Anime as a medium has dealt with a wide gamut of topics, from the absurd to the mundane. In the latter’s case, slice-of-life stories involving everyday kids in high school tend to be a fairly popular concept, with different shows focusing on specific aspects of school life. Two examples would be Hidamari Sketch and Sketchbook: Full Color’sboth of which deal with art and drawing.
Neither of these school-based shows would be considered “educational,” although they are definitely fun and hilarious in different ways. With so many similar elements between them, comparisons will be made — especially since they’re both cute, wholesome shows that are vaguely about art. Although both bring a wide variety of skill and technique to the easel, between Hidamari Sketch and Sketchbookonly one drawing anime is a true work of art.
Hidamari Sketch and Sketchbook are Both Comedic Anime Based Around Drawing
Sketchbook is based on Totan Kobako’s manga of the same name, albeit adding the subtitle Full Color’s. The protagonist is Sora Kajiwara, a student who joins an art club at her high school. She interacts with the many other members of the club, all of whom have their own idiosyncrasies and unique personalities. For instance, there’s the weirdo Kokage Kuga, whose strange behavior is actually part of how she makes friends. These various tics and personas all have an impact on the students’ art as well.
Hidamari Sketch is based on a somewhat similar yonkoma manga from Ume Aoki. The main character is Yuno, who is finally accepted into an art school she had been hoping to attend. Making friends with the roommates at her new apartment, Yuno and the others all develop throughout their artistic and academic careers. For instance, Yuno later develops more of a talent for cooking than art, showing how her dream has changed since the series’ beginning. Whereas Sketchbook was adapted into a mere 13 episodes, Hidamari Sketch had several seasons of similar length. Given these shows’ premises as art-based comedic anime, audiences may be wondering which one paints a better picture.
Sketchbook Is a Better Anime (and Art Anime) Than Hidamari Sketch
Although both anime are highly entertaining, Sketchbook: Full Color’s succeeds at being both a better art-oriented series and a better story in general compared to Hidamari Sketch. Part of this stems from the former’s sub-genre: iyashikei. This low-stakes, easygoing type of slice-of-life anime has become increasingly popular, and iyashikei series use this chill motif to stand out among the many over-the-top comedies out there. Hidamari Sketch is far closer to this high-strung type of comedy, making things feel a lot more overdone and ridiculous than its artistic rival.
Neither series is particularly strong in terms of story or character development, namely because they’re both such “la-di-da” comedies based more around jokes and cute situations than an overarching plot. Again, this is even more prevalent with Hidamari Sketch, which has a lot of reaction-based comedy centering on ridiculous situations. Even the music is more bombastic, although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It does make the characters and situations feel a lot less realistic and relaxing, however. This extends it Hidamari‘s artstyle, which embodies “cute girls doing cute things.”
Ironically, art is only truly a factor in Sketchbookwith drawing being more of a background element in Hidamari Sketch. Granted, neither series is too interested in actual artistry, being more focused on the characters’ lives than educational elements. Still, if fans are watching an anime to see characters drawn, they’d be best suited tuning into Sketchbook: Full Color’s, which puts pencil to paper far more often. Along with the other aforementioned elements, this ultimately makes it the victor.
Sketchbook: Full Color’s can be streamed through Crunchyroll and Funimation, while Hidamari Sketch is available to stream through HIDIVE.