Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 09

Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 09 includes the six Hidamari residents, Yoshinoya, Natsume, former Hidamari residents Misato and Riri*, and Yuno’s classmates. Part A follows a typical day for the Hidamari residents of two years ago, and Part B centers on Yuno and Miyako having art class in the park.

Scene 01: 00:04 - 01:16
C: Misato, Riri
Misato and Riri discuss their plans for after high school. Both give off the impression of a close friendship, with much teasing and joking between them, though Misato seems more emotionally involved in Riri than the other way around. Each also draws the other as she talks about her plans, with Riri drawing Misato as a backpacker in a midriff-baring tank-top shirt and Misato drawing Riri with an elegant, shoulderless dress, and both get moderate readings for showing the other partly exposed. Misato also draws Riri with two children but no husband; Riri asks why there isn’t a husband in the picture and tells Misato she never said she didn’t want a husband, a latent heterosexuality that significantly detriments her. At the end of the scene, Misato draws herself and Riri in swimsuits holding hands, a combined desire for mutual partial nudity and lewdness that raises her to 4, while Riri is held at 0.

Scene 02: 02:58 - 03:07
C: Sa
Sae writes at her desk. A short scene with no evident yuri.

Scene 03: 03:08 - 03:29
C: Hi
Hiro’s awakening is aborted before it can come to completion. Her first thought upon waking is that she has to make breakfast for Sae, though she is unable to overcome her tiredness to do this. The sense of responsibility for Sae that she shows and her lack of sufficient motivation cancel out to leave her at 2.

Scene 04: 03:45 - 03:53
C: Riri
Riri makes tea. There is no indication who she is making it for, if she is making it for anybody else, so she stays at 0 for this scene.

Scene 05: 03:54 - 04:10
C: Riri
Riri finds a trail of sesame seeds outside. Her soft chuckle at Misato’s prank shows a warmness toward her antics that raises her to 1.

Scene 06: 04:11 - 04:21
C: Sa
Sae finds a trail of sesame seeds outside. Her response is one of confusion and consequently doesn’t increase her readings.

Scene 07: 04:23 - 05:19
C: Sa, Hi, Misato, Riri
Sae, Hiro, Misato, and Riri head to school. Riri uses the familiar “-chan” (ーちゃん) honorific for Sae and Hiro, getting a minor increase for this intimacy with them. She also asks Misato about the sesame seeds she left outside and warmly chastises her to clean them up later, an affection for Misato that raises her to 2 overall. Sae and Hiro are generally friendly toward each other and toward Misato and Riri, getting 1 each, while Misato also gets 1 for her openness with Riri.

Scene 08: 05:20 - 05:57
C: Sa, Hi, Yo
Yoshinoya starts class. She invites the class to use herself as a motif, which Sae and Hiro smile uncomfortably at. Since their smiles aren’t condoning her efforts to be physically desirable, and since Yoshinoya is trying to appeal to men as well as women, everyone ends with 0.

Scene 09: 05:59 - 06:09
C: Yo
Yoshinoya is reprimanded by the principal. Nothing yuri worth mentioning here.

Scene 10: 06:11 - 06:50
C: Sa, Hi, Yo
Yoshinoya talks to Sae about her tiredness. She mentions that Sae has been nodding off in class with greater frequency recently and advises her not to strain herself, an attention and care for her that lifts her to 2. Hiro also shows some measure of concern for Sae at the beginning of the scene, but it’s minimal and only gives her a 1. Sae, who doesn’t respond especially strongly to either, stays at 0.

Scene 11: 06:56 - 07:45
C: Sa, Hi
Sae and Hiro eat lunch. Sae is primarily out of touch in this scene, being very tired, which shifts the main focus onto Hiro and her efforts to comfort Sae. She first asks if Sae had any sleep the previous night, then compliments her success upon hearing Sae received an award for her writing and finally compliments how she creates atmosphere in her writing. Though Sae falls asleep at the end of the scene, she is very slightly smiling at having been praised by Hiro. Hiro gets 3 for her efforts, while Sae gets 2 for the happiness being complimented by Hiro creates in her.

Scene 12: 07:45 - 08:05
C: Hi, Nt
Natsume walks by Sae and Hiro’s table. Unlike in other, chronologically later appearances, Natsume is stable and happy in Sae’s presence, suggesting any emotions that create her conflicting responses to Sae have not yet formed or are not yet as strong, which is somewhat detrimental to her yurilevels. She asks why Sae is sleeping, which Hiro refuses to answers, instead replying by telling her to be quiet for Sae’s sake, increasing her readings for her concern for Sae’s rest. Natsume immediately apologizes and complies, walking away but looking back at Sae over her shoulder as she goes. This additional attempt to look at Sae raises Natsume to 3, while Hiro gets 2.

Scene 13: 08:08 - 08:24
C: Sa
Sae sits at her work table. She is not in a position to convey yuri here, being alone at her desk, and stays at 0.

Scene 14: 08:26 - 09:12
C: Hi, Misato
Misato visits Hiro. She jokingly asks for soy sauce before seriously asking for white-out. The levity with which she treats her reliance on Hiro suggests a comfort with her dependence, raising her to 1, but Hiro’s initial confusion does not convey a reciprocal comfort and she thus gets a 0.

Scene 15: 09:12 - 09:40
C: Misato, Riri
Misato talks with Riri outside. Upon seeing Riri, Misato realizes that she forgot that they were going to study English later; her offer to study at a later time does not overcome the detrimental effects of her broken promise and she ends with 0. Riri, however, is not fazed by Misato’s irresponsibility, softly chuckling that “it can’t be helped” (しょうがないだから, “shou ga nai dakara”); her warm acceptance of Misato earns her a 2.

Scene 16: 09:46 - 09:52
C: Hi
Hiro asks for Sae. She is holding stew with intent to eat with Sae, a desire for mutual activity that gives her a 1 since it’s not particularly yuri.

Scene 17: 09:52 - 11:48
C: Sa, Hi
Sae and Hiro eat stew in Sae’s room. Sae apologizes for making Hiro serve dinner for both of them, thought Hiro tells her she doesn’t mind and that she prefers eating together, raising Sae’s readings for her discomfort at overworking Hiro and Hiro’s for her admission of enjoying Sae’s company. Hiro tells Sae that she works too hard, using as an example Yamabuki field day, when Sae got mumps but insisted on going and was apparently stopped somehow by Hiro, helping Hiro for her concern for Sae. She also suggests moving next door to Sae (she lives in Room 203 at this point) so that she can better keep track of Sae, which Sae tries to laugh off, saying she relies on Hiro too much already, again helping her for not wanting to burden Hiro. Hiro insists it’s fine since they’re friends, which makes Sae blush; both get a moderate increase from this exchange. Overall, Hiro ends with 3, Sae with 2.

Scene 18: 11:48 - 14:12
C: Sa, Hi, Misato
Misato joins Sae and Hiro. She has come because she wants stew and not as much because she wants to spend time with Sae and Hiro, though she mentions enjoying having younger people around so it’s likely some factor in her decision to eat with them. After complimenting Hiro’s cooking, she leans toward Sae and teasingly suggests that Hiro would be a good wife for her, invoking other images from the show of Hiro and Sae having a wife-husband dynamic and giving everyone at least a moderate increase for their role in being part of or recognizing this dynamic. Hiro shifts the focus to Misato and Riri, saying Riri talked to her about the awards Misato received at the school concours, which Misato tries to downplay. Misato says Riri frequently gets cross with her for having to take care of her, suggesting Riri somewhat resents her caretaker relationship with Misato, which comes as a surprise to Hiro, who says Riri seems mature and collected and that she looks up to Riri. Misato calls this Riri’s “pose” (ポズ, “pozu”) and jokes that Riri looks like a guy when she does her pose; the association of Riri with masculinity is not paired with an association of Misato with femininity, like how associations of Sae with masculinity are usually paired with associations of Hiro with femininity, so Misato does not get as significant an increase, though she still receives a slight one since such gender dysphoria is somewhat gay. Misato ends with 4, Sae and Hiro with 3.

Scene 19: 14:12 - 14:31
C: Sa, Hi, Misato, Riri
Riri stops by Sae’s room. Her purpose in coming is to collect Misato for English study, so her desire to do friendly activities together with Misato raises her to 1, while Misato’s shared enthusiasm for spending time with Riri also raises her to 1. Sae and Hiro stay at 0.

Scene 20: 14:31 - 14:45
C: Sa, Hi, Misato, Riri
Misato and Riri leave Sae’s apartment. As thanks for the stew, Misato invites Sae and Hiro to hear apartment for curry at an unspecified date, a gratitude that raises Misato to 2. Everyone then bids each other good night, a friendly gesture which raises everyone else to 1.

Scene 21: 14:51 - 15:33
C: Hi
Hiro bathes. She wonders whether Sae is awake writing or if she will rest. The scene then cuts to an image of Sae in the bath relaxing, before returning to Hiro, who immediately follows it by saying that she can’t stop thinking about Sae and needs to also worry about herself. This suggests that Sae may not have been bathing at that time and that Hiro is imagining Sae doing so because she wants Sae to relax, a speculation strengthened by Sae’s depiction through the episode as someone working too hard to take care of herself. Her additional plan to make Sae French toast in the morning raises Hiro to a 4 for her heavy attention to Sae.

Scene 22: 15:43 - 15:48
C: Yo
Yoshinoya dances. There is no suggestion of yuri in her mannerisms here.

Scene 23: 15:50 - 16:08
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, No, Na
Yuno, Miyako, Sae, Nori, and Nazuna do radio exercises. Nori and Nazuna count in English together, with Nazuna following Nori’s lead; they get slight increases for this spontaneous mutual whimsy, ending at 1 while everyone else stays at 0.

Scene 24: 16:15 - 17:15
C: Yo
Yoshinoya starts class. The first half of the scene appears to be Yoshinoya treating having class in the park as being on a date with the other (male) art teacher, fixing her at 0.

Scene 25: 17:17 - 18:30
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako spend time in the park. Yuno accidentally makes a pun, which Miyako notes but does not pass judgment on, getting a slight increase for not taking the opportunity to denigrate Yuno for it. Miyako later plays in a playground while Yuno happily watches, but her skirt begins to ride up after spreading her legs too far, causing Yuno to scream in terror and blush strongly; Miyako doesn’t get an increase since she was unintentionally exposing herself, while Yuno is hurt by her fear of seeing Miyako exposed. Miyako ends with 1, Yuno with 0.

Scene 26: 18:32 - 20:02
C: Yu, Mi, Yuno’s classmates
Yuno and Miyako throw stones. Upon hearing about the Weeping Woman (a large rock that supposedly improves artistic ability if struck), Yuno becomes distressed and tells her classmates not to be mean, showing a general empathy for women that helps her significantly. Miyako suggests they throw rocks together, getting a slight increase for wanting to share an activity with Yuno, and is helped further when later she pets Yuno’s head to comfort her after Yuno has poor aim. Both end with 2, while the classmates end with 0 since they act primarily as exposition and do nothing yuri.

Scene 27: 20:02 - 20:25
C: Yu, Mi, Yo, Yuno’s classmates
Yoshinoya joins her students. Nobody is impressed by Yoshinoya’s superb trick shot, keeping everyone at 0.

Scene 28: 20:28 - 21:06
C: Yu, Mi, Yo
Yuno and Miyako return to class to draw. Miyako asks why Yuno’s hand is quivering, but also notes the irony in how her injury (which prevents her from drawing) was caused by her attempts to cast stones at the Weeping Woman, a levity that cancels out any readings from concern she may have had. Yoshinoya continues to dress lewdly in front of her male students, so everyone ends with 0.

Scene 29: 21:09 - 22:08
C: Yu, Mi, No, Na
Yuno, Miyako, Nori, and Nazuna discuss Yuno’s hurt arm.
Nori offers to lend her a hot water bottle, getting a slight increase for her desire to help Yuno recover, though Yuno doesn’t get a similar increase since she turns Nori down. Nazuna suddenly takes Yuno’s hand in both of hers, nominally asking for her permission as she does so, and squeezes a pressure point in her palm; Nazuna’s suddenness in doing so shows a great comfort in such acts with Yuno that conveys a close physical intimacy, raising both of their readings. She is concerned that she hurt Yuno, but Yuno instead thanks her since it helps reduce the pain in her arm, so Nazuna squeezes her hand more, further increasing both of their yurilevels. Once they finish, Nori and Miyako ask to have their hands squeezed as well, a desire for similar physical intimacy that raises each of them to 2 while Yuno and Nazuna get 3.

Final Yurilevel Readings: (both Aokis and Umes are out of 4)
Episode: 1.5880A

  1. Natsume: 3.000U
  2. Misato: 2.672U
  3. Nazuna: 2.532U
  4. Hiro: 2.121U
  5. Nori: 1.766U
  6. Sae: 1.578U
  7. Miyako: 1.232U
  8. Yuno: 1.186U
  9. Riri: 1.058U
  10. Yoshinoya: 0.367U
  11. Yuno’s classmates: 0.000U

This episode again had strong readings throughout, due likely in great part to the producer’s desire to rapidly create a sense of closeness among the former Hidamaris featured in most of the episode. The way Sae, Hiro, Misato, and Riri further shows a sharp difference between how character relationships are portrayed in this season and how Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro were portrayed in the previous two seasons. Yuno et al. were usually depicted as one collective whole, occasionally broken in two pairs, but here the old Hidamari unit is almost entirely shown as only the pairs of Sae and Hiro and of Misato and Riri, with only three scenes and a combined 89 seconds of scene time showing all of them at once. The first half of this episode had higher readings than the previous few episodes have had, likely because scenes between two characters allow for greater intimacy than group scenes, leading to more suggestions of yuri. This is also seen more generally in the rest of xHoshimittsu, a shift in the direction and focus of the show that is a primary reason behind the increased yurilevels thus far. Misato had very high yurilevels, owing primarily to her 4s for her closeness to Riri and teasing of Hiro, while Hiro had high readings for her nurturing of Sae. Sae’s tiredness kept her yurilevels down, and Riri’s reduced focus and hints of heterosexuality in Scene 01 gave her a relatively low reading as well. Yuno, Miyako, Nori, and Nazuna only appeared briefly in the last third of the episode, so their readings were less balanced than they would in an episode that included them more throughout. Yuno and Miyako end roughly equal, with Miyako slightly higher, but Nori and Nazuna get significantly higher readings than them since they had strong readings in the second of their two scenes. The episode as a whole is on par with results from the first half of the season, and doesn’t seem to have any particular anomalies.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 10.

*: Riri’s name seems to be a Japanese transliteration of the Western name “Lily,” and her name in katakana is “リリ,” which could be transliterated either way. However, in online reference materials she is referred to nearly universally as “Riri” rather than “Lily” (the one notable exception being Wikipedia’s main page on Hidamari Sketch) and as such “Riri” is used here.

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