Archive for the 'hidamari' Category

Hidamari Sketch

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

Hidamari Sketch and Manabi Straight aired in the same season. Many expected them to compete head-to-head, but the two turned out nothing alike. Manabi has a great plot, larger than life characters, and UFOtable. Hidamari has… Yashinoya-sensei, if that even counts.

So after 3 episodes, my main problem with Hidamari is how limp and pathetic it is. Mind, so says the man who loves Azumanga to death. I am even following that blatant pandering vessel Lucky*Star. 4-koma adaptations do not have to be so weak.

Avatar and I have no taste

Friday, July 27th, 2007

At least, so says Mr. Duck in comments to a random post. Actually, now that I saw a bit more, I would like to tweak my previous comments on Hidamari Sketch a bit. It’s not quite as limp as it was in the beginning, but the low grade animation remains horrible.

Exhibit 1: It’s not even SD.

The annoyance is not the wide face as such, but how much time characters spend in the low-grade mode. I think I haven’t seen anything like it since Dragon Half.

Exhibit 2: The high art.

The series has spots which show aspirations for artistry, a-la Windy Tales, but the flashes of it are rather short and far between. They fail to set the tone.

Bluemist on Hidamari

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

I was saving it for the finale, but since I dropped Hidamari Sketch after 8 episodes, here’s a well rounded review on BlueMist.

If you can stomach a few boring episodes you can find some real entertaining gems in this series. Here I am already ready for a second viewing immediately after (because there is a widescreen version available, but I was watching the 4:3 version all along). Hidamari Sketch can bring you a few laughs and moe~ feelings, something only few slice-of-life series can provide.

I can see how this can be pleasant to watch, but I just cannot abstract enough.

UPDATE: They just keep coming.

BigN on Azumanga

Friday, September 14th, 2007

Seen at Drastic (there was no attribution, so I presume BigN himself wrote it):

20. Was anyone else tired of the comparisons between Lucky Star and Azumanga Daioh? Is the latter really a paragon of slice of life school comedy anime?

I understand the question was made in jest, but still… Why has nobody come with something like Azumanga so far? It was 5 long years now.

Hidamari Sketch is probably the nearest thing ever attempted to recreate Azumanga. It floundered mostly on the poor implementation quality of the anime (e.g. looked like ass most of the time with short flashes of brilliance), but otherwise was clearly made with the same aim. The 4koma was reshuffled to allow for anime pace, among other things.

The later is what Lucky Star did very poorly. Azumanga and Hidamari mostly had big episodes (even though officially Azumanga was subdivided into 5-minute shorts). Lucky Star, however, seems incapable of any flow outside of huge arcs (such as Komiket), creating tons of disconnected filler. So, even if Lucky Star were not primarily referential like Excel Saga, it would still fail to match Azumanga.

Confusingly, when I write that Manabi Straight matched Azumanga, I mean something entirely different: the overall level of greatness. Manabi is plot-driven and not episodic, so it’s in entirely different camp. It does not match Azumanga as a slice of life, it has its own unique merits.

BigN on Hidamari Sketch

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

BigN finally posted a report on Hidamari Sketch, which he completed, unlike myself. It’s pretty interesting, although I think he sort of bent Manabi for the purposes of compare-and-contrast.

If I can say that Manabi Straight was about the beginnings and growth of friendships and what happens before, during and after the process of moving of, then Hidamari Sketch is about the fun times being had when those friendships are already in the growing stage and the future is nothing more than a passing glance.

I think it might be said with equal validity that Manabi is about politics, about leadership, or teamwork too. But this will do. Also, RTWT.

Everyone loves Yunocchi

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Seen at The Last Arial (hat tip to Jeff, as I cannot follow Arial because of all the trains):

A simple slice of life story about everyday events and friendship, it was brilliantly executed and featured a cast of instantly lovable characters; from the earnest Yuno and energetic Miyako to the cosplaying hottie Yoshinoya-sensei, easily-embarrassed Sae and weight-obsessed Hiro. I loved every minute of it and it now takes pride of place within my top ten shows.

Well, that’s all true, but… what about the very wide faces? I love Yuno too but you can’t make me love her anime.

Sequel to Hidamari?

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

Saw a link to a 20s long promo at YouTube at Anime Banzai. Dunno how real it is. Supposedly comes in 2008. The title is “Hidamari Sketch x365”: sounds like a name of an ITU-T protocol, honestly.

BTW, it takes a sadistic genius of web design to put a link into a ticker. Have fun aiming with your mouse. Sort of reminds me of those hideous flash ads, “punch the kangaroo and win”.

UPDATE: TheBigN says it was announced at ANN.

Omo completes ef

Monday, December 24th, 2007

Seen at Omo’s today:

Not long ago I finished the last episode of ef – a tale of memories. It’s by far the most impressive anime of 2007. Sadly that’s just my impression and not a lasting opinion tested with time, but it was hard to deny that ef was a gimmick intended to impress. Much like Zetsubo Sensei and Hidamari Sketch, ef is the product of SHAFT, the same studio and pretty close to the same production team.

I’m so envious of raw watchers. Currently I’m batching the last 3 episodes of ef to marathon it. But I’m pleased to know that ef’s ending went well with Michaelhim. Honestly, it was a concern (which is not gone completely yet, SDB loved ending of Vandread, I hated it, but I’m “cautiously optimistic”). Also:

In the case of Seirei no Moribito, it was honestly pre-licensed as the flagship show kicking off Production IG’s 10th anniversary (IG is already one badass animation studio in Japan, not to mention the show is based on an acclaimed novel series to as well). In the case for Dennou Coil, it’s a primetime NHK project with 8 years in the making and a lot of anticipation (and no hype!). It bugs the hell out of me simply because I see what’s so good about those two shows, yet neither manages to make me care about them very much; yet I can’t stop talking about crappy shows like these SHAFT offerings [ef, SZS, and Hidamari].

Indeed. And an ouch for Dennou Coil. I think I’ll complete it one day, maybe, when it’s on Netflix.

FRIDGE UPDATE: I think we can add Rocket Girls to the coveted list of crappy shows of 2007 which beat the pants of flagship productions as far as interesting their viewers. It’s the most fun and exciting show, where ef is most moving and touching. And it wasn’t made by SHAFT, so being interesting is not some special SHAFT magic. BTW, Omo knew about it.

Hidamari’s faces

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Sasa looks forward to summer (and this time it’s her) and Hidamari reimplementation “x365”:

The main achievement of Hidamari Sketch is, in my opinion, the most endearing facial expressions that anime has ever brough. Of course only die-hard fans like me would appreciate it, so Hidamari Sketch will hopefully fill the gap that Aria and Chii will leave when it’s over for them.

The “only die-hard fans” part comes from the bi-modal animation in the original Hidamari. The normal mode is like this:

and this:

Note the photographic vegetables.

The other one is the money-saving animation mode, like this:

Unfortunately, characters spend a lot of time saving money for SHAFT. If the balance was tilted differently, it would be a different account. As it is, fans have to die hard.

Truth to be told, I am looking forward to x365. Problems with the original are nothing the application of sacks of money won’t fix.


Friday, August 8th, 2008

I sure burn through them quickly. On the heels of the Shuffle disaster come Kirameki Project and Mokke. I really don’t want to say anything bad about Mokke, it’s just unsophisticated, primitive a bit. Kirameki though… It’s one of those shows where creators think that anime watchers are dumb, I guess.

Fortunately, Hidamari Sketch x365 turned out to be a keeper. The cheapeness of the previous season was taken under control: the wide faces and photographs were beaten back a bit. They threw some of the acid trip stuff in (the flying crosses scene), but it wasn’t obnoxious. Looking forward to it, and Big N was right in his fanboyism.