How many times have you heard someone call an anime charming? In my case, not often, if I ever did hear it. The word needs to be used more often in describing anime however, because frankly some shows just deserve it. Obviously what works with some people doesn’t work with others, and many people prefer a different sort of charm than the kind I find especially when watching slice-o’-life shows. Yet it’s not often that a show unconsciously coaxes a smile onto my face after watching every episode, and Hidamari Sketch is looking like it will be one of those shows, despite my only watching two episodes of it. It’s a show that does have some unusual moments when considering what people are used to from the genre:
Then again, maybe not… 😛
Based off a 4-koma, Hidamari Sketch focuses on the lives of four girls that go to art school (Quick segue: Interesting focus on the specialty schools more recently in anime, with Honey and Clover before and currently with Nodame Cantabile), and also happen to live in the same apartment. I feel like I haven’t really gotten to know the characters too well so far, but first impressions usually provide good insight. We have Yuno, the main character who immediately gives off the impression of a purely kind person, as her other friends note. This isn’t a bad thing so far, but we’ll see where the show goes with that, since too much kindness can be very annoying. Miyako is her next door neighbor, and it seems like she’s the character who has the most fun with life in general, which also makes her my favorite character at the moment. Watching her in the first episode acting like a kid in the snow, and seeing her playful teasing in the second episode strengthens this fact. Sae lives on the floor below and is the group’s voice of reason so far, but I need to watch more episodes to confirm that. Hiro also lives on the floor below and worries about her weight like one of my all-time favorite characters does.
We do also have Yuno and Miyako’s homeroom teacher in the mix, as Yoshinoya-sensei makes brief appearances in the show. It’s hard to not pay attention to a teacher who is interested in cosplay (and in showing off to her students as well, if the above picture didn’t tip you off on that), but the main focus is on the apartment foursome, which is good.
The first two episodes cause me to liken Hidamari Sketch to a combination of Pani Poni Dash, Aria, and Azumanga Daioh, with Azu having the highest portion, PPD having the second higher, and Aria in the rear. The Pani Poni influence is definitely due to Akiyuki Shinbo holding the reins as director and having SHAFT do the animation, but it hasn’t been out in full force, which I like. There’s a lot of SD, and random touches that are hallmarks of Shinbo in the series, but nothing too strong. This seems to be the type of show where random hyper comedy flying out of nowhere would lower it’s impact, and definitely lower it’s charm. It’s all about seeing the antics that the characters do in this great scheme of experiencing life, and I do hope it continues that way. :3