Sunday, April 14, 2013

Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 11

Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 11 includes the six Hidamari residents, Yoshinoya, the Landlady, art teacher Minaguchi*, Arisawa, and Arisawa’s classmate**. Part A involves Yuno, Miyako, and Nazuna visiting Nori’s room on a rainy day, while Part B focuses on senior art projects in the previous school year.

Scene 01: 00:04 - 00:49
C: Yo
Yoshinoya encounters the principal during a rainstorm. Her reaction to the thought of sharing an umbrella with the principal and self-justification that a short distance means doing so “doesn’t count” (ノコウントでいいですよね, “no kounto de ii desu yo ne”) both convey that she believes sharing the umbrella could be romantic in some way, a concern she would not have unless she was at least somewhat heterosexual. She gets a 0.

Scene 02: 00:49 - 01:07
C: Yo, La
The Landlady encounters Yoshinoya and the principal. Yoshinoya’s insistence that sharing an umbrella with the principal continues the same concerns from the previous scene and gives her a 0. The Landlady’s response to the situation does not suggest anything for or against yuri, so she also stays at 0.

Scene 03: 02:48 - 03:22
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako watch television during a rainstorm. They commiserate that the rain makes it impossible to go outside, though Miyako was apparently able to go to Yuno’s room, getting a 2 for her dedication. Yuno’s mention that the weather is too bad to go out in response to Miyako’s question of what they should do could possibly suggest she had planned to spend the day with Miyako for unknown aims; ambiguity lowers her readings from this to a 1.

Scene 04: 03:24 - 03:36
C: Yu, Mi, No, Na
Yuno and Miyako go to Nori’s room. Nori initially seems pleased to see Yuno and Miyako, but quickly becomes unsettled by their silent smiles, conveying distrust or unease. After a few seconds, Nazuna appears behind Nori with little made of it, suggesting her presence in Nori’s room is normal, even mundane. Nori and Nazuna each get 2 for this since it implies a strong closeness to each other; Yuno and Miyako stay at 0 since they don’t do much and since, unlike in the previous scene, the difficulty of travelling in the rain is not mentioned and thus is not significant.

Scene 05: 03:38 - 10:25
C: Yu, Mi, No, Na
Yuno and Miyako visit Nori to look up the answer to a TV riddle. While they search for the answer, Miyako keeps her arms around Yuno’s shoulders and neck, increasing both of their readings for their comfort with this. Yuno notes that Nori doesn’t have much in her room, but spins it into a positive by saying that keeps her room nice and simple, an attempt to see Nori positively that helps her yurilevels. Yuno then uses Nori’s computer again, noticing a folder marked “Sealed Past” (過去封印) that Nori threatens her not to open; not enough information is given about its contents for it to fairly affect her readings (since it could be anything from old, embarrassing pictures to erotic writings or drawings). Later, Nori orders pizza and asks Nazuna what toppings she wants, a deferral to her that suggests trust in her judgment and slightly increases her readings. This increase is undermined by Nori then abandoning everyone else to talk to a friend on her computer since she’s subtly conveying that she doesn’t care for her friends at Hidamari as much. When Yuno draws with Nori’s graphics program, Miyako and Nori watch in entertainment, getting slight increases for their shared merriment with Yuno, and Nazuna takes a picture out of awe of watching and artist make a piece, even attempting to make it her phone wallpaper, showing an idolization of them that substantially raises her readings. Nori takes the opportunity to ask Nazuna why she came over in the first place. While Nori’s yurilevels drop since she feels Nazuna needs a reason to visit her (and not that she can’t just want to see her), Nazuna’s increase from her evasiveness and coyness about wanting to eat lunch with Nori. Nori becomes embarrassed by this admission and shakes Nazuna violently by her shoulders, and while her embarrassment shows yuri the physical contact does not since it is not positive in nature. Overall Nazuna gets 3, Yuno and Miyako get 2, and Nori gets 1.

Scene 06: 10:25 - 11:30
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
Sae and Hiro join the others to also look up the answer to the TV riddle. They arrive together and thus must have been watching television together, getting slight increases since their implied desire to spend time together is yuri but merely watching TV isn’t very much so. When they ask to use Nori’s computer, Nori agrees, but Miyako places a hand on her shoulder and attempts to dissuade Sae and Hiro in an effort to spare them the disappointment she and Yuno felt, getting moderate increases for both. Toward the end of the scene Nori again abandons the main group to chat with a friend online, but tells her that she’s having fun living at Hidamari Apartments, actions which basically cancel out. Miyako, Sae, and Hiro end with 1, Yuno, Nori, and Nazuna with 0.

Scene 07: 11:36 - 12:06
C: Yu
Yuno looks at the sky after bathing. Nothing here notably conveys yuri.

Scene 08: 12:16 - 12:44
C: Yu
Yuno wakes up. Again, nothing worth mentioning.

Scene 09: 12:44 - 12:49
C: Yu, Mi
Miyako calls to Yuno. Yuno’s response shows insufficient emotional change to affect her readings, so both end with 0.

Scene 10: 12:53 - 13:22
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro walk to school. Upon seeing Sae and Hiro, Yuno and Miyako excitedly run after them, getting 1 each for their glee to join them. Other than that, a quiet scene.

Scene 11: 13:23 - 14:08
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno finds she has big shoes to fill. The exposition about the third year students’ art projects is split between Sae and Hiro, who switch off as they talk, conveying a sense of connection between them that gives them each 2. Yuno and Miyako stay at 0.

Scene 12: 14:13 - 14:52
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako look at art projects. As they walk down the halls, labelling everything around them as art projects, two of the things they encounter are a male student and a pair of female students. The male student is given the label “Tall Boy” (背の高い男子, “senotokai danshi”), while the female students (who, incidentally, seem amused by Yuno and Miyako looking at them) are labelled “Friendly Classmates” (仲良し同級生, “nakayoshi doukyusei;” “仲良し” breaks down as “on good terms”); that is to say, the man is given a simple physical description while the women are “on good terms” with Yuno and Miyako. The contrast in how they are presented suggests that Yuno and Miyako are more familiar with their female classmates than their male ones, making it likely that they are more comfortable around women than men overall and raising their readings to 2 each.

Scene 13: 14:54 - 15:28
C: Yo
Yoshinoya shows off a new outfit. Once more she is presenting herself to a mixed-gender group, precluding any yuri and holding her at 0.

Scene 14: 15:33 - 15:59
C: Yu, Mi, Yo, Minaguchi
Yuno and Miyako’s class ends. Miyako invites Yuno to lunch, after which Yuno proposes looking for more senior art projects together; each gets 1 for their attempt to spend time with each other. The rest of the scene is spent being alarmed by Yoshinoya’s actions, so Yoshinoya and Minaguchi get no opportunities for yuri and end at 0.

Scene 15: 16:01 - 17:05
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro have lunch together. Yuno becomes upset upon realizing that Sae and Hiro will graduate in slightly over a year, referring to them both as “Sae-san-tachi” (沙英さんたち). Like Miyako’s reference to them as “Sae-tachi” in HSxHoshimittsu 04, Yuno is incorporating Hiro into Sae as if Sae is the preeminent of the two, suggesting a perceived subordination of Hiro beneath Sae which fits the series’ recurring comparisons of the two to a husband and wife pair. Invoking this image again significantly increases Yuno’s readings. Later, Miyako proposes that Sae, for her project the following year, could make herself larger breasts, an openly flirtatious comment that horrifies Yuno, angers Sae, and amuses Hiro. Yuno’s alarm at human sexuality lowers her to 2, Miyako’s remark on Sae’s chest gives her a 3, Sae’s discomfort keeps her at 0, and Hiro’s stifled laugh raises her to 1 for her subtle positive reaction to thoughts of Sae’s breasts.

Scene 16: 17:07 - 17:29
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Sae and Hiro leave to go home. Their departure together is a reflection of Yuno and Miyako’s decision to stay at school and look at art projects and not a reflection on any yuri dynamics between them, so they each end at 0. Yuno appears melancholic when they leave and begins crying rivers upon seeing a calligraphy of the words “spring partings” (春の別れ, “haru no wakare”), a sorrow at the impending graduation that may be connected to her recognition in the previous scene that Sae and Hiro will graduate the following year but is not explained clearly enough to affect her readings. Miyako gets an increase for both noting Yuno’s sadness and attempting to resolve it by placing her hand on Yuno’s back, a display of physical affection. She gets 2, while Yuno’s temporary increased mood (to neutral, at least) gives her a 1 for appreciating Miyako’s touch.

Scene 17: 17:31 - 18:09
C: Yo
Yoshinoya is scolded by the principal. Nothing of note in this scene.

Scene 18: 18:10 - 18:47
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako continue to look at projects. Since they’re both focused on admiring the art, there is little opportunity for them to convey any yuri toward each other, and they each get 0s.

Scene 19: 18:50 - 19:58
C: Yu, Mi, Arisawa, Arisawa’s classmate
Yuno and Arisawa bask in each other’s presence. Arisawa is introduced with a pan up her body, focusing on her feet, hips, and hand; if this is from Yuno’s perspective, it implies she is admiring Arisawa’s body, so mere moments into the scene she already has has high readings. Yuno’s depression disappears and she addresses Arisawa cheerily, conveying her pleasure at seeing Arisawa. Arisawa, meanwhile, is ecstatic to see Yuno: her eyes become more vibrant, she leaps off of the ladder she is sitting on to thrust her body against Yuno’s, and multiple hearts appear both while they are on screen and on their own as emphasis. After their initial greeting, Arisawa continues to hold Yuno around her shoulders, and she later suggests exchanging email addresses, presumably because she wants to stay in touch with Yuno. She also alludes to their first meeting (see Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 05), the thought of which makes Yuno giddily laugh, conveying her fondness for the memory. Their parting at the end of the scene involves more physical contact in the form of a high five. On the whole the two are vastly more enthralled with each other than would be expected of two people whose sum time together is no more than a few hours, particularly for Arisawa, so the jubilation they have at meeting again and high degree of physical contact they share throughout both convey very intense yuri between them. Another student is also present (presumably Arisawa’s classmate) who is there to help Arisawa display her third-year project; she does little throughout the scene, but is angry when Yuno, Miyako, and Arisawa put up the painting together. This could be because she feels left out by Arisawa; she later refers to her by the nickname “Arisa” (ありさ), so she is probably a friend of Arisawa and therefore might even be jealous of the attention Arisawa is giving Yuno. Miyako barely appears. Overall, Yuno and Arisawa get strong 4s, Arisawa’s classmate gets a 1, and Miyako gets 0.

Scene 20: 20:00 - 20:33
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako decide to go home. Yuno’s encounter with Arisawa left her in a very obviously elated mood, increasing her yurilevels for her pleasure at being with her. Miyako’s teasing of Yuno by calling her “Yuno-sempai” (ゆの先輩) and “boss” (ゆの親分, “Yuno-oyabun”***) are light-hearted enough to give her a slight increase, while Yuno’s reaction seems to be more in response to her realization that she will be a second-year rather than to anything Miyako is doing, so Yuno is not affected. Yuno ends with 2, Miyako with 1.

Scene 21: 20:41 - 21:16
C: Yu
Yuno bathes. She expresses concern that the impending graduation will leave her feeling lonely, but her use of “sempai-tachi” (先輩たち) to refer to them does not specify a gender, so it does not impact her readings. She ends with 0.

Scene 22: 21:37 - 21:47
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno looks out from Hidamari Apartment’s balcony. Her continued melancholy at the graduation of the third-years doesn’t suggest yuri by itself and doesn’t affect her readings. She is, however, substantially raised by her happiness at seeing Miyako, a swift change from her previous pensive countenance, ending with 2. Miyako, for her part, does little more than start small talk and gets 0.

Scene 23: 21:53 - 21:58
C: Yu, Mi, Arisawa
Arisawa is shown at her graduation ceremony while Yuno and Miyako discuss the cherry blossoms. The association of cherry blossoms with romance in Japanese media**** makes Yuno and Miyako’s shared appreciation of the beauty of nature somewhat yuri, giving them each 1s. Meanwhile, Arisawa’s sadness at graduation is not necessarily caused by her imminently leaving Yuno and her other female friends and thus she stays at 0.

Scene 24: 21:58 - 22:05
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako smile at each other and congratulate the seniors on graduating. It’s not certain if their congratulation is directed toward the third-years overall or Arisawa in particular, though the previous scene could represent Arisawa being in their thoughts, which would increase their levels. The ambiguity results in a slight increase which is overshadowed anyways by the merry grins Yuno and Miyako exchange, ones that are indicative of a warmness between them that gives them each 2.

Final Yurilevel Readings:
(both Aokis and Umes are out of 4)
Episode: 1.2344A
  1. Arisawa: 3.726U
  2. Nazuna: 2.572U
  3. Yuno: 1.506U
    Miyako: 1.506U
  4. Arisawa’s classmate: 1.000U
  5. Hiro: 0.973U
  6. Nori: 0.890U
  7. Sae: 0.688U
  8. Landlady: 0.000U
    Minaguchi: 0.000U
    Yoshinoya: 0.000U

This episode had fairly low yurilevels throughout, a result of Scene 05 taking up over a third of the scene time and leaving the rest of the episode with short scenes that meant there was no diffusion of yuri to boost overall results. Nazuna made out well, appearing only in Scenes 04 through 06 and thus being very strongly affected by her 3 in Scene 05, while Sae and Hiro fared the worst since they only appeared afterwards in shorter scenes. Curiously, Yuno and Miyako’s Ume readings tied, a result of nearly equal yurilevel sums (21 for Yuno and 18 for Miyako) and the very evenly spread out scene times. The only notable result from this episode is that Arisawa barely missed out on a 4.0 from her five-second appearance in Scene 23.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 12.

*: Minaguchi’s name is not given when she is an on-screen character, but is shown on Yamabuki’s website in Scene 05 from 06:36 to 06:38. (The kanji of her name, 皆口, can be said as “Minaguchi” or “Minakuchi,” and because her name has not yet been spoken by any characters it remains unclear; a later appearance in the show could clear up this confusion, so this note is subject to change.)

**: Arisawa’s classmate in Scene 19 appears to not be given a name. She is not listed in the credits, and there is no information about her that I could find online.

***: “Oyabun” (親分) means “boss” and can be used as an honorific meaning the same.

****: Cherry blossoms have multiple meanings in Japanese culture, being at any one time a symbol of spring, renewal, beauty, love, romance, or Japan itself. Romantic connotations seem to come up more frequently in anime; some recent works that use cherry blossoms as a romantic image or play on its associations with romance are “Clannad,” “Love Hina,” and “Saki.” Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu itself employs cherry blossoms in the ED, “Sakura Sakura Saku” (さくらさくら咲く, “Blooming Cherry Blossoms”), though more likely as an image of renewal since it metaphorically represents the Hidamaris accepting Nori and Nazuna into Hidamari Apartments.

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