Something came in the mail on Monday! It’s the second Hidamari anime guidebook. The first anime guidebook was called Hidamari Sketch Album and covered all episodes from the beginning of the series to the end of x365 (including EX). Hidamari Sketch Days follows a similar format, but physically, it’s not a compact book like its predecessor. (Apologizes for the low-quality photos.)

DSCF9101It’s A4 size, making it even larger than Hidamari Sketchbook. The first 96 pages are printed in full color. The remaining text-filled 32 pages, 18 of which are interviews with anime staff, are printed in black and white.

The book starts out with a condensed timeline of the Hidamari franchise. It lists the original air dates for each season, release dates for all books and CDs, and dates of events like Hidamatsuri. The manga Kaori Mizuhashi drew to win the title of Ume’s assistant at the most recent Hidamatsuri is printed on page 127.

Next is the character section. There are a few pieces of reference art for facial expressions and poses (differentiated by season), some of which might look familiar if you’ve also read the Honeycomb Production Note. My favorite features of the first anime guidebook were the galleries of the girls’ casual clothes worn in each episode, so I’m glad to see they’re back in this book. 30 episodes worth of clothes is a lot, so each Hidamari resident has at least 2 pages! For Yuno, Miyako, Hiro, and Sae, there are small boxes at the bottom of each page that showcase memorable moments for that character from past seasons. On Nori and Nazuna’s pages, there are pictures of all Ume-sensei’s rooftop appearances that include what her spoken lines were, if any.

There’s a page dedicated to each episode from the x365 specials, Hoshimittsu, xSP, and Honeycomb. Each episode’s page features a brief summary along with several captioned screenshots. If you were worried about any moments of poor animation being immortalized in print, fear not, all screenshots appear to come from the corrected Blu-rays.

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The bottom section of each page makes note of continuity references in the episodes and any tiny details Shaft threw in (for example, the pictures on Hiro’s fridge being different from usual). Unfortunately, unlike in Hidamari Sketch Album, there isn’t a section where Ume gives her thoughts on each episode.

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There’s even a teaser page for the upcoming graduation episodes! However, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. The format and number of episodes are still unknown at this point in time. See under the cut!

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OPs and EDs also have sections dedicated to them. For Honeycomb’s OP there’s a chart of all the still frames from the unadapted chapters, identifying the page where they originally appeared in the manga!

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There are many gallery pages showing all eyecatches, end cards (with artists identified), and promotional art. All illustrations that were first published in magazine articles have their sources provided.

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Next, the lengthy interview section.

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Here’s a list of every interview the book has to offer:

  • Page 098: Kana Asumi and Ume Aoki
  • Page 100: Cast commentary. The same four questions were asked to each seiyuu and these are their responses. The participating seiyuu were Kaori Mizuhashi (Miyako), Yuko Goto (Hiro), Ryoko Shintani (Sae), Hitomi Harada (Nori), Chiaki Omigawa (Nazuna), Miyu Matsuki (Yoshinoya), Cho (Principal), Miyuki Sawashiro (Landlady), Rie Kugimiya (Chika), Misato Fukuen (Natsume), Natsuko Kuwatani (Kuwahara), and Takuma Terashima (Mashiko).
  • Page 102: Akiyuki Shinbo and Ume Aoki
  • Page 104: Akiyuki Shinbo and Kenichi Ishikura (Season 3 Series Director)
  • Page 105: Yoshiaki Ito
  • Page 106: Nahoko Hasegawa (Series Composition) and Miku Ohshima (Season 4 Series Composition)
  • Page 108: Yuki Yase (Season 4 Series Director)
  • Page 109: Toshiki Kameyama (Sound Director)
  • Page 110: marble
  • Page 112: Yuma Takahashi (Publicity Producer)
  • Page 114: Miyako Nishida (Chief Animation Director, Clothing Design)
  • Page 114: Kazuya Shiotsuki (Season 4 Clothing Design)
  • Page 115: Izumi Takizawa (Color Design)
  • Page 115: Hisaharu Ijima (Art Director)
  • Page 116: Staff commentary. Same concept as the cast commentary but with only two questions. The participating staff members were Rieko Ishii, Shunsuke Ishikawa, Rei Egami, Mitsuru Sasaki, Hidenori Takamura, Naoyuki Tatsuwa, Hitoshi Fujikawa, Tamako Miyanishi, Yukihiro Miyamoto, and Yasuko Watanabe.

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After the interviews is a complete staff list and an updated list of episodes in chronological order.

Also, you know how you can hear voices coming from the TV in some scenes? They’re the reason why some unfamiliar names like Ken, Alex, and Kurushi appear in the credits despite no Hidamari character ever mentioning them. The last section of this book is a series of transcripts for all of the in-universe TV shows from the x365 specials onward. (The first guidebook has the previous seasons’ transcripts printed along the bottom of the interview pages.)

So that’s all. It’s a fun, colorful, and well-organized book that makes a great addition to your collection, especially if you already own the first guidebook. Hidamari Sketch Days is 2381 yen without Japanese tax and you can buy it online at sites like CDJapan and HMV.co.jp. You shouldn’t have to worry about this book selling out immediately since even the first guidebook (published in 2008) is still available in some places.

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