Hidamari Sketchis back, and that's pretty much all I need to say in all honesty - Anyone who has been following this 'blog for any length of time or who knows me personally will surely know my love for all things that emanate from Hidamari Apartments.
As you'd probably expect, normal service is resumed by Hidamari Sketch ☆☆☆'s first episode... To start with at least. For the opening chunk of this instalment, it's Spring time, which also means exam result time for the two freshmen before Spring break begins. However, any excitement about said holiday is tempered as Yunocchi finds herself failing her English grammar exam, thus putting paid to any thoughts of fun and frolics. Of course, this being the heart-warming show that it is, the other girls from the apartments are all quick to lend a hand in their own unique ways, ensuring a happy ending all round.
For the rest of the episode, we're treated to a bit of tension and build-up for once, with the news that two new girls are coming to rent the two previously empty rooms at Hidamari Apartments. So, we see the girls (and the landlady's efforts) to clean up the rooms, before impatiently awaiting the newcomers arrival... at least, that was the plan, before the four girls go out for a meal with the parents of one of those newcomers after dropping off her belongings, leaving both of the newbies to be greeted by an empty apartment block.
I'm not going to apologise for gushing about this series on almost a weekly basis, because although I realise Hidamari Sketch is an acquired taste (it's probably up there with Aria on the anime Marmite scale) I frankly can't think of a better "pure" slice of life anime in existence. This opening episode of Hoshimittsu (in case those stars are getting on your nerves) showcases everything that is great about this franchise - It manages to make the most mundane things (retaking tests and dropping plates) fun, it has some killer laugh out loud gags (of which Miyako seems to get all of the best lines), and it makes you feel incredibly warm and fuzzy inside, with ever visit to Hidamari Apartments feeling like taking some time out to relax with old friends. I can only hope that the introduction of new characters Nori and Nazuna doesn't upset the perfect balance that this show has so often demonstrated, but with any luck they will deliver the extra freshness that this third full series perhaps requires to carry on the success of its predecessors. Add to that what seems to be the slickest, most fluid and beautiful rendition of this show yet (although it could just be the High Definition treatment that does it) and you can safely say that I'm one very happy bunny right now.