Archives for category: For fun

This post has been sitting in my drafts folder for exactly two years, but now it’s ready to see the light! Don’t ask how that happened. Trust me, volume 8’s comparison post will be more timely.

What do I mean by artwork edits? When it’s time for serialized manga chapters to be compiled into a volume, the manga artist often takes the opportunity to touch up the artwork or make minor changes that weren’t able to be completed in time for the magazine’s manuscript submission deadline. This is especially common to see in manga from weekly publications, but manga with less frequent releases like Hidamari are no exception. I’ve recorded changes I’ve found in volumes 1-6 here.

For the comparison images I put the magazine version on top and volume version below. The volume images from the public raws don’t look very good, but they get the point across. Page numbers match both the Japanese and English releases, so you can follow along. Here we go!

Page 14: Background changed to clarify exactly where in front of Hidamari everyone is standing.


Page 15: Small details added to Nazuna’s counter, like her faucet and a box of ingredients.


Page 21: Detail added to the cafeteria, Miyako is no longer hovering in place, and Yuno has feet (she’s not that short!).


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Of course one isn’t enough! I’ve been to four more in the past month, so I figured I’d share my experiences again.

First, a few announcements:

– The new Kirara Carat issue (with Hidamari on the cover) officially comes out on Monday, but certain stores may start putting them on the shelves tomorrow night. I’ll definitely have the issue by noontime on the 28th. For the curious, the cover has been revealed.

– I’m selling some Hidamari doujinshi and other items before I leave Japan at the end of next month. Please take a look and let me know if you’re interested.

Now, moving on!

March 29th: Kansai Hidamarer Hanami Off

Attendees: 28

A flower-viewing party in Banpaku Kinen Koen! There was some concern that we might get rained out, but miraculously, the weather turned out fine. Look at this handmade Principal plushie someone brought! Amazingly, you can pull the cord and he’ll start shaking! I want one.


Self-introductions were fun. Three people, including the maker of the above plushie, described themselves as dedicated Principal fans and were even wearing t-shirts with his face on it. People brought games like mahjong and Twister. Tons of food too, but we ended up with a lot left over. I had a great time talking with everyone! I got asked some funny questions about the overseas fans like “Are there a lot of Mami and Nakayama fans?” and “What is the order of popularity of the main characters?” To my surprise, someone there actually grew up in the US not too far from where I live. What are the chances?

There was an afterparty at a yakisoba restaurant, then an after-afterparty at a public bath! No Fujisan incidents to report, but I did get a jar of milk afterwards.

The next two events were in Tokyo.

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Honestly, it’s been my dream to attend an official Hidamari event. When I found out I’d be going to Japan it was at the top of my list of things I wanted to do before I left. Sadly, it appears that there won’t be a Hidamatsuri or other official events happening during my stay. If there were, they would have been announced already. With the manga’s serialization stagnating and no new anime announcements, I guess chances were slim.

Fortunately, you can count on the thousands of Hidamari fans in Japan (who call themselves “Hidamarers”) to make up for it with dozens of unofficial events and meetups each year. Most of them are organized with Twitter-integrated tools like TwiPla, which makes it easy to search for users’ events in a given region and confirm your participation with the event’s organizer. When it comes to Hidamari meetups, fans of all kinds are welcome. I’m not the first foreigner to participate in one!

In any case, February 2014 marks a very special anniversary for Hidamari Sketch: 10 years since the manga’s launch in the April 2004 issue of Kirara Carat. There were two big fan celebrations held this weekend: one on Saturday 2/22 in Osaka and another on Sunday 2/23 in Tokyo. I attended the Osaka event because it’s much closer to where I’m living now.

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hatoneFor Hidamari fans looking for pilgrimage destinations, there aren’t many options. Very few places seen in the series are explicitly based on real-life locations. These include Destiny Land (Tokyo DisneySea), several spots in Hokkaido, and, of course, the “Hatone” (Hakone) Open-Air Museum. On January 18th I took the opportunity to travel to Hakone while I was still in Tokyo.

The chapter in which the girls visit this museum was published in 2010, but fortunately it appears the majority of sculptures that were in the outdoor exhibit at that time are still on display today. However, it should be noted that the sculptures Ume depicts are entirely fictional.

This is a fairly brief report, but I hope you enjoy it! Please excuse the poor quality pictures, as I have only a cheap point-and-click. Even the old man who offered to take my photo pointed out how ancient it was.

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Event background

In August 2010, the Hidamari King Showdown was announced on TBS’s official Hidamari website. This competition called for experts of Hidamari trivia to officially prove themselves. The questions covered absolutely everything related to Hidamari Sketch at that point in time: manga, anime, DVD/BDs, Hidamari Radio, all kinds of CDs, events, games, merchandise, you name it. The winner crowned Hidamari King at the end of this competition would receive:

  • An original illustration by the manga’s original author, Ume Aoki
  • An original illustration by the anime’s character designer, Yoshiaki Ito
  • An invitation to dinner with Ume Aoki, Yoshiaki Ito, and other anime staff
  • The privilege of having any Hidamari wish of their choosing (within reason) become true!

(When this news broke, the dinner prize was misinterpreted by some as being a one-on-one dinner date with Ume Aoki. A correction was later sent out.)

The first stage examination was a 100-question multiple choice test. There were two test sites: Hosei University Ichigaya Campus in Tokyo and Osaka University of Commerce. The registration fee was 1980 yen and examinees could register for a test site and time slot on a first-come-first-serve basis. In Tokyo, the exam was administered in 4 different time slots (Tokyo rounds 1-4 = groups A-D) on September 19th, 2010. The test site in Osaka had 2 available time slots (Osaka rounds 1-2 = groups E-F) and its exam was held a week later on September 26th. To prevent cheating, each group’s test had different questions, but the level of difficulty remained the same. There were approximately 1,600 participants. The 64* highest-scoring examinees would advance to the finals, held in the Yokohama Blitz on November 20th, 2010.

*65 passing examinee numbers were announced on the official website, but according to a short manga about the event by Kanikama, there were 56 finalists. I guess a few people declined or couldn’t come.

Tokyo Round 1 Questions

Wait, where did these come from? I recently discovered this page, where the questions from all 6 written tests are reproduced in full along with the answer keys. They are fully legitimate. So, I’ll be translating and posting them here to share with everyone else.

Unfortunately for us, this test is obviously geared toward native speakers of Japanese living in Japan who have much more Hidamari material available to them. There are many questions relating to material like drama CDs and Hidamari Radio that do not have any English translations. Also, because of the nature of some questions, they don’t translate well into English. Sometimes, translating the options actually makes it more difficult to answer (ex. song lyrics). I’ve marked questions that explicitly require some Japanese knowledge with a *. These questions may ask you to pick the correct kanji for a name when multiple options share the same pronunciation.

If you want to play along, I recommend that you copy and paste the questions into a word processor, bold/highlight your answers, and save it. I will post the answers Friday morning in this same format with the answers marked and any comments of mine included, if any.

Do your best, everyone! Now let’s begin!

001. Who is currently living in room 102 of Hidamari Apartments?
A. Yuno
B. Miyako
C. Hiro
D. Sae

002. Who is the youngest out of the following?
A. Yuno
B. Hiro
C. Misato
D. Chika

003. Masa no Yu is the bath house that Yuno and her friends often visit. What is depicted on the wall of the bath?
A. Mt. Fuji
B. Seven Lucky Gods
C. Bamboo grove
D. Koi

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