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.

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