I'm not really a big fan of tomatoes in food, which probably puts me at something of a disadvantage when it comes to enjoying the final episode of Hidamari Sketch Hoshimittsu. Hell, who am I kidding, of course it doesn't!
In a departure from most episodes sported by this franchise, this finale sticks to just a single day and a single story to close things out, with the Hidamari Apartments crew picking the now-ripe tomatoes planted in their shared back garden and then deciding how to cook them to make for a bumper meal. Thus, the rest of the episode is spent in preparation for said meal, with even the apartment block's landlady getting an invite to enjoy the feast. So, much fun is had and good food is enjoyed, which pretty much sums up everything that Hidamari Sketch is all about.
While this final episode perhaps isn't an example of this franchise at its absolute best in terms of comedy (although Miyako's onion-chopping getup was priceless), it does sum up what the series delivers on a "deeper" (if that's the right word for it) level - A world of uncomplicated pleasures where food and friendship is all you need, and everyday worries drain away within seconds on the rare occasions when they crop up. It's this attitude which makes Hidamari Sketch so relaxing yet enjoyable, as an idealised world where you can cut loose from the every-day stresses of life for a while in an environment that always makes you feel welcome and as if you somehow "belong", even though we're simply a fly on the wall in the lives of these ordinary girls. It's perhaps an odd concept and franchise to fall so deeply in love with, but Hidamari Sketch has always had me hooked from the very start, and Hoshimittsu has done nothing to change that opinion despite taking the arguable risk of shaking up its core character set.