For years, Yuno has dreamed of attending Yamabuki Arts High School, but now that she's been accepted, it means the scary prospect of moving away from her home and family for the first time! Fortunately, Yuno quickly learns that if her new neighbors at the eclectic Hidamari (Sunshine) Apartments aren't technically family, at least the majority share the bond of being fellow art students. From second year students like Hiro and Sae, who try to behave like helpful older sisters (mostly successfully) to her hyperactive new neighbor, classmate and best friend Miyako (who has the scariest apartment ever) Yuno begins to build the support network she'll need for dealing with strange characters like her oddly masculine landlady, her cosplay obsessed home room teacher, her tooth-chattering principal and all of the other odd denizens who inhabit her chosen world of art.
Hidamari sketch is a wonderful 12 episode slice of life comedy about (SUPRISE!) four high school girls attending an art school. So what makes this show unique from all the other high school comedy's about a group of girls?
Their story may be the same as everyone else,
but their delivery is unlike most other high school
sitcoms you have seen.
When you start watching this show, the first thing you will notice right away is the art style and animation. Its definitely like nothing I've seen before. Well its more like theres two opposing art styles to the show. One is the standard cute
chibi loli look (round faces and short stature). The second style is the super simplified look of the first style but taken to a whole new level. Its a little hard to explain but when you watch it you will realize what I mean. On top of that you will notice that the character backgrounds are quite unique as well. They emphasize more on simple single color backgrounds with light patterns. My favorite part of the show was how they used real photos of actual Japanese food and products.
That is another thing you will notice is that this show does a lot of fast camera switching. Basically changing scenes/viewpoints in under 2 seconds. It's long enough to understand what they're showing and what they're joking about, but it's a style that most people might get a little confused at first (i certainly did). This is what makes this show a little more unique than others of the same genre. It's comedy focuses more on one-shot gags more than anything else. While some shows do this once and a while, this show relies heavily on them. One-shot gags are basically telling a joke and showing what they mean real fast and then moving on to the next joke. Its a difficult style to understand since you will have to understand what they're talking about or you'll just waste your time trying to understand the previous joke. The casual anime viewer will most likely be confused more than anything since they're all jokes about Japanese culture, but its also a good way to learn the culture too. The show is also set as a sitcom style, with each episode representing one whole day (and specific day's at that). So you can essentially watch all the episodes in any order.
What seems to be where all the hard work (aka money) has been put into show is from the choice of voice actors. It's a mix of veteran seiyu's and rookie seiyu's but the outcome of it all comes off perfect since they all sound so insanely cute. From their school principal all the way down to one of the characters little sister's, they all have that air of cuteness in their voice. Even though their character types are very stereotypical of a high school sitcom, I found the characters to be very memorable. They are all drawn very cute, sound cute and act cute, so I found it VERY hard not to like every single one of them. But if i had to choose, the chemistry between Hiro and Sae would have to be my favorite part of the show. But as far as individual characters go, Miyako is my favorite even though I'm not a huge fan of the energetic-type characters.
For a show that sounds like just like another cookie cutter high school sitcom, they try their best to make this show different from the rest. From the story telling to art work, to even the way they tell their jokes its all unique. I definitely recommend this to anyone who love high school sitcoms or who wants some cheap laughs (or lolicon). Unfortunately, casual anime viewers might want to steer clear of this show simply for the Japanese one shot gags.
Welcome to one of the most relaxing anime's you have ever watched! I was pleasantly suprised about how this series turned out. I expected it to be an average slice of life with nothing special, and thoroughly enjoyed the series.
Even though the series is slow-paced, its never dull or mlacking in any way. It does exactly what it says on the tin. Each episode follows the trials of our 4 main heroines through the course of a day. That means no magic battles, no mushy romance, just staight up good, enjoyable slice of life, and all the bettter for it. What makes it a winner
is its mix of comedy and heartwarming moments. From Hiro's constant worry over her weight, Miyako's obsession with food, Yuno's cutesy whining, Sae and her sister problems and everyones favourite cosplaying teacher, the series continues its run of constant laughs and entertaining views of the lives of these girls. And even though there is very little overriding plot, the development of the characters as they grow, and how the themes develop is a blessing on what could have been a total snorefest.
Animation-wise, you know what your getting into watchinbg a SHAFT series. Limited plot, but visually represented in a beautiful, yet simplisitc way. A perfect blend of bright colours, live-action photography and the pure moe of the characters make watching the show a treat to the eyes. The character's look distinct and cute, and the chibi deformations are used effetively and neither are over the top or underused. The soundtrack may be the shows weakest factor, but its by now means bad. Background music gives a calming effect, and moves elegantly from daft over the top during comedy to gentle, moving pieces when the need arises. The Opener and Ender Songs are perfect examples of this, with Sketch Switch acting as the fun, chirpy happy tune thats so addictive, it gets better every time you listen to it. Mabae Drive, on the other hand, is calm and sweet, perfectly complementing the series' moral and sweeter side.
There is very little to complain about in Hidamari Sketch, as it is a beautifully quaint show. Sure it never hits those comedy/tearjerker highs that other series experience, but what it does, it does extrememly well. Needless to say that the show itself is part of a small niche audience and if you don't like slow slice of life, you wont like this. But I feel You will miss out if you miss this series. Its an underappreciated gem, not helped by the fact that it was released around the same time as another 4 girls at high-school comedy slice of life, namely Lucky Star, which recieved much more critical acclaim being KyoAni (but in my opinion Hidamari Sketch is the better overall series). Watch this show, and it shan't disappoint.
Hidamari Sketch is sort of a cross between Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight and Lucky Star. One thing is to be sure: all of these titles center around high school girls living their daily lives (although Lucky Star advertises to a more general audience and Manabi Straight focuses a bit more on maturing). What makes Hidamari Sketch a little different though is the way the show comes across. The animators were obviously sort of unique in their thinking. It’s just sort of directed in a different sort of way. One might say arty, even. Which isn’t so much a surprise considering Hidamari Sketch takes place at
a art school, Yamabuki Art High School to be exact.
Hidamari Sketch starts off with Yuno, who, mostly, is the protagonist, but mainly it centers around the four high school girls. There’s not so much of a story, as with all the other slice-of-life high school animes. You’ll get many a laugh out of it though, and it has it’s sweet moments as well. Some shoujo-ai is integrated in, mostly with Sae and Hiro, but it’s definitely not extreme, purely fluff, and it sort of depends on how you look at it. It could be just seem as a very caring friendship.
Speaking of the characters, they were all very likeable. Yuno is kind of the typical airhead who wants to do her best, but she seems introverted; Sae is unquestionably shy as well, blushing a lot (mostly due to Hiro’s teasing) but also levelheaded; Hiro is the gentle and sweet of the girls, but what sets her apart is her weight obsession: she’s constantly dieting and worrying about weight; and finally Miyako, certainly the most inimitable of the bunch, and also the most nonsensical. However, you don’t really delve into the characters lives or relationships that much, but that’s because the setting never strays away from the high school (besides the school trip and going shopping) and the Hidamari Apartments. Which is good, really, because it isn’t about their lives completely, it’s about their lives at Hidamari Apartments. You can’t forget their extremely silly teacher, Yoshinoya-sensei, and as she said in an episode, looks like she’s “enternally seventeen”. Seriously, how old is that woman?? Yoshinoya-sensei often dresses in various outfits which she insists, is most certainly not cosplay. Her childish actions provide a few laughs (and she always ends up being scolded by the frail eccentric principal).
The art, though not outstanding, is completely adorable and the animation is very creative. The angles it’s shown at, and the fast switching of the “camera” makes it more interesting. Also, what I really loved, was how they incorporated quirky things real-life photos, or the wiggling of Hiro’s wavy hair. The characters switch into chibi mode a lot, and their regular expressions are already adorable to begin with.
Oh, and I really loved the music. The opening and ending themes were so adorable! They contrast one another: the opening is peppy and chipper, while the ending theme is a little melancholic and has a sweeter, gentler sound to it. The seiyuu were wonderful, too, and all their voices were cute and fit the personality of the character, providing believable displays of vocal range.
You might think this is one of your typical high school girl lolicon sort of show, but I believe it goes beyond that, ranging from the wonderfully done animation to the relaxing feel to the show overall.
There is a certain beauty to everyday life. The same old same old routine one has for every day. The time spent just enjoying the little things. The growth every person experiences which does not happen spontaneously but over long drawn-out periods of time. That beauty is what the entire slice-of-life genre strives to depict and portray. A good slice-of-life must fully illustrate the subtle happiness of everyday life, filling itself not with epic adventure or intense circumstances, but with the normal everyday problems and struggles we experience on a day-to-day basis. And I would like to say that Hidamari Sketch is a shining example
of this genre.
Hidamari Sketch is a show about four high-school girls who all study at an art school and live together in the Hidamari Apartments. They spend lots of time together and are really good friends. (Some would say they're even more than friends). And the entire show is just them hanging out and having fun. I can't really judge its story because there really isn't one. It's just these four girls enjoying their normal everyday lives. The episodes aren't even set near each other. Each episode is set on some random date of the year. Not really on any significant dates either (except the last episode which is set on Christmas). This was most likely done so as to emphasize the every day instead of the best days, to showcase the normal instead of the significant. It really shows that Hidamari Sketch is not supposed to be a show about our high points in life, but a show about life itself in its own regular variety.
I really have to praise the Shaft team for this show. The animation and art for this show is absolutely stellar, which makes sense for a show about art students. The animation of the characters specifically is amazing and is my absolute favorite aspect of this show. I think by calling the art "absolutely stellar" probably made you think about stuff like Studio Ghibli or Mushishi or Aria or something, however the artstyle of this show is just really goofy and fun. What I think is so amazing about this art is because it of how it can improve jokes by like a hundred percent. There are so many jokes in this show that probably wouldn't have landed if it weren't for the art. Heck, it even made jokes that didn't actually exist land. Just show chibi Miya-chan's face as she says something only slightly stupid and I'll smile my heart out. Maybe the real reason why I thought the art was so amazing was because it's just so cute.
I think I also have to mention the directing in this show. It's just as crazy as Shaft's usual directing (*cough* Monogatari *cough*). This, I believe, puts this show at the goofier end of the slice-of-life where shows depict emphasize the silliness of everyday life in contrast with the other end of the slice-of-life spectrum which prefers to emphasize the monotony of life instead (iyashikei).
The music in this show is not really that memorable. Other than the OP (which is pretty catchy), there's not really anything about its music that I'd like to point out. However, I really have to give props to the voice acting, especially for Miya-chan's voice actor. The way her voice cracks (I think their voice cracks) makes some of her jokes incredibly hilarious, make her actually sound like an actual high schooler, and just overall an incredibly memorable character. She's actually my favorite character from this entire show.
On that note, let's talk about the characters. The protagonist, Yuno, is one of those shy quiet types who don't really have that much self-esteem but still love hanging out with friends. Sae is the senpai who's not very honest about her feelings and has a fair amount of insecurities. She gets really pressured with deadlines and doesn't have the best relationship with her family. Hiro is that girl who'll always ask if this dress makes her look fat, and is rather wary about her looks. She's that person who always says she'd go on a diet just before eating all your cake. Finally, Miya-chan is basically the comic relief character who's lazy, clumsy, spontaneous, hungry. I'm sure everyone has had someone like her as a friend, right? Compared to the rest of the Hidamari residents however, she's actually fairly confident in herself. Unlike the other three, she's never really been shown to have any real insecurities. She's never been depicted as worrisome or unconfident. And she always helps out her friends when they feel down. When one of her friends need a small injection of self-esteem, she'll be there. When one of her friends need someone to talk to, she'll be there. When one of her friends has any food, she'll be there. The way these four act and interact with each other, and the way they grow and learn are what make this show great. There are episodes that specifically revolve around one of these characters insecurities and they learn a life lesson at the end of these episodes, however it never feels hamfisted or cheesy. The way this show depicts growth as an important aspect of everyday life makes it really shine amongst other lesser slice-of-lifes.
Overall, I really enjoyed this show. It's cute, relaxing, nostalgic, and, most of all, fun. If you just wanna watch something to relax you after a long stressful day, give this show a shot. Its crazy, but in an "everyday life with your friends" kind of way. All the characters are relatable and really fun to watch. In the end though, this show's biggest strength is its ability to make you smile.