Friday, February 22, 2013

Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 02

Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 02 includes the six Hidamari residents, Yoshinoya, and the Oribe twins, owners of the Olive salon. Part A shows the welcome party thrown by Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro for Nori and Nazuna, while Part B is a flashback to Yuno and Miyako going to a salon.

Scene 1: 00:40 - 01:31
C: Yo
Yoshinoya declares her love of love. This love is mostly reflexive and does not reflect on any females, her students or otherwise, and so she gets a 0.

Scene 2: 03:07 - 03:44
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno wakes up and talks with Miyako on their balconies. Generally characters on separate balconies are not considered as being in separate locations (otherwise a new scene would begin every time a character speaks), which is why this dialogue is only one scene. Their generally warm air and vague comments toward the welcoming party they’re planning for Nori and Nazuna give them each 2.

Scene 3: 03:51 - 03:59
C: Na
Nazuna sits alone in her room, staring at a pair of scissors. It was quickly established in the previous episode that Nazuna is prone to depression, and while she conveys no yuri here for it, in the future other characters may receive yurilevels if they try to cheer her up and/or prevent her suicide.

Scene 4: 04:03 - 04:56
C: No, Na
Nazuna shares a letter with Nori. Much of the scene revolves around Nazuna’s use of honorifics for the other Hidamaris. She refers to Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro collectively as “sempai-tachi” (先輩ーたち), a polite designation which suggests that she has not become comfortable with them yet. She also calls Nori “Nori-san” (乃莉ーさん), employing a fairly standard and somewhat polite honorific, even after Nori tells her it’s fine to just call her “Nori,” a practice referred to as “yobisute” (呼び捨て) which denotes a very strong bond between two people and would almost never be employed when they barely know each other. Nazuna is too embarrassed to drop the honorific, though she does try, and she and Nori ultimately laugh this off. Her inability to open up to the others means Nazuna stays at 0, while Nori’s openness to her and willingness to become very close very quickly suggests an interest in a personal relationship with her that, regardless of whether or not is romantic, is yuri enough to earn her a 4.

Scene 5: 05:01 - 05:05
C: No, Na
Nori and Nazuna head to Yuno’s room. Nazuna seems wary about the others’ intentions, questioning why they would ask her to come to them rather than approach her, and her lack of trust in them holds her at 0. Nori’s brief “ne” (ね, “ne”) could be either agreement that the others are not to be trusted or an attempt to engender good will in Nazuna by showing solidarity, but the inability to be certain prevents her from getting yurilevels, keeping her at 0 as well.

Scene 6: 05:07 -10:01
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris hold a welcoming party for Nori and Nazuna. Nori and Nazuna walk in to see Sae bringing a ladle down hard onto Miyako’s head; Sae tries to explain it as a necessary punishment for eating strawberries while Miyako doesn’t seem to mind, suggesting she has become desensitized to Sae’s abuse (which could really go either way as far as yuri is concerned, but definitely hurts Sae). Once everyone is settled in, Miyako asks Sae to give the same explanation of Hidamari Apartments she gave Yuno and Miyako the previous year, showing a fondness for her memories of their welcoming party that extends to a fondness for the other Hidamaris, helping Miyako slightly. Nazuna and Nori eat cake and compliment its taste, with Nori asking if the other Hidamaris made it (this is likely saying it’s good since she’s smiling, and not a derision of it as amateurish). Hiro says everyone helped, though Yuno and Miyako apologize to her for the trouble, suggesting Hiro took most of the initiative in making it, giving her readings both for making the cake for Nori and Nazuna and for trying to diffuse credit to the others. Nazuna asks if Yuno and Miyako got a welcome party, and Nori asks what it was like, helping both for their interest in Hidamari affairs; Yuno amusedly remembers that Miyako took Sae and Hiro’s invitation as a challenge, but Miyako, in being able to remember the exact wording of the letter, seems to harbor lingering ill will toward them. Sae and Hiro mention that they also had a welcoming party and smile at each other, similarly getting readings for their fond reminiscing of shared memories. Miyako then reveals her conversation die, a large box intended to foster introductory conversation. While the intention is to make Nori and Nazuna closer to the others more quickly, the execution is lacking (the first side asks the roller if they like hamburgers), limiting the yurilevels Miyako gets from this. Hiro gives the die to Nazuna but refers to her as “one of you” (一年生, “ichinensei” [meaning “freshmen”]), conveying that she does not yet care enough to differentiate the new Hidamaris by name and negatively affecting her readings; Nazuna at this time is staring in Nori’s direction and smiling but is alarmed by Hiro as if she was lost in thought, vaguely implying she was focused on Nori and getting a moderate increase for it. Nori encourages her to throw the die when Nazuna hesitates, at which point Nazuna agrees to do so, so together with the previous item Nazuna is implied to value Nori at least somewhat highly. The side she gets is the jackpot, where Yuno and Miyako clap and give her cookies; since the cookies probably couldn’t have been planned for Nazuna since anyone could have rolled it, they don’t receive yurilevels for it. Yuno then gives the die to Nori, actually using her name instead of Hiro, and Nori is prompted to discuss her hobbies. Nori goes on at length about her computer-related activities, giving her yurilevels for opening up quickly to people who are still relative strangers. She also mentions being broke, which Miyako smiles at, suggesting hope for a kinship based on poverty. The last person to throw the die is Yuno, who prompts Nazuna to ask the others a question. Nazuna again dithers, but this time Miyako is the one to successfully encourage her to continue and here receives yurilevels for it comparable to Nori’s earlier. Nazuna bashfully asks if school is fun, and Yuno and Miyako each assure her it is, citing Yoshinoya as an example: Miyako cheerily says Yoshinoya is busty and likes to strip while putting her arm around Yuno’s shoulder, overall giving Miyako a very lewd air but nonetheless increasing her readings for both physical contact with Yuno and her enjoyment of Yoshinoya’s body. Nori and Nazuna, however, are terrified to hear of this, possibly hurting their readings from their revulsion at the promise of nude women. Hiro wraps up the party by reminding Nori and Nazuna that they should go to bed early for their entrance ceremony the next day, and they respond with a yes in unison like children responding to their mother, giving all three a slight increase for being part of the Hidamari family. Before leaving, Nazuna asks Yuno if she can ask another question and, after Yuno doesn’t respond, asks if living alone is lonely, to which Yuno replies that it isn’t, likely because she is with the other Hidamaris. This response helps her since it shows her happiness at being with the others, though not necessarily romantically. Final readings* give Miyako and Nazuna 4, Yuno and Nori 3, Hiro 2, and Sae 1.

Scene 7: 10:11 - 10:31
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro react to Nori and Nazuna. Yuno is contentedly smiling in the direction of the door, showing her warm reception of Nori and Nazuna. She expresses a concern that they didn’t get to talk much with each other, though Sae assures her they’ll have lots of time to do so; both seem to suggest a desire to know Nori and Nazuna better. Miyako’s second round with the die, using a side labeled “things we can talk about now” (今だから言えること, “ima dakara ieru koto”), is unclear in its intent, but the others don’t join in so it’s never explained and as such is too vague to help or hurt Miyako. Yuno ends with 2, Sae with 1, the others with 0.

Scene 8: 10:35 - 11:07
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro wake up after sleeping with each other. Nori and Nazuna left soon after 9:00 PM the previous night, but Sae mentions that they went to bad late so it’s likely Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro were talking for at least a few hours, giving everyone minor yurilevels to start off with. They’re also all shown to be have been sleeping in the area around Yuno’s bed: Yuno and Miyako share the bed proper, while Sae and Hiro were together on the floor, with both pairs sharing one blanket. Further analyzing this image, Yuno is near the edge of her bed, possibly to give Miyako space, while Hiro is positioned so that it’s likely she was curled up close to Sae (it’s difficult to be certain since Sae has already repositioned herself to be sitting upright and leaning against Yuno’s leg), and nobody has changed their clothes from the previous night so there is no implication they changed into pajamas together. The sleeping arrangements again correspond with the pairings used most frequently in the show, and Yuno gets additional readings for letting Miyako into her bed rather than everybody sleeping on the floor, as does Hiro for her implied desire to be physically close with Sae. They each end with 4, Sae with 3 (the extra increase is from her additional contact with Yuno), and Miyako with 2.

Scene 9: 11:08 - 12:39
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
Nori shares important news with Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro. She still refers to them as “sempai,” so any bonding in the previous scene seems not to have fully stuck, hurting Nori for her reluctance to warm to the others. Hiro, still mostly asleep, stumbles toward Nori and takes hold of her sides as she mumbles about going to the entrance ceremony, seeming somewhat maternal; the implication that Hiro naturally reverts to acting motherly in a state of low consciousness suggests her role in the Hidamari family unit is strongly ingrained in her and gives her a large increase. Nori is shocked and displeased by this, reinforcing that she’s still not fully comfortable around Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro (her comfort around Nazuna is another story that will be discussed later this scene). Sae, meanwhile, grabs onto Hiro and begins rhythmically pulling to loosen Hiro’s grip before lightly smacking her cheek to wake her up, suggesting she has experience with dealing with a drowsy Hiro or is most suited to deal with her, and either way getting a significant increase. Once Hiro is under control, Nori brings Nazuna into the scene, who is embarrassed at all the attention to her; in general, Nazuna’s constant discomfort seems to be intrinsic to her character rather than a response to the other Hidamaris, so it won’t negatively impact her. Nazuna then explains why she is in General Education, delivering a sad story about her parents abandoning her and her general failure as a person; notably, she only starts to cry when she mentions her mother leaving her, not showing a similar reaction to talking about her father leaving. While Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro respond with surprise at how her parents acted, ignoring Nazuna’s open weeping, Nori actually tries to comfort her by telling her there must be plenty of things she’s good at. Nazuna’s reaction is a breathless “Nori-chan...” that vaguely sounds romantic, an impression strengthened by the rows of hearts behind Nazuna’s face that appear after Nori’s initial smack to calm her down and the breaking of another heart when Nori admits that she doesn’t know what Nazuna actually would be good at. Here, Nori seems much closer to Nazuna than she does to the others, and Nazuna seems to be suggesting a reciprocal openness for Nori, which seems to hint that a third relationship dynamic, similar to the ones that exist between Yuno and Miyako as well as Sae and Hiro, is forming between them, and giving them each increases for this closeness. Nazuna ends with 4, while Hiro and Nori get 3, Sae gets 2, and Yuno and Miyako end with 0 for not significantly contributing to the scene.

Scene 10: 12:42 - 13:44
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro talk about Nazuna. Miyako notes that nobody thought to ask whether Nazuna was in General Education or not, reinforcing the general disinterest in her shown in the previous scene and similarly hurting their readings. In responding to her life story, Hiro wonders if Nazuna will be alright on her own (showing some concern for her well-being), Sae feels sorry for her (pity doesn’t necessarily imply the desire to help her, so she doesn’t get an increase here), and Miyako is confident she’ll get used to living on her own (a trust in Nazuna’s self-reliance that gives her a slight increase). Hiro also says that she thinks Nazuna’s hair is cute and wants to know where it’s done, conveying her admiration for Nazuna’s physical appearance; Hiro is in some ways treating Nazuna as a child by complimenting her hair and wondering if she’ll be okay on her own, suggesting she is already inducting Nazuna into the Hidamari family unit and giving her a moderate bump. When Yuno speculates that Nazuna’s hair is done at the Olive salon near the train station, Miyako says hearing the name brings back memories. Yuno then asks Miyako when it was they went, so she assumes that Miyako is speaking of her memories of when she and Yuno went last summer and not that Miyako could be talking about another time she went to Olive, showing her assumption that Miyako remembers everything they do together (a possible projection?). Considering Miyako’s lackadaisical personality and the length of her hair, this is a reasonable assumption and Yuno only gets a slight increase for it. Yuno and Miyako end with 1, Hiro with 2, and Sae with 0.

Scene 11: 13:59 - 14:12
C: Yu
Yuno brushes her hair. It’s unknown what compels her to brush her hair, but there is no evidence to suggest she wants to improve her appearance for a particular person so this cannot be assumed. Her alarm at hearing Miyako scream can be concern for something threatening Miyako, which would suggest a yuri desire for her safety, or concern about a larger threat that could impact her own safety, which would be mostly reflexive and not convey yuri, so she’s limited here to a 1.

Scene 12: 14:16 - 14:58
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno checks on Miyako. She worriedly asks her if anything is wrong and is then terrified when she sees Miyako’s hair on fire. This concern, as stated when Yuno expresses her relief that Miyako wasn’t burned, is explicitly a fear for Miyako’s safety, though Yuno is limited in the increase she gets for it since this fear could be friendly or yuri in nature. Yuno also suggests that they go to a salon since she’s wanted to go to one for a while, though Miyako is too passive in her response to get yurilevels for it. She ends with 0, and Yuno with 2.

Scene 13: 14:59 - 15:44
C: Yu, Mi, Hi
Yuno and Miyako ask Hiro for a salon recommendation. Hiro suggests the Olive salon, naming it because she and Sae always go there (presumably together). She looks for a customer card to lend them, only to become lost in scores of other point cards in her wallet, which Miyako compares to her being a “housewife” (主婦, “shufu”); the implication of her being Sae’s wife is tangential at best, coming primarily from her reference to Sae earlier in the scene, but is present enough to give Hiro a 2, while Miyako also gets a 2 for making the connection and Yuno gets a 1 for her shows of gratitude toward Hiro throughout.

Scene 14: 15:46 - 15:56
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako arrive at the salon. The quick nod they share before entering shows that they consider the new experience of an upscale hairdresser something to be shared in with each other, a gesture of friendship that gives them each 1.

Scene 15: 15:56 - 19:28
C: Yu, Mi, Oribe Twins
Yuno and Miyako have their haircuts. For the purposes of this episode, the hairdressers are treated as separate characters, with the first to be shown designated Oribe Twin 1 (the one with longer hair on her right side) and the second designated Oribe Twin 2 (the one with longer hair on her left side). However, the twins appear to switch at least once in the scene, so either they switched who they were working on or it’s a production mistake; either way, since this makes them virtually indistinguishable, they have to be treated as one character. Yuno is initially afraid by their appearance and nearly leaves the premises, a discomfort around women that hurts her readings. She then apologizes by complimenting elements of the salon, including its name, but whether this is meant to compliment the owners or to be a polite customer is uncertain. When Yuno and Miyako each tell their hairdresser what they want for their cut (Yuno to be more mature, Miyako to be a classical beauty), each expresses uncertainty that it will be possible, a disapproval of how they look that will keep their readings down. Yuno and Miyako each try to encourage their hairdresser, but again this could be indicative of a customer-employee relationship instead of anything yuri. Yuno notes that Miyako is very ticklish without giving any reason for why she knows this, and the implication that Yuno has at some point tickled Miyako gives her a significant increase for the suggestion of physical intimacy. After Miyako’s haircut is finished, the point of view switches from a neutral third-person view to Yuno’s impression of what’s happening, and Miyako is seen with sparkling, flowing hair that Yuno expresses her approval of, again helping Yuno; Miyako’s reaction is fairly coy and partly hidden by a convenient curtain, but she seems to accept Yuno’s praise. She leaves, but says she will wait for Yuno, which is sufficiently inconveniencing to be somewhat yuri. Miyako ends with 2, Yuno with 3, and the Oribe twins with 0.

Scene 16: 19:28 - 20:00
C: Yu, One Oribe Twin
Yuno asks for the salon window blinds to be shut. The hairdresser shuts the blind, but similarly to the previous scene she’s likely doing this because Yuno’s a customer rather than out of any desire to see Yuno comfortable, so both end with 0.

Scene 17: 20:00 - 20:07
C: Yu, Mi
Miyako stares at Yuno. Her leer is primarily out of confusion, but considering Yuno was seemingly nearly blinded in the previous scene she may also be checking to see if Yuno can still see, suggesting a possible concern for her health. Yuno, for her part, sees Miyako emerge from a totally white background reminiscent of an angel appearing before her, though she also sees Miyako as a red figure against black reminiscent of an image of Hell. The rainbow behind them in the last part of the scene suggests that in both cases, the more yuri explanation is accurate, so each get 2.

Scene 18: 20:08 - 20:13
C: Yu, Mi, Oribe Twins
Yuno and Miyako leave the salon. There is no indication of anything more than politeness between any of them, so everyone ends with 0.

Scene 19: 20:13 - 20:23
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako walk home. They don’t interact with each other and as such neither of them has the opportunity to gain yurilevels. Both end with 0.

Scene 20: 20:25 - 21:26
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Sae and Hiro respond to Yuno and Miyako’s haircuts. Hiro is effusive in her praise for Miyako’s hair, lavishing her with compliments and hailing her straight perm, with Miyako being receptive of these remarks and returning them by saying she’s sure people are jealous of Hiro’s curly hair. Both get moderate to high yurilevels for their back-and-forth complimenting. Miyako offers to cut Sae’s hair when Sae worries it’s getting too long, but Sae quickly rejects her, doing the same to Yuno when she offers as well. Hiro ends with 3, Miyako with 2, and Yuno and Sae with 0.

Scene 21: 21:32 - 21:39
C: Mi
Miyako removes her shirt. While the scene is quite lewd, with a gratuitous focus on Miyako’s nude torso, this lewdness is not directed toward any particular subject, and as such Miyako gets a 0.

Scene 22: 21:42 - 22:07
C: Yu
Yuno takes a bath. This scene is again very lewd, even more so since Yuno additionally asks if she’s becoming more mature while sliding a hand between her legs, but again this is not directed toward anything and similarly Yuno receives a 0.

Final Yurilevel Readings: (both Aokis and Umes are out of 4):
Episode: 1.6713A

  1. Nazuna: 3.424U
  2. Nori: 3.092U
  3. Hiro: 2.289U
  4. Miyako: 2.181U
  5. Yuno: 1.994U
  6. Sae: 1.056U
  7. Oribe Twins: 0.000U
    Yoshinoya: 0.000U

Only two episodes into Hoshimittsu and we have the fifth-highest yuri episode of the entire investigation, with newcomers Nori and Nazuna each registering above 3.0 Umes, making this the second episode to achieve such a feat for regular characters (Hidamari Sketch OVA 02 was the first, with Sae and Hiro recorded as having 3.270 and 3.209 respectively). Indeed, except for Sae’s 4.0 in Hidamari Sketch 08, Nazuna has the highest reading of a Hidamari resident yet recorded in the investigation. Readings for this episode were very much affected by Scenes 6 and 15, which combined totaled half of the episode’s scene time, and though Scene 15 wasn’t especially gay, Scene 6 skewed readings upward by heavily focusing on the Hidamari’s attempts to welcome Nori and Nazuna. Their yurilevels for this episode were impacted by primarily only appearing in that scene and a few others, so the high readings they got from it (and from their other major scene, Scene 12) is the primary factor for why they scored so highly. Similarly, Sae’s low reading in Scene 6 held her at the bottom of the character ranking, while Yuno barely missed scoring above 2.0, once again cursed by high scene time. While a very high yuri episode, it also included significant lewd aspects, but as stated the high readings are not primarily a reflection of this and the two appear to be merely correlative.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 03.

*: This was included as a footnote since it’s not directly related to the scene, but the write-up for Scene 6 is easily one of the longest, if not the longest, scene analyses recorded in the investigation thus far, and it’s not even especially memorably gay. Again, part of this is because of it’s sheer length of nearly five minutes, but in general write-ups have been getting longer, and I believe this is because there genuinely is more to talk about. This isn’t an ironclad scientific observation, but the growing number of things to note in analyzing the episodes does suggest yuri content is increasing, at least qualitatively.

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