Archives for category: Rumor

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.

I only recently started reading the 2ch threads on Hidamari, so this morning I noticed an old discussion where people were joking around and creating fake first/last names for characters who don’t have one or the other. But then I noticed something odd about how a certain character’s name was written. I decided to do a little research.

I present to you this entry on Yahoo Answers Japan:

Question: About Hidamari Sketch’s Natsume. Is “Natsume” (夏目) her surname or given name? It’s likely to be her given name, right?

Answer: I think it’s her surname. Though there are exceptions, it appears that the residents of Hidamari Apartments and those associated with them are referred to by given name, and everyone else only goes by their surname.

Voted Best Answer: It seems like her surname. It would be different if it were written as 棗. So that means she doesn’t have a given name…

–> Asker Response: Thanks for answering! Now that I think of it… I often thought it was her given name, but it’s strange to use the 目 kanji for that, huh~ I’d like to see Natsume’s face flush like it’s on fire from Sae calling her by her first name.

This completely blew my mind. I never put the pieces together before. It makes so much sense! Here’s the biggest piece of visual evidence:

She finds her shoe locker number by searching for “Natsume”. This isn’t for Ume’s convenience; there really is no reason to use given names in place of surnames in a situation like this. The anime shows the board she’s looking at and it makes perfect sense at this angle because of Japanese name order. Her first name is presumably off-screen to the right.

But let’s investigate this board even further. They’re cut off, but the name above hers might be 戸由 (Toyoshi) and the name below hers is very likely to be 新見 (Niimi). Those are without a doubt Japanese surnames. Now, know that the Japanese equivalent of alphabetical order is gojuuon order. In gojuuon order, the syllable “Na” is right between “To” and “Ni”. If I could make an an English analogy, this board is like looking at an attendance sheet listing “Anderson, Brown, Clark” which are all last names obviously in alphabetical order. So what I mean is, the way “Natsume” is presented on this board among other last names is confirmation it is a last name. (Japanese fans also use this board as their evidence.)

Obviously Natsume introduced herself to Sae as, well, Natsume. But remember that Arisawa did the same thing to Yuno. Natsume’s friends simply call her Natsume with no honorific, not with -chan that’s more often used with first names alone. Not to mention Natsume’s mother does not call her by any name when they are talking about the entrance ceremony at dinnertime.

The asker makes the best point of all: the way Sae refers to her. It’s always hard to tell with Sae because she uses the fewest honorifics out of everyone, but it’s extremely true that Natsume would have a completely different reaction if she were being called by her first name. I can’t believe this flew over my head.

So yeah, color me surprised, I had not the slightest idea this entire time. Needless to say, my article on character names has been amended.

Edit 2/23/13: I was invited to a Skype group of about 30 Japanese Hidamari fans and decided to ask them too. Here’s the conversation we had, translated:

Me: Is “Natsume” a family name? Or is it her first name?
Fan #1: It’s her family name.
Fan #2: Yeah, last name.
Fan #3: Definitely a surname.
Fan #4: There’s never been an official announcement so it’s not completely settled, but…
Fan #2: If it were a first name it wouldn’t be written in kanji, it would just be なつめ.
Fan #5: Natsume is a family name like it is for Soseki Natsume.

This appears to be a mistaken implication retconned later in the anime.

The line in question was spoken in S1EP08 during an anime-only scene expansion about the contents of Sae’s latest publication.

Since everyone knows about the true nature of Sae’s writings, it is implied that she and Hiro are filling the roles of Kensuke and Nanami. This episode aired on March 2nd, 2007.

However, the July 2008 chapter included a strip that contradicted the above, and was later adapted in S3EP01b.

Abbreviated to avoid an extremely tall image.

This sounds like they each had first impressions at the apartments, and therefore first met there, rather than in their childhood. There’s also the additional complication that Hiro’s hometown is in Yamagata while Sae’s is somewhere else in the country.

I believe this was just a case of the anime writers overstepping their boundaries a bit and correcting themselves afterwards. It’s not like they were certain the anime would continue as far as it did and that problems like this would later arise. If you are convinced about the anime canon, though, you could make it work by saying Sae and Hiro met by chance somewhere in Japan as young children but only Sae remembers. However, that season 1 scene is the only evidence you have to assert that they knew each other beforehand.

Edit one year later: Thanks to the graduation OVA, we can call this rumor dead and buried!

The two continuities are carefully maintained, so the manga is perfectly understandable to anyone who didn’t watch the anime. It is a common misconception that some aspects of the manga were influenced the anime, but the order of events is actually the opposite. Whenever the manga “copies” the anime, it’s because Ume gives the anime staff plans to work with in advance.

Misconception: Origin of Dream Glider

In chapter 2010-11, when Yuno is left alone at Hidamari Apartments for a few hours, she starts singing “Dream Glider” which is heard twice in the anime: the karaoke episode S1EP04 and later in the bathhouse in S2EP05. Some people took this as the manga borrowing something original to the anime, but that’s not true. Although you couldn’t hear it, the song was in the manga first!

At karaoke.

Singing alone. The lyrics are rendered in just kana this time.


Chika was never an “anime-original” character. Before her appearance in chapter 2012-06 of the manga, she was referenced on V2P028 (below) and V3P101. According to the TV Animation Guidebook, Ume designed sent the anime staff Chika’s character design and included notes on what should happen during her first appearance, S1EP12. Basically, Ume let the anime staff know about Chika far in advance and let them use her designs and ideas long before they would have a chance to show up in the original work. Although Yoshiaki Ito is credited for the anime’s character design adaptations in general, he himself was not responsible for Chika’s original character design because he was simply working from the references Ume supplied.

Chika’s relationships with the other residents of Hidamari Apartments are completely different between the anime and manga. In the manga chapter, no one (except Sae, of course) has seen her before, and when she does arrive, none of the five get to meet her. The only similarity between her first appearance in both the anime and manga is that she leaves Hidamari to go visit a friend.

 The Japanese text specifies “younger sister”.


Natsume has more than twice as many appearances in the anime as she does in the manga. I think the anime crew really liked her.

Interestingly, Sae mentioned first meeting her at the shoe lockers in S2EP07, which aired on TV on August 15, 2008. The “Until Natsume Became Natsume” extra chapter was released as part of volume 4 that came out on December 25th, 2008. Ume’s author’s note at the end of volume 4 says the following:

And Natsume. The episode where she meets Sae was planned way in advance and I wanted to release it […]

In part 2 of her Hidamari Sketchbook interview, she expressed interest in writing about the history behind Natsume’s attitude towards Sae. As with Chika, it seems that Ume gave the anime staff her plans for Natsume far in advance and let the anime reference them shortly before the original story was released.

Sae “invites” Natsume to Hidamari Apartments in S4EP02. Within the anime’s timeline, that means Natsume made her first visit about two months later at S3SP02b’s barbeque. But in the manga, Natsume does not visit Hidamari Apartments for the first time until Sae invites her to a Christmas Eve party [2012-07]. At the time the chapter came out, it was previously only known in the anime that Natsume was a fan of Sae’s writing, and Sae herself was unaware of this. In the chapter, though, Natsume names one of Sae’s stories right in front of her. Also, like in the anime, Sae gets Natsume’s phone number. Now that the anime adapted that story as S4EP11, Natsume and Sae’s relationship is once again “even” in both the anime and manga.

So there was once a rumor floating around the net that claimed that one of the tenants of Hidamari Apartments was originally planned to be a crossdresser, but Ume’s editor rejected the idea. However, because no one could find its source, it has since been deleted from the wikis that once mentioned it.

Guess what? It’s totally true.

So who was it? Was your first thought Sae?

You’d be wrong. It wasn’t her.

It was…

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