Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 12

Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu 12 includes the six Hidamari residents, Yoshinoya, the Landlady, and Kuwahara. The episode focuses on the Hidamaris harvesting and then eating tomatoes.

Scene 01: 00:06 - 00:43

C: Yo
Yoshinoya talks on the phone. Identifying who she is talking to was especially difficult since there are few specific indications who it might be (the likely possibility being her mother, given her voice), but because we know nothing about any possible friends of hers, her conversation partner can be assumed to be inconsequential. Yoshinoya seems attached to whoever she’s talking to, asking to keep talking after her partner says she will go to sleep, so she gets a 1.

Scene 02: 02:24 - 05:27
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
Tomatoes are harvested. The scene opens with everyone but Hiro pleasantly doing morning radio exercises that start them with slightly elevated readings for enjoying activities together. Hiro then appears, to the surprise of the others, since she’s been established to be a very late sleeper; Nazuna still invites her to join them, helping her for her desire to include Hiro. During exercise, Hiro is lethargy and slow-moving from her residual tiredness, but is then shown acting normally once Sae talks to her. Hiro gets moderate readings from this change of mood because, though she attributes it to the exercises themselves, the way the shots are set up and the contrast between them suggest to the viewer that talking to Sae is what made Hiro excited/happy enough to overcome her fatigue. Sae invites her to do it every day (referring to radio exercises), which Hiro agrees to; both get another increase for wanting to do the exercises together. After finishing exercises, Sae asks the others what they will be doing today, implying an unstated assumption among everyone that they would have a group activity. Miyako says the time has come to pick tomatoes, which is delayed slightly on Nazuna’s request to get her phone to take pictures. Shortly after she asks to do so, Yuno and Nori also decide to go and get their phones. This is noteworthy since Yuno and Nori are shown to be the closest to Nazuna of the other five Hidamaris, which is conveyed again here by their heightened suggestibility to her and nets them both minor increases; Miyako, who opts for her sketchbook, displays independent thought and thus does not benefit. While harvesting, the Hidamaris split into their usual groups of two, reinforcing the increased emphasis this season on the characters as pairs rather than the cohesive whole seen in previous seasons. Yuno takes a picture of Miyako, getting a slight increase for the friendly action of wanting to remember a moment with her. Sae and Hiro warmly talk about the hard work everyone put into the tomatoes, which can’t readily be called indicative of a parent-type position for them but does convey they are in some sense overseeing the other Hidamaris and hold a dominant position. Everyone is helped by this, since the unspoken nature of this power hierarchy suggests everyone is familiar enough with each other to know their place in the order. Nazuna and Nori reminisce about Nazuna’s attempts to tie stakes around the tomato stalks, receiving slight increases for thinking warmly of a shared memory. Everyone ends with a 2.

Scene 03: 05:27 - 06:07
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na, La
The Hidamaris encounter the Landlady outside. Hiro thanks her for the idea to grow tomatoes and invites her to a tomato-based dinner, to which she agrees. The gesture of friendliness gives Hiro a 1 for offering and the Landlady a 1 as well for accepting, and everyone else gets 0 for their inaction.

Scene 04: 06:10 - 07:18
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris taste their tomatoes. Miyako at one point refers to Yuno as “Yuno-uebu” (ゆのーうえぶ)*, an honorific possibly related to the archaic “ue” (上) which denotes a high level of respect. She gets 1 for this quick show of reverence toward Yuno, while the others stay at 0.

Scene 05: 07:20 - 07:40
C: Yu, No, Na
Yuno, Nori, and Nazuna buy materials for dinner. Yuno’s surprise at Nori’s perceived Italian styles of eating don’t strongly convey yuri, and since there is nothing else in the scene worth commenting on, everyone ends with 0.

Scene 06: 07:41 - 08:12
C: Yu, No, Na, Yo
Yoshinoya encounters Yuno, Nori, and Nazuna. Yoshinoya, being in a depressive state from having to work, is unable to deliver significant yuri, but Yuno, Nori, and Nazuna each get slight increases from their appreciation of her work. They get 1s, Yoshinoya gets 0.

Scene 07: 08:15 - 08:47
C: Yu, No, Na
Yuno, Nori, and Nazuna walk home. Nazuna expresses concern about one of her test grades, and Nori assures her that she did well because they studied together. Nori giving herself credit for Nazuna’s success tempers the boost she received from trying to cheer her up, so she only ends with 1. Nazuna, who is unaffected by Nori’s words, stays at 0, while Yuno, who stays out of their conversation except to express her own worries about the tests, also gets a 0.

Scene 08: 08:54 - 09:39
C: Mi, Sa, Hi
Miyako, Sae, and Hiro work on pasta. Miyako asks Sae about how long she spends each day working on writing, which she says varies. Hiro comments that on days when she can’t work, she gets tense, displaying a knowledge of Sae’s emotional states that Sae finds embarrassing. Her embarrassment is odd, given Hiro makes this out to be a recurring event and Sae is presumably fine with her knowing, so it’s likely that she’s more concerned with Hiro saying it out loud while someone else is nearby. This suggests she considers this type of knowledge private and that, by letting Hiro know it as well, she has a high degree of emotional intimacy with her, substantially increasing both their readings. Sae redirects the conversation by asking Miyako what she does in her room when she isn’t working on anything, which, while raising the question of what she expected Miyako to say, doesn’t show a similar curiosity about Miyako that she showed about her, so it doesn’t impact Sae. Sae and Hiro each end with 3, and Miyako with 1.

Scene 09: 09:39 - 09:52
C: Yu, No, Na
Yuno notices a sign outside Hiro’s room. She assumes it was made by Miyako, but her befuddlement as she proposes this does not suggest that it is a statement on the image’s quality or on Miyako’s skill, so it doesn’t impact Yuno. As a short, mostly expositive, scene, nobody else has a possibility to earn yurilevels and everyone ends with 0.

Scene 10: 09:52 - 10:42
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
Yuno, Nori, and Nazuna return to Hiro’s room. They enter with an “I’m back” (ただいま, “tadaima”) and are greeted with “welcome back” (おかえり, “okaeri”), which generally denotes a connection between Hidamari Apartments and a home but which here seems to be used more to tell the others they have returned. Nori offers to prepare a menu and research possible desserts, leading to Nazuna asking to help, which Nori agrees to. Nazuna gets 1 for asking to spend time with Nori, Nori gets 1 for welcoming this, and everyone else ends with 0.

Scene 11: 10:45 - 11:09
C: No, Na
Nori and Nazuna plan a dessert. Nazuna occupies herself in fawning over Nori and her ability to do anything, particularly admiring her ability to use a computer, which she believes is difficult. When Nori offers her the use of her computer, she does all she can to encourage her and offer her help, raising her to a 1 in comparison to Nazuna’s 4.

Scene 12: 11:10 - 11:34
C: Yu, Hi
Yuno and Hiro work on making pasta sauce. This scene primarily serves as exposition as to why everyone is working separately, and Yuno and Hiro have little in the way of yuri-heavy interaction, so both end with 0.

Scene 13: 11:35 - 12:01
C: Mi, Sa
Miyako and Sae chop onions. When Miyako takes off the goggles she wore to protect herself from the onions’ syn-Propanethial-S-oxide, Sae begins laughing derisively, a mockery that keeps her at 0. Miyako doesn’t express notable yuri either, also ending with 0.

Scene 14: 12:02 - 12:06
C: Hi
Hiro finishes making soup. No other character is present and she does not direct her speaking toward anyone, so she ends with 0.

Scene 15: 12:09 - 13:04
C: Yu, Ku
Yoshinoya and Kuwahara send each other text messages. While Yoshinoya is messaging Kuwahara to relieve her boredom at grading tests, Kuwahara appears to be messaging Yoshinoya because she enjoys her company, encouraging and even joking with her in a departure from her standard role as the straight-man to Yoshinoya. Consequently, Yoshinoya gets 0 since she does not seem to have a motivation to message Kuwahara specifically, and Kuwahara gets 1 for her unusual warmth.

Scene 16: 13:05 - 13:44
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno, Miyako, and Sae prepare pasta. Hiro thanks Sae for the work she has put into the tomato sauce after Sae expresses her regret that Hiro has to season it. Moderately blushing, Sae continues her apology, saying that Hiro cooks so much for her that she feels bad about it. The underlying condition of the scene is that Sae is reliant on Hiro for cooking, which has come up in previous episodes, and here Sae and Hiro’s feelings about this situation are elaborated: Sae feels guilt over making Hiro prepare food for her, but Hiro is more than happy to do so, showing a greater measure of acceptance about their close relationship than Sae has. The effect of this exchange on both of their yurilevels will thus be stronger for Hiro than Sae. Miyako asks Hiro to praise her as well, and after Hiro does so Miyako puts on a contented smile. Possible explanations for Miyako’s requests are that Miyako seeks Hiro’s approval/affection or that Miyako wants Hiro to treat her the saw way she treats Sae. The first explanation is somewhat straightforward, but any possibly yuri in the second would depend on whether Miyako sees Sae and Hiro’s relationship as friendly or romantic. The answer to this comes from two comments by Miyako, in Hidamari Sketch OVA 02 and xHoshimittsu 02, where she has compared Hiro to a wife shortly after Sae has been mentioned, implicitly making Hiro out to be “married” to Sae. Therefore, the second interpretation would argue she does want a similar romantic connection to Hiro, which significantly raises the average reading of the two explanations. Overall, Hiro ends with 4, Miyako with 3, Sae with 2, and a mostly-quiet Yuno with 0.

Scene 17: 13:46 - 14:07
C: No, Na
Nori and Nazuna ready their dessert. Nori spends the whole scene talking about herself without involving Nazuna in any meaningful way, and gets a 0 for her self-centeredness. Nazuna, like in their last scene alone, listens to Nori talk about herself in rapt attention, laughing at appropriate times and smiling throughout, and her eagerness to be engaged with Nori, even despite Nori’s callousness toward her, gives her another 4.

Scene 18: 14:12 - 14:58
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris congregate and continue to prepare for their meal. Hiro’s refrigerator is found to be stocked full of shame pudding, which is then eaten by the whole group. As they eat, most of the Hidamaris close their eyes and point their heads off into space, but Nori and Nazuna are turned towards each other, showing warmth toward each other and giving them each a slight increase. Later, Nori teaches Yuno and Nazuna to arrange Caprese salads. Yuno injects her own commentary into the lesson, which shows engagement if nothing else, while Nazuna nods and obeys, continuing the total submission to Nori shown previously in the episode. Nori and Nazuna end with 2, Yuno with 1, the others with 0.

Scene 19: 14:59 - 15:20
C: Yu, Sa, Hi, La
Yuno, Sae, and Hiro call the Landlady for their tomato dinner. The Landlady is happy to receive her invitation, but is also happy before they call and just as happy while she is being invited, so it doesn’t appear that their offer of dinner had any effect on her mood, keeping her at 0. She tells Yuno, Sae, and Hiro that they can start eating before she arrives, which makes them smile, a somewhat impolite reaction that also holds them at 0.

Scene 20: 15:20 - 15:22
C: La
The Landlady stands up. She seems to look forward to visiting Hidamari Apartments at least somewhat, which gives her a 1.

Scene 21: 15:25 - 17:04
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
Tomatoes are eaten. Miyako tries to start her meal immediately, but is stopped by Yuno. While Yuno’s readings are unaffected since she just wanted to take pictures of the food, Miyako gets a moderate increase for putting her respect for Yuno’s wishes over her love of eating. While Nazuna and Nori survey the dishes, Nazuna says she is impressed with Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro, while Nori focuses her admiration toward Hiro specifically; they are equally affected since Nazuna is impressed in a friendly manner toward multiple people while Nori is complimenting Hiro in particular, singling her out. Miyako ends with 2, Nori and Nazuna with 1, everyone else with 0.

Scene 22: 17:04 - 18:50
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na, La
The Landlady joins the Hidamaris for dinner. She gives Hiro a store-bought cake as a present and compliments the display of food. While these are friendly actions on their own, the Landlady seems to take a genial, friendly approach toward her tenants in general (she has in the past used the informal “-chan” honorific toward prior inhabitants), so most of the time any niceties such as gifts is not a notable instance of yuri being specifically focused toward her tenants. Her consequent drop in readings is still made up for, however, since this theory for her actions suggests the Landlady tries to be close with any women who happen to live in Hidamari Apartments, which is no less indicative of yuri. The dessert prepared by Nori and Nazuna, tomato sherbet, is then presented to the delight of the other Hidamaris. Upon being complimented for it, Nori insists that Nazuna helped her and that the other dishes were also tasty. Nazuna then apologizes to Nori suddenly, which is possibly because she feels she didn’t work hard enough but comes across as inexplicable, so it will be left out of consideration for her overall reading. The Landlady turns to Nori and Nazuna and says she’s glad they get along well, making Nori and Nazuna extremely defensive with both trying to downplay the extent of their friendship. The other Hidamaris note their tension, and their comments suggest Nori and Nazuna are only nervous because they are treating the Landlady as an authority figure, dampening their readings for this non-yuri explanation. Both of them, as well as the Landlady, get a 1 while the rest stay at 0.

Scene 23: 18:50 - 19:06
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na, La
The Landlady leaves Hidamari Apartments. Sae says she can come back anytime, which, while pleasant, is essentially meaningless since the Landlady owns the building, so Sae gets no aid from it. The Landlady genuinely compliments the dinner, earning a 1 for her appreciation of their efforts; the Hidamaris get little opportunity to express yuri beyond saying goodbye and all end with 0.

Scene 24: 19:06 - 19:50
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na, Yo
Yoshinoya receives tribute.  Though the Hidamaris are surprised to see her emerge exhausted from the school (bordering on alarmed), they rapidly warm up to her and give her a jar of their extra tomato sauce. Yoshinoya expresses gratitude and asks Hiro if she was the one that made it, suggesting an assumption of Yoshinoya’s that Hiro has the most skill of the six (while this is accurate, it is still a valid observation since Yoshinoya would have little reason to be aware of this). Hiro and Sae hastily attempt to inflate the role of each other in preparing it, showing they both respect the other’s work and help, and when Yoshinoya decides to believe that everyone helped make it, all six Hidamaris smile proudly toward their usual partner (i.e., Yuno and Miyako, Sae and Hiro, and Nori and Nazuna). Yoshinoya leaves considerably happier than she entered and her exhaustion is shown to be gone by her skip as she leaves, so for her pleasure to see the Hidamaris she earns a 3; meanwhile, Sae and Hiro each get 2 and the others get 1.

Scene 25: 19:51 - 20:46
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris depart for the night. Hiro and Nori both express that they enjoyed preparing and eating a meal with their neighbors, a sentiment which leans more on the friendly side of yuri. Nori additionally prompts Nazuna to agree, getting a moderate boost since she’s trying either to involve her out of a desire for her to be incorporated in her fun or to talk more with Nazuna. Nazuna similarly shows that she enjoyed the tomato meal by remarking on her desire for memories of the menu (which, though tangential, is linked closely to the events of the day); Nori invites Nazuna to her room to print a reproduction of the menu, which would warrant strong yurilevels if it were later at night, but as it is presumably just after sunset, the time is not late enough to suggest ulterior motives. Nori ends with 2, as does Nazuna, while Hiro gets 1 and the others get 0.

Scene 26: 20:47 - 21:12
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno notices a star in the sky. Both Yuno and Miyako display mild yuri, but in different ways: while Yuno’s first reaction to the sight of the star is to show it to Miyako, showing an affection for her specifically, Miyako’s reaction is to show it to the other Hidamaris collectively, showing an appreciation for them as a whole. They each get 2.

Scene 27: 21:14 - 21:36
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris stare at the viewer. The camera pans up each resident’s body individually while they talk about the star, but their interaction is so minimal and shallow that nobody deserves yurilevels here.

Scene 28: 21:40 - 22:05
C: Yu
Yuno bathes. The happiness she expresses at spending time with and living next to the other Hidamaris shows a strong enough appreciation of them to warrant a 2.

Final Yurilevel Readings: (both Aokis and Umes are out of 4)
Episode: 0.9857A
  1. Nazuna: 1.207U
  2. Nori: 1.092U
  3. Miyako: 1.032U
  4. Yoshinoya: 1.011U
  5. Kuwahara: 1.000U
  6. Hiro: 0.979U
  7. Landlady: 0.886U
  8. Sae: 0.779U
  9. Yuno: 0.610U

Very low readings throughout by xHoshimittsu standards, which is odd given the episode was centered on the Hidamaris spending an entire day together. The reason is that, in addition to spending a large portion of its time solely on the preparation and consumption of tomatoes, this episode focused more on platonic and friendly yuri, making it more similar to a Season One or x365 episode. In contrast to many other xHoshimittsu episodes, there was no physical contact between characters and, aside from Sae and Hiro in Scenes 8 and 16, almost no romantic teasing. Since many of Sae and Hiro’s yurilevels come from such teasing, they fared especially poorly here; in contrast, Miyako rated comparatively highly because her readings are mostly derived from platonic interactions with Yuno, giving her a reading that is not far off from her usual one. An additional, more specific factor in the generally low readings may have been the unusual pairing of characters when they made dinner: instead of the expected Yuno/Miyako and Sae/Hiro pairs, Yuno went with Hiro and Miyako with Sae, and neither duo received any yurilevels in their respective scenes. Nori and Nazuna, who did pair together, each received some readings when they had scenes during food preparation, with Nazuna’s idolatry of Nori giving her the strongest Ume reading of the episode. Yoshinoya did surprisingly well, mostly from getting a 3 in one of her four scenes in the episode, while the Landlady and Kuwahara rated low but were consistent with their results from other episodes.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu OVA 01.

*: Miyako speaks quickly and as such it is difficult to make out precisely what she says. Nutbladder translates it as “Signor Yuno”, using an Italian word equivalent to “mister” that, according to Merriam-Webster, is used toward men of “rank or gentility”, seeming to support the transliteration and interpretation of “uebu” (上ぶ) used here.

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