Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hidamari Sketch xSP 01

Hidamari Sketch xSP 01 includes the six Hidamari residents and Yoshinoya. Part A shows the Hidamaris visiting an open-air museum over summer vacation, and Part B shows Yuno, Miyako, Nori, and Nazuna going to the pool before returning to Hidamari Apartments for a sleepover.

Scene 01: 00:14 - 00:51
C: Yu, Mi, Yo
Yoshinoya dismisses class for break. Yuno asks Miyako what they should do together on the first day of break, which is both a conveyance of Yuno’s desire to spend time with Miyako and a presumption on Yuno’s part that Miyako will want to spend time with her. Her presumption is correct since Miyako responds that they’ll do something outside if the weather is nice, a friendly proposal that raises her to 1 while Yuno gets a 2. Yoshinoya is prevented from attaining yurilevels since her class is mixed-gender; she stays at 0.

Scene 02: 02:30 - 03:02
C: Yu
Yuno wakes up early. The scene is spent showing her revery in the nice weather, so there is no yuri to note.

Scene 03: 03:04 - 03:21
C: No, Na
Nori gathers Nazuna. Her command to Nazuna to change out of her pajamas and hurry at least somewhat suggests that she wants Nazuna to come with her, raising Nori to a 1. Nazuna’s alarm and confusion at hearing that she needs to get ready does not suggest a similar sentiment from Nazuna, keeping her at 0.

Scene 04: 03:26 - 03:50
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris ride the train. Yuno and Miyako each get an initial boost since Yuno is shown to steady herself by holding onto Miyako’s elbow instead of the handle provided by the train, which, in addition to being an instance of physical contact, conveys that Yuno has a high degree of trust in Miyako. Yuno’s increase is dampened significantly since both she and Nori attempted to abdicate the responsibility of telling Nazuna about their excursion, suggesting neither was concerned about Nazuna enough to do so herself; Yuno is consequently reduced to a 1. Since Nazuna apologizes to them, thus shifting the blame away from them onto herself, and since she came with them in the first place, a display of trust in them, she gets a 2. The scene ends with Miyako spreading her legs in front of the others, giving her a 4. Sae, Hiro, and Nori all end with 0s, reinforced by their dismay toward Miyako’s hips.

Scene 05: 03:55 - 04:00
C: Yu, No, Na
Yuno and Nori apologize to Nazuna. Their remorse at letting Nazuna down earns them each a 1; Nazuna’s forgiveness toward them raises her to a 1 as well.

Scene 06: 04:00 - 07:23
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris explore an open-air museum. Nori passes her bag to Sae before leaving, showing a moderate level of trust in Sae that gives her a slight increase. Upon reaching a statue of two figures dancing, Miyako suddenly takes hold of Yuno’s hands and imitates the pose of the piece, which Yuno is surprised at but complies with, increasing both of their readings significantly. Miyako then asks Sae and Hiro to imitate the next statue they come across, showing that Miyako naturally pairs the two together and helping her yurilevels for it. The two agree, and when they reach the next statue Sae is forced to hold Hiro in the air, touching Hiro’s upper chest as she does so.In addition to being intimate physical touching, Sae is also symbolically “supporting” Hiro, again conveying that their relationship follows a dominant-submissive dynamic and considerably raising the readings for both. Later, when the group arrives at another piece, Nori turns to Nazuna and asks her what it should be titled, an attempt to keep Nazuna from being left out that positively affects Nori. At the same time, Miyako rests on Yuno in a full-body contact that strengthens their readings from earlier. The Hidamaris then discuss possible titles for another piece they see, and when they are disappointed with its real name, Miyako grabs Nori’s hand and declares her proposed name to be the true one, again getting aided for both her contact with Nori and her show of favoritism. Miyako, Sae, and Hiro all get 3, Yuno gets 2, Nori ends with 1, and Nazuna with 0.

Scene 07: 07:26 - 08:35
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The group enters the indoor museum. Sae and Hiro separate to look at a piece together. Hiro compliments Sae by telling her that she could impact the world of art someday, which Sae then reciprocates by saying she thinks Hiro can do the same. The other museum patrons step away because of their intense intimacy, represented by an orange circle that encloses them, and Yuno and Miyako comment on the patrons backing off. The heavy implication of romance gives both Sae and Hiro 4s; Yuno and Miyako’s comments aren’t suggestive, so they stay at 0, as do Nori and Nazuna, who don’t factor into the scene at all.

Scene 08: 08:41 - 09:44
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris eat. Hiro acts especially parental toward the others in this scene by starting a group conversation and praising Nazuna on her amateurish model of a dog made from her drink wrapper. Sae and Nori also pretend to be impressed by her efforts, which successfully makes Nazuna believe she has worth, and the yurilevels of everyone involved are positively impacted by it. Yuno also attempts to make a piece of art by building an unstable tower that she names “Puberty” (思春期, “shishunki”). The implication is that Yuno’s adolescence so far has been unstable, and by extension that the other Hidamaris have not helped to stabilize her mental state, which keeps Yuno at 0. Miyako also gets 0 since she plays no part in the yuri in this scene, while Hiro ends with 2 and Sae, Nori, and Nazuna each get 1.

Scene 09: 09:53 - 10:26
C: Yu
Yuno bathes in pink water. She notes that she’ll be able to satisfy Yoshinoya’s request to use the break well, showing that Yuno wants to please her, and says she was happy to visit the museum with everyone, conveying a friendly warmness toward her neighbors. Neither is an especially strong instance of yuri, so Yuno ends with a 1.

Scene 10: 10:51 - 11:26
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
Sae and Hiro see Yuno, Miyako, Nori, and Nazuna off. The former two are leaving to go study for much of the day. Since there is nothing to prove they will be with other students, they are assumed to be studying alone, and their desire to spend the day alone together raises both to 2. When Nori and Nazuna join them, they ascend the steps from the second floor holding hands. This intimate, lewd gesture is made further notable since there are repeated mentions throughout the scene that the weather is unbearably hot, so to hold onto each other for so long would likely be uncomfortable; therefore, they are not only holding hands but are committed to doing so. Nori says that she can’t stand keeping her clothes on, extending the unconstrained homoeroticism coming from her, and she and Nazuna then stare into each other’s eyes for three seconds (over one-fifth of their total time on-screen in this scene of 14 seconds). Both end with 4s. Yuno and Miyako, meanwhile, end with 1 since both are excited to visit the pool as a friendly activity.

Scene 11: 11:31 - 18:05
C: Yu, Mi, No, Na
Yuno, Miyako, Nori, and Nazuna swim at a local pool. With a running time of over six and a half minutes, this scene is long enough and rich enough in yuri that it is more easily organized by pairing rather than chronologically.
Nori and Nazuna have the largest wealth of yuri-notable moments, so they will be examined first. Toward the beginning, Nori and Nazuna step onto the pool deck at the same time and are implied to have showered together, suggestive of a close physical relationship. This implication is furthered by multiple signs that they view each other sexually: Nazuna stares at Nori’s shapely swimsuit figure, Nori fixes her attention on Nazuna’s groin (informing Nazuna she is doing so), and Nori also flirtatiously wonders aloud if Nazuna will take off her swimsuit while in the bathroom. Their sexual desire is supplemented by a strong friendship, shown by Nori in offering Nazuna a seat next to her when the pool is cleared and by Nazuna in wanting to spend her time at the pool simply talking with Nori. Both easily get 4s.
Yuno and Miyako convey a less romantic, more friendly relationship than Nori and Nazuna display, but still earn significant readings. Miyako spends much of the scene trying to help Yuno learn how to float in the pool, which involves bringing her a kickboard, giving her encouragement and praise as she improves, and aiding her physically by holding her hands to draw her through the pool. Yuno in return praises Miyako’s swimming abilities and asks to join Miyako to be alongside her. Since neither Yuno nor Miyako conveys a romantic or otherwise strong affection but do show a close friendship toward each other, they end with 2s.

Scene 12: 18:07 - 18:37
C: Yu, Mi, No, Na
Yuno, Miyako, Nori, and Nazuna walk back to Hidamari Apartments. Yuno receives an invitation from Hiro to a pajama party that they had previously discussed off-screen. The party is later said to be Yuno’s idea, raising her readings for wanting to sleep with the other Hidamaris. Her and Miyako’s agreement to attend consists of a simple thanking and only earns them each a minor increase, bringing Yuno to 2 and Miyako to 1. Nori and Nazuna, unaware that such a discussion had occurred, only show confusion, and stay at 0.

Scene 13: 18:41 - 18:43
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako carry a blanket to Hiro’s room. Their excited running and wide grins convey that they are both eagerly anticipating the sleepover, and combined with the symbolism of having them under one blanket together, both are raised to a 2.

Scene 14: 18:45 - 22:06
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris have a pajama party in Hiro’s room.
At the beginning of the scene, Nori can be seen in the background wideface-stacking with Nazuna, earning both of them a significant increase for this close touching. Yuno and Miyako enter and then change into their pajamas; where they change and whether or not there are others present is unclear but they are shown beforehand standing in front of the others and the color of the background does not change while they are dressing themselves, so it’s very possible that they changed in front of all of the Hidamaris, a display of shared intimacy that helps everybody. Hiro then officially begins the party, following this by complimenting Nazuna’s cute pajamas and earning a slight increase. Sae asks about Yuno’s progress in swimming, and she and Hiro are happy to hear that Yuno can now float, earning moderate increases for their parental-style pride in her. Yuno herself has by this point fallen asleep. In response, Miyako envelops Yuno in her arms, holds her close to herself, and gazes peacefully at her, an all but romantic act that conveys a deep affection for Yuno. Nori suggests that everybody draw Yuno while she sleeps, a more friendly affection that again helps everybody (except Yuno, of course). The main part of the scene ends, and the scene picks up again several hours later when Yuno wakes up during the night. She, Miyako, Nori, and Nazuna are all shown sleeping in separate futons* on the floor, but Sae and Hiro are in bed together sharing a blanket; since this is indicative of a closeness above what any of the other Hidamaris experience, Sae and Hiro get significant increases for it. Yuno laments that she fell asleep since she wanted to talk with the others, showing that she enjoys their company, and is then touched to see that they all drew her, a friendly warmness which aids her readings moderately. Miyako, Sae, and Hiro end with 4, Yuno and Nori with 2, and Nazuna with 1.

Final Yurilevel Readings: (both Aokis and Umes are out 4)
Episode: 2.2023A
  1. Hiro: 3.168U
  2. Sae: 3.062U
  3. Nori: 2.357U
  4. Miyako: 3.062U
  5. Nazuna: 1.906U
  6. Yuno: 1.623U
  7. Yoshinoya: 0.000U

One of the concerns that has bothered me throughout the investigation is the idea that my standards of yuri will change over time. While some variation is to be expected since the show itself changes, a fundamental shift in how yuri is identified or quantified has to be avoided because it would be the undoing of the project. The data collected would be entirely different figures derived for different reasons, and the investigation’s goal of achieving a set of data that is comparable across episodes would be defeated. A solution to this that I’ve come up with is to re-analyze episodes that had been examined previously and see if the figures change considerably; if they don’t, then the standards for yuri content will have been consistent and the data will be valid. Hidamari Sketch xSP 01 is a unique opportunity to test this solution on because this episode was examined for the pilot study prior to the beginning of the investigation. A primary reason xSP 01 was chosen to be used for the pilot study was because I remembered that this was a particularly gay episode and would be good to calibrate the methodology. At that time (around five and a half months ago), xSP 01 was found to have a reading of 1.33 Aokis, with the character rankings placing Nori at the top with slightly under 2 Umes and Yuno at the bottom with 0.7U. These constituted “particularly gay” under the original interpretation of yuri.
The readings that have been found in this analysis are vastly higher: xSP 01 has the second-highest Aoki reading recorded yet at 2.20A, a hair under x365 05’s 2.24A, with the character rankings Hiro and Sae at the top at over 3 Umes each and all other characters except Yoshinoya getting over 1.5U. Despite these very different results, I do not believe they suggest an invalidation of the project. A pilot study is not the same as a normal investigation since it is not meant to provide usable data, but instead to expose glaring flaws in proposed methodology. The pilot study did this well at the time, and beginning with Hidamari Sketch 01 results were generally higher than they would have been under the initial methodology. When the time comes to reevaluate and verify data, the early episodes of Season One will be a better comparison than the pilot study.
Yurilevels in this episode were so high because every aspect of yuri across the board was strengthened for this episode. The readings found here are significantly affected by having around 70% of the episode concentrated in three especially high-yuri scenes (Scenes 6, 11, and 14); even so, the situations in this episode are more yuri than a normal one, particularly the trip to the pool and the pajama party in Part B. Within these scenes, the Hidamaris were acting gayer than normal, being more overt with their physical affection and showing more closeness and intimacy than usual. While no conclusions about the direction of the show can be drawn without a few more episodes with similar results, the opening of xSP having such a strong showing suggests the direction of the show really is moving in a more yuri direction.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch xSP 02.

*: For Yuno to be in a futon would have required someone to move her body onto it and then tuck her in. Whoever did so would have received a significant increase for this gesture, but there is no indication who it was, so it must be left out in the analysis of the scene’s yuri.

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