Posts Tagged “oh god yoshinoya sensei is hot”

Nazuna demonstrating pressure points.

The terrible secret of the past few weeks is that I haven't had the time to catch up on anime, which means I've forgotten where I left off. Ordinarily this is no big deal, and perhaps even a blessing in disguise, as I can rewatch anime in enjoyment, but when I have a blog to look out for things become a little less carefree.

I won't promise that I'll try harder, because I've noticed how once something becomes an obligation due to promising I'll do something, I tend to put it off, because the added responsibility triggers some sort of perfectionist nature, and everything I do is never enough. Promising to post more meaningful stuff on this blog will be the beginning of the end.

I think part of why Hidamari Sketch and its sequels have risen to be number three in my list of Favourite Anime is because of changes in my life: I'm busier now, or at least more stressed. Or more easily tired. Whatever. I don't seem to be able to gather up the energy to watch as much anime as before; however, unlike normal hobby burnout, this applies to everything, be it anime or video games or writing or reading or whatnot. I'm just tired, sleepy, and would rather not think. I'd be back in my full swing if I had like a couple of years off, with nothing to worry about, but that is obviously just a pipe dream.

Maybe I'm getting old. (Despite only being in my mid-twenties.)

And so an anime that I think would have bored me ten years ago is perfect now for relaxing. And it even teaches me to relax when I am not watching it at this very moment, simply by showing me the simple beauty in everyday life. It's art.

On a tangent actually related to this episode, the pressure point on the hand (between your index finger and thumb) that Nazuna teaches Yuno is something my mother also taught me, but instead of fixing hand cramps, I was told it would do something far different, and not at all related to hands. It could be merely psychological, but every time I get squeezed at that point, I have the strongest urge to retreat to a certain room, sit upon a certain throne, and do some serious thinking. It is, in all honesty, quite moving.

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Mashiko-sensei enters the room.

One day I will be caught up on Hoshimittsu. Unfortunately, today is not that day.

It was strangely fascinating to watch the girls of Hidamari Apartments talk about whether or not they're popular with boys. Being in an all-boys school makes for a fairly stunted set of social skills when it comes to talking to girls, even ten years after the fact. Actually, being one of the nerd crowd in an all-boys school makes for a fairly stunted set of social skills period, so that's no help at all.

I understand, in a sort of Stating The Obvious way, that this is entertainment, and the way the talk went with Nazuna about other girls getting jealous of her through no real fault of her own may not be entirely accurate to life. The truth is likely to be far more prosaic, banal, and boring.

And yet, because it is entertainment, it is, by definition (or it should be, anyway), entertaining. It's a glimpse into the other side, another world of soft colours and quiet reminiscences and being able to talk about these sorts of things without being criticized for not being Manly enough.

Of course, since I've never had anything remotely close to a girlfriend myself, this is even more worthy of study. Relationships are a mysterious thing indeed.

Also, I like how Mashiko-sensei (the male teacher) just walks into the art prep room, with nary a second glance at the walls covered with posters of Yoshinoya-sensei in various cosplay outfits. Clearly the man is used to this.

He is to be saluted.

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Nori, if you did not know.

I wonder if it says something about me that the first thing I did upon seeing the chest shot of Nori was to check that yes, that did look like the Adidas logo.

In keeping with the theme of exercise, I don't know if I would have joined in the early-morning stretches that I think are pretty common in certain parts of Japan, if they had been available here in Singapore. For one thing, waking up at six in the morning means floundering around in the dark, with maybe ten to fifteen minutes to spare before I have to catch the bus to school. When the weekends come, I generally either have extra-curricular activities (school band; symphonic, not K-On), or I want nothing more than to sleep until noon.

This may be why I'm not exactly the healthiest specimen around, I suppose.

I do appreciate that Hidamari Sketch Hoshimittsu introduced Arisawa to us in an actual episode (well, half-episode), since she seems pretty interesting. This could be because Arisawa has no idea what to do with her life; despite being ten years older than her, I am still in the same situation.

Finally, Yoshinoya-sensei can apparently be squeaky without footwear. Fushigi mystery.

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Sketch Switch, creditless version.

Since my fellow AnimeNauts co-blogger (who is, I admit, making the vast majority of the posts there, because he is some sort of blog-posting machine) was ordering stuff from Amazon (if you're wondering: the Blu-rays of Ghost In The Shell 2.0 and The Sky Crawlers, among other things; on a completely unrelated note, he does not own a Blu-ray player yet), I piggybacked Hidamari Sketch season 1, licenced by… Sentai Filmworks, it says on the case, and distributed by Section23 Films. Never heard of them, to be honest.

See, I do buy anime I like.

The DVD came in a case the same size and shape as a single DVD, except this time containing two DVDs, with all twelve episodes and two specials. Extra features are the usual DVD credits which I assume nobody watches, the clean opening and ending animations, various Also Available From The Same Distributors, and a downright bizarre ad for The Anime Network, which I will leave to people actually inside the US to bother testing out. Curse you, region-locks.

Subs-only (using the same yellow font that's been on every R1 anime DVD I've watched recently; seriously, is it a standard or something?), and the picture quality looks a little… low. I'm not sure how much of it is due to the originals, and how much is due to having to fit fourteen episodes onto two DVDs.

Well, at least it's widescreen.

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Mysterious Girl A.

I'm sure the shippers will be all over Hiro's mumbling of Sae's name in her sleep.

What happened to the newbies? I've been hoping to see more of them beyond their brief appearances, if only because we haven't had much chance to get a firm grasp of their personalities.

Something which gives me pause whenever I'm watching shows like Hidamari Sketch is the way they include stuff that I feel I should know about, but I am not privy to every minute detail from every extra or bonus or omake or spinoff or whatever. These things are usually put in as a bonus for the knowledgeable viewer, and shouldn't detract from the basic enjoyment of the story, but when enough time to be noticeable (generally more than a couple of seconds) is spent lingering on the Oddly Significant Character or something, I get the feeling that I'm missing something.

Hopefully the mystery of the girl in the screenshot will be solved soon enough, preferably within the anime itself.

On an unrelated note: don't worry, Yuno. I've also done that before.

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Yuno and the lightning rod.

I've been rewatching Hidamari Sketch, as well as its sequel Hidamari Sketch x365, the title of which brings up the obvious question of leap years, but I digress. Anyway, even now, I'm not entirely sure what to say about it.

It's a happy series, to be sure. It's the brighter, fluffier side of SHAFT and Shinbo, the part concerned with nothing more earth-shaking than the lives of an Azumanga-esque group of girls, each slightly odd, and the rather odder people around them. It's slice-of-life, a slice of a life none of us live, and yet a life all of us find familiar.

Art with a capital A is the primary impression one gets from the show. It makes use of plenty of clean, simple motifs, the sort which presents itself as being unpretentious: the pieces are there to create an overall feeling that is easily accessible to one and all, and yet each part may be examined in detail at leisure to glean further insights.

Character-wise, I'm not sure which of the four main girls (or the various side characters) to award Favourite Character to. Yuno is arguably the main main girl, the primary protagonist, and the anime is an exploration of how she matures as time goes on (anachronically, it should be said), but she doesn't set off my "main character not as interesting as side characters" biases. Maybe it's because she is one of the purer strains of moe, in the sense that she seems like she should be hugged and cuddled and protected from the big bad world out there.

Miyako is an odd case. In another anime, she would be the annoying, over-loud character whom I'd much prefer would settle down (like Azumanga Daioh's Tomo). But in Hidamari Sketch, she's not only tolerable, but she's close to becoming my favourite character. Part of this, I think, is because despite her actions, she's talented. I think she canonically has the most raw talent and ability of all the Hidamari girls, being able to instinctively work out the most creative way to interpret a subject. Add in a heart as big as a very big thing indeed (the episode with Yuno's fever dream is heartwarming), and Miyako is someone I'd be happy to call a friend, Hiro-annoying aside.

Speaking of whom, Hiro and Sae are kind of… there, I suppose. They're great characters, and I don't dislike them (apart from Sae's transparent claims to be Experienced In Love), but they rank below Yuno and Miyako in the character tiers. Possibly they just need more screentime before I can get used to them.

And yes, Yoshinoya-sensei is hot.

What pushes the series from "well done" to "one of my favourites", I think, is the music. This is a common requirement for series which I consider to be among my top anime: Card Captor Sakura, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Read or Die. In fact, good background music can make up for a lot of series sins; I'm not really impressed by the plot of Read or Die, but the soundtrack I listen to often.

Unfortunately, I'm not exactly trained to critique music, and so I can't say anything substantial apart from "it's good and I like it". How it is good, and why I like it, are mysteries answerable only with "because".

I've mentioned before my love for the opening themes of both seasons, which are cheery and bouncy and happy. The ending themes are more sedate, with a touch of melancholy, but the sort of melancholy that you smile with, as you might smile at a parting: it is a Goodbye, but with the hope of See You Again. The warm, comfortable evening glow, perhaps, compared to the bright promise of dawn of the opening themes, completing the motif of the sunlight of Hidamari Sketch.

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Hidamari Sketch x365 opening.

Another week, another desperate attempt to come up with something to talk about on this blog of increasingly embarrassing time-wastage. Well, it's not like the blog hasn't been thoroughly embarrassing for all concerned anyway, since I've never made a secret of the inherent Ogling of Cute Girls which remains, to this day, the blog's raison d'etre.

Listening to the new Hidamari Sketch x365 opening reminds me once again how much I loved "Sketch Switch", the first season's opening. I think I first realized what made it so addictive when I listened to the Lantis Nico Nico Medley: the song is great for just belting out without worrying about the minor details like keeping in tune, like the much-remixed "Koi no Mikuru Densetsu". Every time I hear the kumikyoku's robo-voice counting down to the anticipated "ikimasu!", I can't help but grin and sing along.

"Hatena de Wasshoi" is no different; I can sing along to "nobi nobi nobi nobi nonbiri to" without fear of censure, at least if I do it quietly enough that the neighbours don't complain. The song itself even exhorts you "toriaezu WASSHOI de~su", to shout it loud and proud. Try it out; it's actually pretty fun.

As for the show itself, it places itself in the unique position of something I'm watching and liking, and yet have nothing to say about it. It's the further tales of four girls in an art school dormitory. There is nothing more that needs to be detailed, except perhaps a reaffirmation of the proclamation that Oh God, Yoshinoya-sensei Is Hot.

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