Manga-ka: Ume Aoki
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Teen (13+)
Released: November 2008
Synopsis: “Daily life at the Hidamari Apartments goes on as the girls continue their art studies. Trips to the zoo, onsen excursions, and school projects fill their days as yuno, Miya, Sae, and Hiro’s friendships deepen. Take another peek into the lives of these memorable art students in the second installment of Sunshine Sketch!”
Prepare yourself for another round of cute, cute, cute! These girls keep making their way through art school one day at a time, going on field trips and having everyday adventures in the simple life of living away from home. Mom and dad aren’t here to take care of them, but with friends around, there will always be someone to lend a helping hand.
If you’re planning to live in Japan, Sunshine Sketch might be the easiest way to learn and understand some of our more causal cultural differences. From what I’ve been told, it’s the subtle things we take for granted that are the hardest to understand. The ‘what they just said’ explanation section at the end of this volume might have more text in it than the rest of the book, but it’s very informative. Number one wasn’t so hard to understand, but number two is full of “why is that funny?” and “I don’t get it”. My suggestion is finish it, read the help with Japanese references at the end, then giggle.
The art is still consistently cute, clean, and makes me feel warm and tingly inside. Plot-wise nothing is cropping up other then the ongoing story of one girl living her simple life going through art school away from home. There are no callbacks to things that happened previously, so all in all this series is a very easy read both on the mind and the eyes. They have maintained the four-panel strip style so anyone can follow the story as long as they can follow the strips from right to left.
I find Sunshine Sketch is good for reading on the bus, or semi long drives with people you don’t really know, since there’s nothing in it that someone could look over your shoulder and question. It’s full of cute, blissful easy-on-the-brain fluff.