Hidamari Sketch

Hidamari SketchType: TV Series + Specials
Episode Count: 12 + 2
Genre: Slice Of Life / Comedy
Vintage: 2007

Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled
Date of Review: 28 Apr 2010

Grade: A

This series is also known as Sunshine Sketch.

A virtually perfect adaptation of the manga, Hidamari Sketch is as laid-back a series as they come.

Plot Summary
Join Yuno and her friends Miya, Sae, and Hiro as they go through day-to-day life at the Hidamari Apartments and the art department at Yamabuki High.

The Review
Ah yes, another brilliant 4-koma adaptation made its way to television. What is it about this time? Cute girls who are art students. There’s nothing at all complicated about it.

Each episode of Hidamari Sketch is quite literally a day in the life of Yuno and her friends. From the morning alarm clock to turning in for the night, we watch the highlights of any given day, whether it’s working on an art project or trying to keep cool on a hot summer day. The days aren’t even presented chronologically, so one episode may take place on January 11th, the next on August 21st, and the next going back to June 17th. Given the nature of character-based shows, this poses no problem at all, even though it contrasts with something like Azumanga Daioh‘s strict chronological structure. Both are series based on 4-koma, and both forms of timeline work, since they are shows which are, after all, all about the characters.

From foreground to background in the picture above, the primary cast of Hidamari Sketch is Yuno, Miya, Hiro, and Sae. Yuno and Miya are first-years (10th graders). Yuno is gentle, hardworking, and earnest. Miya is a fun-loving free spirit with very little cash, so she’s always thinking of creative ways to get free food from others. Hiro and Sae are second-years (11th graders). Hiro is motherly, always cooking for the others, making tea, and watching over Sae especially. Hiro is also very self-conscious about her weight, and is always on some kind of diet. Sae is the cool upperclassman, and a novelist. She’s always busy writing and trying to meet her next deadline, which is why Hiro watches over her. There are also some notable secondary characters, including the ever-shaky school principal, and a hidden highlight of the show, Yuno’s teacher Yoshinoya. Yoshinoya is addicted to cosplay, and will find any excuse to show off her costume creations to anyone who will look. She may be in her twenties, but she acts as though she’s still in her teens, pining to be a high school student herself once more.

One particularly interesting thing about Hidamari Sketch is its visual style; it’s not your typical idealized depiction of the real world. Scenes are often more representative than literal, with a significant share of abstract sequences. It’s as if the series was directed by an illustrator. This makes watching Hidamari Sketch almost a study in art itself. It seems fitting that a series about art students is itself presented in such an artistic manner.

Hidamari Sketch is a great series for those who enjoy shows which allow you to take it easy and just enjoy the characters, since that is the whole point of these types of shows. Sit back, relax, and watch Yuno and her friends as they do everyday things. If character-based slice of life shows about nothing in particular are what you like, then Hidamari Sketch is definitely a series that you need to check out.


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