The Hidamari Sketch manga is serialized monthly in the magazine Manga Time Kirara Carat. It comes out on the 28th of each month in Japan. If the 28th falls on a Sunday, it will come out on the 27th. The cover date is two months ahead of its release date, so for example, the November 2011 chapter actually hit shelves on September 28th. To avoid confusion, chapters are always referred to by their cover date. They are not numbered on their own, but if you count them up, there are over 100 chapters now.

Some history: the magazine started out as a bimonthly special edition spinoff of Manga Time Kirara that came out on the 24th of even-numbered months. Hidamari Sketch started serialization in Vol. 4 (April 2004). Starting with its September 2005 issue, Kirara Carat became a monthly independent magazine and changed its release date to the 28th.

Now, 80,000 copies are printed monthly. Most of the Kirara line of magazines have a reader sex ratio of 9M:1F, but Kirara Carat’s reader sex ratio is 8M:2F. (Taken from Wikipedia JP)

Kirara Carat is aimed at an older audience. Because of this, the text in Hidamari is not accompanied by furigana (kanji readings) and so it cannot easily be read by young children who have not yet learned all the everyday use kanji. Furigana is still used for obscure vocabulary and rare readings, though.

“Well then, why don’t you tell me about your dream? Or not, since it’s the witching hour?”

In the above example, Sae says 丑三つ時 (うしみつどき) // ushimitsudoki, an old-fashioned way to say “dead of night” or “midnight” as opposed to the much more common equivalent 真夜中 // mayonaka.

Hidamari manga chapters range from 5 to 8 pages, with more recent ones being on the shorter side. 6 pages seems to be the new norm. Starting with volume 3, a table of contents shows the title of each chapter inside, since individual chapters are not named when printed in the magazine.

Although occasionally a chapter is published entirely in monochrome, the first 2 pages are presented in full color in the magazine. Some older chapters had up to 4 color pages and were printed with colored titles and patterned backgrounds. Each chapter is printed with one tagline at the beginning and one at the end that vaguely introduce and summarize the chapter. These do not appear in the volumes.

Color pages are converted to grayscale for the volume releases, which include a full color prologue at the beginning instead. The prologues (as well as the Natsume chapter) are not drawn in 4koma format like the rest of the manga. Occasionally corrections are made to the artwork, I’ve compiled a whole list of them here.

Magazine. Notice Nori isn’t saying anything.

Volume. “My eyesight got worse…” It appears that her dialogue was intended to be there from the beginning, but somehow got omitted when printed.

Each Hidamari chapter is followed by a page of “Yamabuki High School Broadcasting Club Lounge Notebook”, narrated by its president Toudou from the anime. She refers to herself as an OG (Old Girl), which when used in Japanese means “female graduate” but particularly refers to retired club members. She would have graduated the same year as Arisawa. In this section, she responds to reader-submitted comments and fanart. I have no idea if these pages are maintained by Ume herself.

The chapter raws from Share do not include these pages. This was scanned by a kind anonymous translator.

There’s also a monthly caption contest, the winner is the one displayed larger here. The smaller one is a panel selected from the previous month’s chapter with a sample funny caption to start off the next submissions.