Friday, August 23, 2013

Data Analysis: Overall Character Readings

The structure of data collection for the Hidamari Yurilevel Project was intended to answer if and how yuri increases over time, but also lent itself optimally to a side investigation of which character was the gayest. This question will now be analyzed to come to a possible answer.

Overview of Data
The Hidamari Yurilevel Project recorded 69,479 seconds of scene time (approximately 19 hours, 18 minutes) split across 1,512 scenes which recorded 4,602 yurilevels. Of these, 4,467 yurilevels were recorded by the tracked characters (the six Hidamari residents, Yoshinoya, the Landlady, Natsume, Kuwahara, and Chika), with 135 registered by untracked side characters such as other classmates, Yamabuki staff, or miscellaneous female characters.

Overall Ume Readings
Hidamari residents will be listed first, followed by all tracked characters.
  1. Nazuna: 1.715U
  2. Sae: 1.646U
  3. Hiro: 1.600U
  4. Nori: 1.486U
  5. Yuno: 1.264U
  6. Miyako: 1.221U
All Characters:
  1. Natsume: 2.677U
  2. Nazuna: 1.715U
  3. Sae: 1.646U
  4. Chika: 1.604U
  5. Hiro: 1.600U
  6. Landlady: 1.572U
  7. Nori: 1.486U
  8. Yuno: 1.264U
  9. Miyako: 1.221U
  10. Yoshinoya: 0.635U
  11. Kuwahara: 0.401U

Figure 01: Overall Ume Readings

Analysis of Character Readings
Nazuna (277Y, 15,737 seconds)
My informal prediction going into the project was that either Sae or Hiro would end up as the gayest Hidamari at the end of the investigation, so it’s somewhat surprising to see Nazuna end supreme. She and Nori are both helped significantly by being introduced late in the show as it was moving toward more explicit yuri, so a major reason (if not the single most important reason) she ranks first is that her readings aren’t weighed down by the relatively yuri-light first two seasons. Character-wise, Nazuna is something of a “hanger-on” to the other Hidamaris; she has few storylines focusing on her and rarely appears alone. This maximizes yuri potential from her scenes since she is always around at least one other character from which she can earn readings, and since every Hidamari is on friendly terms with her she can potentially receive readings from any combination of characters; she also has little self-advocacy or inner strength, so she almost never suffers detriments from challenging or defying the others (unlike, say, Nori). She appears most often with fellow first-year Nori, with whom her relationship is one of the most physical of any of the three pairs (see especially xSP 01 and xHoneycomb 06), an intimacy that repeatedly earns her very strong yurilevels. Romantic subtext in their relationship, however, is not as strong as in the other Hidamari pairs. Nazuna’s readings fell slightly from xHoshimittsu to xHoneycomb but were around 1.7U in both; she was the gayest Hidamari of xHoshimittsu.

Sae (755Y, 37,773 seconds)
Sae’s readings are tied closely to Hiro’s, with whom she shares arguably the closest, most romantic relationship of any Hidamari pair in the show. She ends slightly above Hiro as a result of being the dominant member of their relationship and thus taking the initiative more often. Sae also acts as the paterfamilias of Hidamari’s family unit, a leadership role that also elevated her readings for conveying friendliness and other emotional intimacy. Her readings were the most stable of any Hidamari, and she was the gayest Hidamari of both Season One and x365.

Hiro (713Y, 36,414 seconds)
Hiro again earns much of her readings from her relationship with Sae. As the submissive, wifely member of their pair, Hiro has a strong vein of maternalism in her character which manifests both in her care and affection for Sae and in her warmth and kindness toward the other Hidamaris (Miyako being a frequent exception). Hiro’s xHoneycomb reading of 1.98U is the strongest seasonal Ume reading of any Hidamari in the investigation.

Nori (277Y, 16,269 seconds)
Like Nazuna, Nori is buoyed by not having her readings affected by the low-yuri first two seasons. Nori, however, received the fewest yurilevels of any Hidamari and ends significantly behind Nazuna. As mentioned before, she has a much stronger independent streak than the other Hidamaris and is more likely to act as the straight man or tsukkomi in comic scenes, which usually hurts her readings. She ends above Yuno and Miyako for her highly-physical relationship with Nazuna, from which she earned a large majority of her yurilevels. Nori’s readings fell moderately between xHoshimittsu and xHoneycomb.

Yuno (1143Y, 58,440 seconds)
Yuno had both the most yurilevels and the most scene time of any character in Hidamari Sketch, acting as the series’ protagonist through the first two seasons and retaining a significant focus on her in the latter two. This high level of attention meant she had both a very large number of high-yuri scenes (often with Miyako, though she had moments with every other Hidamari as well and many side characters) and low-yuri scenes like waking up and bathing. The two cancelled each other out, putting her readings closest to the season Aoki reading of any Hidamari. Her season readings more than doubled over the course of the show from 0.75U to 1.7U, partly from being affected the most by the show’s general increase in yuri and partly from becoming increasingly close to Miyako.

Miyako (888Y, 49,448 seconds)
Miyako, like Yuno, had very high yurilevel and scene time counts, weighting her readings considerably. Serving as the show’s primary comedy character, Miyako had fewer yuri opportunities than some of the characters, and those instances more often than not tended to only be friendly (until xHoneycomb, when her relationship with Yuno took on a more romantic angle). Her season readings and Yuno’s were the only ones to consistently increase every season.

Natsume (138Y, 2,773 seconds)
Natsume perhaps best represents the shift of Hidamari Sketch from yuri-light iyashikei to yuri-heavy comedy. Her first few appearances in the show were as an occasional foil to Sae, making her an extremely tangential character since Yuno very rarely saw her; she ended the first season with only 0.818U and 160 seconds of scene time. x365 then began to exploit Natsume’s established characterization to make her out as a comic relief tsundere who wanted to be Sae’s friend. This joke kept expanding and becoming more elaborate through the second half of x365 and into xHoshimittsu, culminating in xHoshimittsu OVA 01, by which point Natsume is an obsessive, mentally-ill jilted lover whose initial characterization has been entirely forgotten and is only included in the show to provide yuri humor. It's therefore obvious that she should end as the most yuri tracked character in the series: her character is made only of yuri. Natsume was the gayest character of Seasons 2-4 and is the only tracked character to have a season reading above 3.0U.

Chika (80Y, 4,137 seconds)
Chika appeared rarely in the show, but tended to be the center of the episode or segment she was in. As a result, episodes she appeared in earned her notably high readings; she had the highest season reading of Season One almost entirely from her starring role in Hidamari Sketch 12. Her readings were some of the most inconsistent in the show, earning higher than 2.0U in x365 and then less than 1.0 in xHoshimittsu.

Landlady (85Y, 3,825 seconds)
The Landlady generally had low-to-moderate readings throughout the show from her kind but generally distant approach toward her tenants. Her readings were very strongly boosted by her appearance in xHoneycomb 09, however, an over 3.0U performance which also contributed nearly a quarter of all her scene time in the entire series.

Yoshinoya (108Y, 9,217 seconds)
Yoshinoya has been repeatedly described in the investigation as “hyperthymic,” a mental illness which made much of her lewdness in the show impossible to attribute to yuri. As a lewd, fanservice-oriented character, she rarely displayed anything that could be considered genuinely yuri. She and Kuwahara ended every season below 1.0U, the only tracked characters to do so.

Kuwahara (13Y, 1,502 seconds)
With only 22 appearances in the show averaging just over a minute each and a scant 13 yurilevels, Kuwahara ends as the least gay character in Hidamari Sketch. “Character,” even, is a charitable description: Kuwahara acts more as a plot device, appearing only when one of the main characters gets sick or when Yoshinoya needs a foil. When she did appear, Kuwahara was professional and straightforward, rarely getting opportunities to exhibit genuine affection or kindness toward anybody. It also hurt her that many of her appearances showed her with Yoshinoya, with whom she had a strained friendship at best.

Untracked Characters
Untracked characters were generally one-offs with little impact on the show. The only significant exceptions were Kishi Maiko and Arisawa (neither of whom appeared in all four seasons) and Mami and Nakayama. In retrospect, Mami and Nakayama should have been included as tracked characters since they appeared frequently and consistently in the series. It is likely neither would have earned very high overall readings due to their role as throwaway classmates or Yuno’s acquaintances.

9/30/13: Corrected draft inconsistency in Hiro's analysis and slightly unclear wording in Natsume's analysis.
1/14/13: Incorporated data from Sae and Hiro Graduation OVAs.

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