Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hidamari Sketch xHoneycomb 08

Hidamari Sketch xHoneycomb 08 includes the six Hidamari residents, Yoshinoya, and Kuwahara, as well as Mami, Nakayama, Arisawa, and Arisawa’s friend. The episode centers around the characters preparing for and then holding Yamabuki High School’s annual festival.

Scene 01: 00:09 - 00:49
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako experience a miracle of nature. Miyako’s excitement to show Yuno a spider web on her balcony and Yuno’s happiness to see Miyako earn them each moderate readings for friendly closeness to leave them both with 2.

Scene 02: 00:50 - 01:08
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris congregate outside. Yuno and Miyako are still smiling at each other from seeing the spider web and continue to do so through most of the scene, a shared happiness that gives them each 1. The others have little if any role in the scene except to simply be present, keeping them all at 0.

Scene 03: 02:45 - 03:48
C: Yo, Mami
Class 2-A decides their contribution to the school festival. Yoshinoya’s suggestion of a maid cafe doesn’t appear to suggest yuri since it primarily stems from a need to satisfy her own hyperthymic vanity and employs an archetype that is highly sexualized independent of its association with women, so she ends with 0. Mami acts as a coordinator for the whole, mixed-gender class and does not contribute any yuri of her own, meaning she also stays at 0.

Scene 04: 03:48 - 04:04
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako discuss the class’s selection of a haunted house. Miyako displays a curiosity toward Yuno by asking her what role she wants to perform for the haunted house and earns a 1; Yuno’s answer of a zashiki-warashi (座敷童, a playful but overall harmless spirit that inhabits a house and brings it fortune) doesn’t have any underlying yuri to it and keeps her at 0.

Scene 05: 04:05 - 04:37
C: Yu, Mi, Mami
Yuno is asked to provide a comment for the pamphlet festival. Mami calls out Yuno’s name in a very playful manner, suggesting a closeness between them that gives Mami a mdoerate increase and Yuno a slight one. Yuno reciprocates Mami’s familiarity by greeting her with the informal “-chan” (ちゃん) honorific and complimenting her performance on the school festival committee, making it so both she and Mami end at 2. Miyako, who doesn’t feature in the scene at all, has no opportunity for yuri and remains at 0.

Scene 06: 04:41 - 06:07
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris drink in Yuno’s room. The scene is primarily exposition with everyone but Hiro asking each other what their class is doing for the festival, giving them slight increases for curiosity that are tempered since it is not necessarily conveying interest in the others. The only significant yuri in the scene comes when Sae refers to Yuno’s class as “Yuno-san-tachi” (ゆのさんーたち), placing Yuno as the most important member of the class to Sae (which is especially significant given Miyako is in the room as well). Sae receives 2, Hiro stays at 0, and the rest earn 1.

Scene 07: 06:15 - 07:05
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako paint a segment of the haunted house’s wall. Yuno’s horror at seeing Miyako injure herself conveys her care for Miyako and desire to not see her harmed, which are expressed strongly enough here to raise Yuno to 3. Miyako responds minimally to Yuno’s fear and tries to dismiss her concern, keeping her at 0.

Scene 08: 07:06 - 07:42
C: Yu, Mi, Ku
Kuwahara takes care of Miyako’s fingers. Yuno gets initial readings for having accompanied Miyako to the nurse’s office, and then further helps her readings by telling Miyako she’ll do anything Miyako needs Yuno to do for her while Miyako’s hand is healing. Miyako’s first request of Yuno is to have Yuno take off her clothes, a highly intimate and physical request that considerably increase Miyako’s yurilevels for the scene. Kuwahara, as usual, acts in a reassuring but professional manner that makes it impossible to tell if she cares about Miyako personally or as a patient, keeping her actions from impacting her readings and leaving her at 0. Yuno ends with 3 and Miyako with 4.

Scene 09: 07:46 - 08:20
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno completes her blurb for the festival pamphlet. Miyako washing herself at Yuno’s sink seems to suggest that Miyako is staying in Yuno’s room for the night, a closeness that raises both of their yurilevels significantly. Yuno’s fear at seeing Miyako detracts from her readings slightly so that she only ends at 2 compared to Miyako’s 3.

Scene 10: 08:36 - 09:02
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako arrive at the festival. Miyako’s murmur of astonishment at seeing Yuno’s piece on the pamphlet cover isn’t notably yuri enough to earn her readings, so both end at 0.

Scene 11: 09:05 - 09:40
C: Yu, Mi, Mami, Nakayama
Yuno and Miyako prepare for their roles in the haunted house. Nakayama pushes the two to dress for their roles as soon as they arrive, and they and Mami proceed to change clothes in close quarters with broad view of each other. Nobody has any discomfort or unease because of this, indicating they are all very comfortable with each other’s bodies and giving them very strong increases. Yuno’s assurance to Miyako that she can take care of anything Miyako needs her to do suggests a nurturing aspect of Yuno and Miyako’s relationship, a closeness that raises them further so that both end with 4; Mami receives 3 and Nakayama stays at 0.

Scene 12: 09:42 - 10:28
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi
Yuno and Miyako visit Sae and Hiro’s class. Miyako compliments Sae and Hiro on the quality of their uniforms and Yuno asks to take a picture of the two, earning Yuno and Miyako slight increases for their praise of Sae and Hiro’s appearance. Yuno shares a menu with Miyako and orders the same item she gets, a closeness to Miyako that helps Yuno moderately and gives Miyako slight side readings. Yuno offers to help Miyako eat her meal, a use of the literary convention of a lover feeding her romantic partner that raises Yuno to 3, but since Miyako declines she only ends with 2. Sae and Hiro remain at 0.

Scene 13: 10:34 - 10:56
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako explore the balloon room in Nazuna’s classroom. Miyako’s excited indication to Yuno that she found the heart-shaped balloon is an extension of her excitement of having found it at all and as such doesn’t impact her readings. Both end at 0.

Scene 14: 11:00 - 11:38
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako watch Nori’s class’s play. Their discussion of Nori’s role in the play’s crew shows that they are only watching the play because Nori is involved, a friendly interest in her that gives both 1.

Scene 15: 11:38 - 11:55
C: Yu, Mi, No
Nori suffers. Yuno and Miyako both smile at seeing her misery, holding them at 0, and Nori’s inability to interact with of the women on stage prevents her from earning yuri as well.

Scene 16: 12:01 - 12:44
C: Yu, Mi
Yuno and Miyako tour other stands at the festival. Yuno repeatedly feeds Miyako items including noodles, a chocolate banana, and takoyaki (fried and battered octopus), again employing the association of feeding as a close romantic action. Miyako encourages this link by responding at one point with hearts surrounding her face as she thanks Yuno, connecting her gratitude toward being fed with love. Later, Yuno expresses a desire to continue feeding Miyako ceaselessly, which, going by the now-established association of food and love*, conveys that she wants further romantic intimacy with Miyako. Both end at 4.

Scene 17: 12:44 - 13:17
C: Yu, Mi, Arisawa, Arisawa’s friend
Yuno encounters Arisawa and her friend. Yuno and Arisawa are both very excited to see each other, speaking with elated tones and touching hands as a greeting, though Arisawa earns a less intense increase than Yuno since she cites wanting to see Yamabuki High School instead of Yuno as a reason for her happiness. Arisawa’s friend doesn’t talk during the scene except to say hello, but she is introduced by Arisawa as her “friend” (彼女, “kanojo”), using a word that can also be translated as “girlfriend” and suggesting a very close relationship between the two. Arisawa’s disappointment that Yuno can’t have lunch with her due to Yuno’s festival work solidifies her strong reading so that she gets 4, while Yuno earns 3, the friend receives 1, and Miyako ends at 0.

Scene 18: 13:35 - 14:46
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na, Mami
Sae, Hiro, Nori, and Nazuna enter Class 2-A’s haunted house. As Yuno and Miyako enter to begin their shifts, they clap Mami’s hands, a lewd but intimate physical contact that earns all three of them moderate increases. The other Hidamaris then approach the haunted house; for the duration of their visit, the trend is for Sae and Nori to be leading and less visibly afraid while Hiro and Nazuna follow behind them in greater outward fear, a subtle employment of the masculine-feminine dynamics Sae and Hiro as well as Nori and Nazuna have that suggest romantic undertones in their relationships, helping all of their readings significantly. In addition, Nazuna physically clings to Nori for comfort while Hiro hides close behind Sae, though Nori’s readings are lowered for asking Nazuna to let go. She ends with 2, as do Yuno, Miyako, and Mami, and the others all receive 4.

Scene 19: 14:46 - 16:03
C: Sa, Hi, No, Na, Nakayama
Sae, Hiro, Nori, and Nazuna continue through the haunted house. Nazuna shows a significant reliance on Nori as they progress, asking her to retrieve a talisman because she is too afraid to and holding on to her for comfort through much of the scene, and both receive notable boosts for their protective/dependent relationship. Hiro conveys a similar but less visible relationship with Sae by hanging on to her robe, earning both of them 2s compared to Nori and Nazuna’s 4s. Nakayama doesn’t interact with the four except to her assigned role, remaining at 0.

Scene 20: 16:03 - 16:19
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
Sae, Hiro, Nori, and Nazuna finish going through the haunted house. Yuno, as the receptionist, reacts in a professionally polite manner to seeing the others exit and doesn’t give them special attention, receiving no increase for her attitude. Sae tells Yuno the haunted house was scary, a compliment of her handiwork that raises Sae to 1. Everyone else stays at 0.

Scene 21: 16:32 - 17:36
C: Yu, Mi, Mami
Yuno encounters her parents. There is little orally-conveyed yuri, but the characters touch each other multiple times in this scene. Yuno, Miyako, and Mami all clap hands in excitement over their haunted house’s success, linking physical contact with happiness to raise all of their readings moderately. Additionally, Miyako rests her hands on Yuno’s head to bid her goodbye when they see Yuno’s parents and later pushes Yuno toward the entrance of the haunted house for a picture, close contact which increases her and Yuno to 3 while Mami gets 2.

Scene 22: 17:39 - 17:52
C: Yu
Yuno’s parents look at Yuno’s art piece. Her only interactions are with her father, and as such she stays at 0.

Scene 23: 17:56 - 18:05
C: Yu
Yuno's father leaks cream. Again, there is no yuri interaction with her parents, keeping her at 0 again.

Scene 24: 18:10 - 18:31
C: Yu, Yo
Yoshinoya holds a one-person parade. Her erotic escapade does not appear to be targeted toward women in particular, preventing it from affecting her yurilevels. Yuno does not respond with the intended lust, instead appearing embarrassed for Yoshinoya, a defiance of homosexuality that holds her readings to 0.

Scene 25: 18:33 - 18:49
C: Arisawa, Arisawa’s friend
Arisawa and her friend leave Class 2-A’s haunted house. Arisawa’s friend says that, having visited Yamabuki High School, she understands where Arisawa’s creativity comes from, a praise of her skill that conveys her friend’s admiration of Arisawa and earns her a moderate increase. Arisawa doesn’t respond significantly, but instead wonders where Yuno is; her desire to be with Yuno and ignorance of her friend’s kindness balance out to give Arisawa a 1 while her friend gets 2.

Scene 26: 18:50 - 19:13
C: Yu
Yuno parts with her parents. While her goodbyes to her mother convey affection, they are insignificantly different from her goodbyes to her father, showing that she has no particular affection for her and leaving her at 0 again.

Scene 27: 19:15 - 19:51
C: Yu
The school festival ends. Yuno idly wonders if Arisawa visited her class again after meeting with her in Scene 17, and is then excited to see Arisawa sent her a text message; both of these actions convey a semi-friendly fondness for Arisawa that is strong enough to earn Yuno a 2.

Scene 28: 19:51 - 20:29
C: Yu, Arisawa
Arisawa sends Yuno a text message. Her message compliments Yuno’s work on the haunted house and pamphlet cover, while Yuno’s reply thanks Arisawa for visiting and asks Arisawa to send regards to her friend; both are fairly polite and don’t merit significant yuri, so each gets 1.

Scene 29: 20:41 - 20:54
C: Yo
Yoshinoya attempts to co-opt the school folk dance. Like with Scene 24, there does not appear to be any yuri intent in her actions, and she stays at 0.

Scene 30: 20:56 - 21:21
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The rare Hidamari mating ritual is documented on camera for the first time. Most of this footage observes Miyako thanking Yuno for all of her help throughout the previous day, going so far as to say that she felt completely at ease with Yuno with around, an indication of increased levels of comfort and relaxation brought by a potential mating partner. Yuno’s rejection of her gratitude is rooted in her regret that she could have done even more for Miyako, an early sign that she is reciprocating Miyako’s desire to pair-bond. Two other pairs can also be observed in this footage: one, the elder pair of Sae and Hiro, sits close together and watches the others in their rituals, corroborating other observations into the Hidamari ecosystem’s conclusions that they are a parental surrogate overseeing the youth of the nest, and the other pair, the much younger Nori and Nazuna, approaches the camera at one point, at which time Nori leans in and seemingly attempts to kiss Nazuna, who responds by teasingly flinching away before they continue their dance. Sae and Hiro receive 2s, and the other Hidamaris all earn 4s. Nature is truly majestic.

Scene 31: 21:33 - 22:08
C: Yu
Yuno bathes in green water. The scene is built around her reaction to seeing a spider, and as such she doesn’t discuss any other characters or specific experiences from the festival, keeping her at 0.

Final Yurilevel Readings: (both Aokis and Umis are out of 4)
Episode: 1.5285A
  1. Nazuna: 2.739U
  2. Arisawa: 2.137U
  3. Nori: 2.112U
  4. Sae: 1.994U
  5. Miyako: 1.839U
  6. Yuno: 1.827U
  7. Mami: 1.656U
  8. Hiro: 1.439U
  9. Arisawa’s friend: 1.326U
  10. Yoshinoya: 0.000U
    Kuwahara: 0.000U
    Nakayama: 0.000U

Moderate readings by xHoneycomb levels throughout, with only Nazuna earning particularly strong yurilevels. Roughly a third of the episode’s total yuri was contributed by the haunted house sequence (Scenes 18 through 21), much of which stemmed from intimate touching or other physical yuri. In general, this episode featured a much higher amount than usual of lewd contact, with multiple moments of hand-holding and implied nudity and what appeared to be an attempt at a kiss in Scene 30. Through most of Hidamari Sketch, lewdness hasn’t correlated with increased yuri since it frequently was not attached to yuri intent (for instance, both of Season One’s swimsuit episodes had low Aoki readings), but there has been a definite trend in xHoneycomb from Episode 02 onward of emphasizing instances of impropriety and making Hidamari Sketch in general more erotic. This hasn’t consistently produced higher yurilevels (Episode 04 especially had a notably low final reading) but as a whole readings are increasing simultaneously with displays of sexuality, and this trend may force significant modifications to current theories on yuri being the purest form of love.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch xHoneycomb 09.

*: Miyako’s history as destitute and perpetually-starved makes her connection between eating and love more understandable, since she would greatly appreciate any person who gave her food. Her association of the two stretches back at least to Hidamari Sketch x365 11.

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

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