Yuno has been accepted to her dream school: Yamabuki Arts High School. To attend the school, Yuno moves and starts to live in a small apartment building named the Hidamari Apartments located near the school. Once there, she starts making new friends like her classmate Miyako and the second year students, Hiro and Sae. Surrounded by good friends, Yuno starts moving towards her dream of being an artist.
Warnings – there may be spoilers ahead.
I’ve heard a lot about Hidamari Sketch before, and it’s on my to-watch list. Since this week is a holiday season in my side of the world, I decided to have a go at it. I’m not disappointed with what I saw. It’s light. It’s fun. Most importantly, it’s enjoyable. Be aware that it is a slice-of-life anime – it may not be your cup of tea.
On the surface, Hidamari Sketch is nothing special. The characters have nothing unique to offer. We have Sae who is not so honest about her feelings, Hiro who is your typical girlish girl, Yuno who is the innocent child and Miyako who is the eccentric artist. See – we’ve seen this sort of characters everywhere. So in character-wise, there’s nothing special. As far as the story goes, it is also nothing special although it’s worth noting that each episode really covers all things that happen in a day.
Out of the four young artists, I think Miyako is the most talented. I adore her artworks. Abstract. Detailed. Extraordinary. I’m glad her character is developed as such. It really does make the whole show a little bit more artsy. She’s good at all kinds of things that is related to art. She sings well. She paints well. She draws well. She sketches well. Not only that, she seems to know different form or style of art too. Such skill wasn’t shown in the other three characters. So it’s cool to see something different here. At first, I thought of her as a freeloader of some sort. After all, I see her dining at her other rooms more often than seeing her cooking her own meals. That’s all changed when I saw her offering her food too. Haha. She’s quite the eater there. She’s always eating. In every scene which shows the four main characters dining together, she’s always the one eating non-stop.
There’s a trick to watching this anime. I didn’t know it at first. I just thought of watching from the first to the last episode just like any other anime with the exception of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. After 3, 4 episodes into the series that I realize the sequence is jumbled up. This means that the first episode didn’t show what happened first. Cause or reason for things that already happened in a prior episode will only be explained in a later episode! I didn’t like it. It confused me. So with gracious help from Wikipedia here, I saw the first season according to Hidamari Sketch’s calendar sequence. It is, however, sad to say that this all jumbling happens across two seasons. For example, in first season it showed that Yuno had a unfinished artwork put up for display in her school gallery. How she came about with her idea of her sketch was explained but it was only shown in one of the episode in the second season. To sum this whole confusing situation up – it’s best you watch it according to the dates in Hidamari Sketch.
I’ve seen quite a number of slice-of-life themed anime before, and this has a different touch to it. As said earlier, Hidamari Sketch is mostly an episode a day kind of thing. This is something quite unusual. As far as I can remember, most slice-of-life anime has random scenes in it. It’s not necessarily a day event per episode but random moments which depicts what we normally go through in a single day’s life. But Hidamari Sketch shows what happened in a day for the four main characters per episode. I like that. Besides that, I quite like the occasional random pictures that show movements or conversations. It reminded me of Bakemonogatari. It’s quite unique, something that’s not seen in a lot of anime. At least, not in the list of anime I already saw. Fun!
If I was asked which episode I enjoyed the most, I doubt I could answer. It’s very consistent throughout, which is why I find it easy to marathon the series. I spent two days completing the two seasons. In my case, it’s quite a feat really. Hehe. Anyways, there is one episode that I think I could remember for the rest of my life. It’s episode 9 – KYAAAAAAAA! HELP ME! PLEASE DON’T KILL ME! I wish I have that alarm clock. It’s ideal for waking people up, don’t you think? See it for yourself to know what I’m talking about.
In short, it has been fun seeing this anime. I have no regrets for choosing this to accompany me during my rare and long vacation. Ten days without work is absolutely a great way to rejuvenate oneself to start a whole new year ahead.