If there's one simple rule that rules over your life, that rule should probably be "you can never have too much Hidamari Sketch". Indeed, this is a great time to be a fan of the franchise - The manga is ongoing with its translated releases in the US and UK, Section23 have just licensed the anime in North America, and a third season proper of the show will be broadcast as part of the winter line-up. Before that however, we have this pair of Hidamari Sketch x365 specials.
The first of this pair of instalments sees Yunnochi gifted a bike by a fellow student, which opens up all sorts of new horizons for the girls at Hidamari Apartments... If Yuno can remember how to ride it that is. Who says you never forget how to ride a bike? So, much of this episode is spent helping Yunnochi relearn the ancient art of cycling, before it becomes useful both for Sae in helping Natsume out and the landlady for moving some stuff out of the empty apartments (was I the only one to notice the Training with Hinako DVD she had, by the way?). All of this is set against the backdrop of a new set of students taking Yamabuki's entrance exam, bringing back memories and nerves for the girls, who also find themselves interviewed as "poster girls" for prospective new students, tales of silica gel shenanigans and all.
In the second special episode, a strange dream kicks off what I suppose is what counts as a stressful day for Yunnochi - First she oversleeps, then she has to save Miyako from slipping on the apartment steps (tearing Miyako's clothing in the process) before losing her sketchbook. This instalment certainly lives up perfectly to the franchise's slice of life roots, as you really can't call it anything else aside from a memorable but unspectacular day in the life, yet it still finds time to put together some great jokes that made me laugh out loud - It's beautiful stuff as always.
I don't think Hidamari Sketch has ever been anything other than relaxingly heart-warming yet genuinely funny, and these two new episodes certainly don't buck that trend thank goodness. Roll on Hidamari Sketch x ☆☆☆, it simply can't come fast enough (although I'm going to feel ridiculous posting 'blog entries with all of those stars in them).