Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hidamari Sketch x365 10

Hidamari Sketch x365 10 includes the four Hidamari residents, Yoshinoya, the Landlady, Natsume, and Mami and Nakayama. The first half is about Yuno and Miyako sculpting clay shoes in art class, and the second half deals with Yuno’s parents making a surprise visit to Hidamari Apartments.

Scene 1: 00:12 - 00:39
C: Yu
Yuno prepares for school and receives a call from her mother. She does not convey a particularly strong connection with her mother here, and even if she did Yuno has been shown to be equally close to both of her parents, so showing affection to her female parent wouldn’t have affected her. She gets a 0.

Scene 2: 00:39 - 00:51
C: Yu, Mi
Miyako calls for Yuno. Yuno ends the call with her mother to go to school with Miyako, but whether this is Yuno showing a preference for Miyako over her mother or Yuno following her normal schedule is uncertain. Since Yuno was talking to her mother on a cell phone, there was really no reason for her to have to end the call, so it’s probable Yuno was showing her preferences here. The ambiguity keeps her at 3. Miyako, meanwhile, can’t display any similar yuri, acting mostly as the catalyst for Yuno’s actions, and gets a 0.

Scene 3: 02:27 - 02:56
C: Yo
Yoshinoya gives the class their briefing. Her demand that her students hand over their expensive shoes is likely out of insecurity and doesn’t suggest yuri, so she gets a 0.

Scene 4: 02:58 - 05:03
C: Yu, Mi, Mami and Nakayama
Yuno and Miyako work on their clay shoes. The symbolic connection between clay shoes and “feet of clay,” meaning a weakness or vulnerability, is unclear and doesn’t affect anyone’s yurilevels. Mami and Nakayama, two of their fellow students, appear a few times throughout the series, but since there isn’t anything to distinguish them here and the functions they perform could be taken over by one student, they are tracked in this scene as one character, bringing the scene’s N value to 3. Miyako borrows a pair of shoes from a male student and proceeds to deeply smell the inside, showing a comfort with the smells of men that freezes her at 0. Yuno spends most of the scene being upset about her small feet, and when Miyako pats her back to reassure her during one of her depressive low points it doesn’t appear to help, so she gets a 0. Mami and Nakayama are minor players here and don’t get much of an opportunity to acquire yurilevels, holding at 0 as well.

Scene 5: 05:03 - 05:37
C: Yu, Yo
Yoshinoya tries to give Yuno advice. She quickly launches into a fit about her steadily advancing age, and intentional or not the way she redirects the conversation to a discussion about herself keeps her at 0. Yuno barely acts and stays focused on her project, so she doesn’t get yurilevels either.

Scene 6: 05:44 - 06:28
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako continue to work. Yuno falls asleep as she works, prompting Miyako to first try to encourage her to stay awake, showing a desire to see Yuno succeed, and then to mess with her project by drawing a smiling face on it and accidentally spilling paint on it, for which she does not take responsibility, lowering her readings for her shows of malicious whimsy and apathy. Both end at 0.

Scene 7: 06:28 - 07:00
C: Yo
Yoshinoya wraps up class. The scene is another joke about her irresponsibility, and she gets another 0.

Scene 8: 07:00 - 08:10
C: Sa, Nt
Natsume sees Sae and the principal by the trash disposal. When she approaches the trash disposal area, her first glimpse of Sae shows her surrounded with flowers and flashes of light against a light blue background, suggesting she is happy to see Sae. She doesn’t outwardly convey this, though, instead mockingly asking her if she’s talking to the burnable trash, which Sae responds angrily to. Natsume greets the principal with a hasty “good morning” (おはようございます, “ohayou gozaimasu”), prompting Sae to tersely point out it’s already afternoon. So far, Natsume has displayed somewhat mixed emotions about Sae, while Sae has expressed only discontent and frustration at her presence (though she later comments to the principal that this is how they normally talk). The principal, being Yamabuki High School’s resident omniscient sage, picks up on this, musing that argument is proof of the bonds of true friendship and that arguing and reconciling deepens these bonds, conveying that, from an outside perspective, Natsume and Sae’s fighting comes off as gentle squabbling. After he walks away, a bewildered Natsume repeats his claim that she and Sae are friends, which Sae matter-of-factly confirms. Hearing this, Natsume blushes and breaks into a slight, happy smile while the background behind her fades from a solid color to warm yellow tones decorated with flowers; again the background is used significantly to convey a character’s inner emotional state, here being Natsume’s delight to hear Sae call her a friend. Sae blithely notes that Hiro is waiting on her and begins to leave. This strongly provokes Natsume: her blush goes away, her expression changes to one of outright scorn, and the background changes again to cold shades of purple. Her bitterness at Sae leaving to go with Hiro strongly suggests that Natsume’s outrage is over Sae choosing to spend time with Hiro rather than her, a suggestion reinforced by Natsume’s transparently-false claim that she has friends waiting for her also, the intended message being that Natsume also has other people she wants to be around. The reaction thus implicitly suggests that Natsume wants Sae to favor her over Hiro, finally, finally displaying a desire for Sae’s affections and a transitive affection for Sae. She gets a 4, while Sae’s confusion throughout limits the side yurilevels she receives to end her with a 1 overall.

Scene 9: 08:10 - 08:42
C: La
The Landlady brazenly lies to Yuno’s parents. She praises Yuno’s abilities to live on her own, although she admits her kind words are false since she hasn’t met her at this point in the Hidamari Sketch chronology* (the falsehood is made more apparent since her comments are very non-specific). Consequently, it doesn’t give her yurilevels, and she ends with a 0.

Scene 10: 08:44 - 09:02
C: Yu, Mi, Hi
Yuno and Miyako show Hiro their projects. Hiro addresses them as “Yuno-san-tachi” (ゆのーさんーたち) and, when checking to see if the shoes are real, grabs Yuno’s project even though it’s further from the hand she grabs it with than Miyako’s is. These could display a preference for Yuno, either unconscious or deliberate, but because it doesn’t necessarily suggest romantic feelings for her Hiro stays at 2. Yuno and Miyako each get yurilevels for their desire to impress Hiro and, along with this, make her proud or happy for them, and each ends with 1.

Scene 11: 09:02 - 09:14
C: Yu, Mi, Hi
Miyako tries to show Sae her shoes and comes up with a different plan instead. For the second time this episode, she gives in to a prankster impulse, this time explicitly represented as a demon clad in black, and her inability to resist playing cruel mind games with Sae keeps her at 0. Both Hiro and Yuno react in alarm, giving them yurilevels for their display of concern for her moral fiber that leaves them with a 1 overall.

Scene 12: 09:17 - 09:37
C: Sa
Sae wakes up to a confusing sight. No notable yuri in the scene.

Scene 13: 09:39 - 09:53
C: Yu, Mi, Sa
Sae confronts Miyako about her prank. Her fury holds her at 0, but that’s not really what’s of interest in this scene. When Miyako comes out to talk to her, she’s groggy and her room is dark, strongly implying she’s been asleep, and soon after Yuno is also shown to be in the room. It’s already been established that Yuno was tired, and Miyako has previously mentioned being sleepy during the school day, so the likely explanation is that they were both asleep in Miyako’s room. From what we know of Miyako’s room, there’s only one place to sleep: a hammock hung against one of the walls. Therefore, it’s strongly suggested that Yuno and Miyako were sleeping next to each other in the hammock. That’s actually more yuri than sharing a normal bed would be, since a hammock’s construction (in Miyako’s case, a net suspended between two hooks) will, through gravity, pull both people’s bodies toward the low point of the hammock, its center, and thus force very close contact between them. Since they’re both in there anyways, it appears that neither Yuno nor Miyako minds, displaying a close intimacy that extends to being physically comfortable around each other, and they each get 4s for it.

Scene 14: 09:54 - 11:33
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno’s parents arrive at the apartments. Yuno helps Miyako bring her stuffed animals back from Sae’s partment, showing a willingness to help her that gets Yuno slight yurilevels. The rest of the scene is spent on Yuno greeting her parents, so those are the only yurilevels awarded here. Yuno gets 1, Miyako stays at 0.

Scene 15: 11:36 - 12:36
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno introduces her parents to Miyako. Yuno’s mother mentions that they have heard a lot about Miyako from Yuno, including that she is good at drawing, eats considerably, is in perpetual poverty, and is always hungry. Two of these relate to Miyako’s insatiable appetite and wouldn’t necessarily be a warm depiction (possibly a joking one instead), one is a statement about her low socio-economic status as a Romani immigrant and again doesn’t suggest yuri, and one is a praise of her artistic ability, which actually does suggest that Yuno gives a positive representation of Miyako to her parents. Yuno gets a 1, while Miyako stays at 0 since she barely interacts with or talks about Yuno.

Scene 16: 12:37 - 13:34
C: Yu
Yuno spends time with both of her parents. Her father suspects impropriety of a lewd nature after finding a short blue hair on the floor, directly asking her if there are any boys she likes. While Yuno denies any pretense of heterosexuality, the idea that her father, someone who has been shown to be close to her, would suspect such an attribute leaves Yuno with a 0.

Scene 17: 13:34 - 15:24
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Sae and Hiro introduce themselves to Yuno’s parents. Yuno’s father, upon seeing Sae’s short blue hair, angrily concludes that she is the boy with which Yuno has been conducting improprieties, reneging on his claim once he realizes Sae is a girl. Sae gets some yurilevels for projecting masculinity. When they speak to Yuno’s parents, Sae and Hiro both try to compliment Yuno as much as they can, prompting Miyako to joke that someone will say “give me your daughter” (むすめさん ください, “musume-san kudasai”), the Japanese expression used for asking a family to marry their daughter which takes on added significance with the previous accusation against Sae of lewdness. Later, Hiro invites Yuno to her apartment later for snacks, increasing her yurilevels slightly for wanting to include Yuno in their activities. Sae ends with 2, Miyako and Hiro with 1, and Yuno with 0.

Scene 18: 15:26 - 17:55
C: Yu
Yuno spends time with her father. He pressures her into giving him an extended back massage (lasting roughly as long as it takes Yuno’s mother to make kinpira which, using this recipe as a general estimate, means it went for at least a half hour), and Yuno’s agreement to do so holds her at 0, particularly since nothing yuri of note occurs in the first place.

Scene 19: 18:11 - 18:48
C: Yu
Yuno sees her parents off. She hands them a picture of herself that is shown to include the other Hidamaris as well. It’s assumed that Yuno deliberately chose the picture rather than selecting an image at random, so this decision to represent herself as part of the larger group shows a sense of belonging with the other Hidamaris, possibly as part of the “Hidamari family unit” and possibly out of closeness to all of them, which gets her a 3.

Scene 20: 18:49 - 19:20
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The Hidamaris consume the gift Yuno’s parents left. Miyako implicitly compliments Yuno’s kinpira by saying the gift is delicious and tastes like Yuno’s cooking, but it’s subtle and only vaguely yuri so I didn’t think it warranted yurilevels. Everyone else focuses on how odd the kinpira is (or, for Yuno, how it isn’t odd), so everyone ends with 0.

Scene 21: 19:45 - 20:14
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The Hidamaris talk about Yuno’s parents. Miyako teases Sae about her prank from earlier, getting slight yurilevels for presenting her actions as a harmless joke between friends and thus showing an open friendliness, but Sae doesn’t get comparable readings since the thought of it makes her angry again. Someone then knocks at the door, and the Hidamaris line up in formation to protect themselves from the unknown visitor: Hiro stands at front, presumably since it’s her apartment, with Sae behind her holding onto her shoulders and Yuno behind Sae with her hands against Sae’s lower back; Miyako stands detached and dismissive. Sae’s stance is more active, since she would be able to quickly pull on Hiro’s shoulders to move her out of the way and confront the stranger herself, while Yuno’s stance is more defensive, using Sae as a shield and thus trusting her safety to her. In both instances, Sae seems to naturally take on a role as the protector, correlating with her position as the father in the motif of the Hidamaris as a family. She gets a 3, Yuno and Hiro each get 2, and Miyako gets a 1.

Scene 22: 20:14 - 21:14
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, Yo
Yoshinoya drops by unexpectedly. She quickly proceeds to grab both of Yuno’s hands and tells them she told Yuno’s parents that she would take care of Yuno’s body and soul, giving her an easy 4 with Yuno at 1 for acquiescing, but uncomfortably, to the hand-holding. Hiro offers food, but as a polite gesture rather than a yuri one, so she ends with 0, as do Sae and Miyako.

Scene 23: 21:16 - 21:42
C: Yu, Mi, Yo
Yuno and Miyako see Yoshinoya off. Yoshinoya offers to them both that they can talk to her about problems they encounter, but places it in terms of a professional responsibility, referring to herself as “teacher” (先生, “sensei”). As such, it doesn’t earn her yurilevels, and everyone ends with 0.

Scene 24: 21:46 - 22:07
C: Yu
Yuno takes a bath. She refers to her parents as “Otou-san-tachi” (お父さん-たち), making her father (お父さん, “otou-san”) the focus, which keeps her at 0 for the scene for placing her male parent over her female one.

Final Yurilevel Readings: (both Aokis and Umes are out of 4):
Episode: 0.5911A

  1. Natsume: 4.000U
  2. Yoshinoya: 1.325U
  3. Sae: 1.132U
  4. Hiro: 0.830U
  5. Yuno: 0.525U
  6. Miyako: 0.326U
  7. Landlady: 0.000U
    Mami and Nakayama: 0.000U

Not quite the least-gay Hidamari Sketch episode ever (beaten[?] for that by Hidamari Sketch 06 and Hidamari Sketch 11), but still a remarkably low reading in an otherwise consistently yuri season. The first half was split into numerous short scenes where the comparatively longer scenes were low in yuri, while the second half was held back by its focus on Yuno’s parents. The result is that the secondary characters who only appeared in a few scenes were propelled over the main cast, with Natsume and Yoshinoya taking the top spots for their low total scene time. Natsume in particular did very well for her lack of presence, getting only the third perfect 4 reading so far in the investigation (the first achieved by Sae in Hidamari Sketch 08 and the second by a little girl in Hidamari Sketch x365 03). Sae was the only Hidamari who stayed above 1 Ume, primarily from her 2 in Scene 17, while Miyako performed the worst from her general lack of yuri, partly a result of her impish mischief.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch x365 11.

*: Refer to the timeline here, elaborated on here.

8/24/13: Yamabuki High School was initially mislabed as "Yamabuki Academy." The name has been corrected.

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