Hidamari Sketch x 365 Anime Complete Collection

May 30th, 2010

Hidamari Sketch X 365: Complete Collection (3pc)Hidamari Sketch x 365 is one of the best-named anime out there. It is indeed a snapshot of the entire year, laid out in a crazy paving of random days in the life of a student at an art school and the women with whom she shares a dorm. Like many 4-koma heroines, Yuno is a reliable, pleasant and energetic young woman. She shares her dorm with a pretty typical selection of characters – the crazy one, the butchy one, the one who worries about her weight obsessively…but, in this case it all works.

I never reviewed the first Hidamari Sketch anime series not because it was inherently unworthy or anything, I just couldn’t sit through it. The animation style made me a little queasy. This reboot was much easier on my eyes. We do get a glimpse of Yuno’s first days at Hidamari and her meeting with nutty Miyako, talented artist and writer Sae, motherly Hiro, Yoshinoya-sensei of the no boundaries and the depressed landlady of the Hidamari apartments.

The 4-koma style suits this anime, in little day-to-day vignettes. The series is at its strongest when it’s not trying to do gags, but just let’s the slice-of-life style slide by naturally.

Yuri is both really obvious and completely non-existent at the same time. Everyone comments that Sae and Hiro seem like a couple. Yuno even goes as far to say that they seem like the Dad and Mom, and Yuno and Miyako like the kids. She’s only kidding, but there’s no doubt that that dynamic seems spot on. The problem is, that while Sae is butchy and cool and Hiro is a wonderful wife to her, they really aren’t a couple. It’s maddening because they should be – they obviously are, I mean come on! The problem most likely isn’t Hiro, who never reacts with surprise at the suggestion that they are together. It’s Sae, whose denial is exceedingly irksome. From time to time you really want to slap her. We must console ourselves with the belief that one day she will start thinking about graduation and about the possibility that she and Hiro will separate and become desperate to not be parted from her and clue in on the obvious.

Sae’s obtuseness is particularly annoying because they could have played Hiro and Sae like Haruka and Michiru in Sailor Moon and it would have worked. I doubt that fans would have complained. However, I’m just being grumpy.

Another student in Sae’s year, Natsume, is said to like Sae and so acts like an ass throughout. I don’t get the appeal of the “I like you so I’m mean to you” past 5 years old or so, so I guess if you want to see her as liking Sae that’s fine. I don’t particularly.

The random days of the year format allows us to visit all the typical key days of school life in Japan, but with no particular order. In one sense it’s refreshing and in another sense it means everything sort of melds together in a purgatorial eternity where nothing ever changes and time never moves on. :-)

Ratings:

Art – 7
Story – 7
Characters – 8 (I favor Miyako, because her madness had method)
Yuri – 1 or 8, depending on how you read Hiro and Sae, and Natsume.
Service – 2, on account of expository bathing.

Overall – 7

Once more, my sincere thanks for pleasant hours of entertainment go to Okazu Superhero Ana M, for her kindness and generosity in sponsoring today’s review!

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