Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 06

Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 06 includes the six Hidamari residents, Yoshinoya, Natsume, and Kuwahara. Part A primarily takes place in the first year and surrounds the Hidamaris’ confusion around Yoshinoya’s especially odd behavior, while Part B takes place in the current year and centers on questions about Nazuna’s relations with men.

Scene 01: 00:04 - 01:02
C: Yo
Yoshinoya is interrupted while reading. Her distrust of the other art teacher, Mashiko, could be extrapolated to a general disdain for men, though it’s enough of a stretch to only keep her at 1.

Scene 02: 02:44 - 03:26
C: Yu, Mi, No, Na
Nazuna joins Yuno, Miyako, and Nori for morning radio exercises. Nori is the first to notice her, though she is also the nearest to Nazuna’s room, thus in the best position to see her, and as such her increase is not as significant as it would have been otherwise. She asks if Nazuna wants to join them, while Yuno outright tells her to join them, a more imperative request that gives her a greater bump than Nori for their desire to incorporate her. Miyako refers to Nazuna as “Nazuna-dono” (なずなーどの), an honorific that conveys respect for her but does not humble Miyako in the way “-sama” (さま) would and is thus generally considered somewhat impolite in modern Japanese society; Miyako does not receive yurilevels for this honorific. Once Nazuna joins the three in the backyard, they lift each other on their backs in pairs, with Yuno and Nazuna forming one pair and Miyako and Nori forming the other, a very close physical contact that makes all of them happy, showing a physical intimacy that lifts everyone to 3.

Scene 03: 03:34 - 04:07
C: Yo
Yoshinoya feels happy. Nothing in her message to her students is specifically yuri due to the class’s mixed-gender nature, so she stays at 0.

Scene 04: 04:08 - 04:20
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako comment on the previous scene. Miyako postulates that her good mood is caused by spring, though since Yoshinoya specifically mentioned aspects of spring in her monologue (specifically warm temperatures and a clear sky) this isn’t enough of a stretch to give Miyako readings for it. Her remark reminds Yuno of a similar event in the previous autumn, and her and Miyako’s fondness at remembering it conveys a shared nostalgia that gives them each 1.

Scene 05: 04:27 - 04:36
C: Yo
Yoshinoya feels sad. Again, no yuri is conveyed by this quiet scene.

Scene 06: 04:37 - 05:03
C: Yu, Mi, Yo
Yoshinoya opens class. While Yoshinoya continues to get no yurilevels from not doing anything for women specifically, Yuno is prevented from increasing her readings by her silence and Miyako by her apparent joy at seeing Yoshinoya’s melancholy. Everyone ends with 0.

Scene 07: 05:03 - 05:10
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako comment on the previous scene (chronologically for the first time). Unlike in Scene 04, there is no indication that Yoshinoya’s mood is caused by the weather, so Miyako’s speculation that her bad mood is brought on by the fall shows a greater capacity to analyze Yoshinoya than that scene. However, her continued happiness in the beginning at seeing Yoshinoya sorrowful cancel this slight increase out, keeping her at 0. Yuno also gets a 0 for her lack of emotional response to Yoshinoya’s behavior.

Scene 08: 05:18 - 05:43
C: Yo
Yoshinoya begins class in the outdoor gardens. She continues not to convey yuri, getting another 0.

Scene 09: 05:43 - 05:54
C: Yu, Mi, Yo
Yuno and Miyako observe Yoshinoya. Yuno notes that she seems worried, a concern for her that gives her a slight increase; Miyako’s agreement with her is not strong enough to give her similar readings, so while Yuno gets 1 Miyako stays at 0. Yoshinoya, who keeps to herself through the scene, has no chance for yurilevels and also gets 0.

Scene 10: 05:58 - 06:25
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako draw together. They are sitting alone in the garden with their backs against each other in a peaceful silence that conveys a sense that nothing needs to be said, a private and emotionally intimate scene that gives each a moderate increase since romantic and friendly interpretations are equally plausible. Yuno thinks to herself that Miyako’s drawing is excellent, but does not say this out loud to Miyako, probably out of her shame for what she considers her own merely adequate picture. Miyako, however, compliments Yuno’s picture out loud when she sees it, showing a greater comfort with her appreciation for Yuno’s talents than Yuno has for Miyako and thus getting a larger increase. She ends with 3, while Yuno gets 2.

Scene 11: 06:31 - 06:54
C: Yu, Mi, Yo
Yoshinoya stops by Yuno and Miyako. She stays preoccupied by her own concerns, but is brought back to reality long enough to  encourage Yuno and Miyako by praising how they both capture the feel of fall, an expression primarily of her duties as teacher that, given her focus on her own emotions, was enough work for her to merit a 1. Yuno seems concerned by the tears in Yoshinoya’s eyes and gets a 1, while Miyako stays at 0.

Scene 12: 07:00 - 07:13
C: Yo, Nt
Natsume sees Yoshinoya in the recreational room*. She wishes her good afternoon, probably out of respect as a student (more so as it’s probably not yet afternoon and Natsume was instead opting to use the more polite “konnichiwa” [こんにちわ] over a variant of “ohayo” [おはよ, “good morning”]). Yoshinoya doesn’t notice for a few seconds, making Natsume curious but not especially so since she doesn’t seem particularly emotional about it. Both end with 0.

Scene 13: 07:24 - 09:29
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, Nt
Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro try to figure out why Yoshinoya is acting odd while Natsume sits nearby. Yuno asks Hiro and Miyako if they’re worried (the word used is 気になります [“kininarimasu”], which can also be translated “curious”) about Yoshinoya while seeming excited about it, conveying that she views Yoshinoya’s troubles as entertainment and thus displaying a lack of serious concern that will reduce her readings. Sae attempts to logically analyze the situation and hypothesizes that Yoshinoya is in a one-sided love. Her theory does not give a gender to the person she supposedly loves, and in this investigation such gender ambiguity doesn’t usually raise anybody’s yurilevels. Natsume overhears Sae’s theory and appears to react as if Sae was talking about her, becoming alarmed and embarrassed (enough for her blush to show through on the other side of her head), implicitly since she believes Sae thinks Natsume has a one-sided love for her. While Natsume’s contrary reactions to Sae have been the focus of her character for nearly a season now, this scene is the first explicit suggestion of a love for Sae, and Natsume’s discomfort with the implication that she loves Sae prevents her from getting very high readings. Hearing the world “love” (恋, “koi”) terrifies Yuno and stuns for a considerable time, suggesting she is innocent enough to not be comfortable with love in general, and yuri love by extension, again hurting her for the scene. She and the other Hidamaris all end at 0, while Natsume gets 2.

Scene 14: 09:35 - 10:48
C: Yo, Ku
Yoshinoya reads a cell-phone novel in the nurse’s office. Kuwahara stays cool and professional in the face of Yoshinoya’s immature demand to stay in the office and keep reading, consistently denying her and giving a quick, rational answer to her question about whether love at first sight is possible. After Yoshinoya asks another question about whether love is true, Mashiko enters, enraging Yoshinoya; her fury is probably related to embarrassment about the cell-phone novel rather than anything connecting to her question to Kuwahara about love, so it does not reflect an embarrassment about discussing love and by extension having personal relations with Kuwahara. Both end at 0.

Scene 15: 10:49 - 10:57
C: Ku
Mashiko speaks with Kuwahara. He asks her what’s wrong with Yoshinoya, to which she gives a frustrated “dunno” (さあ, “saa”); her continued disapproval of Yoshinoya keeps her at 0.

Scene 16: 11:02 - 11:39
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako start home. Yuno continues to be worried about Yoshinoya, while Miyako stays calm and is even able to make fun of her by doing an impression of her. Yuno then sees Yoshinoya on the roof, looking as if she’s about to commit suicide, and becomes appropriately alarmed; Miyako continues to stay aloof toward the whole business, so while Yuno is raised to a 3 for her significant worry for Yoshinoya Miyako stays at 0.

Scene 17: 11:41 - 11:59
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno and Miyako go back inside to see what Yoshinoya is doing. Hiro asks if something is wrong, and Yuno is unable to explain before she runs toward the roof, only able to tell her and Sae that it involves Yoshinoya. Though they don’t know what about Yoshinoya is troubling Yuno, Sae and Hiro run after Yuno anyway, showing they take Yuno’s worry seriously and raising them each to 2, while Yuno gets an additional 2 for her hurry and Miyako is kept at 0 for her minimal focus in this scene.

Scene 18: 12:00 - 12:53
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, Yo
Yoshinoya explains what she’s doing. Once she arrives on the roof, Yuno desperately screams at Yoshinoya to not do anything rash, conveying her desire to see Yoshinoya safe and by extension her attachment to Yoshinoya, raising her to another 3 for its primarily non-romantic suggestion. Other than that, there is no yuri in this scene, and everyone else stays at 0.

Scene 19: 12:57 - 13:30
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro head home. Yuno and Sae each apologize for worrying each other about Yoshinoya, a sense of responsibility to the Hidamari group that gives them both slight increases. The scene ends with a still image of the four smiling and laughing together, a warmness toward each other that raises Yuno and Sae to 2 while Miyako and Hiro come to 1.

Scene 20: 13:36 - 14:14
C: Yu
Yuno reads the cell-phone novel Yoshinoya showed her. After giving the novel (apparently a heterosexual romance) some thought, she decides she doesn’t understand it, showing a lack of understanding either of heterosexual love, which would give her a moderate increase, or of love in general, which would be a simple show of innocence and not give her an increase; averaging these possibilities out raises Yuno to 1.

Scene 21: 14:26 - 14:51
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako go to class. After Yuno’s slipper comes off as they run to the room, Miyako picks it up and cheekily runs off with it. Her fanciful tone and running style and the flowers that appear in the background both suggest flamboyant homosexuality, even if her actual action is detrimental to Yuno, who is not amused by it. Miyako gets 2, Yuno 0.

Scene 22: 14:55 - 15:14
C: Yu, Mi, Na
Yuno and Miyako see Nazuna carry a box. While running, Yuno asks Miyako to slow down so she can keep up, a request Miyako either ignores or does not have enough time to respond to, either way keeping her down. Upon seeing Nazuna, both wonder what she is doing, with Miyako being more active in doing so than Yuno is. This curiosity about Nazuna helps them each so that both end with 1. Nazuna appears uncomfortable walking with the boy, which could suggest discomfort around men in general, though since she generally seems anxious around both men and women it’s not notable for the purposes of the investigation for her to have this discomfort, and she thus ends with 0.

Scene 23: 15:21 - 15:45
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako talk about Nazuna during gym. Both get initial yurilevels for having paired up with each other for gym, assuming partner choices were optional and that they thus wanted to exercise with each other. Yuno wonders about how Nazuna is doing in class since Nazuna is too reserved to talk about herself, a curiosity that gives her another slight increase. This bump is undone by her shock at Miyako calling herself normal showing her perception of Miyako as abnormal, and both end with 1.

Scene 24: 15:49 - 16:13
C: Sa, Hi, Na
Sae and Hiro see Nazuna carry the trash. Sae asks Hiro if she wants to go to the art store for supplies tomorrow, gaining a slight increase for wanting Hiro to be with her; Hiro says she also need art supplies but does not answer yes or no to her question directly and does not get corresponding side yurilevels. Hiro then points out to Sae that Nazuna is outside walking with another boy (Nazuna again receives a 0 for the same reasons as in Scene 22). Their reactions are sharply different: Hiro is curious and somewhat excited for Nazuna, quickly interpreting her situation as a romantic one (evident from the hearts near her head), while Sae becomes panicked and embarrassed to see Nazuna, hiding behind the door and clutching onto Hiro’s skirt for comfort. Hiro’s thrill at perceived heterosexuality reflects an approval of impropriety and likely an interest in seeing Nazuna in a heterosexual relationship, which makes the central issue whether or not this extends to a preference for heterosexuality over yuri. Here, Hiro seems to believe that happiness can arise from heterosexual love, but here there isn’t enough evidence to suggest Hiro believes the counterfactual that happiness cannot result from a yuri romance. The most that can be derived is that Hiro wants to see Nazuna happy at all, which gives her a moderate increase. Sae gets an easy 4, partly for her horror at the thought of heterosexuality (the effect of which is dulled for the same reasons Hiro’s readings aren’t) and mostly for associating Hiro’s skirt with emotional comfort (there are probably few explanations for this that wouldn’t be in some way yuri). Hiro gets a 3 for wanting happiness for Nazuna and for letting Sae pull on her skirt in public.

Scene 25: 16:20 - 17:01
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro exchange current intelligence about Nazuna. Sae continues to be highly worried about Nazuna’s possible relationship(s), while Hiro continues to seem eager about Nazuna’s popularity, though again both have minimal effects for an inability to extend these opinions about heterosexuality to one about homosexuality. Sae does get an increase for admitting she doesn’t understand what it’s like to be popular with boys (suggesting a history of closer relationships to women than men), and Hiro’s attempt to calm Sae by placing her hands on Sae’s back gives them each an increase for physical closeness. Miyako suggests asking Nori (again referring to her as “Norippe” [乃利っぺ]), implying she believes Nori is intimate enough with Nazuna to know about her relations with the opposite gender and giving her a slight increase for reading this closeness into their relationship. She ends with 1, Hiro with 2, Sae with 3, and Yuno, who is mostly out of focus in this scene, with 0.

Scene 26: 17:07 - 17:36
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No
Nori contributes further knowledge about Nazuna’s connections to men. She confesses that she’s unsure, limiting her increase from this scene due to a lack of closeness to Nazuna, but apparently pays close enough attention to her to remember both seeing her entertaining three men in the school garden and seeing four ladybugs near her, raising her to 2 overall. The others stay at 0.

Scene 27: 17:43 - 18:33
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
Nazuna is approached by the other Hidamaris. Miyako is the first and the most eager to question Nazuna, and her forwardness and overbearingness are powerful enough to frighten Nazuna into silence and unnerve even the other Hidamaris. Once Miyako settles down, the others question Nazuna as well: Hiro asks if Nazuna had ever received a love letter, Sae asks if she had ever shared a soft-serve ice cream cone with a boy** and pushes down Hiro’s head as she asks (Hiro appears non-plussed by this), and Yuno asks when Nazuna first ate green tea ice cream (though I was unable to confirm the significance of this [and Nori is equally confused in-universe], it is apparent that Yuno is asking something relating to relationships and as such the specifics can be overlooked). Nazuna’s confirmation that she has done all of these things holds her at 0 for admitting to heterosexual acts. Sae gets 2 for her dismay and physical contact with Hiro, Hiro and Miyako get 1, the others stay at 0.

Scene 28: 18:38 - 20:42
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
Nazuna opens up about her history with men. She is alarmed and ashamed at having been seen in the presence of men, and tries to defend herself by saying they help her occasionally and insisting she doesn’t like it. While explaining that she isn’t happy about having men around her is itself somewhat yuri, her specific reason, that she doesn’t want to be ostracized by other women, shows a prioritization of women over men that substantially increases her readings. Sae attempts to comfort Nazuna while placing a hand on her shoulder, the second time this episode she has associated touch with emotional reassurance. Nori, on the other hand, doesn’t bother to comfort Nazuna, and in her bluntness suggests (intentionally or not) that she would think someone like Miyako would be a popular girl; while she is not directly praising Miyako, she is suggesting a receptiveness to someone like Miyako, getting a slight bump. Everyone gets a marginal increase for thinking Nazuna’s sneeze at the end is cute, so Nazuna ends with 3, Sae ends with 2, and the others with 1.

Scene 29: 20:43 - 20:54
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
Sae, Hiro, Nori, and Nazuna leave Yuno’s apartment. Miyako stands with Yuno and waves goodbye as well, suggesting she is going to stay in Yuno’s room for an unspecified length of time for unspecified reasons, giving both her and Yuno increases for this implicit closeness. Each ends with 2, while the other Hidamaris, who are neutral in their farewells, stay at 0.

Scene 30: 20:54 - 21:09
C: No, Na
Nazuna delays Nori. She grabs the sleeve of her shirt rather than asking her to stop, a more physical approach that displays a comfort about touching her and consequently gives her a significant increase. Nori assumes she has to apologize for previously saying Nazuna isn’t like what she thought a popular girl would be like, getting some yurilevels for her regret at having possibly hurt Nazuna, but Nazuna smiles and shakes her head to say no, helping her slightly by showing her forgiveness for Nori. Nazuna gets a 3, and Nori a 1.

Scene 31: 21:10 - 21:37
C: No, Na
Nori helps Nazuna study. Both are very overt in their fondness for each other: Nazuna by calling Nori great at studying and drawing and Nori by offering Nazuna help any time she needs it. Both smile at each other very warmly, and Nori in particular blushes and becomes highly yuri-embarrassed when Nazuna compliments her. She ends with 4, Nazuna with 3.

Scene 32: 21:45 - 22:07
C: Yu, Mi, Yo, Ku
Yoshinoya shows off her new hairstyle. The style is an imitation of Nazuna’s braids, so Yoshinoya is attempting to emulate Nazuna. Since there has been confusion that Nazuna is popular with the boys and only the other Hidamaris have had this misconception corrected, Yoshinoya’s effort at mimicking Nazuna is an attempt by Yoshinoya to also become popular with the boys, getting her a 0. Kuwahara’s disdain and Yuno and Miyako’s confusion also gives them all 0s for their disapproval of Yoshinoya.

Final Yurilevel Readings: (both Aokis and Umes are out of 4)
Episode: 0.9946A

  1. Nazuna: 2.129U
  2. Natsume: 1.811U
  3. Nori: 1.446U
  4. Sae: 1.316U
  5. Yuno: 0.964U
  6. Hiro: 0.781U
  7. Miyako: 0.712U
  8. Yoshinoya: 0.234U
  9. Kuwahara: 0.000U

Both parts of this episode focused heavily on speculations about heterosexuality, Part A with Yoshinoya’s perceived love letter and Part B with Nazuna’s improprieties, so overall readings were significantly depressed, particularly in comparison with the very high readings from the rest of the season. Nazuna’s redemption toward the end of the episode was strong enough to move her to the top of the character rankings, with the other Hidamaris more or less falling in place based on how they responded to her: Nori’s bonding with her at the end gave her the second highest reading for a Hidamari and Sae’s fear of heterosexuality gave her third place, while Hiro and Miyako, who were both excited by the prospect of relations with men, came in at the bottom. Despite the strong focus on men, this episode still managed to end at around 1 Aoki; that Hoshimittsu’s weakest point yet is still moderate compared to the other seasons’ weakest further suggests this season is conveying more yuri than the previous two.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 07.

*: “Recreational room” is the name of the room according to a sign outside, but in Scene 13, Natsume refers to this room as the library. The kanji on the sign, “多目的室,” (tamokoteki-shitsu) translate to “multipurpose room,” which could fit either description.
**: The ice cream cones behind Sae’s head are arranged in the shape of a swastika. This isn’t related to her yurilevels, but it seemed noteworthy.

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