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Hidamari Sketch Picture Perfect Collection Blu-ray Anime Review

20 min read
Life for girls at an art-based high school is full of little ups and downs and a whole lot of friendship across the years.
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Hidamari Sketch Hoshimittsu

After two fun but largely forgettable seasons of the series, Hidamari Sketch returns for a third season that brings us twelve more TV episodes and two OVAs to follow it up. Structurally, the series is like what we saw in the previous seasons where it follows the lives of the kids living in the Hidamari Apartments who go across the street to school where they’re part of the art program that draws some very talented students. The first season had us following the arrival of the first year students with Yuno and Miyako as they befriended the talented but somewhat quiet Sae and the more outgoing Hiro who has been a good friend to Sae. The apartment complex retained two empty apartments for the first two seasons and the focus was on those four girls with some of the adults coming into the mix and occasionally another student get a mild not. It was a fairly close-knit show for the most part and it worked well in getting us familiar with them in light, simple and fun ways.

The third season doesn’t break what works, but it tries to enhance it by doing something naturally. With the new school year upon the kids, Yuno and Miyako are now second years and are excited by what promise it holds, though Yuno is concerned about finding what her real talent is and what she should focus on for the couple of paths she has. Miyako is carrying on as she usually does since she doesn’t let things get to her and pretty much is the type of person that lives to the beat of her own drum. Hiro and Sae are getting into their third year roles pretty well, though it’s largely focusing on Sae when it comes to the two as she wants to decide whether to focus on her art or her writing since she can’t do both.

What does change things up in this season is the arrival of two new first years who move into the apartment complex, signifying the first time all six have been rented at once in recent memory and within the show itself, which makes their landlord quite happy. So happy that she saves a few more bucks by having the existing residents help clean out the rooms and get them in ship shape form. The girls being who they are, they’re actually interested in helping out and doing something for the new incoming students so they can bond with them before they even arrive. There’s already some changes in store as one of them has had internet access setup, which is seemingly a first for the group. But when you factor in that most people of this age group do their internet time through their phones, it makes a certain amount of sense.

The two new students are pretty fun overall and add a little more flavor to the show. Nori is the one with the computer access and has fun showing everyone things like how to order pizza online and the like and is a solid art student while Nauna is a quieter girl, not exactly timid, but a bit unsure of herself. What she brings to the series is the first non-art student to be dealt with in a significant way and the first to live at Hidamari. She’s drawn to artists but is in the schools basic courses rather than the art program. She has a feeling similar to Yuno when she first arrived in a lot of ways while Nori feels like a variant of Sae but with a more outgoing approach to her. Each of the girls create new interactions because of their presence and it helps to add something to the series in a natural way without actually dominating the series. It doesn’t turn into a show about just them and neither does it let them became background characters. Instead, it allows the show to simply expand its focus while still keeping on pace with those we’ve spent two seasons with and their issues.

Beyond the introduction of new characters, the third season of Hidamari Sketch essentially does more of the same, both story wise and visually. It has a lot of light moments to it and lets the characters get a little frantic at times and spend plenty of time being friendly and good natured about what’s going on, whether it’s cooking together, ordering food online or visiting a new restaurant that’s opened. Some of the fun continues to come from the teacher side with Yoshinoya still causing problems with her flighty nature which in turn has the principal somewhat frustrated with her. But even there we have some good material, especially when she whips up a new suit for him for the warmer months that’s priceless, especially with how he shivers nervously all the time.

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