Twelve Days: Nine Ladies Dancing

Or: The End of the Second Era

Yes, I'm using a screenshot of Sae and Natsume for Hiro and Sae's graduation OVA. I see no problem with this.

At the end of the first era, we bore witness to the exiting of Arisawa. Arisawa is a third year whom we meet by coincidence when revising for her university entrance exams late one night. We see her again once said exams are taken and passed. The third time is at her graduation. She is seen off with a congratulations and a high-five. Arisawa’s exit is confident and forward-facing.

The second era ends with the exiting of Sae and Hiro. This exit is neither as confident, nor as forward-facing. There are tears, there is uncertainty, there is melancholy.

I had originally expected to write this post crying from the rooftops about how affecting the OVA was, and how it made me terribly teary eyed[1]. Unfortunately, keeping up with the manga from which the series is adapted did lessen the impact slightly. That is not to say it diminished as a Moment, however – Hidamari’s adaptation has always been worth watching.

One reason for this being that, and as with Hidamari’s other specials and four series, the source is heavily expanded upon. Sae’s cheeky, Rie Kugimiya-voiced younger sister, Chika, is almost non-existent for much of the manga but highly present in the anime. Similarly, from the OVA, we bear witness to the third years’ meeting from Hiro’s perspective. This is Natsume’s earlier omake/half episode through different eyes, certainly, but the extra details are nevertheless appreciated.

Beyond these additions, I highlight the nature of the moment and OVAs. They are a significant turning point in the series itself. Two dependable characters, whom we have learnt about and grown fond of, are making their exit. This is something from which, as charming as she was, Arisawa could not benefit.

It is now Yuno and Miyako’s turn to truly take the helm. Whilst their elevation to second year provided some insight as to what that might entail, they must experience it first-hand. A reminder, if you’ll allow my waxing lyrical momentarily, that time does not stand still; that all things come to an end whether we like it or not.

I certainly look forward to what will likely be the closing act of a very enjoyable series. I look forward to how Yuno, Miyako, Nori, and even Nazuna, will treat their new roles. I look forward to seeing how this event will change things. I look forward to seeing how this event will not change things. I look forward to reading Hidamari’s end, and to re-reading it also.

For now, however, I list Sae, Hiro, and Natsume’s curtain call as today’s Moment.


  1. Admittedly, Natsume’s moment did almost made it rain.  ↩

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by | December 17, 2013 · 8:45 am

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