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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
Duration: 25 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 8.241 (scored by 80356 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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Sep 16, 2012
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
Jun 30, 2013
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
Jul 15, 2013
Hyouka is a series that takes elements of both the mystery and school life genres, mixes them together, and churns out a product that is a very interesting blend of the two. At heart it is very much what you'd expect from a school comedy, from the cast to the plot. The cynical, dry male lead with a sarcastc streak to his inner thoughts and narrating, the airheaded somehow-top-of-her-class female lead with more energy than a hamster on coffeine, the male lead's goofy, easygoing guy friend, and so on. Episodes centering around onsen visits, pool days and cultural festivals, a carefree after-school life in a club that does relatively little, and so on. The cliches and stereotypes line up, but what it presents isn't as bad as the premise makes it out to be, in part because the characters carry something more than just their stereotype. Especially in Mayaka's story arc there's very interesting characterization, and the love stories that are presented don't feel forced or out of place, being subtly sweet rather than diabetic.
The most significant reason for the decent presentation lies in its crossover with the mystery genre however, and the way it handles this. Essentially what the main characters spend their time doing is solving everyday mysteries, be that a strangely locked door, mysterious disappearances of school property, or other such events. The main character, Oreki Houtarou, while strangely devoid of any other noteworthy talents, has an uncanny knack for piecing together bits and pieces of information and form a theory on the passing of events - indeed, he is the kind of detective you see in the classics of crime, only instead of crimes and murders he solves minor mysteries of daily life.
The sequence of events and the way hints to the mystery's solution are presented is done rather well, and while some can be missed easily, or relies on understanding aspects of Japanese language and culture, upon properly watching through episodes after a mystery's solution, most if not all the clues used to piece the mystery together are clearly there for the viewer to see, and pieced together the finished conclusion seems coherent and logical.
Visually the mystery solving is aided by creative visualizations of the characters' trains of thought, helping the viewer to understand and comprehend what is being reasoned more easily. This is a very good decision by the creators, because if there were only spoken words some of the explanations could easily go over the heads of the viewers, but with the visual element, it's very easy to comprehend.
Even putting that aside the art remains very lovely, using a vivid colour palette, which together with lush background, clear lighting effects and camera angles that are not often seen in anime series gives the series a very liely and engaging visual appeal, as should be expected of a school series, plus plus. The music is likewise very appropriate for a mystery series, with suspenseful and sometimes dramatic instrumentation and dynamics, yet it does not forgo some of the more typical tracks of school anime, from the exciting tunes of fun days to the goofy tunes of funny scenes. Of particular note is that it also uses a few pieces of classic music as
The opening themes are both decent, lively j-pop tunes, a little upbeat but nothing quite over the top. Thematically they draw on some central aspects of the main character's leading issue of him feeling a little gray and distanced from his friends and the 'normal', lively high school life, with some lovely colour and effect use mixed amidst the more standard anime opening clips. The first ending theme is a more bright, sung-by-the-female-leads pop song, while the animation is ninety percent silly fanservice. The second ending song is a very upbeat pop song that sort of screams "school anime ending theme", with bright backgrounds and the like, though it does an amusing job making references to older detective fiction.
Overall Hyouka is a decent series that brings something new and refreshing to the school anime genre, and while it doesn't point itself out as a very good anime, falls to a few stereotypes and so forth, it does stand out above the massive crowd of school anime that are less successful in their attempts to break away from the masses. It offers lovely visuals and music and does a very good job at visually presenting the characters' thoughts in a orderly but also fun fashion, and it's fun seeing the mysteries get solved. If you're a fan of either genre this series will probably offer you something interesting, without being particularly outstanding. read more
Sep 16, 2012
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
Feb 3, 2014
The series is completely unpretentious and brilliantly executed. I know there are people out there who hate on slice-of-life anime because it's full of manipulative nonsense meant to make the viewer go 'aww'. Hyouka does none of that. Hyouka shows you why, ironically enough, considering the main character, ordinary life can be exciting and energising. That ordinary life, ordinary pleasures, ordinary amounts of logic, thinking, and effort can indeed result in something extraordinary.
The genius in Hyouka lies in its subtlety. The main character, Oreki Houtarou, is determined to lead a lifestyle of serenity and peace, which involves expending as little energy as possible. The anime doesn't diverge from this - indeed, it is an atmospheric masterpiece attuned to the ideal world that Oreki craves. Everything is beautiful, everything moves slowly, and everything is surprisingly perfect. Even the most ardent of hearts will be calmed with Hyouka.
Oreki's task is basically that of solving mysteries within a very human context. Unlike Detective Conan, the focus here is less on the how, and more on the why. Human motivations are what drive the mysteries in Hyouka, and its up to our indolent protagonist to solve navigate the thorny path. We are taught that truth is by no means necessarily good and is more likely painful. We learn why humans cause each other pain and grief. We are guided by KyoAni's steady hand.
We do so, because much like Chitanda Eru, the female lead - we are curious. read more
Jun 18, 2014
I'll save you the summary, but let me say this: Hyouka's story is not only strong and enjoyable but also touching. This anime is a mixture of many emotions: happiness, curiosity, fun, jealousy, love, ambition, and even despair. The anime's mysteries aren't what drives the show forward, it is the relationships forged from them which truly make this show propel towards greatness.
The beginning of the anime Oreki Houtarou and Chitanda Eru are two strangers meeting in the same club room, and by the end their relationship becomes much more meaningful. Through all the "mystery cases" the classics club solves, they group of four teenagers (Houtarou, Satoshi, Mayaka, and Chitanda) reveals their backgrounds, struggles, and personal stories. This slow unveiling of the characters creates an immersive experience albeit quite slow for some viewers.
One of the best aspects of Hyouka is its art. Kyo Ani has once again impressed me again with their amazing artwork and beautiful graphics. The first episode is full of amazing eye candy visuals, and the series continues strong with great display. Hyouka and Pet Girl of Sakurasou are quite arguably the best visuals I have ever seen, and I was never disappointed with their art.
If you're familiar with classical music (fitting, since the story revolves around a "classics" club), then you will definitely enjoy the music in this anime. Being a classical music lover, I recognized many of the music played in the anime such as Bach's Cello Suite No 1.
Overall, this anime might not be for everyone. It doesn't have a straightforward plot, and it focuses more on telling the stories of four characters coming together as part of Classics Club. It's a beautiful tale of friendship and love, and it is arguably one of my favorite series so far. I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys an immersive story telling experience. read more
Jun 12, 2014
The first member of the Classics Club is Oreki Houtarou, who at first glance, appears to be a simple unmotivated high school student with little to no aspirations other than getting through life in the most cost efficient manner possible. However, he is quite intelligent and has a knack for logical deduction and reasoning, although he isn't fully aware of it himself. He joins the Classics Club due to the request of his older sister, and treats it as simply another task he has to complete, but as a result gets more than he bargained for. However, as the type who won't do something unless he absolutely has to, what possible motivation would he have in putting in the effort to solve these mysteries when it conflicts with his very nature?
The answer to that question is our second member of the Classics Club, Chitanda Eru. A veritable ball of energy, she is described as "a person that cannot be ignored" according to Houtarou. The daughter of a distinguished family, her insatiable curiosity often forces Houtarou to quench that curiosity with a logical explanation. She serves as the foil to Houtarou's personality, and pulls him out of his comfort zone and shows him how life doesn't have to be a series of bothersome tasks. A polite and talented girl who excels in academics, she joins the Classics Club to discover a certain truth.
Joining the Classics Club as our third member is Fukube Satoshi, Houtarou's middle school friend and the one known as a walking database. Jack of many trades but master of none, he encourages Houtarou to use his talents and realize his potential while hiding his own feelings of insecurity about his own abilities. He joins the Classics Club to humor Houtarou and keep him company. While on the outside he appears to be a cheery troublemaker and handyman, his issues with confidence and struggle with who he wants to be constantly worries a certain girl who's had an unrequited crush on him since middle school.
With that, we introduce our fourth and final member of the Classics Club, Ibara Mayaka. A girl who enjoys reading and drawing manga and giving her friends endearing nicknames, she serves as the foil to Satoshi's personality. Whereas Satoshi is indirect and not honest with himself, Mayaka is more straightforward and blunt, and pushes Satoshi to be more sure and confident in himself and his abilities. She joins the Classics Club due to her interest in Satoshi.
Hyouka is broken up into various arcs with a couple of standalone episodes. Other than the first arc, Hyouka does not have a set end or goal in mind, and oftentimes the plot involves some mystery the group stumble upon, and the process in which they solve that mystery. Thus, Hyouka's biggest selling point lies within the dialogue between the characters. It reveals how each character approaches a problem, and their mindset on how to solve that problem. I personally found Houtarou's thought process and logic quite clever and was a large factor in my enjoyment of the show. The mysteries do seem to lack substance and motivation, and it does become tiring to hold interest at times, but at the same time, others were clever and creative and were enough to keep me watching.
The art, in typical KyoAni fashion, is hit or miss for a lot of people. However, the fact that it is well animated and fluid means it is pleasant to watch. The animations for the deduction process in particular were impressive and creative. The music is a typical high school slice of life soundtrack. As Hyouka is fairly uneventful, the music is quaint and appropriate. I found myself watching the OP and ED every episode; they are quite creative and catchy, with some nice animations.
If you're looking for an adrenaline filled, high drama mystery show, look elsewhere. Hyouka's relaxed atmosphere and logical nature may seem to make for a boring show, but if you put in the effort to understand and appreciate the dialogue and logic, it's certainly worth the watch. read more
Jul 4, 2014
The story of Hyouka revolves around the Classics Club and its members--mainly focused around Oreki Houtarou and Chitanda Eru. Chitanda's endless curiosity leads to the demise of his lifestyle, as he is coveted into solving each and every one of her inquiries. This setup is problematic as it often leads to the anime being episodic as the it progresses. Often times as I was watching the series, I found myself checking the previous episode because I felt I had skipped an episode due to the lack of connection between each one. That was only a minor problem, however, and it sometimes was dealt with through multiple-episode arcs such as the Hyouka mystery, or the thief of the Cultural Festival.The mysteries were by far my favorite part of the anime. They exercise your brain by making you think, and it is very entertaining as Houtarou uses his to solve them. That is the premise of Hyouka--Chitanda becoming curious, and Houtarou succumbing to it.
The other two members of the Classics Club are Fukube Satoshi and Ibara Mayaka. Satoshi considers himself a "database" and limits himself to not drawing conclusions. I found him to be entertaining and likable as he often uses this as an excuse for his incompetence, leaving Houtarou to finish off the mystery. Mayaka is a hardworking girl, who is strict with herself and sometimes others. I will not say I disliked her, but I felt she had no part in the solving of the mysteries. As a whole, the cast of Hyouka levels out to be exceptional, and they kept me entertained throughout the whole anime.
The art style of Hyouka is well-done, especially with the character designs. I wouldn't say it's beautiful, but you should have no complaints with the art if you decide to watch the series. It is a relatively new anime, so if high-quality is your cup of tea, Hyouka is for you. The soundtrack was decent. I never skipped the openings, mainly because I never do, but the first opening I enjoyed a lot. The original soundtracks were good, especially when it came to solving mysteries. As a whole, the art and soundtrack is not amazing, but is in no means bad, and was executed properly. If you are planning to watch this show, they should pose no problem at all.
Overall, Hyouka is an anime in which you can relax and think at the same time. It combined the genres of mystery and slice-of-life, and executed them perfectly. As for my enjoyment, Hyouka is a great watch. I was never once bored during it. If you're planning to watch it, I would highly recommend it, whether you want to think or relax.
Nov 6, 2013
Hyouka is really something for me, it's not a complex mysteries shown here but there's lot of curious things to be found here.
The story revolves around Oreki Hotarou, laid back guy whose notable for it's motto ''i don't do what i don't have to, if have to do, i'll make it quick'', Chitanda Eru, beautiful-energetic-always curious noblewoman, Fukube Satoshi, human wannabe and a walking database, and Mayaka Ibara, baby face but dangerous one- girl. they join the Classic Club and doing lot of fun things, mostly with mystery cases.
Hyouka is really KyoAni style, combination of SOL-School and moe, don't forget about that. In addition, Hyouka got ''Mystery" genre for it's central plot. So, a high-schoolers doing detective works on murdering case? no, not really, the case given is really dead simple, like ''who's steal Ibara's chocolate?'' or ''who's Jumoonji?''
But what makes it enjoyable is how Oreki and Chitanda has a contrast behavior, while Oreki is trying to retrain it's motto, Chitanda act crazily when something mysterious attracted her, and in the end Oreki is ''forced'' to solved cases Chitanda ask for. Also there was a love complex between Oreki and Chitanda, and also Satoshi and Ibara, which makes Hyouka really amuse.
I have to say that i'm fan of after-2005 KyoAni seris for it's stunning art, but Hyouka is another level- KyoAni efforts. the quality is movie-like, the movement is fluid and details are at their best. i have to praise KyoAni for presenting really good scene when Oreki trying to problem-solving the case.I can't say much about Hyouka's art but it was really splendid.
Starting with the lighthearted OP ''Reason Behind Kindness'' by Choucho, then truly masterpiece japan traditional-feel soundtracks, sound aspect in Hyouka is really shines,especially the soundtrack that really fit the story, while also increasing the mystery feel. i don't really like the ED but it was ok.
I really love the way every characters develop, especially Oreki, Chitanda is get it's roll too, especially if she's so curious so badly and Oreki has no choice but to deduces the cases. Satoshi and Ibara on the other hand, had a love complex that really colors the story out of the box.
I personally enjoyed every Hyouka's episodes, especially in the problem solving scene, it's amazing despite the cases given is dead simple, and Hyouka succed to presenting it into a very good moment, without a forced-feel.
There's nothing left i can say about Hyouka, sure i'm fan of KyoAni works, but Hyouka is different case. I don't enjoy it just because i love the studio behind it, but the story, sound, and art is really amuse me. Mystery isn't always Conan or Kindaichi, or mystery isn't always about real murdering cases, that's what Hyouka and Oreki Hotarou stands for.
''i'm curious!'' read more
Sep 19, 2012
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
Jul 29, 2014
If I have to do it, I'll make it quick"
Many of us misunderstand about a show with the word "Mystery" on its genre. We usually guess it will contain bloods,violence and anything else that related with murders and robbery.
Hyouka is a show that proof how wrong that perception.
It is very interesting show because we rarely seen an anime set in school nowadays brings the topic about mystery.
The story revolves around Oreki Houtarou an apathy boy who always conserving his energy by avoid social activities. One day he got a letter from her sister asking him to join the literature club because it will be dismissed if there are no members on it and her sister as a former members don't want that to be happen. At the club he then met Chitanda Eru a girl who join the club because she has personal reason. The club been completed when Oreki's childhood friend Fukube Satoshi and Ibara mayaka become the members.
Hyouka episodes is filled with many simple cases. Where Chitanda as the client(mostly), Satoshi as the information base, Oreki as the detective and Ibara as.. well at least she helps a little.
The main case of Hyouka is Chitanda's personal reason, it is about what happened 45 years ago At Kamiyama High school.
The story of Hyouka is very realistic and Artistic,
Very realistic Because It has no sci-fi or supernatural element like APTX 4869 and Death Note. And mostly of hyouka mistery is something we recently seen in real life.
Artistic because every single mistery unveiled by Oreki is explained with Logical reason and also the Ilustration scene from the famous KyoAni made this series more entertaining.
And not just that they closed this with very memorable ending.
For me this series is the best KyoAni made so far. The landscape, The coloring and the character design. The ending scenery was very unforgettable. but The School uniform is the best from the art.
Nakamura Yuuichi at his best for this series. I think he is more fitting with Oreki more than Okazaki from clannad or Grey from fairy tail. He is so proper with "boring" voice.
I'm little dissapointed when they changed the first opening song. the second opening song was good
but the first is the best from this series because of that watermark effect. t
itled Yasashisa no Riyuu by ChouCho, very recommended.
The BGM on preview scene is Very "Classic japanese" style very memorable.
Both of the ending was good It was voiced by The girls seiyyu, also I like the animation video for both of them.
Oreki personality really represent many of student in our school that has very lazy to socialize with the people but has briliant brain. The reaction after Chitanda request something also represent young age boy who will do anything for someone he like.
When Curiosity Kicks In no one can Stop Chitanda Eru for discussing that curiosity. Her personality which is contrast with Oreki's in this series really fitting the story. But Chitanda not just a client that will let Oreki do everything. She also Investigate and conclude the cases herself and many of her conclusion helps Oreki find the true answer.
Her beauty appereance also made many fans paired her with Oreki.
Satoshi is self proclaimed "database"
Who knows about information the around the school. I didn't like this character too much because he is overconfident I think it was author intention To remind us about Watson from Sherlock holmes.
Ibara is other female character that her interest love to Satoshi open alternate couple for the series.
The first episode was very unfamiliar for me, but throughout the series I really enjoy to watch this, My enjoyment at its peak when I watch the "culture festival" arc. the great op song also the reason I enjoy this.
Hyouka is very Great. One of the best from KyoAni. It is also has a little fanservice and has no ecchi if you just watch the series. It is one of the most complete mystery series it has romance, comedy, and touching moment. read more
Jul 24, 2013
(+) Good attention to detail as in befitting of a 2013 anime and consistent animation quality as far as I observe.
(+) Some innovative ideas to capture viewer interest like the bizarre floating gears while Oreki(protagonist) is thinking which is somewhat reminiscent of those in OP of Stein's Gate and Chitanda's(main girl) trademark shiny purple eyes and catchphrase "気になります！".
(+) Interesting characters with the coveted 'development' that is so over-hyped on MAL but whatever, it's there. Also very well-timed introduction of characters throughout the series so as not to overwhelm but also managing to add flavor when it is desired. Oreki(protagonist) impresses while managing not to be overpowered by making mistakes now and again.
(+) Mysteries are well-done, well-paced, well-thought, and generally believable while managing not to be predictable.
(+) Very captivating central arc and climax.
(+) Almost no fan-service signifies a no-nonsense and serious approach of the producers.
(-) Music is not particularly outstanding. For me, I just skipped all the OPs and EDs because they failed to interest me. BGM fits in but not really exceptional like that of F/SN, NHK ni Youkoso!, GITS etc.
(-) Being episodic, some episodes tend to be a bit boring and I had to prevent myself from falling asleep in one of them.
(-) In a few parts the reasoning was confusing and I had to replay to try and understand what was happening.
(-) While they did faithfully stick to 'character development/growth', a point so often belabored by critics, I feel some of it was a little overdone. Just a little. Hyouka has the full potential of being more plot-driven than character-driven without having to pander to the expectations of said critics.
(-) Chitanda's voice is just shrill enough to cross the line of annoyance. Sigh...
(-) Some small portions unexplained even in the end.
A very interesting episodic, detective anime with almost everything done right. It is able to combine the beauty of Byousoku and the intrigue of GiTS(just examples that occurred to me) while retaining the interesting elements of slice-of-life/high-school drama to make a very well-done piece. Why hesitate? Join the Classics Club in their adventures and immerse yourself in some of the most engaging high-school mysteries right now! read more
Mar 5, 2013
Drink an energy drink? Yeah I know, too tired to even opening the lid, just conserving energy.
Houtarou Oreki is an energy-conserving boy who avoids non-compulsory activities at all costs. However, he joins his high school’s classical literature club at the request of his sister to keep it from being disbanded. In the club, he befriends a girl with boundless curiosity named Chitanda Eru, whose personality is outwardly the opposite of his. Alongside his friends Satoshi and Mayaka, Oreki finds himself unwittingly dragged into activity by Chitanda’s curiosity as they attempt to solve mysteries in everyday life.
Hyouka started off way too slow, but that ended up ironically being its biggest strength. That, and a ton of other things, but your mileage does indeed vary.
Hyouka never conforms to one specific style of storytelling (compare the Kanya Festival arc versus Chitanda and Houtarou trapped in a shed), it never just sticks to the mysteries (indeed, my biggest complaint with this show was the assumption it was going to be a mystery show) but yet the constant references to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the creator of Sherlock Holmes) and other famous mystery writers are persistent. The characters started off a bit one sided, but eventually were given ample time for development. You never can pin down what Hyouka will do next, or how it will do it. Indeed, the biggest mystery in this show is the show itself. My answer to the question posed above: It is what it is.
The series is laid out with basically three major arcs, and all kinds of random episodic stories in between them. The episodic stories are nice and creative, but this series really sets itself apart in its multi episode arcs. The stories around them are simple, yet have very complicated stories behind them. They are full of people speculating different theories, and often getting things wrong. The storytelling takes a while to get going due to all of the slice of life put into it, but that allows it to put a ton of detail in these stories, examine everything on multiple layers, and the pay-off really manages to make use of its build-up.
The series features excellent music, voice acting and general sound work. From the extremely memorable two OP/ED songs to the general OST, Hyouka is just simply special and magical. To add to the already high bar set by the series, Hyouka features some of the Anime industry’s most talented seiyuu. These amazing voices appear sometimes in no more than one episode minor roles, adding to a near magically performance and great believability to every character that appears on screen, for however long.
And if it’s an attention to detail you want, then Hyouka really delivers on that. Whether it’s in the relationships between the characters, or the different environments. Kyoani’s animation really brings those to life. The characters themselves are all teenagers who at first sight seem like the usual stereotypes, yet develop into completely different directions. There is one character who will probably get on people’s nerves a lot though: Chitanda. She’s well fleshed out in some areas, but also rather forceful. Or make that very forceful.
The mysteries that Oreki solves, tie directly into his own personal life, development and that of his friends. With every event, the characters, very organically grow and mature. At the same time, the story develops and builds on top of little events to create some really big pay off moments. When at its best, Hyouka truly shows what the Anime medium is capable, fusing intricate story-telling with amazing character development.
For all that Hyouka achieves, which, lets be honest at this point, is more than most anime series have achieved in the last few years, it does have one flaw that may prevent some people from being engaged with it. Hyouka is simply put a sophisticated piece of storytelling. Perhaps a bit too sophisticated at times? Basically, the series is at times unapologetic and feels slow. Like any great story, Hyouka slowly and carefully builds up to some truly amazing story and character moments. The issue is, that while there are a lot of good moments, there are truly only two stand out “epic” parts. The stand out parts of the series being both the Kanyaa Festival arc as well as the last two episodes of the series, add up to a total of two.
Life definitely feels like its being “led” by the characters in the series. By the end of the series, each character has gone through a major character arc, and in the process, truly changed and grown as a person. While the ending could be described as “open-ended”, it is, in fact the best kind of open-ended ending one can hope to find in anime. It brings the theme of the series full circle, and really shows how far all the characters have come.While there are definitely more novels to potentially adapt a second season from and continue the franchise, Hyouka is also one of those rare series that actually delivers a satisfying open-ended conclusion.
Though I agree sometimes the lack of actual consequence made the mysteries…inconsequential, Hyouka gave me an appreciation for the long, twisting stories surrounding the ordinary things filling our day-to-day lives. Animation was brilliant, as to be expected, but Eru’s eyes took character design to new level, something about those
Hyouka is a series of tremendous style, intelligence and wit – a series that indulges its own creativity and treats the audience with respect. It’s a series
exploding with heart. A heart full of intriguing characters, a heart with an eye for artistic beauty, a heart with a sense of restraint in music and a heart that always opened itself to our viewing pleasure.
Jun 3, 2013
For anyone who is thinking about watching Hyouka. I won't say any spoilers. I hope my review will pique your interest on watching this anime.
Seems pretty common right? 2 guys and 2 girls. Nothing wrong with that. You already know what's going to happen. But that is just only a part of the show. They solve mysteries. YESS Mysteries. Not the boring kind where someone dies and you have to find the culprit. This mystery kind of anime happens to be simple in its own way. It mainly revolves around the school, and other places as well.
The 4 friends join together in a club for their own reason, and it turns out, 3 characters has their own knack for playing a role in solving mysteries.
Oreki Houtarou happens to have the brains to solve mysteries, and joined the classics club because of a request from his siste. Houtarou, himself just goes through life because he's lazy at everything he does. Turns out there is more to high school then he thought. As time goes by, he will soon find out that there are things he doesn't realize himself.
Fukube Satoshi, the "Date Base". Satoshi is a friend that somehow understands Houtarou more than Houtarou does himself, that goes for Houtarou's sister. He was friends with Houtarou and Mayaka since middle school. And is also the guy that is the brightest out of everyone. Though he is always a happy go person. There are things in life he just can't do.
Chitanda Eru, the one that will not let Houtarou get away from a mystery when something interests her. She became friends with the 3 of them because of the classics club. There is more to her than what you would think.
Ibara Mayaka, friends with Houtarou since Elementary, and Satoshi since middle school, She joined primarily due to Satoshi being a member. She also has a crush on Satoshi since middle school. Satoshi usually just brush her feelings aside with a joke. But what she is oblivious too is that Satoshi reciprocates her feelings and that makes him hesitant to act upon. Due to that she restrains her emotion.
The simplicity of the mystery is what you would sometimes find in your daily lives. What do you do if there was a mystery? You would try to find out why that happen or how that happened right? and sometimes we just give up and wait for the answers. Hyouka won't let you down. It will even get you to solve the mystery with them.
Though it's not all about mystery. Each friends have something in there past that makes them who they are. Houtarou himself is just someone who doesn't understand himself. Just going through life until something in his life will change.
I would say relationship plays a big role in Hyouka. Since you need others to better understand ones self. You may think you would understand yourself the most. But there are things that you yourself won't realize it until someone points it out to you.
All in all. I love this anime. I even bought the set. It has a great opening and ending. I already knew once I saw the opening that it was going to be good. It's not common to watch an anime like this. I hope you guys will watch it, cause I know I'll definitely re-watch it with one of my friends.
Jun 13, 2012
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
May 28, 2012
Well, tend to.
First and foremost I am going to say that as far as music, art, and direction go, this anime is top notch. The story and characters are where this falls flat.
This show is plagued with a specific character named Chitanda, a girl who wouldn't know what a real personality is if it hit her on the head. Even the characters point it out. She is flawless. She doesn't (normally) get angry, she isn't greedy, envious, or, this goes without saying, entertaining. Such as the male lead of this show, but at least he isn't a wart like Chitanda. It's really because of her that this show isn't interesting. Which shouldn't be the case, because she is the reason the show is a "mystery". She is the reason that lazy bag of rocks, Oreki, which was one of the few good things about this show, gets off his ass to solve these cases of hers.
Mystery, is that what this is? Normally when I hop into a show with the genre mystery stamped onto it, I am expecting something dark or fun, something intriguing or interesting. All the things this show is lacking, because they aren't solving some murder case, hell, they aren't even trying to figure out how their money went missing. They're solving such enthralling and mind boggling mysteries like "Why does this book get checked out every Friday!?!"
"Why did this make me angry?!!??!, I don't know why I got angry, I never do, because I am a potato."
Are we supposed to care about these mysteries? Is this all they have to keep us on the edge of our seat. I would really like to talk to one person who really really wanted to know why the teacher accidentally taught class A, class D's material"
Yes, that was actually a "case" in this show.
Maybe I am over analyzing this show. It's obvious reason for existing is to create a setting for this new waifu that they will most likely make tons of money off of.
I'm not hating on people that like this show. Good for you, really. I wish I liked it, I love being able to sit down to watch something I like, no matter how bad it actually may be.
If you just like mindless entertainment, cute girls doing cute things, then hey, that's fantastic, have at it, you'll go bat shit for this show, but if you're someone who likes at least a little depth to their show, well, you probably wouldn't have even picked this up to begin with.
Jan 26, 2014
In essence, Hyouka is a romance veiled by its mystery element. The puzzles that the Classics Club must solve follow a Sherlockian format; all of the clues necessary to solve them are presented before giving the solution. I found these mysteries to be very engaging, and often contained very clever twists.
The romance element is unlike most; this is not a cheesy story that has the boy/girl swooning all over the place. Instead, Hyouka takes a different approach; there is a certain degree of doubt and fear on top of their feelings that makes the characters so much more human, and caused me (at least) to empathize much more with their drama.
The animation is very good quality, and it's obvious a lot of effort went into its production. Hyouka also has it's own unique style whenever Hotarou begins to solve his mysteries. It's not always 100% photogenic, but it was certainly a pleasure to watch.
The soundtrack fits the atmosphere of the anime well, but it's not the most outstanding I've heard. I adored the first opening song, although I didn't care as much for the other openings/closings. By no means does the music detract from the series though; it's simply no masterpiece.
Hyouka does something that I'd like to see every single story (let alone anime) do: dynamic, believable characters. As mentioned before, Houtarou and Satoshi were initially quite confident about their own identities, but the events of Hyouka changed them in a way that was subtle enough to not be glaringly obvious, yet just enough to make you believe in their thoughts and actions as though they were human.
Ibara and Chitanda were also good characters for different reasons, particularly Chitanda. Since Hyouka is told from Houtarou's perspective, it's not always clear how Chitanda thinks or feels, and Houtarou is often left guessing in this respect. Chitanda unintentionally teases him in such a way that leaves him in doubt of their relationship, and leaves me (personally) shipping the hell out of them.
Hyouka's mysteries kept me constantly engaged in the story, whether blowing me away with the ending revelation or smugly satisfied by solving them (albeit only the easy ones). The love developments between the four friends also left me choking up a bit, and I definitely empathized with all of them. I actually ended up rewatching the series a few times, each time noticing the importance of once scene or clue in a mystery and picking up increasingly more cues that lead up to the character's drama.
I'd recommend this anime to literally anyone. I personally enjoyed every bit of this series, and the only thing preventing me from giving it a perfect score is knowing that everyone might not enjoy it's open conclusion. Without giving spoilers, I will say that it's thematically perfect, but for some others it was unsatisfying. Don't let this dissuade you though, Hyouka is a brilliant series that deserves anyone's attention. read more
Oct 15, 2013
A note about the major points of contention before I continue with my own views: The movie arc (episodes 8-11) and the immediately succeeding festival arc (12-17) are pretty much the meat of the series, and watching the two is generally recommended. The latter is considered by many who even are ambivalent or dislike the show to be one of the better done school festivals in a slice of life. The rest of the series is very, very hit and miss.
[Story] - 6
Ignoring the early Classics Club "arc," which generally lacked propulsion, and the movie and festival arcs, which had it in spades, the show is made up of self-contained episodes wherein Oreki solves a mystery about some topic that is sometimes forced to be mysterious. These episodes, which make up a good half of the series and bookend it, can either be taken as inertia-filled character development opportunities or completely aimless attempts to show off KyoAni's budget. The conclusions are usually fun, even if the process isn't, and none of the curiosities feel cheap. Sadly, a lot of these episodes are formulaic and their strength comes from the characters, so I can't recommend the stories on their own. The good pacing and general captivation of the multi-episode arcs, however, serve to balance this problem and prevent me from scoring this as lowly as I could.
[Art] and [Sound] - 9
These two HAVE to be lumped together for this series. KyoAni's impressive atmospheric precision and high quality are here. Even in the more boring mysteries, the animations of Oreki's thought process are nearly breathtaking. Complement these with a varied soundtrack featuring far more than the typical orchestral range of higher-brow anime, and you've got a winner. These are the points that make me wish I liked the series more, because listening to or looking at the series is an absolute joy from start to finish. Seriously immersive, seriously worth the price of admission if you can stomach that they're misused.
[Character] - 7
I can't say I disliked any of the characters, and there was a good swath of side characters to maintain interest, but the central characters were hit and miss in the development department. The slow, very organic progression is executed well for a time, but certain arcs (and, much more frequently, single episodes) throw a large amount of drama into the mix all at once, making the transitions from beginning to end jumpy and leaving me, for one, confused. Romantic tension in the series between two of the characters is rarely referenced until it becomes clear in one of the FINAL EPISODES that it was a defining moment that weighed on both characters' minds throughout. Take also the example of Oreki's self-doubt about midway through and how quickly it comes about and then is resolved (yes, the OVA does a good amount to explain the latter part, but it is not so much as REFERENCED again until, again, the final couple of episodes). This kind of characterization bugs me, especially in light of the fact that in one season of much fewer episodes, a lot of shows are able to create a forward narrative that makes the characters change at a steady, if unrealistically quick, rate. There is a balance here, and Hyouka experiments, but it fails in that it is too jarring when the characters up and change in one rush of emotion.
[Enjoyment] - 6
And here's the big nail in the coffin for Hyouka: a solid half of the episodes warrant not a single rewatch. They are meaningless, grasping, and silly, misusing characters who really are interesting and an art direction that is virtually peerless. The pacing of the series is all wrong, and the choice to make the climax about five or six episodes before the series is resolved (with only the final two episodes dealing with any resolution at all) is very misguided.
On the whole, Hyouka is a boring watch with a couple of solid sets of episodes. Sorry to sound like a broken record, but there's not much more I can dissect. In short, if you are willing to sink into some of the slowest writing ever for big intermittent payoffs, this is your show. If not, I suggest you find something lighter or at least with a single narrative thread that at least appears in each episode to provide unification and that all-important desire to watch another episode after you finish one. read more
Sep 9, 2013
Jun 12, 2013
Hyouka, to me, is all about finding out the life that one wants while living it. As obscure as that may sound, it talks about a few high school kids transforming from being conservative and self-serving (in their own ways) to proactive and reflective. While on the micro-level it explores the life adventures of these students, it subtly touches on greater topics beyond what you see, such as societal pressure, political influence on education, and responsibility of knowledge, etc. How these aforementioned are hinted throughout the show is simply exquisite and beautiful.
As expected of Kyoto Animation, the art is poetic and just right down to every detail to support the plot and establish the atmosphere of the show. The characters design is above average and not too exaggerated to retain its realism. The entire show is as real as daily life can get, which is great in its own way. Great job on Satomi's part to make a slightly-on-the-edge-of-being-annoying character sound cute and almost likable.
What I love the most about this show is the subtly in almost everything yet having emphasis at the right place/time like a prose or a song. That being said, there's still a right amount of dissonance in which the characters struggle at one point or another. Well, life doesn't come without its turbulence. Also, I really enjoyed the way it toys around with the audience by not giving too many hints away so there's always a push to finish each episode and no reason to scream "imbecile" at the screen.
Although there are so many great things about Hyouka, the way it divides into several mini plots makes the show sometimes really fun to watch yet other times kind of slow and plain. I guess life is sort of like that, which makes this directive layout reasonable, but this takes away the hook factor and renders my rating down a notch.
I would totally recommend this for anyone; it's a great show to go in between heavy psychological and action watch lists. I know that many don't find this type of anime to be their cup of tea (since that's how I started out), but I find this one to be better than some of the other Kyoto works such as Kanon or Clannad. You'll definitely like it (at least most parts of it) so give it a shot. read more