Thus far, Hidamari Sketch x365 has been, for me, an enjoyable and relaxing distraction at the end of a busy day, acting as a rather gentle little 'slice of life' series. However, I have to say that episode four has largely managed to take a step beyond just relaxing me, into the realm of flat-out hilarity.
The first half of the episode introduces (albeit temporarily) a fat cat to the proceedings, and as another esteemed 'Blogger I know will tell you, fat cats make anime better. So it proves here, with some quite frankly brilliant moments and one-liners that take in everything from marriage to Rubik's Cube, all with (of course) a feline concern in mind. It's been a while since an anime made me laugh that hard and that often (well, on purpose at least), and for that I can only salute Hidamari Sketch x365.
The second half of the episode takes on the rather more cliched topic of a school culture festival, and while the humour doesn't come anything like as thick and fast it still has some great moments (with Yuno's sleep-deprived turn with the stage spotlight a particular highlight). It's sweet, it's adorable, and when it wants to be it's damned funny - what more could you ask for from a slice of life series?
Thus, any lingering doubts I may have had about this series have been more or less wiped away by this episode. Of course, like most shows of this genre, it's always going to be a little hit and miss depending upon the subject matter and the viewer's relation to it, but if future episodes can leave me with this big a smile on my face and trying to supress a giggle while I remember the funny parts, then it's dedinitely onto a winner.