Hidamari Sketch

TV (12 eps)
3.592 out of 5 from 2,682 votes
Rank #4,485

Yuno is a high school student who dreams of becoming a famous artist; and after being admitted at Yamabuki High School of Arts, she is one step closer to her dream. Yuno must move to an apartment complex near the school, and there, in Hidamari-so, she meets three new friends: Miyako, a very active person who will do anything to get her hands on something to eat; Hiro, an upperclassman who is obsessed with weight gain; and Sae, the oldest of the bunch and also a tomboy. From wild cosplaying teachers to bizarre school myths, Yuno and friends enjoy fun times and crazy days at Yamabuki High!

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Seinfeld. I was beginning to think about this ‘comedy about nothing’ about five episodes into the 12-episode season.  And nothing happened in the remainder to convince me otherwise.  Hidamari Sketch, which would begin a run of seasons beginning in 2007 and keep going for seven years, would tell the stories (meaningless and bland as they come) of four art students at Yamabuki High who find their lodgings in the nearby Hidamari Apts. The sad thing about the characters is the character designs used to render them for the adventures that never seemed to come.  Yuno and Miyako are the first-years, Hiro and Sae the second-years.  The key character is Yuno, who is the shortest of the four and is the least mature.  Life away from family seems to be hardest for her.  Her classmate Miyako is perky though not easily motivated.  Hiro is the one girl who takes on a more maternal role than the others (at least, the girls tend to congregate in her rooms, while Sae is a tomboyish writer who has already a fair amount of responsibility.  The first-years live on the upper story of the apartment complex of six suites and tend to jump from the balcony to get to the second-years’ flats.  This is the most action you’ll see in the whole season. One would expect that an anime based on life at art school would present some classic shades for the scenes.  Wrong!  There seemed to be something wrong with the color/animation.  Though a show based on the arts, color is not a dynamic effect.  If the animators used pastel hues, the results would have would have been brighter.  the color sets appeared something of a faded hue, like faded blue jeans.  Rarely were there bright colors, and the worst were those sick pasty greens and reds. There were problems with the plot, and it centered on an oddity of chronology with episodes being about one day, sometimes a holiday (last one on Christmas, with very little yule-tide feelings, unless going out and buying art supplies is a quaint Japanese spin on the season).  But the dates are wildly out of order, as if we were bouncing about the three-year high school experience.  June to April to November to May.  Whatever happens in the episode (either pointless or boring) the episode ends with Yuno taking her nightly hot bath.  As coloration is ‘off’ in this series, it is not odd to see water as mint green or sky blue, enough of a hue to hide the girl in the buff (nothing wrong with weirdly colored water … unless you’re a lecher or a perv).  Not that this matters.  Only one female in the cast could be declared as ‘hottie.’  Ms. Hoshinoya, the art teacher, is often volunteering to pose in any number of costumes from bikini to maid uniform to tour guide.  The eccentricities often bring down the disapproval of the principal, as uniquely designed a character as one would imagine.  Remarkably, characters as Hoshinoya and the Principal are tossed in to offer a touch of spice to the usual trite antics of the four girls.  But, getting back to the only ‘sexy’ lady of the show, those strange cosplaying mannerisms would make Ms. Hoshinoya more along the lines of scary than alluring. Hidamari Sketch is the first of several seasons.  As the next years go along, more characters will be added, and possible conflicts may rise with the next years of art school as we do meet prospective rivals to Hiro and Sae.  If the ‘anime about nothing’ finds a sounder theme (high school life … the concept is rift with possibilities) the Hidamari Sketch project will improve on an extremely bad start.


Summary: “While Hidamari Sketch is not a profound or hilarious anime, I quite enjoyed its pleasant atmosphere, calm humor, and charming characters. Anyone who’s looking for a laid-back and cheerful anime and who doesn’t dislike moe or ‘pointless’ anime would be well-advised to check out Hidamari Sketch.” Introduction: Hidamari Sketch is not profound. It does not grip viewers with an enthralling plot, nor does it offer insight into the deep themes of life. It isn't exquisitely animated, nor is it a rollicking series of hilarious gags. Why, then, have I offered it a 9/10? The answer is simple: I enjoyed watching it. I liked the calm, pleasant atmosphere of the anime coupled with the quirky but nice characters. I appreciated the fact that I could get the occasional laugh but mostly revel in watching the carefree happenings of the cast’s lives. To break it down: Story: Hidamari Sketch is adapted from a 4-koma manga, meaning a manga comprised of individual, usually unrelated, four-panel skits. Needless to say, such panels can’t tell detailed stories, but they’re often sweet, and they usually offer a punch-line of sorts or a beat of character interaction. In the anime, this style was mostly upheld, and the simple but poignant style of the 4koma came through. Because of the near plotlessness, characters are important in such an anime (or manga). Hidamari Sketch brings the viewer several reasonably unique and refreshing characters. Each of the characters has a couple main attributes which are played on throughout the anime, but as the episodes progress and one sees the characters in many different situations, they get a somewhat fuller sense of the personality of those characters. Finally, all the characters are very pleasant. There are no abrasive people (cf. Lala, School Rumble) or hyperactive ones which can sometimes be annoying (cf. Kana, Minami-ke - I did say -sometimes-). Hidamari Sketch's nice characters contribute to the anime's light-hearted and enjoyable feel. The events of the anime, as well as the characters, contribute to the gentle, cheerful atmosphere of Hidamari Sketch which made it so enjoyable for me. Sure it's unrealistic, sure it's pointless, but I found it to be excellently pleasant and relaxing. (Great to watch at 2 AM. ;D) The bright atmosphere of Hidamari Sketch is matched by its animation. I believe there were almost no dark colors in the anime, rather the scenes are filled with bright colors and bright characters. Character animation is well-done, the “moe” intent is blatant but reasonably fitting. Scenery behind a character is often replaced with a patterned background when they speak, which, combined with the variance in camera position and some stylistic quirks (showing footsteps instead of a character walking, etc - I mean, it's Studio Shaft), helps to keep a mainly "talking heads" anime a little more visually interesting. As much as the animation of Hidamari Sketch contributes to the light-heartedness of the anime, so does the sound. The voice actors are well suited to the characters, and the background music adds a cheery feel to the anime with simple but enjoyable tunes. Conclusion (yes, finally): (Same as summary >.<) While Hidamari Sketch is not a profound or hilarious anime, I quite enjoyed its pleasant atmosphere, calm humor, and charming characters. Anyone who’s looking for a laid-back and cheerful anime and who doesn’t dislike moe or “pointless” anime would be well-advised to check out Hidamari Sketch.

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