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.”
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.