Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hidamari Sketch x365 OVA 03

Hidamari Sketch x365 OVA 03 includes the four Hidamari residents, Yoshinoya, and Natsume, as well as Mami and Nakayama. The first half of the episode surrounds Miyako’s school uniform tearing, while the second half shows Yuno’s attempts to find her sketchbook.

Scene 1: 00:10 - 00:47
C: Yu
Yuno has a dream and wakes up. Her dream is very heavily in symbolism: it depicts her being naked and riding an umbrella through a vast sea during a rainstorm while everything except the umbrella is in black-and-white. As she tries to get the rainwater out of her umbrella, she falls into the sea and watches the umbrella sink beneath her. She too sinks, until the clouds break over her and she sees the light, at which point she wakes up. The main symbols in her dream are nudity, the umbrella, the sea, the rain, black-and-white, sinking, and light. Nudity represents emotional vulnerability and trying to hide something, and the umbrella seems to be an associated image, since it represents a cover for trying to avoid emotions with a leaking umbrella specifically meaning an inability to face her problems. The sea and sinking both represent being overwhelmed by emotion, and this emotion is likely sadness since rain and black-and-white imagery are both associated with depression. Finally, light represents insight or clarity being shone on a problem*. Applying these symbolisms, one interpretation of Yuno’s dream can be that Yuno is trying to hide something (nudity) and unprepared to confront it (leaking umbrella), so tries to ignore it (umbrella) but her inability to do so causes her great sadness (rain, black-and-white). She can’t avoid the thing she is trying to ignore (failure to get the rainwater out of the umbrella), making her feel overwhelmed (sinking), but when her emotional shield is taken away (the umbrella sinking), she can see the solution to her problem (light). None of this ends up being in any way associated with the following episode, so rather than being a Shaft-ian flair of symbolism meant to tie in with the plot, the dream is probably indicative of a deeper, more significant crisis Yuno is facing. What could Yuno be dealing with that she could be hiding, unprepared to confront, and attempting to ignore, and which is impossible to avoid and makes her feel overwhelmed? One possible answer lies in another dream with similar themes that she has in Hidamari Sketch 06, wherein she feels anxiety over her possible lesbian tendencies. Because many female homosexuals report feelings of depression and “hiding from themselves” before coming out, and since so far Yuno has not made any overtures that she would at some point admit to being homosexual, it’s acceptably plausible to extend the same meaning to this dream and conclude that it is also about her coming to terms with her innate yuri tendencies. She gets a 3.

Scene 2: 02:22 - 02:39
C: Yu
Yuno hastily packs. Her response to Miyako’s call is not notably yuri, so she ends with a 0.

Scene 3: 02:40 - 03:04
C: Yu, Mi
Miyako slips on the stairs. Yuno’s attempt to warn her about stairs and subsequent attempt to catch her as she’s falling down all the stairs show concern for her safety that leaves Yuno with a 2 overall (the ensuing physical contact is not yuri in nature since Yuno is trying to catch Miyako, not touching her for the sake of touching her). Miyako thanks her but does not convey significant gratitude, and ends with 1.

Scene 4: 03:05 - 03:38
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno apologizes for tearing Miyako’s uniform. Her insistence on taking responsibility and her desire to repair it show her remorse at having brought Miyako harm, giving her a 2, while Miyako’s assurances that it’s not her fault show her desire for Yuno not to be sad, giving her a 1 since it’s too ambiguously friendly to be yuri.

Scene 5: 03:38 - 04:30
C: Yu, Mi, Mami
Yuno attempts to heal Miyako’s uniform. Mami, an infrequently-seen acquaintance of the two, offers Yuno the use of her sewing set, and Yuno thanks her, a display of friendly terms that gives them each slight bumps. Once Yuno begins to sew a thread into the uniform to fix the strap, Miyako is forced to stop her because she is injuring herself and bleeding onto the thread. Yuno’s self-destructive determination to help Miyako conveys her commitment to ensuring Miyako’s comfort, giving her a large bump, and Miyako’s attempt to stop her shows Miyako’s desire to see Yuno safe from harm. Yuno ends with 3, Miyako with 2, Mami with 1.

Scene 6: 04:30 - 04:53
C: Mi, Yo
Yoshinoya tells Miyako to strip. While her actual intentions are not especially yuri (aside from her willingness to help a female student), her delivery is sufficiently sexual to give her a 3 for the scene. Miyako’s confusion at what she says keeps her at 0.

Scene 7: 04:57 - 05:37
C: Yu, Mi, Mami, Nakayama
Nakayama joins the others after class. She asks if Miyako is okay since Yoshinoya told her to join her after school, displaying a concern for Miyako that helps her slightly. Mami then teasingly asks Nakayama what she thought Yoshinoya meant, likely referring to the lewd atmosphere of the previous scene and altering Mami’s teasing to being a semi-flirtatious comment that gives her a large increase in yurilevels and also gives Nakayama substantial side yurilevels for not objecting. Miyako thanks Mami for the use of the sewing set despite Yuno being the one to use it; since Miyako nonetheless views Mami as being worth gratitude, she gets a boost in yurilevels to end with 1. Mami gets 3, Nakayama gets 2, and Yuno stays at 0.

Scene 8: 05:38 - 06:18
C: Sa, Hi
Sae and Hiro eat lunch. Hiro refers to Yuno and Miyako as “Yuno-san-tachi” (ゆのーさんーたち), suggesting Hiro is closer to Yuno than Miyako, which is in line with the greater intimacy that has been seen in their relationship compared to Hiro and Miyako and as such gives Hiro a slight increase. She gets additional readings for asking Sae what she’s doing after school, showing an interest in her affairs that implies a desire to be part of her plans. When they wonder if it will rain, Sae pulls on a lock of Hiro’s hair and determines there is about a 70 percent chance of rain; while this is probably a joking forecast (unless Sae knows Hiro’s hair well enough to measure its elasticity against humidity), the touching of her hair conveys an intimacy between them that enables such suggestive physical contact, though Hiro’s angry response keeps her from getting readings for it. Sae ends with 3, Hiro with 2.

Scene 9: 06:33 - 07:21
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako have art history class (note: this is not a real class). Yuno asks Miyako to take her to the art prep room, and Miyako agrees, but since Yuno’s question is the product of curiosity about the room and not primarily a desire to be with Miyako, they each only get 1.

Scene 10: 07:22 - 08:14
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako talk about rumors surrounding the art prep room. These rumors, including anyone who enters gets strange candy, males faint, costume parties are held, and time is dilated, don’t give Yuno and Miyako yurilevels since these are not ideas they themselves have come up with and it is not clear that they believe in them. The principal then warns them about curiosity by alluding to “The Chronicles of Narnia,” a reference which is lost on Yuno and Miyako. This lack of awareness is likely more cultural myopia than a rejection of the series’ notoriously Christian (and thus presumably anti-homosexual) morality, so again they don’t get readings for it, and both end with 0.

Scene 11: 08:23 - 09:11
C: Sa, Hi, Nt
Sae and Natsume talk in the rain. She sneaks up close behind Natsume, who, in her surprise, stammers briefly before becoming defensive and insisting she doesn’t need an umbrella. In a surprising show of understanding, Sae gives her umbrella to Natsume anyway, which Natsume takes while protesting that Sae will be defenseless against the rain, showing both a willingness to accept Sae’s aid and a concern for Sae’s comfort. Sae dismisses her fears and proceeds to get under Hiro’s umbrella and head home with her; umbrella sharing is commonly considered a romantic image in Japanese media, so though Sae and Hiro don’t act especially gay under the umbrella they get yurilevels for the symbolism. As they walk away, Natsume wistfully tells herself that she didn’t want to walk home with Sae anyway, conveying that she actually did and again invoking the symbolism of umbrella sharing to show her romantic affection for Sae. She squeezes the handle of Sae’s umbrella to reassure herself and thanks her for the umbrella (借りちゃった, “kari chatta,” more literally “I borrow” [the implication being “thank you for lending”]), a likely transfer of her emotions for Sae to Sae’s umbrella. Overall Natsume is, as has become the custom, strongly conveying feelings for Sae, and gets another 4, with Sae getting 3 and Hiro getting 2.

Scene 12: 09:13 - 11:53
C: Yu, Mi, Yo
Yoshinoya mends Miyako’s uniform. The room has posters of Yoshinoya in lewd uniforms and positions scattered about the walls, but these are likely expressions of Yoshinoya’s vanity rather than suggestions of yuri, so she doesn’t get yurilevels. As Yoshinoya shows Yuno and Miyako around the room, she notes that the male teacher is consigned to a bare desk in the corner of the room while she occupies the rest of the room, which could again be egoism but could also suggest a disdain for men, which together with Yoshinoya’s anger at him entering the room near the end of the scene is a well-supported interpretation that gives Yoshinoya a substantial increase. When she begins to work on Miyako’s uniform, she also notices that Yuno’s button is becoming undone and offers to fix her shirt; her close focus on Yuno’s clothes gives her light yurilevels. Yuno then removes her shirt, replacing it with a huipii which Yuno takes a quick liking to and compliments Yoshinoya for several times, earning yurilevels for her appreciation of Yoshinoya’s handiwork. Yuno and Miyako get slight readings for thanking Yoshinoya as they leave. Each gets 1, while Yoshinoya gets 3.

Scene 13: 11:54 - 12:04
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako go back to class. They each compliment Yoshinoya, but too vaguely and too briefly to get significant readings. Both end at 0.

Scene 14: 12:05 - 12:32
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako return home. Yuno expresses happiness at having the strap be fixed, empathizing with Miyako in a way that gives her slight yurilevels for friendliness. Miyako suggests the two draw later, increasing her yurilevels for her desire to be with and do things together with Yuno. She ends with 1, Yuno with 2.

Scene 15: 12:41 - 12:50
C: Yu
Yuno rummages through her room. Nothing to comment on in this scene.

Scene 16: 12:52 - 13:41
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno asks Miyako for help. At the beginning, Miyako is sketching Yuno’s smiling face, a choice of motif that shows that Miyako has positive enough feelings toward Yuno to want to represent her artistically without being prompted. Yuno arrives and asks Miyako if she has seen her sketchbook, likely going to her first since Yuno and Miyako spend so much time together (itself somewhat yuri for their close friendship), and Miyako quickly invites her in and begins looking around in her belongings, showing a readiness to help Yuno that supports this implied close friendship. Miyako has a reading of 3, Yuno 1.

Scene 17: 13:43 - 14:05
C: Yu, Sa
Yuno and Sae ask each other for help finding something. The scene is mostly a setup for a joke about Sae’s absentmindedness, so Sae doesn’t actually try to help at all aside from one somewhat-useless suggestion about how Yuno can search, and because Yuno didn’t seek out Sae except on Miyako’s suggestion she doesn’t get yurilevels for coming to Sae’s room. Both end with 0.

Scene 18: 14:07 - 14:40
C: Yu, Hi
Yuno asks Hiro for help in finding her sketchbook. Unlike Sae, Hiro lets Yuno into her room and gives her advice Yuno can use, showing a desire to help Yuno. Hiro’s advice reminds her about her danish, prompting her to thank Yuno and offer her half. Overall, Hiro is being much more friendly and open to Yuno than Sae was, and she gets a 2 for her efforts, while Yuno gets a 1 on account of her graciousness for Hiro’s help.

Scene 19: 14:40 - 16:55
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Miyako and Sae join Yuno and Hiro. Upon entering, Miyako apologizes for not being able to find Yuno’s sketchbook, suggesting she was looking for it in her room the entire time between Scene 16 and now and getting moderate readings for her commitment to helping Yuno. Yuno offers Miyako part of her half of the danish, which Miyako blithely eats out of Yuno’s hand similarly to how she did in Hidamari Sketch 03 and getting similar readings for it, though Yuno doesn’t since she is shown to be more shocked than she was in that episode. Hiro also splits part of her half of the danish with Sae, which she agrees to comparatively quietly. Later, Yuno reiterates her affection for the huipii Yoshinoya lent her, getting only a slight increase since she already received significant readings for it. As she goes back to school to keep looking, Sae wishes her good luck and Yuno accepts, giving them each a modest increase for friendliness. They and Hiro get 1 each, while Miyako gets 3.

Scene 20: 16:57 - 18:45
C: Yu, Yo
Yuno looks for her sketchbook at school and runs into Yoshinoya. She seems pleased at being able to see Yuno in street clothes and offers to dance with her, showing an affection for Yuno as a person in addition to a student that is still likely friendly. To help Yuno find the sketchbook, she suggests various places to look in her room before realizing her suggestions are all places pornography could be hidden and suspiciously denying that she was trying to find out if Yuno had any, likely conveying that she indeed was interested in finding out and getting high readings for her curiosity about Yuno’s sexual drive**. Yuno’s denial that she possesses anything of the sort prevents her from getting side yurilevels from Yoshinoya’s impropriety, so she ends with 0 while Yoshinoya gets 4.

Scene 21: 18:49 - 19:27
C: Yu
Yuno finds her sketchbook. No yuri to speak of.

Scene 22: 19:27 - 20:03
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno explains to the others why she lost her sketchbook. Hiro asks her what she drew, and Yuno responds that she drew the other Hidamaris, but her drawing is very crude and unflattering, enough so to provoke Hiro to try to reassure Yuno. The thought counts somewhat, but Yuno’s clear lack of effort keeps her at 1, while Hiro also gets 1 and the others stay at 0.

Scene 23: 20:03 - 20:08
C: Yu, Mi, Hi
Hiro says good night to Yuno and Miyako. Nothing in their speech conveys anything more than politeness, so 0s all around.

Scene 24: 20:10 - 20:24
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako say good night. Each asks what the other is going to do, which, like in Scene 8, shows an interest in each other’s affairs, but does not imply a desire to do more things together since it’s so late, so they don’t get as high readings as Hiro did for the same action in the previous scene. Their wishes of good night convey a stronger warmth toward each other than normal, bordering perilously close on being adorable, bringing them each to 2 overall.

Scene 25: 20:26 - 21:24
C: Yu
Yuno selectively interprets quotes from the day. Her attempt to make everyone’s advice fit the day’s situation includes what the principal said, which shows that Yuno is not trying to retroactively make the women that attempted to help useful but everyone regardless of gender and negates the yurilevels she may have received for this. While in her bed, she draws herself as a clown floating on the sea in an umbrella; unlike in Scene 1, there is no rain, showing the previous depression is not present, and Yuno is dressed as a clown, symbolizing light-heartedness*, so the picture is overall happier than the dream was. Going with the previous interpretation of the dream, and considering she just left a situation of comfort with her friends, it’s possible Yuno is closer to the solution to her sadness (i.e., closer to acceptance of her yuri nature). Overall, she gets a 2.

Scene 26: 21:36 - 21:44
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako head to school. Miyako tries to reassure Yuno about an article of clothing she is missing, again showing her desire for Yuno’s happiness, but since it’s brief and not elaborated on it only gets her a 1. Since Yuno’s response isn’t shown, she stays at 0.

Scene 27: 21:46 - 22:07
C: Yu, Mi, Yo
Yoshinoya returns a piece of clothing Yuno left with her the previous day. Like in Scene 6, their intent is not gay but is portrayed as being very much so, with Yoshinoya and Yuno exchanging coy smiles at the end of the scene and the other students confusedly whispering due to not having context. Additionally, Yoshinoya is shown to have been holding Yuno’s collar fastener close to her breast, furthering the lewd atmosphere and giving Yoshinoya a 4 overall. Yuno gets 2, and Miyako gets 0 for her minimal participation in the scene.

Final Yurilevel Readings: (both Aokis and Umes are out of 4)
Episode: 1.5589A

  1. Natsume: 4.000U
  2. Yoshinoya: 3.413U
  3. Nakayama: 2.000U
  4. Mami: 1.869U
  5. Miyako: 1.582U
  6. Sae: 1.419U
  7. Hiro: 1.390U
  8. Yuno: 0.986U

The three Hidamari Sketch x365 OVAs compare in about the same way the Hidamari Sketch OVAs did: Season One produced two OVAs at 1.3 and 1.5 Aokis, while x365 has produced three at 1.3, 1.4, and 1.5. The seasons themselves are quite different, however, with x365 being generally more consistent in terms of readings.
Character readings for this episode produced some bizarre anomalies: Yoshinoya blew away her previous best of 1.333 Umes with a reading over 3.0, and in general the minor characters far exceeded the Hidamari residents, likely because the episode focused very heavily on problems and solutions instead of character interaction and so the Hidamaris didn’t get as many chances as usual to convey yuri toward each other. Yuno had an especially high scene time this episode compared to the other characters, and as such ended below 1.0. Miyako’s 3 in Scene 19 gave her the top position over the other Hidamaris this episode, though she still trailed 0.3 Umes behind the next character, Mami, while Natsume earned the top spot overall with her fourth 4.0 reading (in only seven episodes, no less, though this is primarily because she only ever appears in one scene per episode).

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 01.

*: Dream interpretations are again supplied by
**: Note: the phrase “Yuno’s sexual drive” is physically painful to write.

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