“Hidamari Sketch: Hoshimittsu” (Sentai Filmworks/Section 23) – When I first requested this new release from Sentai Filmworks and Section 23, I didn’t know it was the third season of the “Hidamari” series.
So it’s to the show’s great credit that I didn’t feel lost as I started watching the 12-episode (plus two OVAs) set.
The first episode dives in with a bit of business that establishes the friendship of Yuno, Miyako, Hiro and Sae, four girls and best friends living in an apartment complex across the street from their high school, which houses a prestigious art school.
By the end of the episode, two more girls have moved in, Nazuna and Nori, and the six quickly become BFFs as the original four (now in their second and third years) show the newbies the ropes.
A series of present-day tales mingles with some flashbacks to create a cute slice-of-life story that’s very energetic and colorful. It’s not quite as manic as “Azumanga Daioh,” but it has a bit of that feel to it, which is a good thing.
It’s a bit girlier and more touchy-feely, so the audience will definitely skew female. It’s a sweet group of girls, though, and it’s easy to fall for them.
It also has a fun art style, appropriate for a show about an art school. The main animation is pretty straight forward, but the creators have done some interesting things with the backgrounds, with many appearing in a minimalist pointillism/pop art style.
It’s not quite as kid-friendly as “Azumanga Daioh,” though. A bit of language and some raciness (student and teacher) make it more appropriate for older audiences.
It’s light on conflict, at least in the three episodes I watched, but it’s big on bonding and establishing the world these girls inhabit and getting to know them better.
I may have to dig up the first two seasons now.