We head into an apartment occupied by four students in Hidamari Sketch, or Sunshine Sketch in English, by Ume Aoki, the renown artist for Madoka Magica. These four students all attend the same school Yamabuki High School, which is right next to their apartment and are also all Art Students.
Yamabuki High is a school focused on the arts, ranging from painting, sculpting, and acting. Interestingly enough, it seems that there are no guys in their school, despite us not knowing if it’s an all girls school.
Yuno is our main character, and she is a freshman in Yamabuki High. She’s a cute, clumsy girl who cherishes her friends and family. While she managed to get into Yamabuki, Yuno sees herself as unskilled and unworthy to attend, causing her to fall into depression at times. Her clumsiness doesn’t help, as she has made mistakes on projects due to this and fueling her worries. Of all her friends, Yuno is the smallest, making for casual chat once in a while.
Miyako is Yuno’s classmate, and has a playful personality. Miyako’s a overly friendly girl who instantly felt comfortable with bathing together with Yuno after barely meeting her. Despite being so poor she can’t afford food at times, Miyako manages to keep a upbeat aura. As Miyako is poor, she will take what others no longer want, and leach off her friends for food.
Sae is a senior of Yuno, and classmate of Hiro. Sae is also a novelist, and is attending art school to draw her own illustrations, stating only she can do it right. As a novelist, Sae seems to have rough days at times which are usually when deadlines are nearing. It seems that she draws inspiration from real life in her stories, which are usually romantic in genre (hint hint). Sae can’t handle embarrassing things, shown when she panics after Miyako read her published stories.
Hiro is Sae’s classmate, and worrisome person. Hiro takes care of Sae during her writing rushes, making sure she eats right. She likes to cook, and is said to be quite good at it due to cooking a lot. Due to her cooking habit, Hiro has issues keeping her weight down, which she’s sensitive about. She gets along well with Sae, as both help each other out without a second thought.
Their teacher, Yoshinoya is absolutely hilarious, as she makes some ridiculous statements, only to get away with it usually. When she doesn’t get away, it’s due to the principal catching her making for some fun scenes. Her statements range from playful banter, to borderline sexual which her class never take seriously. Despite her cheerful looks, Yoshinoya can say cruel things without missing a beat and with a straight face. Yoshinoya staying a Teacher for so long is surprising, after what she does and says, but it’s a good thing as her screen time is the best. As one may have noticed, Yoshinoya has a cosplaying hobby, which flows well with her overall personality.
The series on a whole, is a fun read despite being 100% slice of life with comedy spread about. The main characters are all interesting, making for an engaging read. While the comedy isn’t enough to make you laugh out loud, there’s enough to keep me chuckling at least a few times per chapter. Most of the Comedy is due to innocent, but clumsy mistakes the cast do.Along with everyone being so upbeat and positive, I can’t help but smile while reading it, and end up feeling upbeat myself . Yoshinoya’s ridiculous but hilarious statements make for great scenes, and make me want more of them.
The art, while strange as the characters have slightly elongated faces, makes for some adorable sketches. An interesting aspect about the writing is that some scenes use Japanese homonyms and Homographs which seem to be more common than in English. Lastly, just as a note, this manga is a 4-koma, which means there’s absolutely no action or anything like that. If you want a light and fluffy series that will make you smile and laugh, Sunshine Sketch is for you.