Hidamari Sketch News

Hidamari Sketch is a franchise comprised of 5 anime series
From Anime Vice
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Just got Hidamari Sketch season 2 in my hands.





Packaging impression
 
Pro
Better artwork on the cover.
Better colors (Purple works very well).
All 3 DVDs fit nicely in to the case.
Art on the DVDs looks great.
Nice information layout on the back.
 
Con
No other extras (really want a art book).
 

Look forward for my review of this anime soon.
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The following review is for the entire anime series.  This includes Hidamari Sketch, Hidamari Sketch x 365, Hidamari x Hoshimittsu, and all specials and OVA of the show.
 
Hidamari Sketch (aka Sunshine Sketch) is an anime adaptation of the manga of the same name.  There are 12 episodes and 2 specials for season 1; 13 episodes, 1 OVA, and 2 specials for Season 2 (365); and 12 episodes for Season 3 (Hoshimittsu).  Season 1 and the season 1 specials  were directed by Akiyuki Shinbo and Ryouki Kamitsubo.  The rest of the series and specials were direct by Akiyuhi Shinbo by himself.  This animated series was produced by Shaft.
 

Brief Overview

 Hidamari Sketch
 Hidamari Sketch
Hidamari Sketch is a show about Yuno and her friends as they progress through their daily lives.  Yuno, Miyako, Hiro, and Sae all live in the same apartments, Hidamari Apartments, and they all go to the same school, Yamabuki Art High School.  Each episode starts out with Yuno waking up and ends with Yuno taking a bath and going to bed, just like in they day of an average person.  As the show goes one, you get to see them go to school and do other things as well.  When the 3rd season starts, two new students move into Hidamari Apartments, Nori and Nazuna .  Since this is based on a 4-panel comic strip, there is no consistent through out the series.
 
Here is a list of the important characters we meet through out the series.
 
  • Yuno - A first/second year.  A really nice girl who happens to be short.  Yuno's dream is to become a very good artist one day.
  • Miyako - A first/second year.  A very active girl who always wants to have fun.  She is very creative and loves to eat.  She likes to pick on Hiro by telling her she is gaining weight, which ends up making Hiro hit Miyako on the head.
  • Hiro - A second/third year.  The motherly figure of the group.  She is very kind and makes meals ofter for her friends.  She tends to watch her weight a lot, so she tends to go on diets, which usually fail.  She is a very close friend of Sae's and always takes care of her when she is near a deadline for one of her stories.
  • Sae - A second/third year.  She is a tall, athletic, and mature girl who happens to be close friends with Sae.  She writes fiction professional under the anme Aya Tachibana.  The reason she enrolled to Yamabuki Art High School is show she can illustrate her own art for her stories.
  • Nazuna (introduced in season 3) - A first year girl who is shy and reserved, but has an inferiority complex.  She is not in the art department of the school, but does have some interest in it.
  • Nori (introduced in season 3) - A first year girl who is very honest and straightforward.  She is in the art department as well and have strong interest in computers.
  • Yoshinoya -  Yuno and Miyako's homeroom teacher and art instructor. She is buxom, exuberant, and a cosplay maniac.  She loves modeling for her class, displaying her latest outfits whenever she can, and showing off in general.  When asked her age, she says show is "eternally seventeen".
  • The Principal - A thin, aging and balding man whose teeth are always chattering.  He is mostly calm, but sometimes get's very angry with Yoshinoya, which is very often.
  • The Landlady -  The landlord of the Hidamari Apartments. She is very laid back woman, but she is always doing part-time jobs to get by.  She is also a very heavy smoker.
  • Chika - Sae's younger sister, and is an anime-original character. She is more spontaneous and energetic than Sae.  She has no artistic talent and prefers music and home economics over art.
 

My Thoughts

 Yuno
 Yuno
I'm a fan of the genre.  Once I heard about the show I was like "DUDE YES" and checked it out.  Hidamari Sketch felt like a mash of Minami-ke, Lucky Star, and Azumanga Daioh with a slower pace.  While I my have seen shows that are really similar to this, I still enjoyed the show a lot.
 
First of lets talk about the characters.  I thought that the cast of characters were rather enjoyable.  While we have seen similar characters in other shows, I really enjoyed them.  I really enjoyed Yuno a lot.  She is just a sweet girl from time to time does goofy things like flushing her room key down the toilet or trying to learn to ride a bike again.  Yoshinoya was a really bizarre character.  When you first see her you think she may be normal, just a few minutes later, you can tell she is going to be one goofy teach.  I goes she kinda provides some fanservice for the show by dressing up in skimpy cosplay outfits which sometimes show off her chest, nothing too sever though.  Besides Yuno and Yoshinoya, the other members of the cast are great as well.  They are so kind a cute, you feel like you want to be in high school again just to hang out with them.
 
Next we should talk about the production quality.  Shaft does it again and makes the show's art style very unique and great at the same time.  You can easily tell it's made by Shaft when you see items that look like they took a picture of the object and threw it into the show.  The characters look fantastic as well.  From time the time the characters would have chibi heads, which looked really fat and goofy, but you get used to it with time.  The music is great as well.  It fits the show perfectly when used and sets the mood just right.  Shaft as done it again and made the show look great.
 
Where there are good things, there has to be bad things.  While I had no problem with it, the show's pacing is really slow.  It's like the opposite of Lucky Star.  Lucky Star was fast and upbeat while this show is slow and relaxing.  It might be a little to slow for some people.  One thing I didn't like was the show wasn't in chronological order.  I guess it really doesn't matter for this king of show since it has no on going plot, but I do like my episodes out of order regardless.  Another gripe is the show was light on the comedy.  It seems like they put slice of life first then comedy second.  This could be a good or a bad thing, but I really wanted to laugh more.  Don't get me wrong, the show had it's funny moments, but it just left be wanting a little more comedy.  I guess this could be one of of those "watch cute girls do cute things' kind of show.  While I really wasn't turned off by it, it may be a turn of for others.
 Miyako
 Miyako

 
I really enjoyed the show with the few gripes I had.  The show is just a cute slice of life/comedy show.  While the slow pace may be too slow for some, it sets a really nice and relaxing tone to the show.  If you are looking for new slice of life/comedy show, I say check this one out if you can deal with the slow pace.  If you are looking for a show that's super crazy and over the top funny show , you are looking the wrong place, go try Azumanga Daioh if you are looking for an upbeat slice of life/comedy.
 

Review in a Nutshell

I liked:
  • From the art to the music, the over all production quality is fantastic.  Another job well done Shaft.
  • A great cast of characters.
  • Super Cute
  • Odd Ball Humor
  • The show felt very relaxing with it's slow pace.
 
I didn't like:
  • The episodes weren't in order except for the 3rd season, which was in order for the most part.
  • The comedy seemed a little light.
  • Could be considered a "watch cute girls do cute things" kind of show.
 
My score - 4.5/5
 

Blog Thing

With this show out of the way, I decided to get my harem back on and check out Mahoromatic.  It seems like a good harem show to check it out with bonus fanservice!  On the gaming front, I've been playing a ton of Pokemon SoulSilver and loving everything about the remake.  I got Cave Story on Wii today and that's been a ton of fun as well.  I haven't been reading anything since I have caught up with Negima.  I still have Chibi Vampie Karin on my mind to read.  Maybe I will start reading it sometime soon.
 
I guess this is the part where I end this thing.  Instead of a boring closer, let's throw in some awesome YouTube videos!
 
  
  
 
 
 
 
 
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 Don't  try this at home kids.
 Don't try this at home kids.

The following review is the entire Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei anime series.  This includes:  Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Goku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, and Zan Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei.
 
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is an anime adaptation of the manga of the same name.  There are 12 episodes in SZS, 13 in Zoku SZS, 3 in Goku SZS (OVA series), and 13 and 1 OAD in Zan SZS.  All the seasons and OVAs where produced by Shaft and directed by Akiyuki Shinbo.
 

Brief Overview

 The class of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
 The class of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei is a show about Nozomu Itoshiki and his students.  Nozomu is a very negative person and often wants to commit suicide for being in despair.  During the first episode he tries to hang himself, but ends up failing and meets Kafuka Fuura, one of his students who is the complete opposite of him as she if a very positive person.  This is how the show opens.
 
Since this is an episodic show, there is no consent story.  Each chapter of the episode resolves around an aspect of life, Japanese culture, or a common phrase in the Japanese language.
 
Since Nozomu is a teacher, he has very special students.  Each of his students are named after controversial social issues in Japanese society expect for Kafuka Fuura, whose real name has yet to be revealed.  There are many girls and a few boys in the class.  Since the show mostly focuses on the girls, I'm going talk about the important ones.  Here are their social issues, some worse then others:
 
  • Kafuka Fuura - Sees everything in the most positive way possible.  Even in grim situations like when Nozomu tries hanging himself, she calls it "becoming taller" because her mother did it as well.
  • Chiri Kitsu - She wants everything to be absolutely perfect even if she has to be extremely violent.
  • Abiru Kobushi - A girl who is always heavily bandaged.  Most people think she is like that because she is a victim of domestic violence.  Her injuries are actually due to her pulling the tails of animals, which is a fetish of hers.
  • Kiri Komori - A hikikomori.  She was locked up in here room until one day when Nozomu and Kafuka try to get her to come to school.  Kafuka believes that she is a zashiki-warashi and end up scaring her out of her home.  Now she ends up living at the school.
  • Matoi Tsunetsuki - A stalker.  First she stalks her ex-boyfriend, but ends up stalking Nozomu after misinterpreting something he had said.
  • Nami Hito - A completely ordinary girl who takes offense when you call her normal.
  • Harumi Fujiyoshi - A fan of yaoi and cat ears.
  • Taro Maria Sekiutsu - An illegal immigrant of unknown nationality.
  • Meru Otonashi - A girl who does not talk and only communicates through text messages, which are very abusive.
  • Kaere/Kaede Kimura - Suffers from dissociative identity disorder.  Kaede is an ultimately Japanese woman.  Kaere is a foreigner who is very disgusted with with Japanese culture.  Through out most of the show she is Kaere.  Kaere/Kaede is also the source of all the fan fanservice in the show with many panty shots.
  • Ai Kaga - A very shy and insecure girl who constantly apologizes for trivial matters and things she didn't even do. 
  • Manami Okusa - A married high schooler.
  • Mayo Mitama -  An evil looking girl who always commits horrible acts. Not wanting to be accused of reacting to stereotypes, people simply assume she is a good girl who only looks evil.
 

My Thoughts


Even though the show really bizarre and different from what I have watched before, I really dug it.
Kiri  Komori - A hikikomori
Kiri Komori - A hikikomori

 
The first thing that you have to talk about is the bizarre cast of characters.  Nozomu Itoshiki is the coolest teacher ever, even though he is always in despair.  Besides him, the girls are all great as well.  I really enjoyed Kafuka a lot.  With being super positive about everything, even about death, how could you not love such a cute and sweet girl?  I also loved Kiri because I can relate to her, kinda.  I'm one of this guys who always stays are home and does what she often does, watches anime and surfs the web.  And you gotta love Kaere for all the fanservice she provides through out the show.
 
With a bizarre show like this, how can you not have some enjoyable moments?  One of my favorite chapters is when Nozomu is forced to get married.  Every year his family hosts a marriage even for the whole city.  Once you look are someone's eyes, you are instantly married to the person.  Through the whole night he just looks away and tries to run away.  His students also participate and for this being a harem show, the try to make him look at them, especially Chiri and Matoi.  Another great chapter is when Nozomu write a doujinshi for Comiket.  At the beginning of the episode Harumi bumps into Nozomu while she is on her way to make copies of her doujinshi.  She ends up telling Nozomu about her hobby, but he misunderstands it as literary sense instead of a manga/anime sense.  He ends up writing his own thing, but it doesn't sell at all.
 
 Kaere   and her fanservice.  :)
 Kaere and her fanservice.  :)
There are other great things about the show as well.  The art style for the show is fantastic.  Every once in a while they change up the art style and character models and that's all great.  In Zoku SZS episode 7 they used clay animation.  It was so goofy and weird that it was awesome.  The music in the show as fantastic.  When there was music used, it fitted the moment perfectly.  The OP and ED songs were awesome as well.  Some people my be a little turned off my the rock n roll and somewhat screaming used in some of them, but I really enjoyed them.   Speaking of ED, there are some great endings as well that are used through the show.  At the end of season three episodes, they draw Nozomu's head along with a song they made up.  One neat thing about it is the pictures that are drawn are actually pictures submitted by fans which is really neat.
 
From time to time the show gets really dark, but when it happens, it still really goofy and awesome.  There is a part where there is tons of blood and the students end up dying.  There is also a part where the students tear Nozomu into peaces to divide him evenly between the students.  Besides the dark parts, there were also a lot of cameos as well.  Some note worthy anime cameos are Lucky Star, Haruhi, Negima, Clannad, Death Note, and Detective Conan aka Case Closed.  My favorite one has to be the ones of Negima.  Nozomu talks about that their manga wont sell, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, and talking about how Negima will clearly out sell it, which made me chuckle since I got into Negima in January.  I should note that Shaft worked on Negima!? as well.  There are other cameos as well like Freddy Kruger, Blue Man Group, Star Wars and a few others.
 
Now it's time for a few complaints.  During some of the chapters I thought the pacing was a little to fast and I had slow it down so I could read what was going on.  Some other times when they were talking about some stuff, I was completely lost and didn't understand it completely.
 
All and all, this was a excellent show.  With a few minor complaints, I still really enjoyed the show.  If you are looking for a really bizarre comedy, I recommend this show.  Forewarning though.  If you decide to watch the show, I suggest taking a break between each season so the show wont get stale when you get to the third season.
 

Review in a Nutshell

I liked:
  • The bizarre cast of characters.
  • Stylish Art Style
  • Lots of memorable moments through out the show.
  • I really dug the music.
  • Lots a great cameos
  • I'M IN DESPAIR!
 
I didn't like:
  • Some chapters where a little to fast paced
  • I didn't get some of the chapters.  Left me saying "OK, I don't get it."
 
My Score - 4.5/5

Blog Thing


After finishing this show, I decided to got with another Shaft anime.  This time it's going to be Hidamari Sketch aka Sunshine Sketch.  I've had the radar on my show for while, but I wanted to wait till most of season 3 was done airing.  After listening to Ana talking about the manga on the Squadcast this week I was like "Yep, I'm finally going to watch this show now."  On the video game front I'm waiting till Pokemon SoulSilver comes out this Sunday.  I've been waiting a long as time for and it it's finally going to be released.  I'm really excited to nerd out again with Silver since I haven't played that game in years.
 
JJOR64 signing off.  (Boy this was a long review.   :P)
 
 
EDIT on Mar. 13th :  Fixed some typos.
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Summary
Yuno, a first year student of Yamabuki Art High School, is living in the Hidamari Apartment near the school with her best friend Miyako and her two seniors Hiro and Sae. The series focuses on the lives of these four as they attend classes and hangout at the apartment. 
 
Review 

Hidamari sketch is a simple yet relaxing slice of life. It's a cute and simple show about four girls just living their lives at the Hidamari Apartment. 
 
Like most slice of life shows, there isn't much to talk about since it basically about the everyday events of these four girls. The thing that Hidamari Sketch does is mixes these events and put them in a anachronic order. Many may find this to be a turn off since it'll give a episode a weird pacing but the way that each episode is presented is almost like they are in order.
 
The characters go along with the simpleness of the show. There is Yuno, the kind girl who wishes to become a great artiest, Miyako, the energetic blonde who is Yuno's best friend, and their seniors Hiro, the motherly type, and Sae, the most level-headed person of the group who wears glasses. There are a hand full supporting characters but only the childish, buxom Yoshinoya, Yuno and Miyako's homeroom teacher and the principal of the school with no name are the most recurring. 
 
Each episode usually has the girls hanging out in some place but it's different ever time depending on the season. Like in the summer they go out to a summer festival in Yukatas or during the winter they bath at the town's bathhouse. Most of the time they just do some activities, like designing signs for the apartment or doing karaoke. At the end of every episode Yuno goes and take a bath and reflects on what has happened. While it a little strange it gives the show a little self awareness of what goes on as well as character development.
 
Since the series is made by SHAFT there are a lot of abstract art designs and scenery. At times some of the character design look outdated since this was made in 2007 but you can tell it starts to update after ever episode. One episode that shows the craziness of SHAFT is episode 5 where Yuno is sick. As she rest in her room she begins to dream about odd settings, trippy backgrounds/colors throughout and things start to change when her fever starts to go down. Because the series was not made to be wide-screen at the time a lot of the chibi forms of the characters heads look a lot stretched out. Music has a very relaxing tones and the only up beat song comes from the OP (Sketch Switch) with the ED (Mebae Drive) being the most laid-back.
 
Overall I enjoyed the calm, cute and simpleness of Hidamari Sketch and glad that I made it here in America. Not many will enjoy it's slow pacing or simple characters but give it time and you'll soon be loving ever moment of it.  
 
Note *Video review of the DVD will be here soon*
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Thinking about doing a review (most likely a video review) on this anime that finally came out in the USA.
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