Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hidamari Sketch xHoneycomb 03

Hidamari Sketch xHoneycomb 03 includes the six Hidamari residents, Yoshinoya, the Landlady, and Kuwahara, as well as Mami, Nakayama, and a classmate of Nori. Part A shows the Hidamaris spending their last day of summer vacation in Hiro’s room during a typhoon, and Part B focuses on the first day of the fall semester at Yamabuki High School.

Scene 01: 00:07 - 00:40, 02:15 - 03:01
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako plan for the end of summer vacation and wake up the next morning. Yuno says she is finishing her summer homework early so she can be free for the last day of vacation. Since she and Miyako then decide to go out and have fun together, Yuno is implicitly trying to ensure she can spend time with Miyako, and the work she is putting into fulfilling this desire gives her a moderate increase. The scene cuts to the next morning with Miyako sleeping on Yuno’s floor, suggesting she slept in Yuno’s room the previous night. This is a close friendly act but, because Miyako didn’t share a bed with Yuno, not an overtly romantic one, so Yuno and Miyako each earn an increase but not an especially strong one. Upon seeing the typhoon outside, Yuno laments that she won’t be able to have fun, again presumed to be with Miyako. Miyako suggests they go to Hiro’s room for breakfast and depicts Hiro as a chipmunk with the caption “foodf [sic] warehouse”. Her unflattering image of Hiro detracts from her readings so that she ends with 1, while Yuno earns 3.

Scene 02: 03:02 - 03:28
C: Yu, Mi, Na
Yuno and Miyako encounter Nazuna on the deck. As Yuno and Miyako leave Yuno’s room, Miyako puts an arm around Yuno’s shoulder and tells her to be careful, a protective instinct that substantially raises Miyako’s readings and gives Yuno moderate side readings. Miyako is also helped by calling Nazuna “Nazuna-sama” (なずなーさま), employing the highly respectful honorific “-sama” for her and conveying great admiration. Nazuna says she also planned to go to Hiro’s room, depicting it as a restaurant. Nazuna’s image of Hiro’s room is more complimentary and suggests she thinks highly of Hiro’s cooking, so she receives a 1, while Yuno gets 2 and Miyako earns 4.

Scene 03: 03:29 - 03:36
C: Yu, Mi, No, Na
Nori joins Yuno, Miyako, and Nazuna on the way to Hiro’s room. Yuno guesses that Nori is also going to see Hiro, which shocks Nori; Yuno’s understanding of Nori’s motives gives her a slight increase while Nori’s disbelief does no such good for her. Yuno gets 1, the rest 0.

Scene 04: 03:40 - 08:15
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris spend the day together in Hiro’s room. Hiro is annoyed with the others for being unprepared for an emergency, but her frustration is unnoticed by the other Hidamaris, who continue to smile as she chastises them. Miyako goes further and jokes about Hiro’s weight again, causing Hiro to fly into a rage that appears to end in her beating everybody present and decreases her readings. Yuno and Miyako get slight increases by worrying about the safety of a female newscaster reporting on the typhoon. The Hidamaris then discuss what the typhoon should be named, with Hiro suggesting a female name and Yuno a male one*; Hiro’s connection between the destructiveness of the typhoon and women hurts her yurilevels while Yuno’s association of the typhoon with a man, being a contrast to Hiro’s suggestion, helps hers. Miyako’s readings are further increased when she laments that she can’t go out and spend time with Yuno, and then again when she and Yuno discuss how they were going to go somewhere fun. Nazuna reveals that she brought cards to pass the time, which gives Nazuna a modest increase since she wanted to start a group activity. Sae asks Miyako if her dilapidated room will be okay with the rain, showing concern and raising her readings. The conversation changes to the upcoming school year, and Nazuna talks about how she missed her classmates over the summer while sparkles and lights fly up behind her. Her joy at being able to see her friends again is evident enough to strongly increase her yurilevels. Nori offers to get ingredients for Hiro’s dinner and demands Nazuna come with her, forcing Nazuna to follow her outside through non-consensual hand-holding, a slightly less yuri form of hand-holding since it doesn’t take Nazuna’s feelings into consideration. They return defeated, and Nori is shown drying Nazuna’s hair, Nazuna having seemingly forgiven Nori’s unwanted advances. Nori and Nazuna each end with 3 overall, while Yuno earns 2, Miyako and Sae receive 1, and Hiro remains at 0.

Scene 05: 08:15 - 09:18
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na, La
The Landlady stops by. This scene is primarily only the Landlady talking, so the other characters get little opportunity to speak or provide substantial yuri. That said, the Landlady is reasonably gay in this scene: she enjoys seeing her tenants happy together, omits an honorific when referring to Miyako, and offers to bring them pizza in the middle of a raging typhoon, all of which show a strong affection for the Hidamaris. While she speaks, Miyako rests her head on top of Yuno’s, an intimate contact that helps both of their readings. The Landlady ends with 3, Yuno and Miyako with 2, the rest with 0.

Scene 06: 09:18 - 09:21
C: La
The Landlady prepares to leave. Nothing to note in this scene.

Scene 07: 09:25 - 09:30
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako return to Yuno’s room. Miyako enters as a guest by saying “excuse me” (お邪魔します, “ojamashimasu”) instead of Yuno’s more domestic “I’m home” (ただいま, “tadaima”), which distances her enough to keep her at 0. Yuno doesn’t interact with Miyako and has no possibility for yuri, also getting 0.

Scene 08: 09:33 - 11:28
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno returns Miyako’s dry cleaning and finishes her summer personal project. Yuno and Miyako each get yurilevels early on from having sent their clothes to be dry cleaned together, a domestic activity that by being done together makes them out to be similar to a romantic pair. Miyako then changes from the clothes she had on earlier into her uniform while standing directly in front of Yuno, with neither one showing any sign of discomfort about it. This doesn’t carry sexual subtext and the changing isn’t shown on screen so it’s not a moment of lewdness, but Yuno’s comfort being near Miyako’s semi-nude body and Miyako’s comfort with showing it to Yuno gives them both strong readings. Miyako also gets a slight increase from being impressed by Yuno’s picture journal, solidifying her reading of 3. Yuno earns 2.

Scene 09: 11:30 - 11:51
C: Yu
Yuno considers the day. Her fond summary of having fun with the others expresses a friendly admiration for them that earns her a 1.

Scene 10: 11:59 - 12:16
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris congregate before leaving for school. No yuri aside from Hiro saying they should make the new semester a good one, and even that barely counts as friendly yuri. Everyone ends with 0.

Scene 11: 12:21 - 12:42
C: Yu, Mi, Mami, Nakayama
Yuno and Miyako greet Mami and Nakayama. Everyone seems pleased to see each other again and earn slight friendly readings, with Mami’s lack of an honorific toward Miyako earning her additional readings. She gets 2, everyone else ends with 1.

Scene 12: 12:44 - 12:54
C: Yu, Mi, Mami, Nakayama
Yuno, Miyako, Mami, and Nakayama relish the amenities provided by a private school. Their conversation focuses solely on their air conditioning and makes no suggestion of any yuri from any character. Everybody gets 0.

Scene 13: 12:54 - 13:01
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako walk to the opening ceremony. A similar situation to the previous scene where the characters don’t have a chance to talk about each other or their relationships, and again Yuno and Miyako get 0s.

Scene 14: 13:05 - 13:17
C: Yu, Mi, Mami, Nakayama
The principal asserts his elevated position. The scene focuses on him and only gives the characters one line each, which is also about him. Another scene without yuri.

Scene 15: 13:19 - 14:45
C: Yu, Mi, Yo
Yoshinoya’s class prepares for and begins its emergency drill. Yoshinoya gives advice to her students for the upcoming year, and Yuno and Miyako appreciate her sentiments despite their reservations about her revealing uniform. They still receive a net gain, but a very slight one. Yoshinoya then informs the class there will be a drill while making a series of suggestive poses, diminishing her readings since it is equally likely she is attempting to arouse her male students as it is her female ones. Miyako suggests to Yuno that she show Yoshinoya her picture journal, showing Miyako considers Yuno’s work worthy of recognition, but Yuno is too embarrassed to show it to Yoshinoya and receives no reciprocal readings. Overall, Miyako gets 1 while Yuno and Yoshinoya stay at 0.

Scene 16: 14:46 - 15:10
C: Yu, Mi, Yo
Yoshinoya’s class evacuates. Yuno shows concern for Miyako when Miyako tells her she doesn’t have a handkerchief to cover her nose and mouth, but the slight increase she receives is undone by her fear at Miyako removing her T-shirt to use as a surrogate handkerchief. Miyako, meanwhile, doesn’t receive readings from taking her clothing off in front of Yuno since there are also men watching and it thus conveys a comfort with her own nudity more than with Yuno. Everyone gets 0.

Scene 17: 15:11 - 15:34
C: Sa, Hi
Sae and Hiro have a conversation as they walk outside. Hiro begins the scene by stumbling and touching Sae with her nose, but she quickly apologizes for it, conveying that she did not desire such contact and thus preventing her from earning any readings. Sae correctly guesses Hiro is tired, showing an understanding of her moods that helps her slightly. Hiro says she is tired because she read a book Sae suggested, a somewhat friendly act on her part, and the two then begin discussing the book. While all of this is mildly yuri on its own, Sae and Hiro manage to hold the entire discussion in an impromptu idioglossic sign language of their own creation. Their ability to completely understand each other without words conveys a deep bond between them that gives them both 4.

Scene 18: 15:36 - 16:11
C: No, Na
Nori intercepts Nazuna on the way to the bathroom. Nazuna defends her need to use the restroom, and Nori responds by demanding Nazuna continue the evacuation for her own safety. Ultimately Nazuna relents and agrees to Nori’s exhortation, asking Nori if she will take responsibility for her. Though Nori insists she doesn’t know what Nazuna is talking about, her desire to protect Nazuna shows she has already become responsible for Nazuna’s safety and protection without realizing it. This in turn conveys a nurturing, protective relationship that raises both of their yurilevels to 3.

Scene 19: 16:33 - 18:12
C: Yu, Mi, No, Na, Yo, Ku, Nori’s classmate
Yamabuki High School holds an emergency drill. When sitting together, Miyako shows concern for Yuno’s comfort and then playfully pokes Yuno’s face, earning moderate readings. The scene then cuts to the first-year section of the sitting students. Nori notices Nazuna’s discomfort and says out loud how easy it would be for somebody to faint in the heat in order to give nazuna the idea to pretend she is sick. Nori and her classmate then speak pleasantly about the possibility of such sickness, suggesting they are friends but nothing more and only helping them both slightly. Nazuna lies to Kuwahara and thanks Nori as she returns inside the school building; Kuwahara holds Nazuna’s hand as they leave, and while usually any physical contact from Kuwahara is dismissible as part of her job, she still receives readings from the hand-holding because it’s an entirely unnecessary lewd gesture. Later, Yoshinoya introduces an earthquake simulator on loan from the nearby Asagi Fire Department and brings Yuno from the crowd to experience the simulator. This does show that Yoshinoya knows enough about Yuno to know she will be sufficiently scared for the showcase to work, but at the same time Yoshinoya is consciously putting Yuno through a terrifying experience without remorse, so overall Yoshinoya does not receive any readings from this. Yuno is later shown to hug Miyako for comfort, giving her a substantial increase for her view of Miyako as a protective and reassuring figure. Overall, Yuno and Nazuna end with 3, Nori, Miyako, and Kuwahara with 2, Nori’s classmate with 1, and Yoshinoya with 0.

Scene 20: 18:15 - 19:15
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris walk home and discuss mnemonics. Nazuna displays gratitude toward Nori by thanking her for her support in the previous scene. Nori teasingly feigns ignorance of what she did, showing she recognizes Nazuna’s praise of her while also conveying a casual, open relationship with her that helps their readings slightly. Miyako is shown to be holding Yuno’s bag and playfully tosses it to her, a light-hearted friendly moment that raises both of their readings slightly. Hiro then asks Yuno about the earthquake simulator, though in a rather non-yuri way. Miyako assures Yuno that she did well in the simulation and tussles her hair, further helping her readings while also lifting Yuno’s somewhat. Miyako ends with 3, Yuno with 2, and Nori and Nazuna with 1 each, with Sae and Hiro staying at 0.

Scene 21: 19:16 - 20:34
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris eat in Hiro’s room. Hiro asks Sae to go with her to Berry Mart for groceries, to which Sae agrees. The other Hidamaris all one-by-one apologetically ask to come along since none of them have groceries either; Hiro dismisses their concerns and says it’s fine for them to all go together, a warmness toward the others that brings Hiro to 2, with Sae at 1 and the others ending with 0.

Scene 22: 20:34 - 21:28
C: Yo
The principal invites Yoshinoya to a faculty dinner. No suggestion of yuri in this scene.

Scene 23: 21:32 - 22:09
C: Yu
Yuno bathes in green water. There is no mention of other women or other yuri subtext, and as a result Yuno ends with 0.

Final Yurilevel Readings: (both Aokis and Umes are out of 4)
Episode: 1.3773A
  1. Landlady: 2.863U
  2. Kuwahara: 2.000U
  3. Nazuna: 1.984U
  4. Nori: 1.873U
  5. Yuno: 1.589U
  6. Miyako: 1.435U
  7. Nori’s classmate: 1.000U
  8. Mami: 0.976U
  9. Sae: 0.862U
  10. Nakayama: 0.488U
  11. Hiro: 0.480U
  12. Yoshinoya: 0.000U

This seemed like a fairly low-yuri episode, but ended just shy of the strong Aoki reading from the first episode of this season. The primary reason is that nearly three-fifths of the scene time was concentrated in only five scenes (Scenes 01, 04, 08, 15, and 21), all of which were not especially strong in lesbianism but that included just enough friendly and physically intimate yuri to earn moderate readings throughout. The difference can be best divined in how the individual character yurilevels compare with Hidamari Sketch xHoneycomb 01: Ume readings are much lower for everyone in the main cast, with Mami, Nakayama, and even Kuwahara all reading much higher than some of the Hidamari residents. Sae and Hiro continue to have unusually low readings, which here can be explained from their poor showing in the 275-second long Scene 04 but more generally might be indicative of a shift in how they are being presented by the show itself from a romantic, “newlywed”-style dynamic to a more stable and less overtly gay parental role. Other readings are as per the normal, with Yuno and Miyako earning close to the episode’s Aoki reading and Nori and Nazuna being the gayest of the Hidamaris. Episode readings have not had an especially wide range so far, but the season is only one-quarter finished and there could still be significant variance further on.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch xHoneycomb 04.

*: According to the Translation Notes from the English translation of Volume 6 of the Hidamari Sketch manga for the strip on which this scene is based, the way Yuno ends the typhoon’s name in Japanese uses an ending, “-rou” (ろう), that is generally used for male names.

7/15/13: The calculations for this episode mistakenly gave Scene 04 a running time of 335 seconds instead of 275 seconds, affecting Aoki and Ume tabulations. This error has been fixed, as have the corresponding readings.

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

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