Seeing as one of the group's Tanabata wishes last episode was for them to carry on as they were forever, I was kind of hoping for the same thing, but alas here we are at the end of Hidamari Sketch x365, this time jumping forward (or is it backwards? It's always so hard to tell with this show) to the New Year, just as Yunocchi returns back from some time in her home town.
As per normal, this episode is the usual relaxed yet warm and fuzzy slice of life fare, with some great funny moments thrown in here and there (Yoshinoya's quick changing ability and Miyako's slow-motion coin throwing being particular highlights). In keeping with the series delight in solving earlier mysteries some time after they were first posited, we also find out the identity of the person who sent Sae her first ever fan letter - Yes, that's right, it was none other than Natsume.
If someone asked me to describe what makes for a good slice-of-life anime, I'm really not sure that I'd be able to tell them - It seems like the kind of thing that should be obvious, but the more you think about it the less easy to pinpoint it becomes. Hidamari Sketch is a great example of this - It isn't the funniest anime ever penned and it doesn't have the greatest characters per se (good and well-matched though they are), yet it has some kind of arcane magic that binds together everything it does to create its own little world of perfection - A bubble which, once I'm allowed into, I genuinely find myself not wanting to leave. It isn't eminently quotable like Lucky Star, yet despite that it's the kind of series that you find yourself relating stories and events from with others who have watched the series, to the point where things like exploding silica and the like become in-jokes. If that isn't a sign of a good slice of life show, I don't know what is - As per the original series, I've loved every single second of Hidamari Sketch x365, and I can't begin to put into words how much I want to see more of it. It's something that I'll simply never get tired of, and I can see myself watching this show over and over again as the years go by, it's truly timeless.