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From the GA ending.

For some reason, I find the GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class ending theme "Colouring Palettes" kind of catchy. Specifically, the Tomokane version has some cool guitar riffs, despite my not actually liking Tomokane (as a character) that much, at least compared to Kisaragi or Namiko (or possibly Miyabi). The song doesn't quite hit the "good gods this is AWESOME" area, but it's enjoyable to listen to, and that's probably all that really matters.

It does keep my mind off the spectacle of Baby Noda humping the teddy bear.

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Kisaragi looks particularly creepy in this one.

It is said that the surest sign of a dead online endeavour is an excuse about how things are so busy in Real Life and I'll promise to update it as soon as I can, really, no problems about that, just need to find the time… so on and so forth. In many cases when that happens it's time to break out the coffins and dolorous choirs and solemn faces and diamonds worth 5,000 gold pieces.

In any case, I think I'm just about ready to declare that Hidamari Sketch is indeed one of a kind. It's not that GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class is a bad show by any means: indeed, it's one of the more enjoyable ones this season. But I just can't bring myself to appreciate the music as much as I did for HidaSketch. Again, it's not so much that GA is Bad, but more that HidaSketch is Better. (To be precise, Better for me, since I'm basing this all on subjective taste.)

The background music of a show is probably an odd thing to focus on, especially since I don't have any sort of background in music (pun considered and let go). I couldn't tell you why I prefer the music of HidaSketch better, but I just do. This, despite the effective usage of themes in GA, such as during Tomokane's Tangerine Speedo Dream sequence. It's fitting, but I don't find myself humming along after the episode is done.

I should note that with only two episodes (yes, I'm following the subs for this one, since I suck at jargon), GA has a good chance of… well, not really catching up per se. This isn't a competition between HidaSketch and GA, since I find such things difficult to judge fairly anyway. Mostly, I just want to know why I like Hidamari Sketch so much, or if I just like Bright Happy Shows About Girls Doing Art.

Reading other reactions to the show have reinforced my belief that any direct comparisons are misguided. GA is not trying to be HidaSketch, or vice versa, since I'm not sure which came first (or if it even matters). GA does seem to be quite informative, presenting terms used in the visual arts in an easily-digested manner. I suppose one could say that Hidamari Sketch is Art about art, while GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class is art about Art.

I do find myself strangely interested in completely inconsequential random characters, though. What are they really talking about? Why is the girl fiddling with her hair? Why is the guy acting particularly flippant? Are they siblings? Good friends? Childhood friends? Is there a side romance to be told, full of heart-pounding experiences that only youth can bring?

It's a bad habit of mine.

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Kisaragi Yamaguchi and her glasses.

One of the front-running candidates for the third spot of my Favourite Anime listing (behind Card Captor Sakura and Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) is Hidamari Sketch, and the main reason it hasn't been shunted into the position yet is because I'm not entirely sure why. This isn't exactly a reason in itself to deny greatness, but I felt that I needed to know if it was the show itself which I liked, or just the general style such shows in the genre lend themselves to.

I've not seen Sketchbook yet, and other series involving art students don't come to mind as yet, so I don't know if the general concept of Slice Of Life involving Art naturally leads to a more Artistic sort of anime style. Of course, I know just about nothing about True Art, so I can't tell if this is actually Artistic, or merely pretentious. Whichever it is, at least it's entertaining, which is far more important to me than Art.

And of course, it is difficult to separate the Art of an anime about art students from the Art of SHAFT, when watching Hidamari Sketch. Maybe there is no such separation, and the two build on each other like cheese on pizza.

Geijustuka Art Design Class, or GA for short (regardless of any possible confusion with similarly-initialed series), is not quite up to HidaSketch standards in my pantheon of Favourite Anime. I place the source of the difference squarely on the soundtrack: I love the HidaSketch soundtrack to bits, while GA has some good tracks, but the majority appear to be there merely to give some texture to the background, and could have been replaced with a dial tone. On the upside, I like the opening theme ("Osaki ni sil vous plait", possibly translated from both Japanese and French as "Go ahead first, if you please"), and the ending theme ("Colouring palettes", Tomokane/Miyuki Sawashiro version) is very catchy.

Speaking of voice actors, GA gets points for being very surprising: all the names are familiar, but the voices are different. Haruka Tomatsu (Shiho Sannomiya in Zettai Karen Children, off the top of my head) sounds so much like Mamiko Noto (one million million light-and-airy-voice characters, like Nodoka Miyazaki in Negima, Aoi Futaba in Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel, Kotomi Ichinose in Clannad… so on and so forth) that I had to double-check the credits. Miyuki Sawashiro is no longer Puchiko from Di Gi Charat, but a loud hyperactive tomboy character. And Yui Horie abandons her genki-cheerful voice for a lower oneesan role in this one.

Since I've only had time to watch the first episode (the second is waiting for another unbroken chunk of an hour or so to watch and jot down my impressions thereof), I'm obviously not going to make a judgement one way or another yet. Maybe the really awesome parts of the soundtrack will turn up in later episodes, or maybe even a later season.

Until then, I suspect I'll be subconsciously and constantly pushing my spectacles up in sympathy with Kisaragi.

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