Hidamari (Sunshine) Sketch

I’ve only just recently finished Sunshine Sketch, or Hidamari Sketch as it’s more commonly known as.

It’s definitely one of the best slice-of-life anime in my book, and I strongly encourage you to give it a look as well. Unless you’re not into this sort of thing.

To summarize, Hidamari Sketch covers the lives of four girls that live in a small apartment building located right in front of the school. (Yes, that is freakin’ convenient, gawd I wish my house was right next to the polytechnic.)

The main characters are as follows:

  • Yuno, the girl with the “>.<” expression in the above pic.
  • Miyako, Yuno’s blond, playful, and downright silly best friend.
  • Hiro, the near anorexic girl who probably is related to Medusa in some way, hence the snake-like hair. (not in picture above)
  • Sae, the (self-proclaimed) mature one of the four, as well as a writer of fiction (which stresses her to no end when the deadline draws near).
  • Yoshinoya, Yuno’s and Miyako’s unbelievably childish homeroom and art teacher.
  • “The Principal”, a constantly shivering guy who apparently has no name (though he’s referred to as “Moi” in one episode with uncertainty). Oh, and he’s the school principal, and is a lot like Kimura from Azumanga Daioh without the creepiness factor and more along the lines of just plain silly. A picture of him for reference:

Oh, and he constantly is shooting off at Yoshinoya for setting a bad example for the students, but I don’t blame him though. I mean, a cosplaying teacher who posts the results of the worst student on the school gates? Cool, but not really the norm these days.

And one character I don’t get at all: a Metapod-like thing that appears randomly doing or saying something random:

For the entire series, I always wondered who the hell this thing was, since all I knew was that its name is Ume-sensei from the intro, and a lookup on Wikipedia returned this:

Ume (うめ, Ume?)
Voiced by: Ume Aoki
Ume is a mysterious green creature that represents the manga’s author, Ume Aoki. The character does not actually play any significant role in the story.

Okay… A random cameo role. Let’s move on then. >.>

One thing prominent in this anime that it makes use of imagery. Here are some examples:

  • Horizontal lines moving up or down represent one or more character(s) going down or up the stairs respectively.
  • Instead of a car moving along the road, a blank screen is shown with the word “CAR” moving across it.
  • The background is usually drawn with dots, probably trying to tie the art style to the 4-panel comic it originated from, though I wouldn’t know, since I’ve never actually seen it before.
  • The girls are sometimes represented by their “trademarks”, e.g. Yuno with her X-like hairclips, Hiro with her snake-like hair, and Sae with her glasses.

Oh, and real-world objects are also used as props, like Yuno’s signature alarm clock:

I’m not sure if this is part of the whole “imagery” thing or just another way to advertise (or both), but seeing a packet of McDonald’s fries in the middle of an episode is an eyebrow-raiser. o.-

The anime is mostly based on comedy, and the episodes aren’t ordered chronologically, though the specific dates of each episode are clearly shown, and some points covered in earlier episodes apply to later ones as well.

Occasionally, though, some episodes look like they’re about to pull some drama into the simple lives of this girls, but before you know it, it’s the end of the episode and nothing really big has actually occurred, and I have to say I’m half-disappointed, though it wouldn’t make sense for the anime to turn all depressing and such, making it an even bigger disappointment (for me, at least).

Overall, this anime has been enjoyable for me, and honestly speaking, I can’t be watching action-based anime all the freaking time. The OVA doesn’t disappoint as well, merely improving some graphical elements yet keeping the original style of the anime series. The Principal suddenly acting all ‘gar’ and jumping over the school gate was just WOW.

The OP is pretty catchy, but the ED is a perfect marriage of good music and style. I LOVE it. OP and ED below (ED extremely high quality, so long loading time is to be expected):

And surprise, surprise, parodies have been made from it too! Didn’t see this coming O.o

The second season, Hidamari Sketch x365, has already started, and I might watch it as well if it fits into my bloated schedule. Heck, I watched this while carrying out my duties at the Clementi Student Service Centre, since there wasn’t really much to do anyway besides babysitting, and the auntie in charge of the place didn’t mind. ^.^

I’m hoping the 2nd season won’t disappoint, and judging by the reviews (and screengrabs) so far, it probably won’t.

And yes, there’ll be other anime to review as well, though I probably won’t have the time to do it in a per-episode style like other anime bloggers do.

Till next time!

1 Response to “Hidamari (Sunshine) Sketch”

  1. July 19, 2008 at 2:25 am

    haha Those parody videos are fun 🙂

    I have not seen the first season, but I really like the second one 🙂

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