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Hidamari Sketch x 365 (Season 2) Blu-ray Review

hidamari-sketch-365-bluray-coverU.S. Release

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The Series

[Rating:4.5/5]

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Hidamari Sketch (ひだまりスケッチ) is a slice-of-life comedy anime series based on a comic strip. The story revolves around the diminutive young high school student named Yuno who manages to pass the entrance exams for Yamabuki Art High School, an achievement she has dreamed of for a long time. After being accepted, she moves out of her parents’ home and into the Hidamari Apartments across the street from the school where she lives in a small apartment. There, she very quickly becomes friends with her fellow neighbors and schoolmates. They include her classmate Miyako, an outgoing girl from a family of limited means who loves to eat, and her two upperclassmen, the second-year students Sae, an established novelist attending the school to learn how to illustrate her own works, and Hiro, a pleasant girl who is always worried about her weight.

The series is unusual in that it does not follow a traditional, linear storytelling pattern. The individual episodes jump around in time, so that we may start episode 1 at the entrance exams, but the next episode may be summer break and the girls at Hidamari Apartments are already much better friends.

This second season of the series, Hidamari Sketch x 365, continues this format from the first season, but it’s even better than the first. As one might expect if they’d watched the first season, x 365 is hardly a traditional second season in that it doesn’t really follow the first, rather it expands on the world of the character Yuno and her friends, even introduces more characters and explains some of the things that happened in between the times we didn’t see in the first season. We get to see Sae’s younger sister Chika, another second-year student named Natsume who has a mysteriously contentious relationship with Sae, and even Yuno’s parents.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

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From 2008 Hidamari Sketch x 365 is a standard definition production just like the first season, but it looks ever-so-slightly better in this Blu-ray release, encoded in AVC/MPEG-4 at 1080p. It’s a little more crisp and shows slightly less artifacts like aliasing.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

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Only the Japanese soundtrack in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) is supplied with English subtitles. The voice cast remain charmingly goofy and the sound is well enough for a slice-of-life series such as this.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

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We get the two OVA episodes in addition to the clean opening and closing animations, Sentai Filmworks trailers and disc credits.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

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The daily adventures of Yuno and her pals gets even better in this second season of Hidamari Sketch. The characters expand, the friendships grow, and the lines are filled in. The series remains an addictive watch with its surreal animation style and conversational dialogue.

Additional Screen Captures

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