Well, who wouldn’t get embarrassed in the situation that Yuno found herself in while sketching in this episode? Chances are, if someone’s observing me working or typing up posts like this, I’d feel the same as well. I think it’s because focusing on doing things like this make us more open to any random observers then what we consider to be usual. As we pay attention to completing most tasks that we’ve set out to do, our concentration is more on the task itself than on how we might be perceived by everyone else while we’re doing it. When we’re “tracing on”, the situation becomes unintentionally intimate, letting people see how we actually operate, having them find out a little more about who we “really” are. It brings attention to us and it exposes us, so it’s natural that this sort of thing is unwanted my most. For me, I get very self-conscious and uncomfortable when the focus is on me when I don’t desire it to be. And I feel that Yuno could be of the same mind in that aspect.
It’s why she seemed a little nervous from that simple request to watch her sketch by that random little girl that appeared. It reminds me of other times when Yuno’s put on the spot, so to speak, such as the first episode of x365 with the bunny drawing, episode 4 of the first season with her cute interpretation of a bamboo thicket, or her unfinished drawing posted for all to see at the school festival that caused so much stress for her in episode 10 of the first season. Of those examples, it was only the first one where it didn’t seem like she minded presenting her cute bunny drawing, as she already knew that she was drawing for the purpose of introducing herself to others. But the latter three examples, along with some other examples (again, her brief sketch of Chika in x365 episode 2 comes to mind) came randomly from her imagination, and aren’t prepared yet (if at all) for others to observe.
You could say that these drawings are raw, unpolished and naked aspects of Yuno (now that I wrote that, I’m thinking something that I shouldn’t be. :/), and that she’s worried about how they’re seen, or if they’re good enough. The sketches and drawings that she tends to get caught “napping” while working on them aren’t ones that she seems too comfortable with. That is, she’s not willing to let people see those uninhibited sides of her, much like when Sae’s amazing reaction (NOOOOOOOO!) when her unfinished works were being read by Miyako and Yuno back in the first season. It’s a lot like getting caught looking at something you shouldn’t, only you aren’t the one doing the looking her. This is why I feel for Yuno when her secret sketches are out for the world to see, having felt those worries and insecurities myself many times, and probably for many more in the future. However, it’s also why I find it funny when those situations do happen, because Yuno has nothing to be afraid of. And for that matter, do I as well?
I think Totali hits it right in comparing the scene with Yuno and the random girl out of nowhere (kids can be ninjas, and not too many of us are bad enough dudes to catch them in the act) with scenes involving Sora and Minamo, a.k.a “Camera Girl” from Sketchbook ~full color’S~ (yes, I still love that title). I would say that sketching is a strong extension of the people that Sora and Yuno are, so someone intruding on this process is akin to violating that extended personal space as well. Part of it is due to their differing personalities, but Yuno, despite some hesitancy, acquiesces more quickly than Sora does in this situation. It also helps that a very young child is about as good as anyone that one wouldn’t mind seeing them for who they are, and that children tend to see though bullshit anyway, so any attempts at hiding would be found out.
Continuing with this trend, children are often seen as being brutally honest as well (though given how my baby brother is acting right now at 6, this might not be too accurate), so when the girl ends up loving her sketches, of course Yuno is delighted. At the same time, this also shows off some of Yuno’s desires. Of course she wants her works to be good (as most people are want to do) in the eyes of others, but above that, she wants people to feel happy when viewing them, since that result can’t be that bad (or can it?). But the desire to do this only with her “finished” works (for the viewer, anyway) might win out over her other hopes.
I’m reminded of that school festival episode again, where Yuno wanted to complete her drawing that was well received because those weren’t the accolades she wanted. Kinda like how I feel when my post turns out not to be written well enough for people to get the point that I want them to have [and what’s the point of this post? Watch Hidamari Sketch (x365)]. She wanted ones that were fully justified by her finished effort for them to be seen out in the open, but also probably because of that feeling of satisfaction knowing you’ve done all you can. But could the reason also be because she wants to be seen in a positive light by everyone, although that’s a little selfish? I mean, we’re only human after all.
Going on this train of two cents, I think Yuno also demonstrated another side of her that might be a little surprising: A little overenthusiastic pride. It’s interesting to see her nose stretched out with something akin to a look of strange joy on her face, and though that response seems done for her, we manage to see how much unwarranted praise becomes justified for her when the situation changes a bit. Specifically, this dynamic ensues from a comparison with Miyako, and so the reason makes sense. Miyako’s art skills from the eyes of everyone else are very good, technically excellent, and one could say is the sign of an artistic prodigy (and we all know how that turned out, eh Hagu-chan?). And I have no doubts that with Miyako, what you see in her works is the blond-haired free spirit herself in her pure, undisguised glory.
So it does make me wonder why the little girl passed up taking a sketch from her as well. Then again, the girl knows what she likes (and there is no such thing as true objectivity anyways), so it’s all good. What’s more important to me is how Yuno compares herself to her good, good friend, as well as how highly she values that comparison. I feel it could also show off the insecurities and self-doubt that she still has, but life is a learning process at that, and I don’t think I could ever be at a stage where I could be too critical about someone who’s still trying to find herself in many ways. So this is a triumph over those things for Yuno, as unexpected as it is.
I’ve realized that this post has become more of a Yuno character study than I expected. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but let’s change gears here and focus on someone who’s only just started to really appear on the Hidamari scene. Natsume is someone that confuses me as to what’s up with her. Is she supposed to be a rival for Sae? A stalker of Sae? A person with an unrequited crush of Sae? I mean, at the moment, my sentiment is with Sae in that she’s a weird girl at the moment. Then again though, we both know weirder ones. 😛
Next episode: You Can Get If You Really Want