s putting herself under the authority of Hiro, and the blush could be caused by her response to being placed in the subordinate position for once. She and Miyako both get 4, Yuno gets 3, and Hiro gets 2.

Scene 25: 20:55 - 21:37
C: Hi, Nt
Hiro runs into an unexpected customer at the bookstore. Both she and Natsume are there to buy the magazine with Sae’s story, but this in itself isn’t especially yuri since they may just be interested in their friend’s writing. For Hiro, however, it’s likely she’s already seen Sae’s story or has had it described to her, due to her intimacy with Sae, so buying it again is more an indication that she wants Sae to be successful, which gets her a 2. For Natsume, any yurilevels would be a result of her embarrassment at being seen by Hiro while buying it (note that here it’s assumed she’s buying the magazine to read Sae’s story). There must be a reason that she doesn’t want anyone to know she’s buying it, and it’s almost certainly related to her conflicted emotions toward Sae seen previously in the series. Most likely, Natsume secretly wants to support Sae, and as such can’t be seen buying the magazine lest her facade of rivalry break. Her persistence in trying to help Sae anyway bumps her up above Hiro to give her a 3.

Scene 26: 21:39 - 22:37
C: Sa, Hi
Hiro visits Sae. She tells Sae that Natsume bought a magazine and wonders aloud if she was buying it for Sae’s story, but Sae denies it. Hiro gets a 1 for visiting and Sae gets a 1 for letting her, but other than that there isn’t noticeable yuri here.

Scene 27: 22:38 - 22:55
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno and Miyako bring Hiro chocolate. Miyako says she picked them out, but Yuno has the bag, so it’s likely they bought it together, increasing their readings slightly. Sae’s teasing of Hiro’s simplistic response to the gift gets her yurilevels as well. Overall, everyone but Hiro ends with 1.

Scene 28: 22:57 - 23:08
C: Ka
Kuwahara still exists. She expresses disdain about Yoshinoya’s revealing outfits, getting her a 0.

Scene 29: 23:08 - 23:14
C: La
The Landlady still can’t quit smoking. I’ll skip the explanation of why it’s tragedy and just put this as a 0, since it’s getting too depressing to keep writing about it.

Scene 30: 23:15 - 23:50
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno and Miyako look at one of Hiro’s dieting magazines. When Sae falls asleep, Hiro puts her coat over Sae’s shoulders and takes her pencil to keep her from hurting herself. Her display of concern for Sae’s comfort isn’t obviously romantic, but very warm, so they both get 3s. Yuno and Miyako’s only action in that part of the scene is to mimic Hiro’s shushing movement, which doesn’t come across as yuri and gets them each a 0.

Scene 31: 23:50 - 25:10
C: Yu, Mi, Hi
Yuno, Miyako, and Hiro look up at the sky. The Hidamari family dynamic, occasionally referred to in the investigation, is explicitly pointed out by Yuno when she says Hiro is like Sae’s wife for checking on her to make sure she sleeps soundly and like Yuno and Miyako’s mother for looking out for Miyako’s safety. Yuno compliments her warmth and gentleness, while Miyako says she gets hot around Hiro*. Hiro thanks Yuno for her sentiment, but not Miyako. They all still get 4 each.

Scene 32: 25:11 - 25:39
C: Hi
Hiro takes a bath. She wonders if Sae is awake and says she’ll bring over hot ginger, getting her a 3 for thinking of Sae in the bath.

Final Yurilevel Readings (both Aokis and Umes are out of 4):
Episode: 1.3586A

  1. Cooking Teacher: 3.000U
  2. Yuno: 1.804U
  3. Miyako: 1.801U
  4. Hiro: 1.787U
  5. Natsume: 1.465U
  6. Students: 1.418U
  7. Sae: 1.081U
  8. Chika: 1.000U
  9. Yoshinoya: 0.000U
    Naoi-san: 0.000U
    Landlady: 0.000U
    Kuwahara: 0.000U

In an episode centered on Sae and Hiro, Yuno and Miyako end up taking the top spots as the gayest Hidamaris for the episode. It makes sense somewhat: a regular episode gives more screen time to Yuno and Miyako, meaning Sae and Hiro are only seen in group shots, giving them opportunities to get yurilevels from all the other Hidamaris, while in this episode the situation is reversed and Sae and Hiro get more screen time, meaning Yuno and Miyako only show up in group shots and get opportunities for yurilevels from the others. While the first half was fairly low in yuri readings, the second half picks up considerably, ending the episode somewhat higher than usual but much lower than the last one.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch x365 07.

*: Like I’ve said before, questioning the veracity of the subtitles is tantamount to questioning the validity of the investigation, but this is one of the moments where the translation that was given seemed like it had been localized in a way that could cause an unwarranted increase in yurilevels. It’s probable that Miyako really did say this, considering context and Hiro’s reaction, but part of me wants to believe it can’t be correct since it’s so obviously gay--“too good to be real,” as it were.

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

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