Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hidamari Sketch xHoneycomb 12

Hidamari Sketch xHoneycomb 12 includes the six Hidamari residents, Yoshinoya, the Landlady, and Natsume, as well as a pair of Natsume’s friends. The episode follows the Hidamaris over New Year’s evening as they sit together in Nazuna’s room and visit a local temple.

Scene 01: 00:19 - 01:09
C: Yu
Yuno wakes up and talks to her mother on the phone. She mentions without being prompted that she will be meeting the other Hidamaris later, suggesting she is excited to be together with them. However, this seems to be more of a friendly sentiment than a yuri one, so Yuno only receives 1.

Scene 02: 02:45 - 05:46
C: Yu, Mi, No, Na
Yuno, Miyako, Nori, and Nazuna wait for Sae and Hiro to return from a studying session. Nori chastises Nazuna for making her New Year’s cards late in the year, hurting her readings for her scolding. Miyako carves a stamp which Nazuna calls “amazing” (すごい, “sugoi”), praise which slightly increases her readings. While talking about Sae and Hiro’s studying, Nori sympathizes with them for the stress she assumes they are experiencing, Nazuna suggests the two are not acting tense for the sake of the other Hidamaris, and Yuno proposes that they should act tense out of consideration. Yuno and Nori get moderate increases for their concern for Sae and Hiro, and Nazuna gets a more significant increase for interpreting Sae and Hiro’s attitude toward them as one of caring. Yuno also expresses her hope that Sae and Hiro are admitted to their choice of universities, a desire for them to be happy that gives her another moderate increase. Nazuna, meanwhile, comments that if they do not, they could live at Hidamari Apartments for another year before they try to apply again, a much darker hope for Sae and Hiro but one that gives Nazuna similar readings to Yuno since it shows she is attached to them strongly enough to want them not to leave. Yuno admits she momentarily hoped for the same thing, strengthening her readings further. They then prepare to leave for Nazuna to deliver her cards; Miyako suggests that beforehand, they can bathe together to overcome the cold weather, an offer to warm up by getting naked together that very strongly increases her yurilevels. Yuno and Miyako both earn 4, Nazuna receives 3, and Nori gets 1.

Scene 03: 05:47 - 06:58
C: Yu, Mi, No, Na
Yuno, Miyako, Nori, and Nazuna bathe together. Nazuna considers the bath a purification of the previous year, suggesting she believes she has somehow become dirtied and, combined with her staring at her hand, heavily implies lewdness. It is not, however, implicitly connected to any yuri activity, and as such has no effect on her readings. Yuno says she is spending New Year’s Eve away from her family for the first time, possibly suggesting she prefers the company of the Hidamaris over that of her own family, but this implication is not strong enough to give her an especially high increase. Miyako then exposes her nude body to the others apropros of nothing, frightening the others; her comfort at revealing herself to them earns Miyako a 4, but their terror keeps the rest at 0.

Scene 04: 06:58 - 07:19
C: Yu, Mi, No, Na
Nazuna delivers her New Year’s cards. Nothing to note.

Scene 05: 07:19 - 07:57
C: Yu, Mi, No, Na, La
The Landlady gives Yuno, Miyako, Nori, and Nazuna soba noodles. Her kind gesture earns her minor readings, and Yuno’s gratitude gives her reciprocal readings. Yuno also thanks the Landlady for putting up with her over the previous year, and the others non-vocally express a similar sentiment by bowing toward the Landlady; the Landlady returns the gesture by thanking Yuno for putting up with her as well. She and Yuno end with 2 and the rest receive 1.

Scene 06: 07:59 - 10:51
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
Sae and Hiro return and join the others in Nazuna’s room. The other Hidamaris quickly put on their best tense faces in solidarity with Sae and Hiro, receiving slight increases, but Sae and Hiro only become troubled by their display, also receiving increases for their concern. Yuno, Miyako, Nori, and Nazuna make year-end soba noodles, partly for Sae and Hiro but also for themselves, so again only slight increases are earned. Sae notes that this is the first year every Hidamari will be together for New Year’s, which Yuno explains as the others wanting to spend time together with Sae and Hiro during their three-day break from review sessions. The other Hidamaris are all helped moderately by their desire to spend time with Sae and Hiro, while Sae and Hiro’s tearful reaction also helps them for their happiness at being wanted. Sae and Hiro end with 3, the others each earn 2.

Scene 07: 10:55 - 11:14
C: Yu, Mi, No, Na
Yuno, Miyako, Nori, and Nazuna observe the start of the new year as Sae and Hiro sleep. Yuno carefully puts a jacket over Sae to cover her while the others watch, a warm affection for the two that earns all four of them moderate readings with Yuno receiving a more substantial increase. Yuno then walks back over to the end of the kotatsu facing the television. While she does so, Miyako watches her, conveying she wants Yuno to sit next to her as the year begins and in turn suggesting that the start of the year itself is not as important to her as celebrating the start of the year with Yuno is. Miyako’s attachment to Yuno earns her a 3, while Yuno also ends with 3 and Nori and Nazuna each get 2.

Scene 08: 11:22 - 12:19
C: Yu, Mi, No, Na
Yuno, Miyako, Nori, and Nazuna visit a temple. While moving to a station for making wish plates, Yuno and Miyako walk with linked arms, a very intimate physical closeness that gives them each significant increases. Nori, possibly inspired by their example, reaches to grab Nazuna’s hand and tells Nazuna to move closer to her (こっちこっち, “kocchi kocchi” [“over here”]), with which Nazuna happily complies. Yuno, Miyako, and Nazuna all receive 3, and Nori’s particularly strong drive for lewd contact with Nazuna gives her a 4.

Scene 09: 12:19 - 12:41
C: Yu, Mi, Hi, No, Na
Yuno talks to Hiro over the phone. Hiro asks where the other Hidamaris are and says she was worried about them, jokingly chiding the four for leaving her and Sae behind. Yuno apologizes anyways and explains that they left because she and Sae were asleep at the time, conveying that Yuno would have wanted to go to the temple with Sae and Hiro if it had been possible. Yuno’s desire to include them gives her a 1, while Hiro gets a 2 for displaying concern for the others and a comfortable enough relationship with Yuno to tease her. The others are silent and remain at 0.

Scene 10: 12:41 - 13:43
C: Yu, Mi, No, Na
Yuno, Miyako, Nori, and Nazuna eat red bean soup and stare at fire. Nazuna compliments Nori’s learnedness after Nori explains a kanji double meaning, receiving a 1; Nori rejects her praise by saying she only heard it on television, staying at 0. Yuno and Miyako also receive 0 for lack of yuri action.

Scene 11: 13:44 - 16:18
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
Sae and Hiro join the others at the temple. The two thank them for ensuring they slept well, gratitude which slightly helps both of them. They then join Yuno and Miyako in standing next to a fire. Miyako and Sae, both standing next to each other, are wearing masculine coats while Yuno and Hiro, also standing next to each other, have nearly identical feminine fur-lined coats. Their clothing conveys a subtle representation of a masculine-feminine dynamic between both pairs, as well as a parallelism between Sae and Hiro to Yuno and Miyako, and moderately increases all of their readings as a result. After finishing their wish plates Hiro suggests hanging them with the ones the others made; Sae agrees, referring to them as “Yuno-tachi” (ゆのーたち; “-tachi” is a pluralizing honorific) which places Yuno as the primary member of the other four, conveying a specific fondness for her that gives her a significant raise to her yurilevels. Yuno, Miyako, Nori, and Nazuna are all shown to have wished for Sae and Hiro to be accepted into university, earning them all moderate increases for their warm wishes for the two. The Hidamaris then receive their year’s fortunes. Nori’s mentions that she will safely deliver a baby, which Nori seems happy about. In general, this would imply Nori would have heterosexual intercourse at some point, but in Nori’s case it is not the only possibility since Nori has Internet access and a more worldly outlook on the whole and thus could possibly be aware of options for reproduction that would not involve heterosexuality; consequently, Nori is unaffected by her response to her fortune. Yuno, meanwhile, receives a great curse, distressing her. Sae, Hiro, and Nazuna try to cheer her up, with Sae in particular putting a hand on Yuno’s shoulder (showing Sae makes an association between physical contact with comforting) and suggesting to tie the fortune to a tree. The moment makes Sae resemble a parent consoling a child, an invocation of the Hidamari family dynamic that helps both of their readings. Miyako also attempts to comfort her by saying she should be happy to receive a rarity of a fortune, which is not as helpful a consolation and does not give her as strong an increase as Hiro or Nazuna receive. Overall, Yuno and Sae earn 3, Miyako and Hiro earn 2, and Nori and Nazuna end with 1.

Scene 12: 16:18 - 16:57
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na, Yo
The Hidamaris encounter a crying Yoshinoya. Miyako is still trying to comfort Yuno from the previous scene, receiving a slight increase for it. Hiro displays concern for Yoshinoya by asking her what is wrong, helping her marginally. Yoshinoya says that she received a cursed New Year’s fortune, and Yuno then says she received a worse fortune to cheer her up, also receiving an increase from her desire to keep Yoshinoya from being sad. Yuno, Miyako, and Hiro both end with 1, and everybody else stays at 0.

Scene 13: 17:01 - 17:38
C: Nt, Natsume’s friends
Natsume and her friends find Sae’s wish plate. Early in the scene a plate is shown wishing Sae luck that is implied to be the one Natsume made, giving Natsume moderate readings for her desire to see Sae successful. Natsume then sees Sae’s plate, and her friends point out she could still be nearby. They offer to leave to get red bean soup so Natsume can go look for her, showing a slightly teasing consideration for Natsume’s feelings toward Sae and receiving a significant increase. Natsume replies that she’s already with them and implicitly that she would rather stay with them than see Sae, which is still slightly yuri but only in a friendly sense. The friends again smile, then outright tell Natsume to go look, an encouragement for Natsume to follow her heart that again earns them an significant increase. Natsume finally relents and says she will walk around and look for Sae; however, she then breaks into a run to look, conveying a much stronger desire to see Sae than she claimed to have. She ends with 3, and her friends get 4.

Scene 14: 17:38 - 17:40
C: La, Nt
Natsume runs by the Landlady. Natsume already received yurilevels for her haste to meet Sae and nothing in this scene adds to that, so she stays at 0, while the Landlady is in the background and did not come with any women, keeping her at 0 as well.

Scene 15: 17:40 - 18:17
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na, Yo, La
The Landlady drunkenly stumbles upon the Hidamaris. The Hidamaris say happy New Year greetings to the Landlady, but as a polite formality it does not convey yuri. The Landlady thanks Yoshinoya for taking care of the Hidamaris and asks her to keep teaching them well, a gratitude toward both Yoshinoya and the Hidamaris themselves that earns the Landlady a 2. Sae warmly notes that the Landlady is drunk, showing no concern over it and treating it like a lovable character trait instead of a disease, giving her a 1. Everyone else stays at 0.

Scene 16: 18:18 - 20:19
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na, Yo, La, Nt
The Hidamaris et al. watch the first sunrise of the year together. Natsume arrives at the top of the shrine and shouts for Sae only to pretend she bumped into her by chance, again showing both a desire to be close with Sae and for Sae not to learn about said desire, the net effect of which aids her slightly. They say New Year greetings to each other, and Sae adds that she hopes they can have a good year together, making Natsume smile; both earn moderate readings from this friendliness. Hiro invites Natsume to watch the first sunrise with the others, also displaying friendliness but to a lesser degree. As the sunrise begins, Yuno warmly looks at the other people assembled; though it does at this point include the male Principal, there are eight other female characters so the likelihood that her fondness is yuri is still fairly high, raising her readings moderately. Natsume leaves to return to her other friends, prompting Sae to wish her and herself luck on their university entrance exams. Natsume initially agrees, but then becomes embarrassed and storms off grumpily, the net effect of which doesn’t increase or decrease or readings noticeably. Sae and Natsume end with 2, Yuno and Hiro with 1, and everyone else with 0.

Scene 17: 20:19 - 20:30
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na, La
The Landlady departs. Sae and Hiro chuckle warmly at Natsume’s behavior as she leaves, a tolerance of her usual standoffishness that did not used to be present in them. Their conveyance of a reconciliation or newfound friendliness with Natsume gives them each moderate increases. The Landlady leaves to go to New Year’s parties, which Nori seems impressed with, praising her tirelessness. She receives a slight raise to her yurilevels, as does the Landlady for accepting her compliment; both end at 1, Sae and Hiro end at 2, and the rest stay at 0.

Scene 18: 20:30 - 20:46
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris become tired and leave the temple. Miyako notices Yuno is beginning to fall asleep, and both she and Hiro show sympathy for her, receiving slight increases. Nori suggests they all return to Hidamari to sleep, but the elevated yurilevels she receives from it are undone by her teasing of Nazuna when she yawns. Miyako and Hiro end with 1 and the others get 0s.

Scene 19: 20:51 - 21:02
C: Yu, Mi, Sa, Hi, No, Na
The Hidamaris return to Hidamari Apartments. Hiro offers to make food after everyone wakes up, earning a 1. The rest remain at 0.

Scene 20: 21:06 - 22:04
C: Yu
Yuno looks forward at what lies ahead for her. Her main reflection is on her upcoming university application process, which makes Yuno want to emulate Sae and Hiro in how they decided what they want for themselves, an admiration of them that moderately increases her readings. There is a series of short scenes showing the other five Hidamaris; for the sake of this scene, they are assumed to be Yuno’s mental images of what the others are doing at that moment. Hiro’s vignette shows her cooking, an association of Hiro with a traditionally maternal activity that gives Yuno another slight increase. Miyako’s vignette, though the longest of the five, shows her sleeping with a man before marriage (the same man in x365 04), preventing Yuno from receiving any yurilevel increase from it. None of the other vignettes (Nori is talking to somebody over the computer, Nazuna is doing the same on the phone, and Sae working) convey notable yuri. During these vignettes, Yuno contemplates how any time she is worried or depressed, she will be okay because the other Hidamaris will help her overcome it, a strong display of affection for them that raises her readings significantly. She ends the series by hoping that everybody can have a good year, solidifying her reading for the scene at 3.

Final Yurilevel Readings: (both Aokis and Umes are out of 4)
Episode: 1.7965A
  1. Natsume’s friends: 4.000U
  2. Sae: 2.279U
  3. Natsume: 2.206U
  4. Yuno: 1.964U
  5. Miyako: 1.919U
  6. Hiro: 1.847U
  7. Nazuna: 1.308U
  8. Nori: 0.963U
  9. Landlady: 0.770U
  10. Yoshinoya: 0.000U

xHoneycomb ends with a strong episode overall despite distributing very few solid 4s, with a respectable Aoki reading and high character readings for every Hidamari except Nori and Nazuna. Much of the episode was concentrated in a few multi-minute episodes, but here it worked to the episode’s advantage since the scenes in question (Scenes 02, 06, 11, and 16) had moderate yuri readings from the focus on the younger Hidamari’s affection for and attachment to Sae and Hiro, lifting the episode as a whole. Nori and Nazuna received relatively low yurilevels, primarily from low focus throughout (especially in some longer scenes such as 11 and 16). In Nori’s case, her role as deadpan straight man was particularly strong here, and her scrutinization and questioning of the other Hidamaris’ actions being a frequent drain on her readings. Yuri in this episode came mostly from friendly moments rather than romantic subtext, though the friendliness was especially close here.

Further analysis will continue with Hidamari Sketch Sae and Hiro Graduation 01.

8/24/13: Yamabuki High School was initially mislabed as "Yamabuki Academy." The name has been corrected.
8/28/13: Updated information about Hidamari Sketch Sae Hiro Sotsugyou-hen.
12/10/13: Updated name of graduation episodes to reflect the translation used by Nutbladder.

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