Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 05

Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 05 includes the six Hidamari residents, Yoshinoya, Kuwahara, Mami, Nakayama, and former Yamabuki student Arisawa. Part A focuses on Yamabuki High School’s physical exam day, while Part B is a flashback to Yuno and Arisawa’s first meeting.

Scene 01: 00:03 - 00:30
C: Yo
Yoshinoya debates whether or not to eat. The entire scene is her staring at food, then walking away, so there is no yuri to be had here.

Scene 02: 00:35 - 01:03
C: Yo
Yoshinoya decides not to eat. Again, no yuri is conveyed.

Scene 03: 03:26 - 03:38
C: Yu
Yuno wakes up late. Her concern at sleeping in is concern about missing part of her now-daily radio gymnastic exercises, and while the radio exercises are starting to become a social activity Yuno could also simply be health-conscious, a possible conjecture since she began doing the exercises alone. The ambiguity results in an averaging of the possibilities, which gives Yuno a 1.

Scene 04: 03:46 - 04:28
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno joins Miyako for radio gymnastics. Yuno apologizes for being late and asks Miyako if she’s cold in her T-shirt, both of which are somewhat light yuri indications of friendship. Much of the rest of the scene is spent establishing the episode’s premise and joking about Yuno’s height, so overall Yuno ends with 1 while Miyako gets 0.

Scene 05: 04:28 - 05:02
C: Yu, Mi, No
Nori joins Yuno and Miyako for gymnastics. While Nori gives no indications as to why specifically she is joining Yuno and Miyako, her reasons can probably be assumed to be similar to Miyako’s (for fun and to be social), so she gets about a 1 (Miyako has been getting 0s in these scenes since establishing the routine is what can be considered yuri, but the routine itself can be better attributed to being a habit and not a conscious decision). Yuno’s willingness to give Nori the center stop, separating Yuno from Miyako, shows either a notable consideration for her request for space or an eagerness to include her in the radio exercises, which either way gives her a 1 also. Miyako is again mostly out of focus, staying at 0.

Scene 06: 05:07 - 05:42
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako wait to go to school for their physical exams. Yuno is distressed by Miyako’s indulgence in eating a bowl of rice, and in her suffering reaches out toward the rice bowl. The angle at which her despair is recorded makes it appear that she is reaching out to touch Miyako’s arm, though this physically isn’t possible: Yuno is later shown to be behind Miyako and is too far to her left to feasibly be able to touch her; consequently Yuno and Miyako do not receive yurilevels for physical contact. Miyako tries to convince Yuno to eat, telling her that skipping meals to keep her weight down invalidates her physical exam results; while Miyako offering food in general is yuri given her relationship with food, this rationale emphasizes her exam results over her health and contributes much less to her overall yurilevel than a statement made without this reason would. Both then realize that, if Yuno is skipping a meal to stay trim, Hiro is in grave danger, a concern for Hiro’s well-being that’s significant enough that each end at 2.

Scene 07: 05:46 - 06:28
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno and Miyako check on Hiro. They become afraid at seeing a weakened Hiro lie on the ground, and their fear for her safety shows a desire for her to be well that gives them each moderate increases. Sae then arrives, and having prepared for this situation (itself helping her for her ability to predict Hiro’s actions displaying a thorough knowledge of how she acts) she holds out a medium-sized lollipop for Hiro to help her regain her energy, and by trying to help Hiro she again raises her yurilevels. Hiro, fully restored, is jubilant in her gratitude for Sae, while Sae merely takes her appreciation in stride. Hiro ends with 2, Sae with 3, and Yuno and Miyako also get 2 each.

Scene 08: 06:29 - 07:12
C: Yu, Mi, No, Na
Yuno and Miyako go to school for their physical exams while Nori and Nazuna return from theirs. As in previous episodes this season, “welcome home” (おかえり, “okaeri”) is used to refer to Hidamari Apartments by one of its residents, which here is Miyako, but it’s not reciprocated by a “I’m home” (ただいま, “tadaima”) as is the standard response, so only Miyako benefits from the associations between Hidamari and a home and its residents as a family. Yuno notices that Nazuna is happy, which comes as a surprise to Nazuna due to her perceived difficulty with expressing emotion, giving Yuno yurilevels for her ability to understand Nazuna’s moods. Nazuna announces that she grew by two millimeters, which makes Yuno and Miyako first happy and then disappointed, and their emotional connection to Nazuna’s growth gives them each a slight increase so that both end with 2 while Nori and Nazuna remain at 0.

Scene 09: 07:16 - 07:44
C: Yu, Mi, Ku
Yuno and Miyako begin their physical exams. Miyako asks Yuno how tall she was last year, a slight display of curiosity about her results that would be very difficult to spin as yuri and as such doesn’t give her a significant increase. Kuwahara, as usual, is acting strictly professional and is not in a position in this scene to attain yurilevels, so overall everyone ends with 0.

Scene 10: 07:44 - 08:18
C: Yu, Mi, Ku, Mami, Nakayama
Mami and Nakayama join Yuno and Miyako. Everyone says hello to each other in a gesture of familiarity, though not necessarily closeness, they all get very slight bumps. Kuwahara comes to join them, resting a hand on Nakayama’s shoulder and intuiting that she’s worried her results indicate that she’s overweight before reassuring her she’ll be fine. Here her friendliness toward Nakayama is not a required part of her duties as a nurse, but rather represent her going above her responsibilities to comfort Nakayama, raising her to 2. Nakayama responds mostly with surprise but seems to respect Kuwahara’s efforts, giving her a 1. The others aren’t yuri enough in their niceties to get anything other than 0s.

Scene 11: 08:21 - 08:38
C: Yu, Mi, Ku
Yuno receives her eye exam. Again Kuwahara is focused on carrying out her duties as nurse, while Yuno is mostly focused on answering Kuwahara’s questions. Miyako treats Yuno’s answers as a game, though this doesn’t especially convey any yuri tendencies on Miyako’s part, being a simple diversion to spend the time. Upon learning Miyako has injured herself from her game, Yuno sounds confused but not alarm, a lack of concern that holds her at 0 for the scene. Miyako and Kuwahara stay at 0 as well.

Scene 12: 08:42 - 08:57
C: Yu, Mi
Miyako does impressions. It could be an attempt to impress Yuno with her impersonation talents, a desire to make Yuno approve of her that is just possible enough to give her a 2. Yuno’s implication of disappointment suggests she expected better, a high enough expectation for Miyako that belies an overall affirmative opinion of her that raises her to 1.

Scene 13: 08:58 - 09:26
C: Yu, Mi, Yo, Mami, Nakayama
Yoshinoya attempts to reassure Yuno about her results. Mami initially appears bothered by Yoshinoya’s arrival, which is well-justified since Yoshinoya quickly moves to fondle Yuno while telling her she has grown in the last year. While she probably means to say that Yuno has matured in spirit, Yuno and Mami interpret her comments to refer to Yuno’s chest; Yuno responds by rubbing her breasts in front of the others and wondering aloud about their change, while Mami jokingly asks Yoshinoya if she’s committing sexual harassment again (note the use of “again” [まだ, “mada”], suggesting this is something the other have come to expect from Yoshinoya). Yoshinoya’s act of assault raises her to 4, Yuno’s exhibitionism raises her to 3, Mami’s accusations of improper intent similarly raise her to 3, and Miyako and Nakayama’s inaction keep them both at 0.

Scene 14: 09:28 - 09:43
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako finish their physical exams. Miyako suggests they go home; since Nori and Nazuna’s early return in Scene 8 suggests that Yuno and Miyako were going to go home anyway, Miyako is essentially asking for confirmation that she and Yuno will walk home together, and the insecurity about their friendship combined with the desire to spend time with her balance out to give her a 1. Yuno wonders if Hiro was able to hold out long enough to make it to the physical exam, a concern for Hiro that is justified enough that Yuno’s worry is not overprotective (and implicitly yuri), so she remains at 0.

Scene 15: 09:46 - 12:23
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris eat together after the physical exams. Yuno and Nazuna each comment on Hiro’s good mood, pleasing Hiro; their ability to recognize both her happiness and the causes for her happiness give them each moderate readings, while Hiro gets roughly corresponding yurilevels for her delight at her dieting success being recognized. Nori, meanwhile, points out the logical flaw that Hiro did not really lose weight, getting a moderate reduction for nearly derailing Hiro’s satisfaction, and Sae responds by placing her hand on Nori’s head and telling her not to mention these things to Hiro. Sae acting to defend Hiro’s good mood can be read as a protective impulse toward Hiro since she wants to keep Hiro happy, and combined with her physical contact with Nori she gets a large increase here. Nori and Nazuna later compliment Hiro’s cooking, getting slight increases since these can be seen as a reflection on Hiro herself. Miyako notes that Yuno is always relaxed by a good meal, and Sae comments that the same happens to Miyako, giving both Miyako and Sae higher readings for their understanding of someone else’s emotions. Yuno then gets a phone call from Arisawa, who the others appear to be unfamiliar with but that Yuno is excited and glad to speak to; hving friends outside of Hidamari has in the past significantly raises Yuno’s readings for her ability to form relationships outside of her neighbors and gives her a similar increase here. Nazuna ends the scene by apologizing to the others for taking a long time to eat. Hiro replies by reassuring her that she can eat at her own pace, which successfully raises Nazuna’s spirits; both get slight increases for their predominantly friendly interaction. Overall, Yuno, Sae, and Hiro get 3s, Miyako and Nazuna end with 2s, and Nori with 1.

Scene 16: 12:30 - 13:28
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno finds her phone is missing. She tries to show the Hidamaris a picture she took of a dog, but can’t find her phone; the other Hidamaris (at this point in time being only Miyako, Sae, and Hiro) become tense when she can’t locate it, showing an expectation for Yuno to deliver on her promises and thus a trust in Yuno that isn’t necessarily yuri in nature and as such doesn’t strongly affect anyone’s readings. Upon Yuno realizing she has misplaced it, Sae offers to call Yuno’s phone to look for it, and her offer to try to actively solve the dilemma gives her a 1 overall while the others stay at 0.

Scene 17: 13:28 - 14:06
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, Arisawa
Yuno contacts the current holder of her phone. While Sae and Yuno are fearful and hesitant, the person at the other end is much calmer and is relieved to hear Yuno claim the phone, a receptiveness to speak to her that is not initially reciprocated on the Hidamari end. As Yuno and the phone holder speak, Yuno remarks that her voice is soothing, and the scene becomes correspondingly warmer in color and more gentle musically, conveying Yuno’s comfort in hearing the voice. This comfort gives Yuno a 2, while Arisawa at the other end gets a 1 and the others stay at 0.

Scene 18: 14:06 - 14:26
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
The Hidamaris discuss Yuno’s phone. Hiro is happy that Yuno’s phone hasn’t been lost or stolen, an empathy for her that’s not especially strong or focused on and as such only gives her a 1. The rest don’t have any moments of noticeable yuri and stay at 0.

Scene 19: 14:31 - 14:44
C: Yu
Yuno goes to join the holder of her phone. At this point, Yuno is primarily going to get her phone, and does not mention meeting with the woman who is currently in possession of it. Her lack of desire to meet this woman holds her at 0.

Scene 20: 14:45 - 16:49
C: Yu, Arisawa
Yuno is introduced to Arisawa, a third-year student. Yuno’s first sight of Arisawa prompts gentle, peaceful music to begin playing while Yuno herself appears awestruck; since she’s barely yet spoken to Arisawa and hasn’t really been introduced to her, this can only be Yuno responding to Arisawa’s physical appearance, so right off the bat she has very high readings for considering Arisawa beautiful (enough so to accidentally trip over the doorway). Arisawa introduces herself and returns Yuno’s phone, making a brief hand-to-hand connection, the resultant yurilevels from which are intensified by their relative unfamiliarity. While Arisawa and Yuno talk, the scene moves to a view of various body parts of Arisawa in succession such as her hand and eye, at one point even positioned to look up her skirt (her legs remain closed), and since Yuno is the primary audience stand-in character these shots can be considered to represent her own viewpoint, so she again gets increases for seeming to admiringly focus on Arisawa’s body. Though they’ve just met, Arisawa seems to quickly open up to Yuno, talking about various concerns as a third-year student before asking to draw Yuno as a change of pace from still life images. Yuno is not as quick to warm up, seeming somewhat uncomfortable throughout and becoming embarrassed when Arisawa asks to draw her, so she doesn’t get significant reciprocal yurilevels from these interactions. She consents to being drawn, pleasing Arisawa, who excitedly commands her to strip. Yuno screams in horror at the prospect of revealing herself to Arisawa, knocking her down to 3, while Arisawa’s rapidly-formed warmth toward Yuno raises her to 4.

Scene 21: 16:49 - 17:01
C: Yo
Yoshinoya takes off her shirt. Though in her vanity she appreciates the female form, as stated previously in the investigation this self-centered nature cannot be extrapolated to an affection for women in general. She gets a 0.

Scene 22: 17:01 - 19:31
C: Yu, Arisawa
Yuno and Arisawa continue to talk. Arisawa explains to a deeply embarrassed Yuno that a command to strip is an in-joke among the third-year students, though as a first-year Yuno would have no reason to know this; this is further indication of how quickly Arisawa has opened up to her. She continues to talk about her cram school and then her hopes for college, which continues to leave Yuno awestruck at her, so both get similar increases to these analagous acts in Scene 20. Toward the end, Arisawa finishes her drawing of Yuno and hands it to Yuno to see. The shot switches again to what could be seen as Yuno’s viewpoint: beginning with a close-up view that captures how the picture is nothing more than a quick sketch (guiding lines are still included, shading is incomplete), the image pans out, becoming more detailed as it does so, until becoming an impeccably detailed and well-done image of Yuno. If this is how Yuno is viewing the picture, then this would suggest that she is fixing Arisawa’s picture in her mind to be better, possibly out of a desire to view Arisawa as a skilled and talented artist and consequently showing her admiration of Arisawa. Yuno profusely compliments Arisawa on her drawing while the entire scene glows red, conveying Yuno’s overwhelming happiness at seeing Arisawa picture of her. Arisawa becomes deeply embarrassed by Yuno’s compliments, raising her to a 4 overall, while Yuno similarly gets a 4.

Scene 23: 19:34 - 20:14
C: Yu, Arisawa
Yuno and Arisawa part outside the school. Yuno tells Arisawa it was fun to be with her, and Arisawa reciprocates her feelings by telling her that drawing her was the most fun she’d had with art in a long while, a display of mutual and rapidly-formed affection that gives Yuno moderate readings and Arisawa higher ones. Before Arisawa departs, Yuno shouts out to her one last time and wishes her good luck on her exams, which Arisawa accepts. Yuno’s well wishes are also possibly a desire to avoid separating from Arisawa and prolong their interaction as much as possible, a strongly yuri explanation that is plausible enough to raise Yuno to 3. Arisawa similarly gets 3.

Scene 24: 20:14 - 20:40
C: Yu, Sa
Yuno experiences the afterglow from being with Arisawa. Her perfectly contented smile, together with the calm music in the background, shows the total peace that Arisawa has imparted in Yuno, and together with Yuno’s affectionate usage of the nickname Arisawa referred to Hidamari Apartments by to Sae (who has apparently not heard of it) she is very strongly conveying an overwhelmingly warm impression of Arisawa that raises her to a 4. Meanwhile, Sae’s worry that Yuno hasn’t returned to Hidamari in a long time and relief that she is safe show a concern for her that gives Sae a 2.

Scene 25: 20:40 - 21:30
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno rejoins the other Hidamaris. She returns by telling the others “I’m home,” after which each Hidamari in sequence says “welcome home” (using the same common phrases as in Scene 08), and everyone gets a moderate increase for again implicitly considering each other family. Hiro is happy that Yuno found her phone, an empathy for Yuno that is not particularly strong enough to have a noticeable effect on her readings. Yuno happily shows everyone a picture of the picture Arisawa drew of her, showing an appreciation for Arisawa’s art that nobody else seems to share, as they ask to see the picture of the dog that Yuno promised them. Yuno ends with 2, the others with 1 each.

Scene 26: 21:33 - 22:06
C: Yu
Yuno bathes. She expresses happiness that she found her phone before she expresses happiness that she met Arisawa; having the phone take precedence over Arisawa hurts Yuno’s yurilevels since it implies she values her own possessions more than those around her. While she thinks about her meeting with Arisawa, the scene moves from a focus on her face and head to various erogenous zones, notably her chest and behind, associating the emotions resulting from meeting Arisawa with lewdness and consequently raising Yuno’s readings strongly enough to overcome her initial drop and leave her with 4 overall.

Final Yurilevel Readings: (both Aokis and Umes are out of 4)
Episode: 1.9667A

  1. Arisawa: 3.562U
  2. Sae: 3.064U
  3. Yuno: 2.278U
  4. Hiro: 1.712U
  5. Nazuna: 1.570U
  6. Mami: 1.354U
  7. Yoshinoya: 1.178U
  8. Miyako: 1.035U
  9. Kuwahara: 0.860U
  10. Nori: 0.816U
  11. Nakayama: 0.548U

With five episodes of xHoshimittsu completed, there is an unmistakable trend toward higher levels of yuri. This episode in particular provides two interesting comparisons with the previous seasons that suggest this trend: the usage of “tadaima”/”okaeri” and the character of Arisawa. “Tadaima” and “okaeri” are domestic phrases typically used among family members, as has been explained a few times now, and in using them toward one another the Hidamaris convey a familial, intimate relationship. Their first usage in Hidamari Sketch was in Hidamari Sketch x365 13, and there Yuno’s reaction to her desire to use the phrase “I’m home” was a major thread running through the episode, one that eventually gave the emotional climax of the episode. So far in xHoshimittsu, “I’m home” has been used four times, including twice in this episode alone (once in the previous year, retroactively gaying up the past), and has never been given similar gravitas. The Hidamaris consider it normal now to think of each other as a family living in one house, a strong bond that has only been present in these last few episodes and one that reflects an increasing comfort among them. For Arisawa, her best analogue in the previous seasons (an older woman that Yuno looks up to) is Kishi Maiko, who appeared in Hidamari Sketch 09, Hidamari Sketch x365 04, and Hidamari Sketch x365 09 as a source of inspiration or reassurance for Yuno, but who never formed a personal connection with her. Compare this with Arisawa, who immediately forms a close intimacy with Yuno and who Yuno considers, even months later, to be her friend: Arisawa is not only a mentor but an idol to Yuno. In comparing Arisawa to Kishi, it becomes apparent that xHoshimittsu is a more obviously gay approach to Hidamari Sketch.
This episode devoted much more focus to Yuno, whose substantial yuri in the second half raised kept her readings at levels only beaten by Sae and Arisawa (whose aforementioned status as a symbol of Hidamari Sketch yuri all but assured her the top spot). The other Hidamaris got less scene time and consequently most were helped by the lengthy Scene 15. Nori’s low readings in her three scenes held her near the bottom of the rankings, while Miyako stayed fairly low for her lack of yuri during the physical exam. The physical exam conversely helped Yoshinoya and Kuwahara, typically low-yuri characters who each came out around 1.0 Ume.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 06.

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

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