Synonyms: Hyou-ka, Hyouka: You can't escape, Hyou-ka: You can't escape, Hyoka
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 23, 2012 to Sep 17, 2012
Premiered: Spring 2012
Source: Light novel
Duration: 25 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 8.201 (scored by 128,826 users)
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
For most people, the short years spent in highschool are often the turning point and highlight of their lives; a time filled with introspection and change, where some dreams end and others are born to take their place. On the other hand, there are some who reject this notion and choose to spend their days as uneventfully and routinely as possible, never straying too far from their comfort zone and established lifestyle. After all, why waste the energy on trivial matters?
Oreki Houtarou is one of these individuals.
Set during the dull and grey life of Oreki's first year in highschool, the story begins with an important change to his individual status quo — the joining of the school's Classics Club, albeit out of obligation rather than choice. Receiving a letter from his older sister asking him to join the club to keep it from being disbanded from lack of membership, he solemnly accepts his duties and sends in a club registration form, which appropriately causes surprise for his close friend Satoshi. For an individual uninterested by studying, sports, and socalizing, joining a club can be an arduous and painful ordeal. And indeed, if not for a certain girl immediately joining the club, Oreki could very well have maintained his status quo of living dully and freely.
But perhaps change isn't always a bad thing.
This changing force is Chitanda Eru, serving as the contrast to Oreki's behavior. Shortly after their first exchange, Chitanda drives Oreki into a set of mysteries involving the club and its later two members, a repeated occurence often instigated by her eyes lighting in excitement and being followed by her catchphrase, "I can't stop thinking about it!". These mysteries are what form the bread and butter of the story, so it's a fortunate thing then that the mysteries themselves are varied; involving fairly interesting situations such as a room being locked or ghost sightings during a hot springs trip, and trivial events such as why a student was suddenly called to the office after school. No two mysteries are the same, and while several of the episodes are independent stories, three distinct arcs constitute the bulk of the episodes and the development of the characters.
Fortunately (and not so fortunately) the fairly lighthearted formula established in the self-contained stories is mostly reversed into something more dramatic and serious in the main story arcs once things finally get heated. It provides a refreshing contrast between the two and prevents things from feeling too repetitive or stale. Problems unfortunately come as a result with this change in tone, however. The dialogue can sometimes come across as being cheesy with overdramatized and exaggerated reactions to some of the events, such as Chitanda gasping in shock like the world has just ended when a book is missing from the clubroom, Oreki yelling and giving a death glare when his senior manipulates him a little bit, or the other three members of the Classics Club treating Oreki as some kind of savant for solving what are often very simple mysteries. Considering the trivial and often lighthearted nature of these mysteries, the overdramatization in the script is something that stands out as being very inconsistent with the overall tone of the series.
Another flaw exists with the mysteries themselves, and those watching the series primarily for that aspect are very likely to find themselves disappointed or bored, especially with the self-contained stories whose mysteries are often so trivial and juvenile that they are more equivalent to a curious question than anything else. They lack the depth necessary to truly become something well-written and engaging, and have very little in common with the mystery novels that the anime frequently references. Though these mysteries don't qualify as being bad, they're mostly mediocre and certainly don't stand well on their own. Instead, much of the appeal and enjoyment of Hyouka comes from the relationship between the characters and their interactions with one another.
Similar to the dynamic between Sherlock Holmes and Watson, three of the main characters in Hyouka each fill a specific role in the club: Chitanda instigates the mystery, Satoshi provides information, and Oreki deduces. While the early episodes may give an impression of this being formulaic, the characters soon break from the mold and begin to do things that don't strictly pertain to their accepted role and behavior. For example, Oreki may decide to instigate the mystery himself or in one specific case Satoshi attempts to be the one to unravel and deduce. One main character even ends up being the culprit in one episode which makes for a fairly surprising conclusion.
Luckily, there's enough substance to their interactions that they come across as normal human beings rather than simple stereotypes, though Chitanda's eccentric traits and curiosity are often exaggerated for comedic effect. The characters all show a wide spectrum of emotion and get disappointed or angry depending on the situation (despite problems with the aforementioned overdramatization) or joke around and playfully criticize one another when things are going well. What mainly shines, though, is Oreki's and Chitanda's relationship, stemming from how heavily their personalities and behavior contrast with each other. Seeing him react and deal with her curious and capricious behavior always makes for some endearing and amusing scenes, with blushing and romantic moments abound.
Then again, none of this would be very interesting in the first place if these characters didn't stand out by themselves or possess any distinguishing qualities. It's thanks to the writers' aptitude that the main characters undergo a considerable amount of development over the course of the series, resulting in something that is fundamentally more complex and dynamic. The majority of this development is focused on the protagonist, Oreki, as his dull life slowly changes into something more colorful and vibrant. At the start he's very reluctant to expend energy on anything that isn't absolutely necessary which is what causes him to repeatedly rebuke Chitanda for roping him into these situations. Mainly a result of the enjoyable time he has with Chitanda and the Classics Club, Oreki begins to realize that being involved and competent with something might not be such a bad thing after all. He starts to willingly pursue these mysteries through his own effort and curiosity, without the need of Chitanda urging him to investigate. For a person so bent on doing nothing with his days and conserving all time and energy possible, it's only natural for the rest of the club members to point out his change in behavior.
Change isn't only evident in Oreki, though, as Chitanda, Satoshi, and Mayaka also experience it to varying extents. In particular, Satoshi — often serving as the comic relief — becomes unsatisfied with his role and lack of recognition in comparison to Oreki. For several episodes he trails off into the mystery by himself in a mostly unsuccesful effort to duplicate or better Oreki's deductive skills. The jealousy being portrayed in some scenes is a somewhat unneeded and perhaps cliche, but this arc in the story provides a pleasant change to Satoshi's character and is successful in fleshing him out much more than in the early episodes. The second-to-last episode takes this further as well with even Satoshi understanding his change and becoming happy with his new lifestyle. Mayaka also gets some much needed screentime during the third arc which involves her status in the Manga Society club and her relationship with its members, with the outcome of this sidestory being something fairly satisfying and conclusive. Chitanda on the other hand changes surprisingly little over the course of the series though perhaps it's for the best. After all, she fills a necessary and important role in the story as the foil of Oreki and catalyst for his change and development. If Chitanda wasn't her usual self, where would Oreki be?
Now, there's one thing that can be agreed upon in regards to Hyouka, and that is that Kyoto Animation has made this show absolutely stunning visually.
The presentation of Hyouka is one of the most outstanding aspects about the series. Mood and atmosphere is set by the prominent lighting and by the events and monologues which are heavily stylistic and surprisingly abstract at times, occasionally taking the viewer away from the normality of the situation and into a place much more surreal. There's a distinct visual element present in Oreki's thought process with the layer of each mystery being carefully mapped out to the viewer, which serves not only to make the mystery more clear but to provide a much more immersive experience than the characters simply speaking to each other. Some scenes also possess a very dreamlike quality, with a couple particular examples including Chitanda's first inquisitive moment which succeeds in captivating Oreki or the dozens of little curious Chitandas crawling and tugging on him in the sixth episode. This type of dichotomy between the normal and the abstract is what makes Hyouka a very unique experience.
The underlying animation and designs are also phenomenal. KyoAni has long been lauded for the standard of detail and animation set in their works and this is taken even further with Hyouka, with the entirety of the anime feeling very much movie-quality throughout of all its episodes. The realistic and lifelike movements of the characters is praiseworthy but what stands out most is the focus on eyes and facial expressions. The characters of Hyouka are easily some of the most visually expressive seen in an anime for quite some time. Even the side or background characters receive much of the same detail to animation and character design, making nobody seem bland or the derivative of another. It's surprising then that KyoAni managed to keep to this level of quality for all 22 episodes, with no noticeable decrease visual nor artistic quality. The seemingly limitless attention to detail here is really something commendable.
But it's not all about visuals technically, either. Hyouka boasts a very fitting and eloquent soundtrack that accentuates the atmosphere set by the visual design. Composed mostly of classical tunes and eerie or quizzical melodies, the music is what creates the inherent sense of intrigue within Hyouka. It perfectly manages to capture the principal feeling of mystery in both the relaxed and dramatic moments of the series, never feeling overbearing nor out of place.
In the end, Hyouka does fall short of some of its potential due to issues with the script, but what the anime lacks in mysteries it more than makes up for with its characterization and presentation. It's just a bit of a shame that many people will choose to write the anime off and treat it as something weak and disappointing because the mystery aspect didn't hold up to their expectations. A misconception exists where people treat Hyouka as a strictly mystery title, and while it does hold true to some extent, these mysteries are instead used to develop the characters and have them interact in a remarkable manner, distinctive manner. This is an anime that essentially amounts to mundane events presented in a stylized and intriguing way. For those looking for something fresh in an age of uninspired rom-coms and homogeneity, Hyouka is a title that is easily worth your attention.
There's this sweeping notion that deep and action-oriented storytelling is necessary for a quality experience, but titles like Hyouka can safely disprove that line of thought. read more
We find ourselves in the Classic Literature Club of which Oreki Houtarou, our energy-conserving protagonist is reluctantly a member and is soon joined by his eclectic group of friends, thus completing the groundwork for this “mystery” anime. When one considers what constitutes a “mystery” show, it is often associated with preconceptions of crime, horror and eerie suspense but Hyouka is not your typical mystery show as it centralises on mysteries of little real-life consequence. These aren't mysteries whose resolution will lead to justice being carried out but mysteries whose consequence lies in how it affects our characters. Nonetheless, Hyouka excels at executing these mysteries and in an atypical manner, with each of our main characters bringing a unique perspective in solving these mysteries, making the process fascinating as we observe the quirky and unpredictable methodologies being used.
Hyouka does not have one unrealistically prodigious detective that can unravel and deconstruct even the most intricate of puzzles but a range of characters, some unique to each case, that all contribute key aspects leading to the solution. This makes for a more fulfilling and genuine resolution as you feel part of the process rather than a bystander in awe of some amazing detective. The solutions themselves are meticulously well-written and thus accurate and realistic yet simultaneously complex making you feel slightly more intelligent by the end of every one. Some may find the lack of ramification in the mysteries innately boring as the characters aren’t actually usually directly involved in them, for they act for their own various reasons but they at least create a desire for you to solve them.
However, what makes Hyouka so enjoyable is not the satisfaction of decrypting it all but the development of our 4 main characters throughout each one. Hyouka is an exemplar of how the high school slice of life genre could be achieved as the relationships between our characters are captivating yet incredibly realistic with each action remaining true to the psyche of high schoolers and the ways they make decisions. The pacing is slow but constant and we can see a smooth progression in the development of our characters which tackle real-life issues that high schoolers face but nonetheless in a Hyouka-esque fashion, usually amongst the mysteries. Besides the hyperbolised curiosity of our female lead, the dialogue is extremely genuine and for me at least, indistinguishable from your real life conversations with friends at school. As the characters interact more with one another and face their problems, we are shown a vast array of emotions and considerable depth to their actions and motivations which are relevant, accurately portrayed and likely to be issues that you yourself may have faced.
On the technical aspects, Kyoto Animation (Kyoani) must be lauded for how brilliantly Hyouka is presented. The atmosphere is prominently compelling with both the visuals and the sound contributing vastly in creating a well-constructed universe that entirely fits Hyouka’s quirkiness. The animation is also of the best I’ve seen – be it the expressions, movements or the background/setting -they are all smoothly animated with appropriate lighting and colour palette to fit the tone of each episode. Hyouka’s episodes are visually stunning to behold in particular when mysteries are being solved, as it involves the use of experimental animation that diverges completely from the usual crisp style to a tailor-made style suited for each different mystery. To top it off, complementing this is a fantastic soundtrack that consists of light instrumental pieces which further amplifies the ambience in each situation. The majority of the pieces share a "playful mystery" theme and whilst lacking in variety, the entire musical score is definitely a strong one that can instantly be identified as "Hyouka's OST" rather than forgettable music which lacks the identity of the show it aims to enhance.
Ultimately, I feel Hyouka is an excellent anime. For me, it fell slightly short simply due to the sense of incompletion in the way the show ends. I say no more to avoid spoilers but if you do watch it you may find out. If you’re looking for a unique mystery or slice of life show whose fortes lie in its characterisation, production values and its take on the mystery aspect - this is one to watch. If you’re however looking for a serious mystery (à la Death Note) then this might not be for you as the satisfaction you receive derives from observing how these mysteries are solved rather than the fear of heavy consequences, and the impacts each one has on the development of our characters. Some anime attract an audience through heavy fanservice, others via an action-packed plot and others with a deep/profound plot. However, Hyouka is an anomaly. It shows us how even seemingly mundane things can be made fascinating. Whilst I obviously cannot guarantee you'll enjoy it, if you’re looking for a distinctly novel anime experience in either mystery or slice of life, then I’d wholeheartedly recommend Hyouka.
Thanks for reading if you got this far!
After seeing clips of this anime in basically every single AMV out there, I got ‘ curious ‘ to finally check out this anime. *pun was shameless intended*. And little did I know that anime that deals with curiosity, which caused me to watch it because of my own goddamn curiosity. Of course, I did hear about Hyouka prior to watching those AMVs but a high school mystery anime was just not enough to peak my interest despite the fact I overdose myself with Veronica Mars episodes even when I do Math for my upcoming exams. Not a good habit my friends!
So, I finally sat down on my ass and I watched the show and boy it was one interesting experience watching Hyouka. In case, you are unaware of the plot of Hyouka, let me give you a synopsis of it. Hyouka is a mystery anime about a young high school boy name Hotarou Oreki who just doesn’t have the time and energy to give a single fuck. He doesn’t feel like doing anything and doesn’t see the point of living a rose coloured life unlike his peers. His motto is that he should always conserve energy and not do anything and if he has to do something, he will do it quickly. Which I guess means he is trying to be like the Flash in bed!
However, his life takes a turn for the best when his sister requests him to join the Classics club to keep it alive, over there he meets Chitanda Eru. This little girl over here is curious to the point she must intimidate Oreki with her kawaiiness and luminous purple eyes to help her solve the tiniest and pointless of all mysteries. Add Oreki’s best friend Satoshi and a girl named Mayako who has a crush on said best friend, and you have got Hyouka.
However, my friends, that is not even close to what Hyouka is actually all about!
Hyouka is in my opinion a slice of life anime with a grand twist. That is mainly due to the fact, how this show presents itself to the audience. Because, if you ask me slice of anime, are very challenging to make them interesting. The other interesting slice of life anime that is interesting that I can think of from the top of my head is Fruits Basket, but Hyouka unlike Fruits Basket still takes place in your average Japanese school.
It’s the characters, and the way they interpret certain situations and the way they look at certain aspects is what makes Hyouka worth watching. From the eyes of our male protagonist Oreki, we began empathizing with his situation and we actually buy into his insane logic that it’s okay being lazy and that there is no point in being active in contrast with his best friend. But, it’s Chitanda Eru’s character that challenges his outlook on life, and gives him a purpose and a meaning to actually live life. Sure, being a detective solving ridiculous mysteries may not seem enough, but due to her and these mysteries you see our main protagonist slowly and subtly evolve into a character that seems different from the one we were originally introduced to.
It’s this way of developing a monotonous and sarcastic like Oreki is one of the show’s biggest triumphs. Many might disagree saying that he is still the same character, but if you look closely, Oreki hands down changed on the inside even though he might still seem like his usual self on the outside. It’s thanks to Chitanda Eru, that Oreki became as interesting and memorable as the show itself.
Chitanda Eru on the other hand is a plot device if you ask me. Mainly, due to the fact before she stepped in Oreki life’s was as boring as a learning watching paint dry. It’s her perkiness and of course curiosity that give depth to Oreki’s character. Now, Chitanda on the other hand, is a girl who can be annoying but in a good way if you ask me. She might not be that interesting or worth remembering but I have to give her credit for making the show entertaining. If it wasn’t for her involvement this show wouldn’t have been so wonderful.
In fact, the interaction with her and Oreki is one of the highlights of the show. The two have amazing chemistry and if the show lasted longer it could have been a great romance too. But, despite all of that seeing the two on screen together discussing possible theories in order to reach some conclusion is what gets the audience excited. The ship starts to sail and like Chitanda you are curious to see whether is will continue sailing to reach its final destination or will it sink to the depths of the ocean. That my friends is something for you to find out by watching this show!
The supporting and recurring characters are nothing that worth mentioning, but they do manage to do just enough in order to contribute to show this show.
Now, the majority of the mysteries of the show are ridiculous, but that’s what makes them so great. Because, despite not knowing the exact answer it all depends on Oreki’s perspective of the situation to come to such a conclusion that will make you go, ‘Huh, I could never ever think of something like that!’. The show has the audience on their toes and keeps them guessing things like why a teacher forgot the lesson plan or what Chitanda’s grandfather told her when she was younger that made her cry. It’s these small and yet vague situations that deconstructs the mystery genre.
However, the show did get boring when dealing with the Cultural Festival arc. Sure, there were moments that I loved, but since it dragged on for like 6 or 7 episodes and reached to a conclusion in a messy way is what prevented Hyouka from being a masterpiece, in my opinion. Many of you might disagree with me, which is expected but that particular arc was my least favourite in the entire show but it was not necessarily a bad arc.
The arc that really defines Hyouka in the most literal way possible is the one about Chitanda’s missing uncle. By the end of the arc, I was convinced that Hyouka was indeed an original and epic anime. The final conclusion that our main character reached and the way it was all displayed is what made this show so good. And I salute the show for making me drop my jaw to the floor in a metaphorical way of course.
Now,the animation on the other hand is hands down one of Kyota Animation’s best work. I can’t believe I am saying this but Hyouka’s animation was better than the one they did for the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, and that comment alone says a lot about the animation. But, the only thing I can criticize about it is that it kind of reduced in quality during the Cultural Festival arc, and during which the animation seemed average at best. But, for the rest of the episodes it was just absolutely flawless!
The visual representations of what the characters are thinking or saying about a certain mystery helped Hyouka reach greatness. Every single one of them were truly outstanding, and it was sad that I didn’t see many of them again during the cultural festival arc. I can go on and on praising the animation, but we would be here all day if I did that!
Now, the background music of the show again has got to be the best I have ever heard. And it is amazing how perfectly is blends with the tone of the show. It helps build tension, but is also there for the humorous moments. It even helps disguise the bland moments and make them worth giving attention to. That’s how wonderful the music was!
I originally prefer the first opening and ending themes of the show compared to the latter ones, as they were the only ones I never skipped. The opening song is something I never want my brain to get rid of like ever, and listening to it feels like getting welcomed into heaven if you ask me. The second opening song was not bad per se, but it’s just overshadowed by the first one. However, the second opening and ending themes are wonderfully animated though, the songs that accompanied them just didn’t suit my taste.
The Japanese voice actors also do an outstanding job and I love them to death for making Hyouka even better than it needed to be!
So, now that I have finally after much thought and discussion have come to my own conclusion and have decided to award Hyouka with an 9,, and that you should definitely check this show out, especially if you want a different type of slice of life or mystery anime to watch. Hyouka, is one of a kind and it deserves all the praise it gets and it is one of those shows that I desperately want a second season for!
Hyouka. A very delightfull anime which reminds me of the years where i was a carefree
and crazy teenager. Also, the friendship between the main characters was something that all people would like to have. At first i found Hyouka just ok. But i the end, i loved it. An awesome work from Kyoto Animation.
The story focuses on Oreki and his friends, who try to solve different mysteries. The series have a good pacing with no filler episodes and it has a unique story, but it is still missing this wow factor that other anime have.
This is an awesome art by Kyoto animation. The characters, the landscape and the mood that the series try to give you is great. It perfectly fits Hyouka, and the details are amazing, and the quality remains great all the time.
The sound of Hyouka gives you a 'slice of life' mood. Kyoto animaton does a great job here and many of the soundtracks are awesome. Not the best you'll hear, but definetely will make you feel emotional. The backround music is very good and may feel sad, feel happpy, get angry or being unexpressed. Also, the voice actors fit every Hyouka character perfectly.
Just great characters. They are very interesting, both the main and secondary. Escpecially, the character development of the main characters throughout the series will give you the chills, mostly in the final 2 episodes. The secondary characters are very good to support the series. Also, there is no narrator.
Memorable series for me. Although i loved the series, sometimes, this 'solving many different mysteries' thing was boring. Some of them were worth solving and special, but not all of them.
Hyouka is recomended for everyone who wants to watch a more 'down to earth' anime, with no battles, no magic,no supernatural, no gore, no psychilogical and dark content. read more
A coming of age story thinly veiled as a mystery, Hyouka is just another hit show by Kyoto Animation (or KyoAni) about a group of friends that go about their days solving “mysteries”, being extremely CURIOUS and doing typical anime Slice of Life things.
Hyouka’s strongest suit and one that I ironically feel the need to exalt is how much “not in your face” it is, when you go into (I hope) this anime, you’ll never be straight up told what meaning you’re meant to take from character’s actions/behaviour, plot, events and imagery present in each episode, Hyouka does what is to be expected from a visual medium and simply exposes to the viewer the events at and lets you figure out the rest.
This is the reason why the show gets some negative criticism, and on the other hand it’s also why it’s my favourite show, it’s easy to fall prey for the “Oreki is a boring self-insert” line or “Chitanda is just a catalyst to move the plot forward” but I am a strong believer in underlying tones, character motivation, subtlety, exposition through other means besides a torrent of expeditionary dialog and I can safely say that Hyouka achieves its goal of delivering exposition perfectly for anyone that expects a something in a visual medium to act like it’s meant to.
Characters have different motivations carrying their actions from the very first episode (yes even Oreki’s “energy conservation” policy has a few more themes and motivation behind it than just being a tool to turn him into a self-insert), these motivations change or become stronger with time, some changes are obvious (Oreki being CURIOUS like Chitanda) and others are a bit more subtle (Chitanda adopting Oreki’s mannerisms later into the show).
The mysteries are fun, as a big fan of the mystery genre I risk saying they’re not “real” mysteries for us (the viewers), but to the Club they’re the most interesting bits of mystery they have ever experienced and the show portrays that curiosity and interest by capturing the energy and emotion that you and me felt when we found something that spiked our interest when we were younger. The mysteries are not the main point of the show despite being presented as such in the first place, however their simplicity, originality and “energy” make the show really fun.
As for the overall plot progression, Hyouka’s story works in a series of arcs that are mostly disjointed from each other, only carrying over the character progression and new characters met into the next arc. The whole “group of friends in a club” lends itself well to the disjointed arc progression so the show flows at a smooth and “fresh” pace, The main overarching plotline deals with the interaction between the four main characters and their growth as people, something that’s handled quite well and culminates in a perfect ending that conveys the message that the show was trying to convey perfectly well.
It’s no secret that KyoAni makes some good looking anime, Hyouka takes this a step further, Hyouka’s visual and animation quality made it the most impressive looking anime of its season and still puts a lot of anime from seasons future to its release to shame. This was a work made with passion, attention to detail and what I assume was a really big budget. The animation is fluid, the backgrounds captivating and the directing makes way from amazing shots.
The weakest part of the show (asides from not having a second seas ;_;), the music doesn’t stand out as much as the other elements, SOL music is SOL music, the mystery theme is a mystery theme and the sad song is a sad song, the music fits and does its job, however it doesn’t stand out to me the same way that Katanagatari’s OST did.
The sound design also fits perfectly well with the show, SoL doesn’t provide the greatest opportunities to have great sound design like Sidonia no Kishi so I consider this to be a moot point for the most part.
My constant flattery of this show made it clear that I love Hyouka, it moves at a brisk but “relaxed” pace, the “mysteries” aren’t what I’d call the typical mysteries but stand as their own piece of unique writing in their own right, it’s character driven, it’s a coming of age story and most of its elements and character’s motivations are left to be interpreted by the viewer instead of straight up explained.
If you’re into any of the things I mentioned above, go for it, the show’s directing, art, animation and plot make it an amazing ride and allow the show to stand out to me as the best KyoAni anime.
Although this take on the genre of mystery was fresh and exciting, eventually, the charm of the mundane mysteries wore off a bit. A small portion of the problems presented became slightly predictable; however, what was appealing was the initial satisfaction that I felt after solving them. The vulnerability of the mysteries being solved by the anime viewer is a mix of pros and cons and its enjoyment factor will vary among the person. Not only is there mystery in this anime though. There are slice of life and slight romance elements present in Hyouka. This allows the show to potentially appeal to a wider audience and those slight additions from other genres are welcome as flavours to add to this bizarre dish of an anime.
This is definitely one of the best animes I have seen. The characters are gorgeous, especially Chitanda :D The backgrounds have a certain crisp and detail that are awe-inspiring. The colours are very kind to the eyes, as they have a certain subtlety and earthly style. I have nothing bad to say about the art. It is just phenomenal because it is KyoAni.
1 great OP, 2 pretty good EDs, and 1 average OP. The first opening definitely was the best song out of the four. The melody is very good and the singer does a solid job of portraying the feelings of the protagonist (wonder, potential, lost). The two EDs are both pretty decent, providing contrasting satisfactions at the end of an episode. The OST is great. Many songs are so "slice of life ish" that I really begin to appreciate the soundtrack later throughout the anime.
The characters are very good. Our protagonist is very likeable and his character traits are very consistent. I have not encountered a character quite like Oreki, which is a refreshing taste for the anime. The main female, Chitanda, is controversial for many viewers. Her energetic personality means she can be very likable or annoying depending on the person's point of view. Satoshi and Mayaka also are solid characters because they had more depth than I initially expected from what seemed like a simple mystery slice-of-life anime.
Most of the mysteries are very enjoyable because of the feeling of almost getting to it. Oreki's solutions are incredibly realistic and in the reach of almost any viewer. It is when he reveals why this happens that creates an amazing feeling inside the viewer. However, some arcs kinda drag out in the middle or end of the anime, which kinda distracts and lowers my potential enjoyment overall.
Overall: 8.75/10 read more
Are you looking for an adrenaline pumping mystery anime about murders,deception, and crime? Are you looking for a mystery anime that has a badass detective? Are you looking for a mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat? Well look somewhere else. Because Hyouka isn't that kind of anime.
Story-Hyouka revolves around a boy called Oreki Houtarou. An apathetic guy who has little interest in anything or anyone. His life motto is "I don't do anything I don't have to. What I have to do, I do quickly." But when her older sister who lives in india sends him a request to join the classical club to keep it from being shut down. He accepts, thinking that the club could be a good place to stay alone and conserve his energy. But his conservative life is in trouble as he finds out that the club is also occupied by A curious girl by the name by Chitanda Eru.
Overall, the story and mysteries for this anime are well crafted. Most of the mysteries were interesting and enjoyable.But sadly, A few of the mysteries were poorly made and downright boring. Luckily, these mysteries are only a few and were rather short. There is also a good bit of romance and comedy in this anime.
Art- Kyoto Animation is always praised for it's good art and animation. But Kyoto Animation decided to take Hyouka to another level in art. Hyouka is by far one of the most beautiful animes I've ever seen. The characters design is designed so well and fit with their personality almost perfectly. The backgrounds were created with such detail that it felt like I was watching an anime movie instead of a tv show. Movements are also fluid and small details like the wind blowing the character's hair is also greatly done.
Sound- The soundtrack fits the anime perfectly. From comedy to drama to the start of the mystery the soundtrack fits the mood perfectly and only brings more enjoyment to the viewer. The first and second openings are also great songs that went on my ipod after first listening to it. The two endings are also quite good for endings and I enjoyed them.
Character- Now the true reason this anime is so enjoyable is not only because of the mysteries.But also character interaction. In this anime we have four main characters. Oreki Houtarou, Chitanda Eru,Satoshi Fukube, and Mayaka Ibara. Three of the four people have different roles in solving a mystery. Satoshi is the database.Chitanda is the person who raises the question and opens the mystery, and Oreki is the person who solves the mystery. But these roles do change at times. Sometimes Satoshi would be the one to try and deduce the mystery, and Oreki would raise the question himself. Each character also goes through character development through the anime. Especially Houtarou. He develops to the point that even he gets a bit curious throughout the anime.
I'll just say it right now. Hyouka is one of the best mystery animes for me. The mysteries are enjoyable. The character interaction was great.The animation phenomenal. Whats more there to say. I would definitely recommend this to people who love romance and mysteries. No, scratch that. If you like anime.Then definitely give this anime a try. read more
Story : 8/10
The story can me resumed to "Pink eyed girl gets curious and makes Houtarou do stuff." The story is simple, but very well executed. Instead of a being a "badass anime with MC being the most clever being on earth", the anime is centered around 4 1st year highschool kids. Now there are a couple of problems with the story too, for being a 22 episode anime I felt that it lacked a few episodes. The last 4 episodes were rushed as hell. All the anime after episode 14 felt like it change genres suddenly, first part being Mystery, second being RomCom. [SPOILERS] I feel like the anime would be better of with a couple more episodes with the love story between Houtarou actually becoming full blown.
Art : 10/10
The art is actually beautiful. This is one of the pretties looking anime I have ever seen. The characters are well designed and I think Oreki Houtarou inspired Hachiman from Oregairu,
Sound : 9/10
The voice acting is well done. The openings are ok and they are what they are for a SoL Mystery RomCom
Character : 9/10
All the characters are very well made. The only maybe not so good one that should have been explored is Houtarou's sister.
Enjoyment : 8/10
I have enjoyed this a lot appart from the last 4 episodes, kinda ruined it for me. I would recommend this to people who like RomCom or SoL
Overall : 8/10
Hyouka is a good anime that that you will enjoy a lot. Just the last 4 episodes are not so good. read more
Hyouka (also the same name of the first volume of the Classic Literature Club that's also a implied term of “Ice Cream”) is an anime series adapted from the mystery novel written by Honobu Yonezawa. The story? Well, if you're curious like a certain purple eyed girl in the series, Hyouka details the Kamiyama High School's Classic Literature Club and its members having fun while solving mysteries and enjoying the time of their boring lives.
It all begins with the unenthusiastic young boy by the name of Oreki Houtarou. He is the type of guy that is hard to make friends with because Oreki in his minds and his friend describes him as someone who is not keen in joining clubs, play sports, or socializing. Despite this, he is very intelligent and observant of the tinest events as well as having an insightful intuition. After joining the club reluctantly by his elder sister, the mysteries, fun and, Hyouka stories begin.
Of course, Hyouka wouldn't be much fun without the other members of the club, right? We have the calm and happy girl with the keen curiosity. With those large purple moe eyes, she is curious about various events and mysteries that often involves others and goes “watashi kininarimasu!” (I'm curious!). She is a fun and happy go girl who despite being annoying at times brings the fun and entertainment in the story. On other hand, there's her best friend Mayaka Ibara who calls her affectionately “Chi-chan”. Mayaka is sort of the opposite of Chi-chan as she seems to be the type of girl who wants to avoid confrontations and if possible, end it as peacefully and swiftly as possible. Last but certainly not least is Satoshi Fukube. He's the happy guy who is carefree about life but deep down a great guy as he cares about others' well being. With a powerful memory, he is a useful as well as a compatible partner of Oreki who balances out the cheerfulness and moody mood of the duo/club.
Now at this point, you might be as curious as Eru Chitanda herself or even had a thought of “watashi kininarimasu!” on whether the series is worth to watch.
Overall, the arcs and story is well crafted. Detection fiction stories involving a group of friends is never new in the anime industry. Series such as Detective School Q, Heaven's Memo Pad, and Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning also have such elements. What makes the series more interesting seems to be the interactions between the four main members of the club with each other that goes beyond the typical mysteries. The actors plays their roles well with their voice acting that reflects the personalities of the characters. With nearly all the characters having different characteristics, it's amusing to see how they all get along in the club. Surprisingly though, it actually does work well. But of course adaptation an anime always has its problems of the script not flowing or losing its touch in some of the filler like episodes. Personally though, it works out fine.
Because the series takes place at a school life setting, there are other characters in Hyouka that interacts with the club. These are often included in some of the mysteries and requires the clubs' various skills to crack that case.
If animation was part of a popularity poll this year, Hyouka would take the grand prize. Kyoto Animation (Clannad, K-On!, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) does a pretty damn good job with its production quality and that's not an understatement. I remember watching the first episode and the first thing that popped into my mind was “wow, that animation is out of this world!” No but seriously, the production quality is top notch and Kyoto Animation does not disappoint. It even includes word play illustrated in the minds of Oreki and some of the other characters during cases to depict clues in a more realistic way of telling the story. With its gorgeous artwork and beautiful style of presenting the characters, it goes on without say that “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
The soundtrack of the series is smooth that is well coordinated. When a mystery case scene is presented, the soundtrack flows. When a comedy scene (usually involving our curious girl Eru Chitanda), an OST of rhythm is played. Even when Oreki is bored, it shows that he really is bored through the soundtrack. Talk about unenthusiastic. The two opening songs are also well orchestrated in the series. The first OP song, "Yasashisa no Riyuu" by Choucho presents a smooth flowing song that gives us a lighthearted feeling of Hyouka. The second OP song "Mikansei Stride” by Saori Kodama presents a more humorous way of the series with Oreki peeking around with curiosity himself. (somewhat similar to Medaka Box's Opening). And of course, the ED songs are also there to make us feel the mystery. Well, not exactly. The first ED song seems to be quite naughty to say the least. Chitanda and Mayaka in those curious positions?! Turn that imagination bulb ON. The second ED song though fits more within the mystery genre and is generally entertaining to watch.
Overall, Hyouka is one of those lighthearted series to watch by the end of a long weekend. The series does have flaws such as the the repetition in some of the intertwined arcs as well as mindless word plays that goes on in some episodes that can be bothersome to watch. Chitanda's signature phrase “watashi kininarimasu!” is also infectious at times and gets annoying. Additionally, some of the mysteries are a bit dull and not realistic as it seems. If it's a real mystery, why not involve some real murders and crimes? Needless to say, it's why Hyouka is rated PG-13.
Hyouka is a school mystery series that involves...guess what, mysteries. If you're not into detective fiction or that sort of genre, then hit that drop button. No one is stopping you. But if you're curious like Eru Chitanda, then sit back, relax, and watch some mysteries as well as the members of the Classic Literature Club do what they do best at.
Curiosity kills the cat but Hyouka is what kills the boredom. read more
In fact, I’ve come to really despise character stories for the sake of character stories over time because I have enough boredom trying to examine my own miserable life and I don’t need the f*cking Oscars to complicate said examination with their own shallow input, let alone anime. So whenever I hear praise regarding how Durarara is awesome because watching Vorona chat emptily on about how intelligent and violent she is, only for that exact same person to criticize the upcoming Yuki Nagato-chan anime because it contains the same empty conversations except replaced with nostalgia and moe, I feel the urge to ring my bullshit bell after swatting their head with the barf bag I just filled up. Who cares what the subject is about if both conversations are empty go-nowhere crap at the end of the day? I certainly don’t. Just because “moe conversations” set the bar so goddamn low doesn’t mean I want to watch an entire show consisting solely of a travelling furry and his foxy love interest exchange romantic quips that is ultimately cock-teasing for a resolution we’ll never get.
Sorry, what was I supposed to be talking about again? Oh right, Hyouka. Anyways, when this anime first arrived on the scene, it got a bit of a mixed response for its dull conversations and over-directed nature, but it was the latter that got me through the show because I was a lot more shallow when it first came out and the animation tricks along with the hilarity of the two males being the Clannad protagonists with better personalities was funny to me. I ended up loving the thing, considering it to be one of the few anime from KyoAni and 2012 that were actually good, but now that three years have passed and most of my revisited favorites had to get the axe, I was worried that Hyouka would join their ranks. And you know what? It almost did.
Whilst the banter was still indeed charmingly smart – although Chitanda might grate on some people – and the direction continued to be top-notch, the first seven episodes of the show fell under Steins;Gate syndrome of starting on a really dull note because said good aesthetics weren’t being applied to anything the least bit interesting unless you’re a fan of Houtarou flexing his thinking muscles and Chitanda wanting to revive the club because “vague reason”. Whilst a bunch of people have complained about the mysteries being weak, it’s less the fact that the mysteries themselves are too simplistic and more the fact that the reasoning behind them was too simplistic. Because if murders and kidnappings were all that was needed to make a good mystery, we’d be watching Kindaichi Case Files.
No, the problem with Hyouka’s first few episodes is that the underlying story is one we’ve seen before: the lonely introvert will get cured of his loneliness through the girl (and the other two members of the Scooby gang) with a mission and they’ll fall in love. And just like mysteries, action, and character porn in general, romance for the sake of romance is really boring to me. There were few jokes and whilst there is some Japanese commentary mixed into the whole mess, it wasn’t the kind of commentary that I cared for – and even when I found it kind of intriguing (Chitanda’s family situation, the fact that you can’t smoke in schools, etc.), it was surface-level stuff at the end of the day. But most damning of all, the mystery elements were just “there”. You could have exchanged them for f*cking DDR elements and it wouldn’t have made much of a difference. Whilst I’m not going to deny the character porn was good, that means nothing to me without a use for it.
Eventually, I realized the rewatch wasn’t going too well and was worried that my only attachment to KyoAni from this point on would be an anime they made over a decade ago. So in desperation, I skipped ahead to the second arc, which I remembered being the point when the anime really clicked with me. And you know what? I liked it alot.
Yes, the “plothole” regarding why the students couldn’t just ask the writer was noticeable – although it does eventually get addressed in a way that was semi-convincing – but otherwise, the second arc had a strong enough plot to support the great aesthetics because it actually bothered to instill some goddamn complexity into the thing. The movie arc actually examined the mystery tropes along with how people see them today, as well as brought our main character down a peg when he realized his brains can’t outmatch beauty, which is the kind of substance that actually makes me give a shit regarding whether or not a film will be ready in time for the cultural festival, as well as the kind that will allow me to revisit your product again in the future. Also, it had a hilarious student-made film. It’s like Shirobako if Shirobako had something resembling conflict.
Relieved that the show wasn’t completely lost on me, I ended up watching the school festival arc and enjoyed it just as much as last time because it had everything I could want in a coming-of-age/slice-of-life story: good pacing, interesting narrative tricks, engaging dialogue, and really relevant/interesting themes about talent, dreams, and the roles people play in the mystery genre underneath everything to give them a sense of weight. Enough praise has been written about that arc, so I won’t go into detail regarding it other than it would be in my top 5 films of 2012 if it had actually been a standalone feature-length title. The final five episodes, on the other hand, were a bit of a mixed bag because they were supposed to function as random side stories to tie up loose ends and we all know how I feel about that sort of stuff in general. It’s nice to see couples form and everything, but whilst that’s what a lot of people like about Hyouka, that’s not what I personally like about it.
I like the show at its best because when it can, it mixes in all those fun character aesthetics into a plot that tickles my mystery-loving bone in a way that I want it to be tickled. It’s all about context at the end of the day, and that’s what separates the good (not just in the slice-of-life genre) from that godawful Steins;Gate movie. It’s fine to like the show simply for those “fun” elements I described earlier, but let me reiterate that I don’t do “fun” shows – unless they’re Mobile Fighter G Gundam of course – because liking a show because it’s “fun” is everything I consider wrong/weird about fanboys. What can I say? I’m a huge believer in Sturgeon’s Law, and when you define something as “fun”, you’re using a reason that can be applied to 99.9% of all entertainment (with a 3.1% margin of error). Yes, even total dreck like Superman 64. Brrrrrrr.
So in the end, I still do like Hyouka - or to be more precise, the middle two arcs of Hyouka. Thankfully, they’re separate enough from the arcs I find kinda dull that I don’t have any guilt in pretending the show is a series of four films where the middle two sit among my favorite anime. Most people consider Jojo to be a favorite despite the fact that it only has one good arc that hasn’t aged well at all (as of this writing). Babe: Pig in the City is a great movie and I couldn’t care less about the first film. There are people who have no interest in seeing Urusei Yatsura that love the second film. And whilst I love Lupin, if you think I’m going to watch all of it…okay you get my point by now. It’s not really “it gets better” with the later arcs so much as “it gets different”. I won’t blame people if they don’t care about the difference, but I personally do and that’s all that matters, along with the undisputed fact that anyone who stills think Kuragehime is a good show is a raging nostalgia-blinded hypocrite. read more
Oreki Hotaro is a high school boy, who always acts passively. One day, he enters a "Classic Literature Club" as recommended by his older sister. There he meets Eru Chitanda, Satoshi Fukube and Mayaka Ibara. They begin to investigate a case that occurred 33 years ago. Hints of the mystery are buried in an old collection of works of the former members of the club. The collection is titled "Hyouka".
That synopsis alone is the main reason why I started watching the series. I thought that some dark f*cked up shit occurred on the club and they have to investigate it. I even thought that was going to be the main focus of the show but it only lasted for about 3-4 episodes. I do love how Oreki managed to solve the mystery and he even showed hints that lead him to his conclusion. I even felt stupid after he solved it.
As you know, Chitanda's curiosity is what drives the series' plot. If she's not curious then Oreki goes back to being a lazy ass. Every time Oreki and his friends solves a mystery, a new one pops out. Chitanda grows curious and Oreki tries to solve it again. That's basically it. What's makes the mystery worth watching? It's the fact that they're very well thought out, uses attention to details and actually uses logic. I sometimes wonder if the author of the series is a professor himself. I'm not saying that every mystery in Hyouka is smart because some of the mysteries are just plain dumb. It's mostly the "one-episode mystery" that are dumb. Enjoyable to watch but dumb if you think about it.
The mystery that I love the most is the arc where the characters were trying to solve the unfinished ending for the movie. It is the best arc I've seen in Hyouka. It's full of mysteries, twists and the conclusion is awesome. It even gave me a reason to use my brain and try to solve it myself. Sadly, my conclusion was different from Oreki's true answer (Was his answer truly right though?).
The series is also filled with slice-of-life moments, some comedy moments and hints of romance. I'm glad they balanced it out because watching mysteries all day can get boring sometimes. There are times though where the series will have one full episode of mystery that isn't really that hard to solve. It's just 2 characters in a conversation and somehow ending up trying to solve a puzzle. In other words, a "hypothetical situation" puzzles. One of my favorite easy puzzles and it's one of the dumb mysteries that I stated above.
One last thing, the series' pacing is slow and it can get boring. Especially the first half of the show. What the show does is it slowly builds up the mystery that its trying to tell. This can last for 2 episodes. Some people may find this a problem because of how slow it is. Fortunately, I can handle the slow pacing but some people can't.
Oh right, I forgot about the ending. Some people found it unsatisfactory. I thought it was pretty decent but like other people out there, I didn't find it great. How do I say it without spoiling the ending?.....It felt incomplete. Like there's more story to be told but it ended just like (*snaps finger*) that.
KyotoAnimation at their best when it comes to animation. The animation looks great, the visual looks great and the character design also looks great. The animation felt smooth and I didn't see any choppiness.
The soundtrack for the series is simply outstanding. From phenomenal background theme to music, the show did a great job
The OP theme songs are "Yasashisa no Riyuu " by ChouCho and "Mikansei Stride" by Saori Kodama. The ED theme songs are "Madoromi no Yakusoku" by Satomi Satou & Ai Kayano and "Kimi ni Matsuwaru Mystery" by Satomi Satou & Ai Kayano. The 1st OP theme song is great. It has that awesome instrumental piece and a great voice by ChouCho. I also found the 2nd OP theme song beautiful. It has the beat that makes you want to nod your head every second. I like the 1st ED theme song but not the animation. It looks like a none-explicit hentai. The 2nd ED theme song is miles better than the 1st ED. In short, they're all great.
The VA's did a terrific job with their characters. Even the side characters has a great VA and that really surprised me. The VA that I love the most is Chitanda's VA. I just love her voice and the way she says "I'm curious" is too cute!
The series focuses on 4 main characters. Hotarou Oreki is a lazy high school teenager who prefers to conserve his energy. His motto is If I don't have to do it, I won't. If I have to do it, I'll make it quick. Eru Chitanda is a calm and cute high school teenage girl who has a great amount of curiosity and this often drags Oreki into her curiosity. Fukube Satoshi is a smart high school teenage boy and he's the "database" for the club. He went to the same middle school as Houtarou and Mayaka. Ibara Mayaka is an active and strict high school teenage girl. She has known Oreki since they were in first grade.
At the start, I thought Oreki was going to be an unlikable generic lazy ass main protagonist that we mostly see these days but as the show moved on, you see Oreki grow and develop from being a lazy ass to a sociable guy. This isn't because the plot demanded him to change just for the sake of character development but it's because of Chitanda. Chitanda's constant curiosity and her views made Oreki realize that life isn't as boring as he think it is and he needs to stop taking it seriously.
Chitanda is by far one of the cutest female character I have ever seen and one of the best female character. Her personality is great and every time she says "I'm curious", I somehow feel Oreki's pain. Not in a bad way though. I also love it when she's drunk. She's just too cute, especially the way she said "daijoubu" or "I'm o-kay" in English. Her cuteness aside, Chitanda is a complex character. As you watch the show, you'll understand Chitanda as a person and she's just not in the show solely as a cutesy moe character. Don't simply think of her as a plot device because she's not. It's hard to explain why but you'll understand if you watch the show.
The remaining 2 main characters aren't left on the dust either. They got the same amount of screentime as Chitanda and Oreki meaning they're as fleshed out as those main 2 characters. There are also times where you get a backstory of them and you learn about them and why they're acting the way they are.
As much as I would have want to see Oreki and Chitanda get together, note that the anime is not focused on Romance. The anime doesn't even have a Romance Tag. There are a hint of romance between the two so I understand why some fans were shipping them.
Don't get me wrong..I love the anime, I think it's great but it's one of those great animes where you simply can't marathon because of how boring it is. It's not too boring but compared to other shows out there, it's boring. If the show were to have an English Dub (I highly doubt it), I would probably not watch it again or if I do end up watching it again, I'll skip some episodes or scenes
"Hyouka" is one of the best "mystery" animes I have seen. It has a well thought out and sophisticated mysteries, a fleshed out and likable main characters who grows over time. If you have a brain of a 5 year old retard or you have a serious case of short attention span then this anime is not for you. If you like the "Mystery" genre then this is a show for you.
+Great Animation and Great Visuals
+Well-Thought out Mysteries
-Some melodrama moments
-Show can get boring sometimes
-Ending may not appeal to everyone read more
This show is pretty damn under-rated, definitely enjoyable, worth a watch for those who have been pickling your own head trying to choose something decent to watch out of the almost endless pages of anime. read more
The art here is very similar to other Kyo-ani shows such as K-On!. It has that moe, cutsie style like K-On! and has very detailed backgrounds. The colour tones of this show is what can be described as “lazy” which relates very well to our main character. The character designs were not too out of the ordinary either but, one note to make is that our main female lead, Chitanda, looked a little too much like Mio (black haired lead) from K-On!. The animation was also very nice and fluid. Overall, the art and animation were both solid while the character designs were a bit too generic.
All of the opening and ending themes for this show were forgetful and boring. The opening and endings sounded like generic pop music and I honestly skipped them most of the time. The background music for this show was mixed. Half of it was happy slice of life music while the other half was more mystery themed. The mysterious background music playing while Houtarou did his deductions actually did a very nice job of making the mystery itself seem more suspenseful than it really was. The other slice of life type music was not very memorable and actually wasn’t played that often giving the show a more mysterious feel at times as well.
Characters (this is where the bashing begins):
The show features 4 main characters... first up, you have our main protagonist, Houtarou Oreki who is a laid back, lazy guy who likes to conserve as much energy as possible (by not doing anything). This makes Houtarou very boring. Houtarou is not special in the least; he doesn’t have any interesting ideas or deep monologues and rarely provides comedic relief unlike other characters who are similar to him. All Houtarou can do is solve mysteries and only does it (usually) when the main female lead forces him to. That brings up another point about him; Houtarou believes in always conserving energy yet is always falling victim to Chitanda’s pleas to solve pointless mysteries. He can easily avoid this but, he doesn’t, instead it seems like he grows feelings for her yet he continues keep up the charade of conserving energy which brings up yet another point. He gets little to none character development. During the film mystery arc, it had appeared that there would be some character development for him but, sadly, it lasts for about one episode and he goes back to being his old self again, never changing and never expressing his true self. The next character, our female lead, is Eru Chitanda. There is not much to say about her other than the fact that she is extremely annoying. In the beginning, her curiosity was sort of cute but, after a while it really gets frustrating because all she ever does is get curious. She is an airhead girl who apparently is, somehow, one of the smartest people in the school. She doesn’t provide much other than the occasional suggestion for a mystery, being Houtarou’s master, and doing absolutely nothing. The male side character, Satoshi Fukube, is your average overly energetic character, albeit he does have the most depth than anyone else in the cast. He is constantly struggling with being better than his best friend, Houtarou, and also has some love issues with the female side character. Though, none of this is actually that deep at all and it really just seems more melodramatic than anything e.g. they were crying over the fact that Satoshi broke some chocolate for Valentine’s Day that the side female character made. The last character is Mayaka Ibara (the female side character mentioned earlier). There’s not much to say about her, she’s just a basic tsundere type character who really loves manga; doesn’t provide much more than some manga club drama.
This is where Hyouka really fails miserably for me. Basically, Hyouka is set up in a way where there are multiple mystery arcs and these mysteries are what the plot consists of. The thing is, Hyouka starts off pretty strong with the first real mystery of the show (which is what the show is named after). This mystery is more serious and more important than any of the other mysteries presented but, it only lasts about till episode 5. After this one there are some other mysteries that are completely useless until we get to the film mystery. This one was actually quite intriguing and suspenseful and it was fun trying to figure it out with the characters. Disappointingly though, this is where all the good regarding Hyouka’s mysteries and plot ends. After this we are left with the big build up towards the crazy school festival. Now this is what really bothered me about this show. For 4 or so episodes we get no mysteries at all! During this time all we see is “fun times” at the school festival and extremely slow build up/set up for the school festival mystery. In fact, the mystery is solved in 2 episodes! I wouldn’t really say it was solved either since in those two episodes there was no deduction process by our main character, he just figured it out. In contrast, during the film arc, it took the main character quite a lot of thought and effort (which we actually saw on screen) to figure out the mystery but, here we just see Satoshi trying (and failing) to solve it himself and then all of a sudden Houtarou solves it. Even more frustrating is that, after this arc ended, the rest of the mysteries, I wouldn’t even consider mysteries. They were even more useless than the earlier more “important” big mysteries. Basically, towards the end of the show nothing happens at all (this is about 5 or 6 episodes). To top it all off, the series ends incomplete with no ending in sight and an open ended “romance” where Houtarou is too scared to actually admit his feelings. Overall, some mysteries were very fun to watch (two or three) but, in the end most of them were completely useless and mundane. Also, this mystery show stops showing mysteries for about 4 episodes just to build up to one lack luster conclusion for one bad mystery. Other than the 3 main mysteries in the show, the rest is just useless with the main purpose of taking up space.
The art for the show is generic but, functional and the animation and detail is spot on. But, the character designs are a little generic. The sound matches the different tones of the show at times and the music playing while the characters are trying to solve a mystery adds a very fitting feel to the show. But, the opening and ending themes to the show are forgetful. Overall, the aesthetics are fine. The characters are dull and mostly generic with little to no character development. Some of the mysteries in the show are fun to watch but, most of the show is filled with useless fodder that does nothing and is “solved” within one episode. Also, the show stops for 4 episodes for a stupid school festival. The story and characters mostly fail. Overall, Hyouka is a mystery anime with more references to actual good mysteries than having good ones itself. And for this reason I am utterly disappointed and feel since it didn’t accomplish being good at what it was supposed to be that it is, in fact, worse than average.
Final Score: 4/10 :(
Hyouka is none of that. It’s nowhere near “over-the-top” in any way. Hyouka is the definition of subtlety. It’s serene, relaxing, beautiful, funny, and smartly written. But the best thing about Hyouka is that it makes you think—and not just about the mysteries.
The mysteries are small-scale cases that manage to be incredibly intriguing, causing you to become “curious”. No, the writers don’t try to instill in the viewer a burning desire to figure out the solution—they elicit from us a compelling curiosity that will drive us to want to figure the mysteries out. To me, sometimes mystery stories are so grand and dramatic that I feel like I can’t solve them on my own. But in Hyouka, the understated enigmas are so accessible yet simultaneously complex. The peaceful atmosphere draws you in until you find yourself becoming the detective, trying to ascertain the truth. I thoroughly enjoyed this format for the mysteries—it was a breath of fresh air from the mind-boggling conundrums of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes.
Though the mysteries are well executed, it’s really the characters that shine in Hyouka. As the story progresses, each of the four main characters gradually undergo great changes in character. These changes are masterfully portrayed—while most anime will just slap you in the face with character change, the evolution of these characters is so subtle and understated that you hardly notice it until the end—which is when you’ll look back on the series and marvel at the beautiful transformation the characters went through.
The animation in Hyouka is simply beautiful. In fact, it is the most beautiful animation I have ever seen. Technically, Fate/Stay Night—Unlimited Blade Works has the best animation in terms of raw graphics, but Hyouka is more beautiful because of the idyllic, serene setting and picturesque locations. And the animations that visualize what Houtarou is thinking are bafflingly complex, creative, and artistic. Fate/Stay Night might have the better graphics, but Hyouka has superior artistic direction for sure.
The themes in Hyouka are elegantly expressed. There are so many of them, but each is hidden well within the mysteries and character development. I love the way they are presented—not like Naruto’s “Never give up!” speeches that straight up pound the themes into you. The themes in Hyouka are quietly implied and are there for the viewer to pick up on if they think hard enough about it.
Hyouka encourages you to think through things that may seem trivial, and to find meaning in the mundane. It’s when you get to the end of Hyouka that you realize that the whole anime was a hidden message that the author was encouraging the viewers to pick up on by analyzing the show, just like the main character analyzes other seemingly simple things.
When you look back on the anime and realize the themes presented therein, you realize that while Hyouka may seem to be a simple anime on the surface, it is in reality a masterpiece of subtlety, beauty, and surprising depth. read more
After the first episode I was instantly charmed by the artwork which reminded me strongly of K-ON, animation, soundtrack and the story line. It's a slow paced anime so I hoped that the exposition will take time and it will end in a bang. My theory of course was incorrect because the anime was segmented into three main story-lines that were not of equal footing. Personally I thought that if the anime ended after the first ten episodes it would have still remained a good anime.
The first story was so good that anything following it just seemed to fall flat and the character development was very slow. I suppose it's possible to read into it but I expected something more on the character level of the anime.
However what really got me into this anime was the feeling I got while watching this anime. A strong sense of strangeness and other-ness wrapped around the existing world, something similar to xxxHolic and Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei, even 24 Club manga, where you have a feeling you will fall on your head any moment. I enjoyed the intelligence of the main character and his interaction with his best friend. How the anime was set up, I expected something more sinister however, something we don't get even with the abundance of jealousy and loneliness present.
The ending is in the same level of disappointment. It's anti-climatic and completely unrelated to the main-plot of the anime, the mystery, as if it was forgotten in favor of the subplot. I can't say that I don't like how love is presented in this anime, rather normally considering other anime with a few exceptions, but exactly because of that it should not have been the main focus. Truly a disappointment to the anime that started very good then kept falling and dragging out until I had to fast-forward a couple of times just to see something happen.
Overall, I enjoyed many separate aspects of the anime, however nothing can compensate for me being bored by it especially considering it's supposed to be a mystery anime. read more
I honestly look forward to this a lot each week. I got used to the talkative characters and the lack of character development. There are some changes in the main character so far, but I wouldn't say it's development. However, the literacy club itself is developing and moving forward as a whole. The club grew on me, so I began to see the characters less individualistically and probably accepted their way of talking.
The animation and sound are pretty impressive. I like the animation style, especially when the main guy starts to solve the cases. It makes even the most trivial case interesting. The background music approprately fits each scene, and I find the ending especially cute. I understand this animation style has been used before in the past, and sometimes I even feel like its an act of stealing. I wouldn't forgive it if it's been used badly or didn't improve on it. However, it did improve on it, not in terms of style though, but in terms of where and how it's used. I don't like the idea of using creativity for its own sake. Some people may like it though, but I do not. Randomness, uniqueness, or craziness for me cannot stand alone. They are only for enhancement, not for the real substance. (Im excluding comedy on this one) I've offended some people and their love, but thats my belief.
Having said that rather irrelevant detail, I want to talk lastly about the plot that made me fell in love with hyouka. Beside the obvious downplay, I think as a consequence, you can detect a trace of elegance in mystery solving. The art and sound helped too, but I think the elegance would have been lost if the cases were big scale murder cases or a national crisis because they would usually give away obvious hints, some distracting, and you would be too busy guessing the culprit. Hyouka involves the audience in another way. Hyouka makes sure that you can't guess logically until the guy solves it. Yes, you'll realize how stupid or trivial the solution turns pout to be and the story becomes anticlimactic, but isn't exactly this anticlimactic feeling telling you that it's reality? People like to cook things up, and the bigger the scandal, the bigger the followers. Reality is often trivial, grand in scale only in how trivially detailed it is. The elegance of hyouka is therefore how trivially detailed it makes the cases to be. In the anticlimactic conclusion, you might start to find the trivially detailed reality more interesting on its own. read more
Hyouka, also known as "Hyou-ka: You Can't Escape" is the latest series by acclaimed studio Kyoto Animation, who, despite their huge fanbase, generally produce work of more style than substance. Hyouka unfortunately follows this trend, though superficially it doesn't fit in with the rest of KyoAni's back catalogue very much, as Hyouka is generally very dry in tone.
Hyouka is a mystery series, revolving around four high school students in the Classic Literature Club (an aimless club that happens to end up solving mysteries a lot). The students in question are main character Oreki Houtaro, whom I am about 99% certain has some form of autism. He has zero interest in socialising, fun, or... well, anything. He deliberately tries to live life as uninterestingly as possible. This is hampered a bit by him being insanely gifted at solving mysteries. This gift goes untapped until he meets Chitanda Eru, a plucky, cheerful girl with an insatiable curiosity who refuses to let the even the smallest of mysteries go unsolved. They are joined by Satoshi Fukube, a cheerful happy-go-lucky human database simply full of useless facts who is seemingly Oreki's only friend prior to the series, and Mayaka Ibara, a library assistant who's known Oreki since childhood, who is probably the most level-headed member of the cast.
Now, remember how I said Eru refused to let even the smallest of mysteries go unsolved? Well... that's the big problem Hyouka has. The mysteries really are the smallest of mysteries. Each and every one revolves around a very trivial subject, and just about all of them could have gone unsolved without any real problems. Something so down to earth could in theory have been a good idea, but unfortunately Hyouka doesn't really deliver. As a result, Hyouka is, in a word... dull. With the exceptions of one or two mysteries, Hyouka totally fails to be entertaining.
But that isn't to say they didn't go the extra mile to make Hyouka more interesting. KyoAni's huge animation budget is flexed quite a bit. Random quirks in the presentation show up every now and then when Oreki is explaining his theories, sometimes in rather trippy fashion. The unusual techniques in the directing aren't limited to these, though. Hyouka plays around with angles and closeups a lot, to try and make every scene more dramatic.
It doesn't work.
While they occasionally spice up a scene a little bit, they really don't do much to save Hyouka from being very, very bland. And often, the harder they try, the worse it gets. It's most "dramatic" moments end up being, if anything, idiotic for how hard they're trying to sell something so insignificant.
Directing techniques aren't the only thing in Hyouka intended to spice things up, though. Character-driven subplots are also involved. All of Hyouka's cast members are likeable, if nothing special... though Oreki's disinterest with everything can be irksome, and Chitanda can be more saccharine than cute sometimes. Romantic subplots flare up between the characters, as well as some mild feelings of envy from Fukube towards Oreki, and these would all help a lot more if it wasn't for the fact that all of this goes absolutely nowhere and amounts to nothing. Just like the directing techniques, it's an attempt to spice it up that at best is a mild amusement, usually falls flat, and at worst, is simply idiotic.
With all that having been said, Hyouka is not bad. But it certainly is not good either. At the end of the day it is simply very average. But there are really much better wastes of your time out there than Hyouka.
Final Words: For the biggest of mystery enthusiasts and diehard KyoAni fans only.
For Fans Of: UN-GO, Gosick read more
Animation: Fluid KyoAni-quality. Bonus points for attention to detail.
Atmosphere: Surprisingly lighthearted—uses mystery as a means to a thematic end.
Characters: Unoriginal at first but grow over time.
Hyouka is a surprising addition to KyoAni’s repertoire if you only look at its genre. It’s an offbeat show if you view it as a mystery, given its focus on mundane, everyday puzzles. The anime comes across as a “light mystery” in that sense, similarly to K-On!’s light music setting that rarely involves playing music. Hyouka’s mysteries are not mere plot devices, however. Chitanda’s innate curiosity and Houtarou’s innate lack of curiosity are contrasted by the way the pair interacts while solving puzzles. Hyouka places character and theme at the center of its narrative, drawing parallels between Chitanda’s unique worldview and the process of puzzle-solving.
This is a good thing because, despite their initially bland appearance (Chitanda especially—her basic personality is that of a cut-and-paste main heroine), the characters grow over time. Chitanda’s explicit moe traits feel less jarring as the viewer comes to understand her as a person with a genuinely romantic worldview. Similarly, Houtarou begins the series as a standard male protagonist with a personality that is easy to dismiss as being intended for the viewer’s self-insertion, but his worldview develops into something deeper. One of the show’s greatest pleasures is in watching Oreki slowly warm up to Chitanda’s worldview and learn to stop and smell the roses.
We are still dealing with a KyoAni production, of course, and the details in animation and direction do as much to bring out depth in character as the plot and dialogue. Hyouka is visually traditional—there are few artsy, SHAFT-esque discontinuous shots—but there is a tremendous attention to detail at work within this style. Facial expressions (and changes in facial expression) are animated in detail and the backgrounds take on surreal form to subjectively express the characters’ feelings. This is especially visible in Houtarou’s first encounter with Chitanda, in which her hair grows into a flowery, sparkly, constraining mess that holds him in place as she requests his help in solving the mystery. A moment later, the scene cuts to a regular shot of the pair standing in the club room, revealing that the prior shots were merely an expression of Houtarou’s perspective—an apt visual metaphor for the affection that he begins to feel for her. There are plenty more examples as the show goes along, but the overarching point is that KyoAni is notable for more than just budget. The show is visually detailed in a way that holds your attention but also makes good use of subjective narration to hint at emotions that can’t be easily expressed through dialogue.
The one major complaint I’ve heard about Hyouka is that its mysteries are too mundane. In a sense this is true, but I would argue that it is more a matter of misattributing preconceptions within the mystery genre. While Hyouka is ostensibly a mystery, it does not attempt to be suspenseful or dramatic. Instead, the mystery plots are a tool to draw the characters closer together and to contrast Oreki’s level-headedness with Chitanda’s dreamy curiosity. For those who want either a traditional murder mystery or a fluffy K-ON!-style slice-of-life, Hyouka is liable to bore. However, when given a chance to grow, the series develops into an extremely clever story that largely escapes genre categorization, subtly mixing larger themes into a mystery plot with character interaction and a straightforward love story at its core. read more
Character Set: 8/10
Character Development: 6/10
Hyouka is set in a modern day Japanese high school, your typical slice of life setting. Nothing too special to comment on.
The overall story is very slow-moving and not much really changes from beginning to end.
The story begins when the main character, Oreki Houtarou, is requested by his elder sister to join the "Classics Club". Throughout the story, Oreki is constantly dragged into solving mysteries by the club president, Chitanda Eru. Although there is not a thick overall plot, these short trials are engaging enough to make each episode entertaining.
This was a pleasant surprise for me. Diving nose first into an Anime which was classes as "Slice of Life" gave the implications that there was little room for artist exhibitionism. How wrong I was. For such a simple and down to earth Anime, the beautiful palette and breath-taking scenes were almost unbelievable. There's not much else I could ask for.
Tying in very closely with Art, the animation was relatively above average. As there was little room for introducing high intensity action scenes, it it hard to judge how well exactly they presented movement. Luckily, there were a handful of scenes which were enough to remind the production quality of Kyoto Animation.
A beautiful audio track to match the equally beautiful visuals. From it's engaging classical pieces to it's innocent Opening by Choucho. The atmosphere built from the OST is a pleasing fit.
I couldn't think of any mismatched voices off the top of my head. In fact, casting Nakamura Yuuichi (Greed, Gray Fullbuster, Nozaki) as Oreki was a great choice.
The only other voice I noticed was Sakaguchi Daisuke (Sunohara Youhei from Clannad) which felt right because of the similarities between Sunohara Youhei and his role in Hyouka.
Character set 8/10
Overall: Although these characters are not the most interesting, they are easily relatable and likable, and most importantly fit the setting incredibly well. I'll only mention two main characters although there should really be four.
Our main character, Oreki Houtarou, is a lazy high school boy whose motto is "If I don't have to do it, I won't. If I have to do it, I'll make it quick." Although he is seen by his peers as antisocial and stupid, it is soon clear that he has a sharp mind, as he has a talent for solving mysteries.
Another of our main characters, Chintanda Eru, is the single daughter of a wealthy family. She is portrayed as the cheerful and "curious" club president.
Character Development 6/10
Hyouka has a good character set which is a shame that they could not develop the characters personas as well as I would have liked. This doesn't mean there was absolutely no character development, as we can see the characters backgrounds. Furthermore, the way they react to situations differs ever so slightly beginning to end.
Ultimately, this lack of character building was the biggest let down.
Takamoto Yasuhiro's (Clannad, K-On!!, Suzumiya Haruhi Series) work is definitely of quality, directing the aforementioned successful series. He once again proves himself in Hyouka, creating a stunning air of mystery while keeping the down to earth nature.
I loved this series and it is definitely one of my favourites. A lovable cast, a sense of mystery, a hint of romance and stunning audiovisuals. Regardless of what was theoretically missing, I enjoyed this Anime thoroughly because of it's potent mix of the above.
RECOMMENDATION: Watch it if you enjoy slice of life and mystery.
(Not for the action lover.) read more
Oh Hyouka... One of the best mystery animes... Here is my opinions about it:
(+) The story is very well edited that when mysteries be solved you always be shocked.
(+) The characters solve the mysteries from clues so that it feels more logical.
(+) The story usually got u interested.
(-) First 2 or 3 episodes, the mysteries were ridiculous but still it wasn't bad.
(+) The art is so good that it makes you captivated.
(+) When Chitanda says ''Watashi kininarimasu'' and her eyes shining and become kind of purple... I was really impressed when I saw that scene
(+) Nice openings.
(+) The OSTs are really good. Generally classical music and violin sounds catch you.
(+) Other OSTs are proper for a mystery anime. It makes you more curious.
(+) Oreki is so smart and one of the best ''Sherlock Holmes'' of the anime world.
(+) The other characters are really lovable and they have some original qualities as well. (Chitanda and her inquisitiveness)
(+) The mysteries make you curious so you feel like you have to watch it.
(-) Again, the first 2 or 3 episodes did not make you interested like the other episodes so people who don't like mystery animes can easily bored.
I hope my review helped you a little, If you haven't watched this anime and you like mystery animes, you really should watch it. Even if you don't like mystery animes maybe it can make you love them :) read more