Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb [First Impressions]
The fourth season of Hidamari Sketch begins as the seniors take a trip up to cold Hokkaido. Meanwhile, the juniors have some fun by themselves as Yuno thinks about how to be a good sempai.
As a true-blue slice of life series, Hidamari Sketch doesn’t seem to have a singular focus. So far, it revolves around episodes from the six girls’ lives as students and dorm mates. As a newcomer to the series, that’s a huge relief considering that this is the fourth season.
However, I’m a bit worried that the slow-pace of the series might be a tad boring for me. Unlike Nichijou, it doesn’t have over-the-top reactions and scenarios to spice things up occasionally. Instead, it dishes out relatable humor like eating familiar dishes while in an exotic region and messing up while trying to help your juniors. Some of them hit the right notes, but the others just fell flat and passed by without me noticing. I just hope that the humor picks up a bit before I notice the lack of plot.
Anyway, I’m missing the point here. The main draw of the show would be the characters, I think. From aloof Ilya Nazuna to brash Miyako, they definitely colour the show with their odd nature and interactions with each other. Here’s a brief look at the main six:
Yuno: Typical genki gal with an optimistic and helpful streak.
Miyako: Oddball with a carefree personality. (Definitely my favourite in terms of personality)
Sae: Serious sempai with a mild tsundere streak.
Hiro: Warm senior with a motherly personality.
Nazuna: Shy airhead junior.
Nori: Generally normal junior. (My favourite in terms of looks)
Why Miyako? I don’t know, maybe it’s because she takes everything as it comes and just lets loose when she sees fit. I’d love to be able to think up an oddball plan like running through rarely empty hallways and actually do it. Nori gets my vote for looking like Sayaka from Madoka Magica, but she’s a bit bland in terms of personality for now.
Of course, the main gang is also supported by an equally charming supporting cast, which includes the hilarious cosplaying teacher Yoshinoya and tsundere lesbian Natsume.
Yoshinoya’s costumes and lame, punny jokes (see above) was a riot for me. She’s just too darn cute to put down, no doubt thanks to her seiyuu Miyu Matsuki. Natsume’s tsundere attitude towards Sae was most welcomed for me too. My weak spot for tsunderes couldn’t resist her barely concealed attempts to hide her feelings. I hope she at least manages to be friends with the gang…
Dem WIIIIDE Designs (0 0 )
Well, at least I know why ‘wide’ seems to be a fan-favourite catchphrase. I’m pretty neutral on the designs themselves, but I can’t seem to enjoy the transition into the ‘chibi’ moments, especially when they it’s done abruptly. One moment they look normal; the next, they turn into talking omelets with thin strips of bacon for eyes. It’s pretty off-putting for me at times. I can see the appeal, but I just don’t get why they have to do it so often.
Anyway, on a more positive note, I’m digging the Madoka-esque looks that the characters have. Although I won’t be expecting contract-seeking aliens, I’m just happy to see Ume Aoki’s endearing and charming designs again.
Right when I saw the alarm clock in the beginning and it’s odd realism, a sneaking suspicion came to mind. By the time the abstract and ‘people-less’ scenes of Hokkaido appeared, I all but confirmed that it was SHAFT who was in charge of Hidamari Honeycomb.
I can’t say I’m a huge fan of their abstract and sometimes jarring ‘snapshot’ scene switches, but it’s comforting to know that the Bakemonogatari team is doing a good job so far. The animation was fluid and I kinda missed guessing the significance of some of the scene switches (the cross that appears usually refers to Yuno and her hairclip).
Should I be Watching This?
YES: Because I like watching slow-paced shows that meander around the charming and relatable lives of six girls.
NO: Because I’d rather watch more fast-paced ‘slice-of-life’ shows like Chuunibyou.
For me, I’m attracted enough to the characters that I’ll be staying on for the long haul.
Well, what do you think of Hidamari? How will it pan out? Any words for this newbie? Give a shout in the comments!