Anime Review: Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb

hidamari sketch x honeycomb

After reviewing the first three seasons, we’ve finally arrived at the final season of Hidamari Sketch. And while there isn’t a whole lot separating the four seasons, but you could make an argument that this ended up being the best of the bunch.

Synopsis: Studying at the Yamabuki Arts High School has been a dream-come-true for Yuno, and she’s learned so much already! And not just from her instructors, but from her friends and neighbors who’ve become her second family and made the Hidamari Apartments such a safe and nurturing home. But as the day of her “big sisters” Sae and Hiro’s graduation draws slowly closer, it’s time for Yuno to start seriously taking on the same role for Nazuna, Nori and the other budding young artists who’ve entered Hidamari’s protective cocoon. And it’s also time to tackle some really challenging artistic assignments. That doesn’t mean there won’t still be time for fun with Miyako and all the others, but it’s definitely time to pencil in her plans for the future. And sometimes that means you have to put the art before the course!


Year: 2012
Length: 12 Episodes
Genre: Comedy, School, Slice of Life
Studio: Shaft


Like the third season, Honeycomb focuses on Yuno and Miya’s second year at Yamabuki, which is also Nori and Nazuna’s first year. In the case of Sae and Hiro, their impending graduation leaves a lot of uncertainty as to the direction they’ll choose to go in the future, so this situation is probably the closest thing to character development you’ll find in the entire series. It’s not a situation that’s drawn out and played up for drama, but this brief yet rather serious instance is a welcome respite from the usual antics we see from the residents of the Hidamari Apartments.

However, that doesn’t mean that this season is lacking the fun and randomness that has been the backbone of the series, as those elements are most definitely still there. New Year’s festivities, a trip to Hokkaido for Sae & Hiro, a swimming competition, and the Yamabuki Festival are but a few of the scenarios that turned out to be really entertaining, and maybe it’s me, but it felt like the girls were doing a little more than they’ve done in prior seasons. Still, we don’t actually get to Sae and Hiro’s graduation, though, we gotta leave something to look forward to in the OVA, right?


In the grand scheme of things, it was hardly anything, yet I think that this season had more subtext than season three, and that applies to all three pairings.


All in all, the final season had the random moments that you’ve come to expect from slice of life anime, but also a little bit of looking ahead to the future for a few of the girls. This has been a long road littered with a countless number of enjoyable moments, and Honeycomb was arguably the high note for a series that has never lacked the charisma or charm to constantly keep people entertained.

Moving on to the characters, let me start off by saying that my general apathy towards Nori and Nazuna has managed to subside, at least somewhat. Even though they remain my least favorite characters in the show, this season did a better job of incorporating the two of them in with the group, making them feel more like integral characters rather than tacked on additions that aren’t on the same footing as the longtime regulars.

There was even the slightest hint of subtext involving the two first years. In the grand scheme of things, it was hardly anything, yet I think that this season had more subtext than season three, and that applies to all three pairings. In addition to the previously mentioned Nori x Nazuna, some Yuno and Miya moments are sprinkled throughout Honeycomb, so even though it’s hard to take that pairing all that seriously, it’s a ship that refuses to go quietly into the night.

hidamari sketch x honeycomb

Though, the most satisfying difference between x ☆☆☆ and Honeycomb was the revival of Sae x Hiro. After a promising uptick in x 365, season three was a flat-out disappointment in this regard, yet this season changed all that and not only gave us nearly as many moments as x 365, but also the sweetest moment involving these two, so far. Hiro didn’t have Sae all to herself—as Natsume also shared a few cute scenes with her—so I’m glad that this season wasn’t another letdown for fans of either Sae x Hiro or Sae x Natsume.

Lastly, all of the supporting characters continued to entertain, and overall, the balancing act involving all of these characters was handled quite well, so everyone was as well represented as you could hope for. There aren’t too many slice of life series that reach as many episodes as this one has, but when you have so many likable characters and multiple ships, the already sizable episode count still doesn’t seem to be enough.

At this point, do I really have to say anything about the visuals and sound? Generally speaking, the production values remain largely unchanged, with neither the animation nor the sound being terribly impressive, yet they remain more than adequate for this type of anime. The new season’s themes are probably on par with that of previous seasons, and overall, you could have copied and pasted this section from any of the other Hidamari Sketch reviews, because the same still applies.

Throughout its four season run, Hidamari Sketch has been a consistently entertaining affair for slice of life fans, with entertaining characters, amusing situations, and a certain charm that’s easy to take a liking to. I’d be lying if I said I enjoy this series as much as the Yuru Yuri‘s, KinMoza‘s, and GochiUsa‘s of the world, but this is still a very worthwhile watch for fans of cute girls doing cute things.


Story: 5.5
Characters: 8.5
Animation: 7.5
Sound: 6.5
Yuri: 4
Total Enjoyment: 7.5


hidamari sketch x honeycomb

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6 thoughts on “Anime Review: Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb

    • I’ll start the OVA soon, so thanks for the heads up. Though, I’m ready for the bittersweet goodbye. *pours one out*

      It’s been so long now that it’s hard to imagine it happening, but never give up hope~

      Like

  1. Maybe I’m just a raging fanboy, but Hidamari Sketch really does top most other slice of life shows for me with it’s wholesomeness paired with the fluffy yuri ships and great soundtrack, not to mention the unique art style that I, personally, love.

    A lot of people I’ve talked to seem to not be a fan of the Yuno/Miya pairing, but it’s actually my otp for HS to be honest, I like how honest they are with eachother and how they always support eachother no matter what, definitely think that it’s my favorite “strictly wholesome” pairing out there, they’re both just far too pure for this world (then again, they aren’t technically in this world, so I guess they literally *are* too pure for this world).

    That’s not to say that I don’t also like the other ships, they’re also really nice, but Yuno/Miya definitely takes the cake for me.

    I also forgot to mention one of my favorite aspects of the show which is the art itself, I like how they mix the slice of life with the artsy segments without either really overtaking the other, sure, the slice of life is more prominent, but one never really forgets that one of the main themes of the show is the art.

    Like

    • Awww. But at least you picked a pretty good one to have as one of your favorites. If you had said this about some other one, I might have to question your taste in anime. 😛

      They don’t get much play, but I also like Yuno x Miya, so I can understand them being your fave. I can’t imagine those two having a fight like Sae & Hiro had, and that unconditional support is inspirational. Relationship goals, right there~

      Yeah, but even if art didn’t have such a prominent role in this series, Shaft probably would have found a way to add those artsy segments anyway. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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