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 At times some of the character design look outdated since this was made in 2007 but you can tell it starts to update after ever episode.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*