Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hidamari Sketch xHoneycomb 07

Hidamari Sketch xHoneycomb 07 includes the six Hidamari residents and Yoshinoya, as well as Ikezawa, Mami, Nakayama, and Arisawa (see xHoshimittsu 05 and 11). The first half centers on a competition to determine the cover of the Yamabuki Festival pamphlet, and the second half follows Yuno’s rendezvous with Arisawa.

Scene 01: 00:10 - 00:27
C: Yu
Yuno wakes up early. Nothing worth mentioning here.

Scene 02: 02:04 - 02:33
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako prepare their canvases. Miyako compliments Yuno’s idea to write encouragements along the side, a friendliness that earns her a 1. Yuno does nothing to reciprocate and stays at 0.

Scene 03: 02:33 - 02:40
C: Yuno, Mami
Mami comments on Yuno’s paper. Yuno has by this point written out a lengthy string of encouragements on a very long strip of tape. Her cause for doing this is belied by the hearts decorating the background behind her, which suggest an elation brought about by Miyako’s compliments in the previous scene. Yuno is therefore blithely writing the notes solely because it elicited praise from Miyako, a desire for her affection which earns her a 3. Mami is alarmed by Yuno’s handicraft and thus stays at 0.

Scene 04: 02:42 - 03:15
C: Yu, Mi, Yo
Yoshinoya goes over the guidelines for the pamphlet cover competition. This scene exists mainly as exposition for the rest of the segment and nobody conveys any yuri, so everyone stays at 0.

Scene 05: 03:15 - 03:29
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno informs her mother of a possible world debut. Talking her to her mother rather than her father conveys a preference for women, though it is also possible that Yuno called her home phone and her mother happened to be the one to answer, so she only receives a 1. Meanwhile, Miyako is seen standing in the doorway watching Yuno, an obsessive attachment to her that gives Miyako a 2 since it’s not elaborated on.

Scene 06: 03:31 - 05:00
C: Yu, Mi, Yo
Yuno and Miyako begin work on their pamphlet covers. Miyako asks to borrow a ruling pen from Yuno but mispronounces her request due to a confusion between a katakana character (ロ, “ro”) and an identical-looking kanji (口, “guchi”). Yuno assures her that everybody makes the same mistake, though the disparaging response from the class means Yuno’s comment is not true at all and was only intended to cheer up Miyako. Her attempt to make Miyako happy raises her to 2; since we don’t see Miyako’s reaction, she doesn’t earn any side readings and stays at 0. Yoshinoya’s only involvement in the scene is to suggest a self-serving costume party as the class’s contribution to the festival and doesn’t suggest any yuri.

Scene 07: 05:00 - 05:37
C: Yu, Mi, Hi
Yuno and Miyako encounter Hiro in the school store. Miyako’s insistence to Hiro that she’s trying her best (頑張ります, “ganbarimasu”) and general excitement to see Hiro raise her to a 1, but Yuno and Hiro only come off as distantly polite throughout the scene and don’t receive any readings.

Scene 08: 05:37 - 06:46
C: No, Na
Nori and Nazuna choose their lunches. Nori scolds Nazuna for her inability to decide on a meal, lowering her yurilevel for the scene, and easily chooses Meal B for her lunch. Nazuna responds by admiring Nori’s decisiveness and wishing to emulate her, an admiration that helps her readings. Discussing the voucher system of lunches, Nori says she would prefer to talk to the cafeteria women, expressing a desire for interpersonal contact with other women, while Nazuna says she would be too nervous, hurting her for desiring not to have said interpersonal contact; Nori warmly notes that such a wish is expressive of who Nazuna is, conveying an affection for her shyness. When forced to choose her lunch quickly, Nazuna hesitates before choosing Meal B like Nori did, tying in with her earlier want to model herself on Nori and raising her to 2. Nori earns 1.

Scene 09: 06:48 - 07:17
C: Yu, Yo
Yuno finishes her pamphlet proposal. Her memories of the previous year’s festival don’t convey any yuri in themselves, keeping her at 0. Yoshinoya’s involvement in the scene is minimal and she also ends at 0.

Scene 10: 07:17 - 07:46
C: Yu, Mi, Yo
Yuno and Miyako turn in their pamphlets. Both compliment each other’s design, Miyako by calling Yuno’s “cute” (可愛い, “kawaii”) and Yuno by calling Miyako’s “bold” (豪快, “goukai”), and as a result they each get 1.

Scene 11: 07:48 - 08:38
C: Yo, Ikezawa
The Yamabuki faculty look over the proposals for pamphlet covers. Yoshinoya gets stressed at having to choose only one of the pieces and attempts to alleviate her tension by wrapping herself around Ikezawa’s arm, an association between happiness and intimate contact that earns Yoshinoya a 3. Ikezawa uncomfortably asks her to stop, preventing her from earning any side readings and holding her at 0.

Scene 12: 08:39 - 09:03
C: Yu, Mi, Mami, Nakayama
Yuno learns she won the competition. Miyako, Mami, and Nakayama all express excitement for Yuno to have won, a strong friendly action that earns each of them 2, but Yuno doesn’t respond to any of their congratulations and stays at 0.

Scene 13: 09:04 - 09:57
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris celebrate Yuno’s success. Miyako, Sae, Hiro, Nori, and Nazuna all clap for Yuno and praise her in some other additional way: Sae and Hiro call for an acceptance speech, Miyako claps for Yuno’s acceptance speech, and Nori and Nazuna express excitement that she is the only one to win. Yuno’s yuri-embarrassment to be the center of attention and willingness to go along with the suggestion for a speech raise her to the level of the others so that everyone ends with 2.

Scene 14: 10:13 - 10:51
C: Yu
Yuno bathes in purple water and receives a text message. Her response to seeing that the message is from Arisawa is fairly unemotional and keeps her at 0.

Scene 15: 10:51 - 11:19
C: Yu, Arisawa
Arisawa toys with Yuno. Her initial message to Yuno asks her to fill in an extra spot for a group date, quickly establishing a connection between Yuno meeting with Arisawa and dating and giving Arisawa a significant increase. Yuno becomes alarmed and nervously tells Arisawa she wouldn’t be able to cope with such a situation, diminishing her readings. Arisawa’s revelation that she was joking shows a playfulness in her relationship with Yuno, implying a comfort between them that raises Arisawa to 3; Yuno stays at 0.

Scene 16: 11:21 - 11:30
C: Yu
Yuno picks clothes for her outing with Arisawa. She rejects at least one outfit in the process of deciding how she will present herself, conveying that she is taking great care to be aesthetically pleasing to Arisawa and earning her a 2.

Scene 17: 11:31 - 11:36
C: Yu, Mi, Sa
Yuno says goodbye to Miyako and Sae. Their presence as the only two Hidamaris to see her off suggests that they are the most involved in Yuno’s life, a closeness to her that gives them each 1 and reciprocally gives Yuno a 1 as well.

Scene 18: 11:36 - 11:43
C: Mi, Sa
Sae panics. She asks Miyako if Yuno is going on a date (again linking Yuno and Arisawa’s meeting with dating), though it is apparent that neither she nor Miyako actually knows where Yuno is going or who she is meeting, so neither receives readings for it. Sae gets a 2 for grabbing Miyako and shaking her, with Miyako getting a 1 in side readings for it.

Scene 19: 11:45 - 12:08
C: Yu
Yuno waits for Arisawa at the train station. She sees a black dress that she decides is mature, at which point Yuno immediately imagines Arisawa wearing it and looking elegant and beautiful. Yuno also imagines herself in the same dress failing to look similarly dignified, representing Yuno’s self-perceived lack of maturity and contrasting with her depiction of Arisawa to convey Yuno’s admiration of Arisawa’s refinement and beauty, earning her a 3.

Scene 20: 12:08 - 12:30
C: Yu, Arisawa
Arisawa finds Yuno. Yuno’s first impressions of Arisawa are seeing her smile, then her hand, and finally a panning shot up her body, suggesting that Yuno finds Arisawa physically attractive; Arisawa, through these aforementioned actions, shows her excitement to see Yuno, so both get increased readings from her appearance. Yuno happily sighs Arisawa’s name, reciprocating Arisawa’s strong pleasure to meet again so that Yuno ends at 3 and Arisawa at 2.

Scene 21: 12:34 - 12:45
C: Yu, Arisawa
Arisawa brings Yuno to a cafe. Yuno calls the store cute and asks if Arisawa visits it often, connecting its cuteness to her to suggest she thinks Arisawa is cute, though the implication is too vague for it to significantly affect her readings. Arisawa says it will be her first time, but that she wanted to go there since she liked its atmosphere, conveying that she wanted to take Yuno somewhere nice and by extension wanted Yuno to enjoy their rendezvous as much as possible, raising her to 2 compared to Yuno’s 1.

Scene 22: 12:45 - 17:42
C: Yu, Arisawa
Yuno and Arisawa enjoy each other’s company alone in a cafe. When they enter, the two discover that the cafe is a popular dating spot due to the same atmosphere that prompted Arisawa to bring Yuno there. Arisawa makes the connection as though she feels she should have already understood that the cafe would be a place for dating couples, which suggests that she already unconsciously recognized it and brought Yuno there anyways, a romantic interpretation of her relationship with Yuno that receives a very strong increase to her readings. Arisawa then relates stories from her life as an art college student believing that Yuno would be interested. However, she based this assumption on her own experiences from high school and not on anything related to Yuno, so it does not impact her yurilevels; Yuno, meanwhile, earns a moderate increase for her rapt attention to Arisawa throughout. With no prompting, Arisawa compliments Yuno as having matured. Yuno denies this, preventing reciprocal readings from Arisawa’s action, but says she has changed her shampoo since their last visit, leading Arisawa to lean in toward Yuno to sniff her hair. This highly intimate action gives Arisawa another strong increase and helps Yuno as well because she leans in to let Arisawa have a better smell. Responding to Arisawa’s anecdote about talking to her garbage can to resolve her cabin fever, Yuno implicitly asks to visit her house, an attempt at further closeness with her, but Arisawa tells Yuno it would be too embarrassing, preventing her from gaining any side readings from Yuno’s proposal. Later, Arisawa asks Yuno how school has been, coming off halfway between genuinely interested and polite and only receiving a slight boost, and Yuno informs Arisawa that she won the festival pamphlet competition, which Arisawa then congratulates her for. Arisawa goes on to say that it is important to stay connected to one’s friends and emphasizes this by flirtatiously pointing and shooting at Yuno, representing her desire for herself and Yuno to remain close and hinting at romantic attraction, raising her to 4 while Yuno ends at 3.

Scene 23: 17:46 - 19:10
C: Yu, Arisawa
Yuno walks Arisawa to her bus stop. Both discuss their desire to meet again, giving each a moderate yurilevel increase. Arisawa asks Yuno to call her by her nickname “Arisa” (ありさ), conveying a higher degree of familiarity than they had previously; Yuno tries to do so three times but only succeeds once due to her embarrassment to be close enough to Arisawa to use her nickname, which still helps her readings since that is an acceptably yuri form of embarrassment. Yuno’s failed attempts seem to only make Arisawa more fond of her, as Arisawa gently tells Yuno that she doesn’t need to work to improve her timorous nature since it makes her unique (and presumably more appealing). Yuno ends the scene by nervously asking Arisawa to come to the Yamabuki Festival in a manner that makes it seem like she is asking a romantic partner on a date, significantly raising her readings, and Arisawa enthusiastically agrees. Yuno ends with 3 while Arisawa gets 4.

Scene 24: 19:11 - 19:29
C: Yu
Yuno considers Arisawa’s advice. Her takeaway from Arisawa’s message is that if she wants to stay connected to others she has to take the initiative to do so. She then sends out a message to Sae and Hiro asking them to always be friends, likely choosing to speak to them due to their upcoming graduation. Yuno’s desire to remain close to Sae and Hiro after that time conveys a friendly closeness that raises her to a 2.

Scene 25: 19:30 - 19:50
C: Sa, Hi
Sae and Hiro receive a message from Yuno. At the beginning of the scene, Sae and Hiro are sitting in Sae’s room together but with their backs to each other as they do separate tasks. There is no indication they are upset with each other or intentionally refusing to speak, so it’s possible that they are comfortable being together without having to interact, a fondness for each other’s company that helps both of them significantly. The two are confused by Yuno’s message but react to it in a warm tone of voice to show they are not put off or alarmed by her kindness, solidifying both of their readings at 3.

Scene 26: 19:54 - 21:16
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
Yuno shares her pie with the others. Hiro thanks Yuno for sharing her pie, receiving a slight increase from polite gratitude. Sae teasingly asks Yuno how her date went, but because Sae still doesn’t know the gender of the person Yuno met with it again doesn’t affect her readings. The thought of Yuno on a date excites Nori and Nazuna, who become visibly disappointed to hear Yuno met with a woman, a description of Yuno’s encounter which hurts Yuno, Nori, and Nazuna for rejecting the possibility of dating women. Yuno goes on to describe Arisawa glowingly as if she had been on a date with her and says she was glad to talk with her again, overcoming some of her decrease from earlier. Hiro again thanks Yuno, this time for the message she sent in the previous scene, keeping her at 1. Yuno also gets 1 and everybody else stays at 0.

Scene 27: 21:22 - 22:08
C: Yu
Yuno bathes in pink water and sends Arisawa a message. Her firm resolve to stay in touch with Arisawa conveys her desire to be close to her, and is supported by her suggestion that they should spend time together again in the future to raise her to 2.

Final Yurilevel Readings: (both Umes and Aokis are out of 4)
Episode: 1.8994A
  1. Arisawa: 3.787U
  2. Nakayama: 2.000U
  3. Yuno: 1.826U
  4. Mami: 1.548U
  5. Hiro: 1.291U
  6. Nazuna: 1.196U
  7. Sae: 1.107U
  8. Nori: 0.857U
  9. Miyako: 0.718U
  10. Yoshinoya: 0.652U
  11. Ikezawa: 0.000U

This episode is interesting from an analysis standpoint because the investigation so far has drawn a contrast between high-yuri Hidamari Sketch episodes focusing on interpersonal relationships (see the previous two episodes) and low-yuri episodes focusing on external events (see xHoneycomb 04), and xHoneycomb 07 is an example of both in one episode. Yuno and Arisawa’s meetup in the second half of the episode skewed all readings in this episode upward, with the segment focusing on them netting 1.5 Aokis compared to less than 0.4 from Part A, which followed Yuno and Miyako painting pamphlet cover designs. Yuno and Arisawa also received the highest yurilevels of any character with more than one scene (so excluding Nakayama, whose result is an outlier), but the structure of the episode left nearly every other character with notably low scene times (around 200 seconds for every regular but Miyako) which inflated many of their readings due to Scene 13’s relatively high yurilevels. Comparing the segments of this episode is one of the clearest indications yet that an episode’s yuri readings are directly related to their focus on the characters. If this is true, then the next episode, surrounding the Yamabuki Festival, should have low to moderate yurilevels.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch xHoneycomb 08.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hidamari Sketch xHoneycomb 06

Hidamari Sketch xHoneycomb 06 includes the six Hidamari residents, Yoshinoya, and Kuwahara, as well as Mami and Nakayama and a classmate of Yuno and Miyako. Part A follows Yuno and Miyako spending time together both at school and Hidamari Apartments, and Part B surrounds Hiro’s worries about her future.

Scene 01: 00:10 - 00:30
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno wakes up and is greeted by Miyako. Scenes of this nature have occurred so many times throughout the show that its existence here serves mainly to reinforce the routine of daily life at Hidamari Apartments. Yuno and Miyako are therefore including each other in their daily lives, but to a small enough degree that it only gives them 1.

Scene 02: 00:30 - 00:50
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako walk to the front of the apartment building. The brief shot of them standing together against a light pink background conveys they are both happy to see each other, giving them 1s again.

Scene 03: 00:50 - 01:30
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris walk to school. Yuno notices that Hiro looks unwell and asks how she is doing, a concern that elevates her to another 1. Miyako also talks to Hiro, but only to inform her that her hair is messy, which doesn’t help her readings. Nazuna says the same thing to Nori in an unusually light-hearted manner, possibly conveying a greater degree of comfort with her than normal and giving her a 2. As they reach the gate, Sae looks back on the others fondly, a warmth that earns her a 2. Everyone else stays at 0.

Scene 04: 03:04 - 03:33
C: Yu, Mi, Yo
Yoshinoya begins class. Yuno’s embarrassment to have Miyako see her make faces in her mirror isn’t a shame that conveys yuri, so neither one of them earns readings. Yoshinoya’s briefing to her students has no yuri in it either, so everybody ends at 0.

Scene 05: 03:33 - 03:44
C: Yo, Yuno and Miyako’s classmate
Yoshinoya draws Mashiko. The classmate prompting her to do so was likely in the chorus at the end of the previous scene praising Yoshinoya’s artistic skill, but wanting to see that skill used to portray a man holds her at 0. Yoshinoya’s unflattering portrait of Mashiko isn’t clearly enough a disdain for men in general, and consequently doesn’t affect her readings to keep her at 0 as well.

Scene 06: 03:44 - 06:12
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako talk as they draw themselves. The scene essentially revolves around how much Yuno and Miyako know about each other. Yuno realizes there are things they haven’t talked about after hearing Miyako talking freely about her experiences with drawing prior to coming to Yamabuki, leading Miyako to ask Yuno to make a face she hasn’t shown her before. Yuno’s attempt to sneer sends Miyako into a fit of laughter as she exclaims that Yuno has the expression completely wrong. Miyako’s happiness for Yuno to fail at sneering implies that Miyako didn’t want to see Yuno actually make such a face, preferring Yuno to have her regular, happier expressions, a fondness for her that significantly helps her readings so that Miyako ends with 3 and Yuno with 1.

Scene 07: 06:14 - 06:16
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno eats. The scene exists for the sake of a kanji pun, and because Yuno and Miyako don’t appear to be looking at each other nothing affects anybody’s yurilevels.

Scene 08: 06:18 - 06:53
C: Yu, Mi, Yo
Yoshinoya ends class. Miyako compliments Yuno by saying her portrait is bold, but Yuno doesn’t reciprocate since she only comments on the hands Miyako included in her portrait. Miyako’s joke about the hands scares Yuno and prompts her to very hastily apologize, a somewhat out-of-character moment since Miyako has in the past been an unrepentant trickster. This suggests she values Yuno’s feelings more than those of the other Hidamaris, raising her to 2. Yuno and Yoshinoya stay at 0.

Scene 09: 06:54 - 07:26
C: Yu, Mi, Mami and Nakayama
Yuno and Miyako admire each other. Miyako merrily comments that she could tell Yuno’s drawing was a self-portrait because it was “cute” (可愛い, “kawaii”). Yuno gets embarrassed to hear this and asks Miyako to clarify, at which point a confused Miyako again says Yuno is “adorable” (she uses “kawaii” again), asking Yuno if she had never told her she thought so. The implication is that Miyako has always considered Yuno cute or adorable, a very fond opinion of her, but for some reason has never told her or never been able to tell her. A possible explanation for her reluctance to say this could be that Miyako is reflecting Yuno’s sentiment from xHoneycomb 02, where Yuno was afraid to have intimacy with Miyako to prevent their relationship from moving from a close friendship to a romantic partnership. In line with the carefree attitude she has expressed throughout Hidamari Sketch, Miyako seems here to be rejecting this concern and revealing her feelings about Yuno anyways. Yuno’s response is even stronger yuri-embarrassment, and she unsteadily says that Miyako is “way cuter” (ほうが断然可愛い, “houga danzen kawaii”), then that she’s “beautiful” (美しんだ), showing a similar near-amorous affection to Miyako if not a stronger one. There is a close-up of Miyako’s eyes as she stares on (presumably at Yuno), then Miyako calmly says she’s leaving to turn in her picture; as she turns to leave, the background turns a light yellow and is decorated by flowers, conveying a strong cheerfulness in Miyako. While she walks away, Mami and Nakayama note that Miyako is making a face they’ve never seen on her before. The audience doesn’t see this face, but the aforementioned visual cue of flowers suggests joy in Miyako, which is reinforced by the closing shot being Miyako walking away against a pink backdrop decorated with bubbles and doilies (both of which have been used as visual cues in previous episodes to denote happiness), the centerpiece of which is a rainbow arching over Miyako. Leaving aside the symbolism between rainbows and homosexuality, Hidamari Sketch has incorporated rainbows three other times (Hidamari Sketch 06, Hidamari Sketch OVA 01, and xHoshimittsu 02), each time using the image during a moment of calmness. While Miyako walks under her rainbow, a stringed instrument is playing a gentle tune, further suggesting that Miyako is calm here. The combination of calm and happy symbols leads to the best possibility being that the face Miyako is making is relief, likely from hearing her feelings for Yuno reciprocated. She and Yuno both end with 4, while Mami and Nakayama focusing on Miyako’s face earns a 1.

Scene 10: 07:27 - 07:47
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno asks Miyako to sleep with her. Miyako is shown happily waiting for Yuno while she finishes packing her bag, a loyalty that earns her a moderate increase. Yuno then asks her to spend the night together, saying that she wants to talk with Miyako more than usual today. Both of these are strongly yuri in themselves, but convey a romantic subtext more than they normally would because, in context of the previous scene, Yuno’s desire to be with Miyako is likely related to their admissions that they think the other is attractive. Miyako enthusiastically agrees and the two briefly touch hands, solidifying Yuno’s reading of 4 and Miyako’s of 3.

Scene 11: 07:49 - 07:56
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako walk home. Their actions in the scene don’t especially suggest yuri, but the warm and gentle feel of the scene conveys a closeness between them that gives each 2.

Scene 12: 08:00 - 09:06
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako spend time naked together and sit by Yuno’s bed. The first half of the scene depicts Yuno and Miyako squeezed together intimately in Yuno’s bath, earning both significant initial readings for being comfortable around each other’s nudity. Yuno fondly reminisces about Miyako bathing with her the first night Yuno spent at Hidamari Apartments (see x365 01); her attitude at the time was one of shock and dismay, so Yuno gets further readings for showing how she has warmed to Miyako in the time since then. In the second half of the scene, Yuno and MIyako drowsily talk about curry until they fall asleep together, the implication being that they so wanted to talk to each other they did so until they physically could no longer do so. This desire to spend time together raises Miyako to 3 and Yuno to another 4.

Scene 13: 09:18 - 09:55
C: Hi
Hiro recounts her life as an artist. Her desire to go into art was spurred by the praise of her parents and teachers, with the representative figure being a female teacher. This could suggest Hiro went into art for the respect and admiration of other women, an implication that raises her to 2.

Scene 14: 09:58 - 10:22
C: Sa
Sae agonizes over her choices for further education. Her rationalizations for her options only involve herself and don’t incorporate other women, so she stays at 0.

Scene 15: 10:22 - 10:40
C: Sa, Hi
Hiro comforts Sae. Hiro enters yelling at Sae to calm down (likely having heard Sae’s shouts in the previous scene), a desire to not see her stressed that, through her desperate shout, is strong enough to earn Hiro a moderate increase. Hiro then places both of her hands on Sae’s wrist when Sae begins to despair over the upcoming future planning counseling, conveying that Sae and Hiro have a close enough physical intimacy that Hiro’s touch is a relaxing action, giving each strong readings. Sae asks Hiro for sweet food to settle her mood, subtly conveying their husband-wife dynamic since food preparation is a task traditionally assigned to wives; Hiro agrees and pulls Sae toward her room by holding her hand, an even more intimate physical activity that pushes Hiro up to 4 and Sae to 3.

Scene 16: 10:42 - 10:58
C: Sa, Hi
Sae discusses her plans for college with Hiro. Hearing that Sae is considering going to a humanities college instead of an art college like Hiro stops Hiro in the middle of bringing Sae her drink, conveying a fear of being separated from Sae that’s too undeveloped at this point to provide Hiro with anything higher than a 2. Sae’s general aloofness in this scene keeps her at 0.

Scene 17: 11:08 - 11:31
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno, Miyako, and Sae have lunch. Hiro declines to eat and leaves the rest of her meal to Miyako. Decreased appetite is a common symptom of depression*, so this is likely what Hiro is experiencing at this point in the segment. Her depression has two equally probable causes: considering this segment of the episode overall, it could be due to Hiro’s uneasiness to graduate and leave Hidamari Apartments, but the previous scene, showing Hiro shocked to hear Sae wouldn’t be going to an art college like she will be, suggests it could be more specifically due to Hiro’s fear to lose Sae; Scene 22 eventually confirms that both of these are the case, and since both convey strongly yuri attachments to the other Hidamaris, Hiro receives a considerable increase. Instead of accepting Hiro’s lunch, Miyako only looks at Hiro in confusion, displaying that she is aware something is wrong with Hiro and getting a slight raise for her ability to read Hiro’s mood. Yuno and Sae get similar increases for looking concerned, with Yuno’s being stronger for noting that Hiro similarly gave Miyako her lunch the day before. Miyako decides to bring Hiro to the nurse’s office, showing a genuine concern for her that is slightly betrayed by the joke about Hiro’s weight she makes immediately afterwards. The method of delivery used is a forced hand-holding, which elevates Miyako’s readings slightly but does not affect Hiro’s since it is non-consensual. Miyako and Hiro end with 3, Yuno with 2, and Sae with 1.

Scene 18: 11:33 - 11:37
C: Mi, Hi, Ku
Miyako drops Hiro off with Kuwahara. Kuwahara is shown to touch Hiro’s back, but because Hiro is visibly weak Kuwahara’s touch is probably just to support her and falls under her job as a nurse, preventing her from earning readings for it, keeping her at 0. Miyako again shows that she cares about Hiro’s well-being by telling Kuwahara to take care of her, raising her to 2. The silent Hiro remains at 0.

Scene 19: 11:38 - 11:39
C: Mi
Miyako walks away from Kuwahara’s office. Nothing to note in this scene.

Scene 20: 11:39 - 12:31
C: Hi, Yo, Ku
Hiro is instructed to rest and runs into Yoshinoya. Kuwahara’s concern for Hiro’s health is explainable as being part of her role as a nurse, so she doesn’t receive any readings for it. When Hiro gets into one of the infirmary’s bed, Yoshinoya crawls out and asks her to be gentle (優しくして, “yasashikushite”), suggesting she expected sexual activity (yuri sexual activity since Yoshinoya most likely heard Hiro as she talked to Kuwahara and would be able to discern it was Hiro entering her bed), giving her a very strong increase to her readings. Yoshinoya goes on to complain that she wanted to talk with Kuwahara during lunch but was forced to wait until she finished working, indicating a friendly closeness to Kuwahara. Kuwahara doesn’t return this friendliness and hits Yoshinoya for embellishing her story, a non-yuri physical contact that negatively impacts her readings, keeping her at 0 along with Hiro while Yoshinoya gets 4.

Scene 21: 12:31 - 14:25
C: Hi, Yo
Yoshinoya helps Hiro plan what she wants to do in life. Though the setting hasn’t technically changed, Kuwahara drew a blind around Hiro and Yoshinoya to give them privacy, which made the infirmary area of her office separate enough to count as a new location and thus start a new scene. Yoshinoya tells Hiro that she can talk to her about whatever is troubling her and delights to hear Hiro say she wants to be an art teacher, conveying warmth toward Hiro. Hiro’s desire to be an art teacher is primarily because she cannot imagine herself anywhere but Yamabuki High School, implicitly with the other Hidamaris. Yoshinoya picks up on this suggestion and warns Hiro that, even if she is assigned to teach at Yamabuki, “Sae and your underclassmen” (沙英ーさん と ゆのーさん-たち, “Sae-san to Yuno-san-tachi”) won’t be at Yamabuki as well, deeply affecting Hiro. Yoshinoya’s choice of using Sae and Yuno as her examples is a conscious usage of the Hidamaris shown to be closest to Hiro, earning Yoshinoya moderate readings for picking up on this and Hiro similar readings for being afraid to lose these relationships. Hiro ends at 3, Yoshinoya at 2.

Scene 22: 14:29 - 14:58
C: Hi
Hiro mulls over Yoshinoya’s words. She admits to herself that she doesn’t want anything to change and as emphasis pictures the other Hidamaris assembled with Sae in the center and Miyako draping her arms around Yuno, which both places the focus on Sae and conveys that her interpretation of interpersonal relationships among the Hidamaris are highly intimate, a possible projection that significantly raises her readings. She also says she likes living at Hidamari more than she likes drawing, specifying that she likes being with “Sae and the others” (沙英とみんな, “Sae to minna”), elevating Sae above the others to suggest Hiro is worried most about leaving Sae than about anybody else. This desire to be with Sae further helps her so that she ends with a 4.

Scene 23: 14:58 - 15:32
C: Yo, Ku
Yoshinoya talks to Kuwahara. Yoshinoya tearfully voices her concern that she spoke too harshly to Hiro and says she was upset that Hiro was afraid of change, showing a desire for Hiro to be happy. Kuwahara replies her that Hiro will be fine, displaying more a confidence in Hiro than an attempt to reassure Yoshinoya and thus only getting a slight increase in readings. She then compliments Yoshinoya by saying that she can be a good teacher sometimes, which is probably the highest praise that has come out of Kuwahara so far in Hidamari Sketch and thus raises her to 2, where Yoshinoya also ends.

Scene 24: 15:34 - 15:57
C: Yu, Mi, Sa
Yuno and Miyako walk back to Hidamari Apartments with Sae. Miyako once again shows actual concern for Hiro by asking Sae where she is and then if they should go visit her. Yuno shows similar concern and offers to make porridge, which Sae says they can give her when they visit Hiro later in the day, conveying she intends to take care of Hiro. Yuno and Miyako both get 2, and Sae receives a 1.

Scene 25: 15:58 - 16:19
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako talk about what they can do for Hiro. Miyako offers to help Yuno make porridge for Hiro, though Yuno doesn’t require her help; she then comes up with something for Miyako to do, probably to make her feel like she’s helping Hiro, a consideration for her which helps both of them. They each end with 2.

Scene 26: 16:21 - 16:52
C: No, Na
Nori and Nazuna learn that Hiro is sick. Nazuna is horrified and begins to panic, prompting Nori to calm her by leaning over and placing her hand on Nazuna’s cheek, mirroring Hiro’s similar action toward Sae in Scene 15. Nori reasons that since Yuno sent them the message informing them of Hiro’s condition, Sae and Miyako are already also aware and thus she and Nazuna only need to think about what they can do for Hiro, representing the Hidamari residents as a tightly-knit group and conveying her own fondness for them. She ends with a 4, while Nazuna’s relaxation at Nori’s touch raises her to a 3.

Scene 27: 16:53 - 17:27
C: Sa, Na
Nazuna gives Sae cooling pads for Hiro. Her tone of voice is more upset than normal, conveying her distress at Hiro’s illness. Sae thanks her for the pads and assures her Hiro will receive them, a politeness that doesn’t by itself convey strong yuri. Sae stays at 0 and Nazuna earns 1.

Scene 28: 17:29 - 17:55
C: Yu, Mi, Sa
Yuno, Miyako, and Sae visit Hiro’s room. Yuno and Miyako deliver the porridge they made, though they already received readings for it and nothing in this scene adds to their gesture, so neither is affected by it. Miyako says she’ll leave the rest to Sae as she exits, to which Sae whispers back “okay” (オーケー, “oke”); Miyako earns 1 for leaving Hiro in Sae’s care, and Sae earns 1 for accepting. Yuno stays at 0.

Scene 29: 17:56 - 17:57
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako walk away from Hiro’s room. They don’t interact with each other, so there are no opportunities for yuri here.

Scene 30: 17:59 - 20:27
C: Sa, Hi
Sae comforts Hiro. Hiro wakes up an unspecified length of time after the previous scene, but Sae is still reading over Hiro’s future planning worksheet, so it was likely less than an hour. She is upset to see that Sae read her plans, a non-yuri embarrassment, but Sae stops her by happily saying that becoming an art teacher is a perfect choice for her, citing that Hiro is great at explaining concepts from another person’s perspective, kind, considerate, and open-minded. Sae’s high praise and admiration of Hiro’s qualities is bolstered by her exceptionally complimentary claim that if Hiro had been her art teacher, she would never have been discouraged from drawing animals (see Hidamari Sketch 10). Hearing Sae speak so affectionately about her causes Hiro to begin crying, representing a break in Hiro’s gloom now that Sae has encouraged her and conveying that she strongly values Sae’s opinions of her. Though Sae is initially alarmed to see Hiro cry, she calms her by patting her head, an intimate contact that Hiro reciprocates by tugging on Sae’s shirt and which ultimately escalates into a full, close-contact hug with Hiro's head against Sae's chest. Both express their sorrow that they won’t be able to see each other after graduation, but Sae reassuringly tells her that everything will be okay so long as they want to be together. The two hug for sixteen seconds in total, possibly the longest uninterrupted contact in Hidamari Sketch so far; in comparison with their previous hug in x365 12, neither is embarrassed to hold the other and Sae does not need to be separated from Hiro by a pillow, representing that Sae has grown much closer to Hiro and become much more comfortable with her since then. After they separate again when Hiro becomes hungry, Sae tells her about the porridge and cooling pads the others sent her, which Hiro warmly says is nice of them. The emotional intimacy and reliance both share in this scene convey an incredibly strong, nearly romantic bond between them, giving each 4s.

Scene 31: 20:31 - 20:55
C: Yu, Mi, Hi, No, Na
Hiro greets Yuno, Miyako, Nori, and Nazuna outside Hidamari. Miyako is seen to be holding onto Yuno’s shoulder, earning both of them an initial moderate increase; Yuno gets another slight raise from asking if Hiro is feeling better. Hiro then thanks Yuno, Nazuna, and Nori for the aid each of them gave her while ill, a gratitude that earns her a 2 overall. While Hiro is thanking Yuno, Miyako interrupts and insists she also helped, a tactlessness that cancels out the increase she receives from wanting Hiro to praise her so that her yurilevels are unaffected. Yuno and Nazuna both express relief that Nazuna’s cooling pads worked, helping both slightly, and Nori blushes to be thanked for her text message, a yuri-embarrassment that increases her moderately. Everyone ends with 2 except for Nazuna, who earns only 1.

Scene 32: 20:55 - 21:33
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
Sae joins the others. Instead of thanking her like she did for the others, Hiro only turns to face Sae and looks at her for a moment before softly saying “good morning” (おはよう, “ohayou”); Sae returns the greeting in a similarly gentle manner. Their relative silence toward each other conveys a sense that neither needs to say anything, an intimacy that significantly raises both of their yurilevels. Miyako interrupts again to tell Hiro that the school is preparing foie gras, and Nori then worries that Hiro won’t be able to eat it yet, a concern that raises Nori’s readings slightly. Hiro’s enthusiasm to have the meal is commented on innocuously by Miyako, but Hiro interprets it as a slight against her weight and becomes upset, conveying that Hiro believes that anything Miyako says is likely to be insulting and hurting Hiro’s readings for her distrust. Yuno smiles to see that Hiro has recovered, raising her to 1, while Sae gets 3, Hiro gets 2, Nori also receives 1, and Miyako and Nazuna stay at 0.

Scene 33: 21:33 - 21:35
C: Hi
Hiro walks alone in a hallway. No yuri in this scene.

Scene 34: 21:37 - 22:07
C: Hi, Yo
Hiro tells Yoshinoya she’s decided to be an art teacher. Both apologize for the abrupt end to their conversation the day before, conveying they each regret not talking to each other more and giving both a slight increase. Hiro informs Yoshinoya of her decision and says she was able to make up her mind because she was reassured by “someone who knows me better than I do” (私よりの私のこと知ってきれて, “watashi yori no watashi no koto shittekirete”); this is confirmed to be referring to Sae by the image of Sae resting a hand on Hiro’s back as the two stand together on the edge of a sunny body of water. The notion that Sae knows Hiro better than Hiro does conveys that Hiro trusts Sae completely, even more than she trusts her own judgment, a closeness to her that earns Hiro a very strong 4. Yoshinoya’s response to Hiro’s declaration is notably muted and prevents her from earning yurilevels for it, keeping her at 1.

Final Yurilevel Readings: (both Aokis and Umes are out of 4)
Episode: 2.1334A
  1. Hiro: 2.632U
  2. Sae: 2.248U
  3. Miyako: 2.085U
  4. Yoshinoya: 1.652U
  5. Yuno: 1.647U
  6. Nori: 1.578U
  7. Nazuna: 1.383U
  8. Mami and Nakayama: 1.000U
  9. Kuwahara: 0.755U
  10. Yuno and Miyako’s classmate: 0.000U

xHoneycomb 06 is the second episode in a row to read above 2.0 Aokis, the first time this has ever occurred in the investigation. Like the previous episode, the focus is foremost on the relationships between the Hidamaris, and with this episode specifically focusing on how much they admire each other it’s small wonder readings were so high throughout. Hiro spent the majority of Part B bemoaning her imminent separation from the others, particularly Sae, and ended with the highest character reading; Sae’s kind, warm, and caring response to her melancholy pushed her to second place, though at some distance behind. Similarly, Yuno and Miyako performed well due to their confessions to each other, with Yuno’s 1 in Scene 06 being the main reason she didn’t have an Ume reading over 2.0. Nori and Nazuna, being almost invisible in this episode (with a combined 300 seconds of scene time compared to 305 seconds from Yoshinoya alone), received readings that were relatively low but still fairly strong, pushed mostly by their concern for Hiro in the second half. Again, it is rare to have an episode entirely revolve around character interactions and relationship development, and the next few episodes will return to events occurring at Yamabuki High School, so while these readings are exceptional they still show that Honeycomb as a whole is giving more focus to yuri subtext than previous seasons.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch xHoneycomb 07.

*: See the Mayo Clinic’s page on depression.

8/24/13: Yamabuki High School was initially mislabed as "Yamabuki Academy." The name has been corrected.