Archives for category: Information

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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Here’s another interview that came with the x365 BD Box! This time, it’s a talk between important figures in the Hidamari anime’s production: Ryutaro Usukura, Yuma Takahashi, and Junichiro Tanaka.

Trial-and-error anime Hidamari Sketch

Let’s start off with introductions. What is your name and your involvement in Hidamari Sketch?

Tanaka: I’m TBS Producer Junichiro Tanaka. I’ve been involved in Hidamari’s production since the very beginning.

Yuma: That’s right, you chose the initial staff, didn’t you?

Tanaka: Yes. From choosing a studio, to director and scriptwriter… I conferred about different options, and was able to draw up a list.

Yuma: I’m Yuma Takahashi from Aniplex. I’ve been the publicity producer since the very first season. I make information booklets, plan events, and manage various other things related to advertising.

Usukura: I’m Usukura from Lantis. I’m in charge of all things music, like assisting our music producer Shigeru Saito. All of Hidamari’s music is so enjoyable. Overseeing the process has been a valuable experience for me.

Because you three have been so deeply involved in Hidamari’s production, would you mind reflecting on everything since the first broadcast and sharing any stories or memories from that time?

Yuma: I don’t often get the opportunity to talk about these things, so I’ll do my best to dust off my memories.

Yes, please go ahead!

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This is an interview included at the end of the Honeycomb Production Note. Director Akiyuki Shinbo, Character Designer Yoshiaki Ito, and Design Assistant Tatsuya Oishi talk about capturing each character’s personalities through their character designs and room layouts. Yoshiaki Ito also makes some brief comments concerning the more minor characters.

Ume Aoki: The renewed character designs for Honeycomb paid great attention to my own artwork and incorporated my character pointers. They were carefully considered so the oddities that often result from animating the manga’s drawings were eliminated. Now that the designs have been replicated so well, I feel that Hidamari has truly evolved from manga to anime throughout its four whole seasons.

Akiyuki Shinbo: The anime’s character designs are renewed every season to follow the evolution of Aoki’s artwork. I think the unique use of colors in Honeycomb is very close to matching that of Aoki’s artwork today.

We wanted to reproduce the 4koma manga atmosphere from the very beginning in regards to art. Our goal was to make it clear that you know it’s Hidamari when you see it on the screen, no matter what scene it is. We applied all our experience up to this point, so I think that made Honeycomb even more stable. Hidamari has the most designs out of all SHAFT’s series, doesn’t it? Honeycomb is the compilation of six years’ experience.

Yoshiaki Ito: In season 1 I did the character design and room layouts, and worked together with Tatsuya Oishi on the art designs. Oishi drew the roughs and I finished the final designs. The small details come from his good taste.

In the anime there are some incorrect aspects of each room’s layout. Everyone’s room is about 6 tatami mats (~9.2m2 or ~100 ft2) large, which isn’t really that spacious. The rooms were rearranged to let them fit neatly on-screen.

Tatsuya Oishi: It started with Director Shinbo’s orders. He wanted to show Hidamari Apartments from a small set of fixed camera angles, with only one angle for each girl’s room. The Hidamari Apartments themselves are also shown at only a select few angles.

At first I was wondering how I should make the concept art fit these orders. Then I finally grasped it the moment I turned the scenes colorful with no drab colors at all. I created a style that would show colors and lines neatly, show light objects with light lines, and be fit for inserting photographs. I tried to make scenes that would seamlessly with the lines in Ryubido’s backgrounds.

About each room, I aimed to give the girls stylish rooms like you’d see in classy select shops. They’re art students after all. Even things like the mailboxes employ modern art motifs too. No matter how they were done, I wanted to make things look sharp and stylish. As for the color schemes and such, I made color balance my first priority. I picked the color of each door starting from Yuno’s character color being pink.

It was fun seeing how each episode, Ryubido added buildings like TBS’s “Big Hat” broadcasting center to the frontal shot of the Hidamari Apartments.

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A while ago on eBay someone listed a set of 30 photocopies of Hoshimittsu settei (animator’s reference drawings). Normally I would have ignored it but one of the samples caught my eye. I thought $1 each was a little pricey for mere photocopies on plain white paper, but then again, the price wasn’t completely outrageous like most Hidamari listings there. I felt it was worth it just for this one sheet, so I decided to go for it. I’ve never seen the original article but this does appear to be legitimate.


It’s pretty similar to the height comparison chart found in the Honeycomb Production Note, minus Mashiko (poor Mashiko). In fact, the art used for everyone but the Hidamari residents is the same. The labeled scale this one has is invaluable. Previously, the only confirmation we’ve had of characters’ heights was a chart that comes from season 1’s Hidamari Sketch Settei Collection Volume 1.

Here are my estimates for everyone’s heights based on this chart. Ones in bold have been confirmed through the aforementioned source. Please note that this chart disregards how the characters are shown posing in their stock art and instead resizes the artwork appropriately. For example, Hiro is clearly not standing up straight but she is still scaled to the 155cm mark. Basically, ignore the poses and focus where the top of their head lines up, that’s their intended height.

Principal: 151cm (~4’11.5″)

Yoshinoya: 158cm (~5’2″)

Natsume: 162cm (~5’4″)

Nori: 157cm (~5’2″)

Nazuna: 152cm (~5’0″)

Yuno: 144cm (well, 144.3~5) (~4’9″)

Miyako: 165cm (~5’5″)

Hiro: 155cm (~5’1″)

Sae: 167cm (~5’6″)

Chika: 153cm (~5’0″)

Landlady: 174cm (~5’8.5″)

Mami (not pictured): 155cm (~5’1″), according to page 229 of the Honeycomb Production Note.

The photocopy appears to have some distortion that’s especially noticeable near the Principal. I consulted the Honeycomb chart  (it does a better job indicating where Nazuna’s height is measured from) which makes it clearer that Chika > Nazuna > Principal. Granted, Chika or Nazuna could have grown between the two seasons, but I don’t think SHAFT takes that stuff into account.

Things definitely get a little fuzzy around the 150cm mark, so let me know if you have any better estimates.

Many of you are probably familiar with the below video of Ume drawing, part of a series where Wacom lends Cintiqs to popular artists and records their drawing process.

There’s an accompanying interview. Let’s see what Ume has to say about digital art!

How did you get started as a manga artist?

In middle school I looked up to Ribon magazine (Shueisha). I’d draw manga in a notebook and show it to my friends. After that, I was drawn to size B6 comics like from Wings (Shinshokan). One time I saw something stacked in a bookstore display, and wondered what it was. It was Dragon Kishidan (Mineko Ohkami/Shinshokan). The first time I held such a large-size comic in my hands, the drawings felt a little different from shoujo manga and the fantasy genre felt vast. I couldn’t buy Wings every month, so I bought the quarterly magazine South. I would cut out and save any color pages by Yun Kouga.

At that time, I knew about doujinshi-related things through Comic Box Junior (Fusion Product) and read books sold by Animate. I went to an event in Harumi called Super Comics City in my first year of middle school. (laughs)

So you came into contact with doujin culture at a fairly young age, didn’t you?

It was a way to express myself. I was able to draw the pictures and make doujinshi all by myself. Around the time I was a third-year in middle school, I participated in a small event held on the second floor conference room of a training school. I made five copies of a Samurai Spirits Zankuro Musouken doujin, but sold only two to my friends. (laughs) There wasn’t really internet at the time, so I would get information from papers in manga specialty shops. Game centers also had them.

Later on I participated in a big event held in Ikebukuro. My first job  was from a friend who was starting out as a PC game dev. I was asked to illustrate the instruction manual, then I began working on 4koma for their website. An editor who saw my work in an Ohzora Publishing anthology book contacted me during my second year of college. And so, I ended up drawing Hidamari Sketch for Manga Time Kirara Carat beginning its April 2004 issue.

What was your debut in the magazine business like?

It was surprising, I thought I’d get cancelled after three chapters. (laughs) I didn’t get the feeling like, “I jumped that hurdle!” I never thought of becoming a 4koma manga artist, and it was my first time writing an original story, so I wondered if I could actually do it. At the time when there weren’t many moe 4koma manga, I browsed Kirara.

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