After passing her entrance exam, Yuno enrolls at Yamabuki High School as part of an art degree. She stays at the Hidamari Apartments along with best friend Miyako, and seniors Hiro and Sae. Each episode follows a day in her life as she mingles with her friends, close peers, overly hyper teachers and closely follows the mundane lives of the high school girls.
Essentially, Hidamari Sketch (as a whole) revolves around the lives of 4 art school students living at the Hidamari Apartments just across the school. The girls consist of 1st years Yuno, the shy, quiet girl who is often seen with her trademark X-shaped hairpins, and Miyako, the overly hyperactive and spontanious girl who appears to be an excellent artist despite her childish demenor, and 2nd years Hiro, who is an excellent cook, but can't stop worrying about her weight, and Sae, who excels in writing stories that even gets published in magazine, but has the tendancy to get nervous when asked about her "active" love
life. Though x365 is the second season, the anime is not in chronological order, and, in fact, the first episode of the season is first in chronological order of the whole series.
Let's all admit, there isn't really much of a story to speak of, and the constantly bouncing timeline doesn't help either. Each story is very episodal, and can be somewhat childish, but it is still very enjoyable to watch all the same.
Despite many complains by many that wattch the anime, I actually like the art style in the anime. They are simple, yet carry the message very efficiently.
I love the cheerful opening song to this anime. Various sound effects in the anime are placed efficiently too.
Now, what's not to like about the characters? They are a very mixed batch of people, and yet, they live together, both enjoying and causing trouble for each other. Sae was a personal favourite of mine in the first season, but this season, the great parts went to Yuno and Miyako. Either way, the characters are very much lovable.
I think the anime has the whole package. Calming, comical and entertaining
What's not to love about this anime? Great characters, simple yet effective artwork, good for a laugh, and calms a stressed out person (I can personally attest to that).
Possibly the best series to air during the summer season.
Alright. Time to watch this next season of Hidamari Ske-
OH MY GOD.
Did they improve the art!? It's actually HD! Oh my god! Who's that!? Who's that!? Woah, hey! This episode's actually set at the very start of the series! That's Yuno's mom! She looks like a fun character! It's Miya-chan! Yes! Fave character of all time! Oh hey! Landlady actually has screen time now! The gang's all here! Except Sae. But that's fine. I'm relaxed now. HA! That was hilarious. And really cute.
So, yeah. Those were basically my first impressions of this season. And I'd have to say that I really enjoyed my time
with this show. I won't give it a 10 or 9 because I save my perfect tens for shows that affect me personally and my nines for shows that I REALLY enjoy. However, I'd have to say, this show's really close to giving it a nine.
My actual score for this show's an 8.9/10, however since MyAnimeList only deals with whole numbers and since I was unwilling to give it a full-on 9, I gave it a mere 8 instead.
( The woes of numerical ratings :( )
Anyway, I think this season really improved on its prequel. Better art, better characters, better stories, and, actually I dare say, better directing.
This season, I feel, really built on its characters a tad more than last season. Miya-chan is still Miya-chan. Overly cheerful, incredibly outspoken, and just plain out hilarious. However, I think that the other three characters were built upon fairly more than last season. For example, this season actually had its first actual central conflict between two of its main characters. Episode 12 had Sae and Hiro have a (lover's) quarrel. Hiro answered a call for Sae from her editor while she was sleeping causing Sae to get mad at Hiro when she woke up for invading her privacy. This episode, we saw Sae's insecurities regarding privacy and honesty with her feelings and we also got to see more of Hiro other than her running gag about her diet. And of course, the episode never did this in such a way that it became melodramatic or narmy. Actually, it kept the same tone it always had all throughout the episode. It was all just cute in a funny, lovable way. And when it came to the character, dramatic stuff, it was cute in a heartwarming, lovable way. This is actually the only real conflict in this season, but there are stiill many heartwarming, lovable moments. There are many times when we get to see Sae's and Yuno's own insecurities. Hiro is actually given some character too. Not as much as Yuno and Sae, but still much more than last season. Last season, she was really just a glorified side character who's just there to give her running gag about being fat (which I honestly still kinda enjoy).
Miyako, to me, is a very interesting character. The way she interacts with the other three, how she affects, motivates, and influences the other three piques my interest. At the very least, she's not really a character that has her own flaws, insecurities, goals, or ambitions, but instead, she's a character who gives other people character, causing others to be fleshed out instead of herself through her actions. Her bluntness in the way she speaks and her lack of a filter occasionally prompt some pretty sensitive comments to come out which cause the other three of the group to either contemplate something personal which allows the characters to learn more about themselves and their relationships or cause certain topics that aren't typically socially 'allowed' to come to light, which allows the group to think about or engage with these topics, making their relationships stronger. She seems to me like a clever narrative device than an actual character. And yet, she still feels like a real character who truly belongs in the Hidamari Apartments. Maybe I just like her because she makes me laugh a lot. Who knows?
What I find a flaw in this season is that some of the side characters (still) weren't really given much character to be honest. Natsume is given some character, involving her crush on Sae, but most of the time, she was just your typical anime tsundere to give your typical anime tsundere jokes. Yoshinoya-sensei is still pretty much a gag character, and the new white-haired school nurse (forgot her name because of how irrelevant she is) just merely serves as her Yoshinoya's foil, making her jokes land just an extra bit better. The principal's pretty much the same as the nurse. Yuno's parents I really did enjoy however. I feel like their relationship with Yuno is one that I fully enjoyed watching. Even if they were the kinda archetypal parents with them being always worried about their child, I still found them really fun characters. At least we actually HAVE parents in this anime. Honestly, I hope in the next seasons (which I'll watch after writing this), they get more screentime. In the end, I wish that when it introduced some more side characters in the first episode, the show would focus a bit more on them. But I guess not.
I will again praise the art for being pretty amazing, making everything look cute, colorful, and stylish. However, this time, I think I'd have to give more attention to the directing this time. In my last season's review, I only barely touched on the crazy directing because I felt that the art had more impact. With its cute faces, unique artstyle, and great visual comedy, it had a greater impact on me than the directing. Not this time, however. This time, the directing got even crazier. Its shots now go fully cinematic with this really wide zoom outs and those really cool zoom ins ( I'd word this better if I actually knew the names of the shots ). Last season, the camera felt very stationary, just cutting from shot-to-shot and not much else. This season, the camera's moving all over the place, flying through corridors and soaring bird's-eye views. The majority of the show still had very not-moving cameras, but there is still a significant increase in camera movement from the first season (which I'm sure had only one or two shots with actual fast movement). There are also shots where all the colors become crazy and some shots that really exaggerate their zooms ( One of my favorite shots is when Hiro is angrily stress-eating because of her fight with Sae and she just gets right into your face as she complains about her ). It takes some of the directing from Shaft's other series that's often used for drama and uses them instead for absolutely incredible visual comedy. Just like last season, there were many moments that I laughed out loud just because of the way the shot was done.
I also do have to praise the overall tone of this show. It combines cute heartwarming moments with lots of fairly good comedy. It's not incredibly funny where I stop being able to breath for half an hour straight and I have to be sent to the doctor. It just has its running gags that sometimes kinda get old but not all the time, the funny friendly cheery teasing between the main characters, and the visual derpiness of the characters when they enter chibi mode. It's not really one of those intense, loud, shout-y comedies where everything explodes exaggeratedly and the most random things happen every five seconds ( although it does have its moments and when they happen, they're amazing ). Instead, it's a much more mellow comedy which mostly rely on stuff like "ah yeah. i remember my days in high-school. i know that feeling." and "ah yeah. i remember doing stuff like that back when i was younger. those were the days." and " ah yeah. that reminds of that time that happened to me when i was a kid with my friends. that was fun.". Actually, its kinda like a mix of those two types. The directing which is incredibly crazy is applied onto, if you take your time to think about it, an otherwise pretty slow-paced slice-of-life. It's weird, but I'd say it mixes the two of them well. Of course, there are also those heartwarming, lovable moments which do a lot to add life to this show. This will most likely never gonna be known for its heartwarming moments, ( each of them, although great, but not particularly impressive ), however they do make you smile alongside the characters as often as you laugh at them.
I'm also gonna put a short note here about the sound and the OST. Miya-chan still sounds incredible and hilarious, and her voice actor's amazing. And the OST of this show is actually starting to grow on me. Normally, I'd only kinda pay attention during the OP and skip the ED. Now however, I'm constantly repeating the OP and I always listen through the entire ED and get disappointed when it's over. The background music has also started to get my attention too. I've noticed how calming some of the music is. I actually plan on downloading the entire soundtrack once I finish this review.
With all that said, I'd recommend this show to anyone looking to relax after a long day of stress. However, I am aware that people like to relax to different things. Some people want to watch something that will definitely make them laugh after a long day of frowning. Some people want to watch something that will let them drift off into some kind off pseudo-sleep after a long day of not sleeping. I am also aware that some people have problems with either of these two types of shows. Some don't really like the overly comedic ones because they often miss as many times as they hit, or because they just have too much energy. Some don't really like the calming shows because they can often be pretty boring and are often too slow-paced. This show manages to be in the middle of these types of shows, having characteristics of both without reaching their extremes. This show has loads of moments that'll make you laugh, however it doesn't do that through over-the-top and high-energy antics. It can also be very calming at times due to its nature of depicting the everyday life of a normal girl, however it never does become boring and is not overly slow-paced unlike other shows that depict everyday life. It manages to capture both the goofy antics of a group of young teenagers and the touching interactions that often happen between such people. It successfully undertakes the often herculean task of portraying the merriment of day-to-day life alongside its monotony.
It actually manages to paint everyday life on its canvas in a way most shows don't even attempt to do,
with more than one color.
"What color truly represents now? The white of a smile? The blue of tears? No. It's when you start mixing them together."
I remember learning somewhere that it's Japanese manners to ask for second helpings of something, as a way of appreciating the food. I'm probably mixing that up with something else, but in any case, Hidamari Sketch x 365 is a second course that's almost as good as the first, especially with how the two compliment each other.
The premise of Hidamari Sketch x 365 is really a unique one. It basically serves to expound upon and continue telling the story told in the first season of Hidamari Sketch, detailing the bite-sized adventures of Yuno, Miya, Hiro and Sae. Just like the first season, this means that
event are told out-of-order, with each episode being more or less self contained. However, the pacing isn't executed quite as well as in the first season; the subtle threads connecting stories and morals aren't quite as present in Hidamari Sketch x 365, and none are quite as delectable. But that's not to say it's bad at storytelling, only that the events are shorter, to the point where several episodes are split in half. That makes it great for watching in short chunks, without the need to remember things that happened ten episodes ago.
The stories themselves are written competently, and are just as much of a roller-coaster ride as ever. Being such an obsessively cute slice-of-life show, nothing really dramatic ever happens, and each episode basically starts and ends the same way. But this accomplishes much more than it lets on. Seeing all the details of such beautiful friendships, how everything really unfolded, and wonderful sequels and prequels to episodes from the first season is more than what anyone who enjoyed the first season could possibly ask for. Some days are more enjoyable than others, but that's how life is.
Art direction really does take a shift in Hidamari Sketch x 365. Animation is the most obvious from the first episode, with a smoother, more detailed approach taken that most fans would find agreeable. Character designs themselves are more subtlety altered - most changes you don't notice until you compare the final episode to the first. This approach parallels the written character development perfectly, and anyone with a careful eye will always notice something intricate. The sound department leaves no major complaints, with all the Seiyuu returning and doing just as well. The new OP is even more poppy and cute than the first, something which seemed impossible!
The characters, just like before, are what make the show shine. Wonderful care is taken to not just develop them individually (which was already done pretty well to completion), but to play out the character relationships. Each girl forms a graspable view of the others. Fights are played out for all their melodramatic glory. Layers are peeled back to expose details that seem new, but that you soon realize were there all along. A minor complaint is that they both try to keep the same cast and expand it at the same time. Guest stars like Sae's little sister show up, but aren't focused on. The much loved Yoshinoya-sensei gets even more screen time, and is exposed probably more than any other. But giving Yuno's parents multiple episodes was a mistake - I agree with the message of youthful spirit overriding actual age, but this a cute show with cute girls, end of story. Seeing middle aged characters in chibi-style is just disturbing.
You probably wouldn't look up Hidamari Sketch x 365 unless you were familiar with the original, in which case you need to watch it: it's just as enjoyable. You certainly could start with the sequel if you wanted to, the pace is nice and slow.
Ultimately, I must give them both the same recommendation, for anyone who can at least tolerate the cutest young girls in anime and who's inner child longs for the days when you could curl up in a blanket and spend the day sipping coco with good friends.
Something tells me season 1 was a hit. I don't know why, but the fact that they kept making new seasons of Hidamari Sketch might be a clue.
Starting the series the way Shaft did in season 1 was unusual, but a great way of setting up the world and introducing the cast. The planning this time around appears to be driven by "OK, let's fill in the chapters we didn't animate." Like season 1, the episodes are non-chronological, they're all "a day in Yuno's life" for the most part, but the cast is expanded this time around. I've watched a lot of high school-themed shows
from this time period where the parents were basically nonexistent-- not this show, because we get to see Yuno's mom (and maybe dad and Nyanta-- it's been a while, I better rewatch).
Like season 1, the humor is side-splitting class, everyone is lovable, in short, this is a great iyashi show, but with lots of bathing scenes where Yuno recaps the day. But this time around the visuals are more consistent, and we get to see the world in greater detail. The "collage" motif is a bit more understated, more limited to props like Yuno's alarm clock.
This is a bit of a "more of the same" from season 1 (mainly because the characterization is drawn from points within Yuno's first year), so the main weakness of season 1 carries over to season 2: Static characters. Still, this nets a strong 8 rating in my book.