Synonyms: Hyou-ka, Hyouka: You can't escape, Hyou-ka: You can't escape, Hyoka
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 23, 2012 to Sep 16, 2012
Duration: 25 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 8.251 (scored by 58275 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
Oct 21, 2013
Hyouka is one of those series with a bit darker atmosphere, which brings an effect of seriousness to the one watching through the show overall. If you are a fan of calmer series, that emphasize the mysteries and the process to their solutions over the fully exciting and energetic scenes in general, then Hyouka is most likely for you. However, if you are not that type, you might find the series intensively boring, brining quite a high possibility of you dropping the series somewhere in the middle.
The story follows four members of the Classics Club; Hōtarō, an energy-preserving, but very talented boy; Satoshi, Hōtarō's friend who is quite an energetic boy. He claims that he, himself, does not have any specific talents in any focus whatsoever; Eru, the president of the Classics Club. She is the reason and the cause for Hōtarō to drop his laziness on various occasions, and solve the mysteries she is curious about; And last but not least, Mayaka, a girl who has known Hōtarō and Satoshi since back in the middle school years. She is also quite a strong fan of manga overall.
Through the series, it is shown how these members approach various mysteries and how each of them poses theories on the matter. Through hearing various theories himself, Hōtarō comes to a conclusion to all of them. Although he is mistaken a few times, he is prepared to waste some more of his energy in order to fix that mistake and present the correct answer.
The art and sound play a really big role towards achieving the overall effect on the watcher. The background art is darker and the sky is more grey. Just these two points themselves bring a heavy effect of seriousness to the series, letting the one watching know that he/she shouldn't be expecting much comedy or sweetness through the series. However, here is the catch - it is still there, just not in such a big extend. In the end, we could say that the quirky eye's art is really emphasized by the background being darker, automatically giving those short sweet scenes that much more of an impact as well.
I couldn't say anything less about the sound. Through the situations of deep thought, or simply presenting a turn-around of an issue, quite strong and mysterious sound plays in the back, making the watcher think that something big will happen, or be learnt. Combined with the art and the work the voice actors have done, I must compliment the combination of all those as a whole - it was a job well done.
Although there were no over-dramatic scenes, or any extreme action that would get my full attention which I usually like, I must admit that I very much enjoyed watching Hyouka. Calm and a bit darker as it is, I am glad I put my time into it, since it is perfect for the times when you just want to watch something with a spice of seriousness between the first year students.
In the end, I very much suggest you to give Hyouka a try if you do like a bit calmer series which do not emphasize all the shiny, way-over-sweet and -dere stuff around, but display a more or less normal and lazy school life of four students, as they set off to clear some dedicated goals. 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
Sep 9, 2013
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 18, 2013
What on earth is worth living to your utmost ability? Hell if I know. That is the way Oreki Houtarou views the world and how he lives. He doesn't see much value in expending energy which could otherwise be used more wisely, like studying or reading or sleeping. He is extremely lazy. Is there anything wrong with living a "colorless" life? No. Some may not believe me but it is actually way better than having a "colorful" life, that is, if you don't have anyone to share your colors with. Well, Hyouka is nothing more than a happy slice of life in which Oreki Houtarou slowly forms bonds with those in the Classics Club.
I am not going to explain what is already said in the synopsis so on with the review.
Okay, first, let me start with the good.
The art and animation is great, I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. The sound is decent as well. At certain points the background music would kinda throw me off, but I got used to hearing it and even kinda liked it. My favorite song is the first OP, it feels very slice of life and has an uplifting tune. The second OP wasn't as good as the first one but it was still okay. The EDs were both okay, the animation in them were both kind of interesting at first but I did end up skipping them after first couple times I heard them.
The characters are outstanding and their development throughout the series is done very well. As someone who highly enjoys character development I was really able to enjoy this anime "Hyouka" or "I Scream" aha. It is simply phenomenal, the way the characters grow out of their shell, each character gets their own screen time, but the character that developed the most was Oreki Houtarou who starts out as a lazy minimalist who's only wish is to have a "Colorless" life. And to be honest, I got the most enjoyment out of his mannerisms and his development.
Granted, this is a mystery type anime, the mysteries themselves aren't very interesting. They aren't the main point of the anime, they just serve to satisfy Eru Chitanda's curiosity who drags the MC Houtarou in, practically forcing him to solve them for her. I found this very enjoyable and you mainly learn about the characters through these mediocre mysteries (there are a couple of the mysteries I found very interesting though). The reactions whenever Houtarou solves an extremely simple case are sometimes very dramatic and this could be distasteful for some viewers. I hardly consider this a deal breaker, though, what matters to me most is the character development.
The most important aspect of this anime is the characters, not the story. This anime mainly rolls on character development and I personally believe that what makes up a good story is not the story itself, it is the characters. And in that sense this anime passes with flying colors!
Hope you found this review helpful and, hopefully, if you could submit feedback, whether you found it helpful or not, that would be greatly appreciated especially since this is my first review. read more
Sep 19, 2012
If you're looking for a "normal" high school slice of life then Hyouka might be or may be not what you're looking for. Either way, it is quite enjoyable and you will be drawn to it right from the first few episodes. (mostly if you're a fan of mysteries). The best part about Hyouka is that the author didn't try bringing in ridiculous and impossible mysteries which can be somehow explained thanks to some demonic or magical force. No. This is all about development, a story where "normal life" turns out to be interesting with all the rumors, object disappearances or hidden reasoning and feelings high school students might have. Also it gives off an important lesson: everybody has a hidden talent, being it skills at observing and memorizing or putting different ideas together to resolve a certain situation or even knowing bits of everything and be a human database, but even so many would fail to see what they're really good at.
I gave it a 9 though because at the end of it all something just felt incomplete. But not necessarily. Maybe I was just sad it ended. xD
Typical KyoAni. Which is really good since I tend to love all animes KyoAni put their hands on. The angles, the sceneries (like the sky, water, trees) but also expressions and the focus they put on the characters' eyes was just amazing from my point of view. The art is pretty soft too and tries to avoid contorted faces and unusual movements as much as possible. The openings are also pretty original, like the water droplets on the images which made Hyouka's first opening my favorite of the season.
I gave a 10 to the sound. Why? Well because i just couldn't help but replay some scenes because the damn music was so intense. And Hotarou's explanations would just become more epic because of that music. A kind of horror-like soft song that sends both anticipation and suspense. There was another track that would start playing right after or when a character would make a personal confession which also felt pretty intense and almost like you can get the idea of how the character really feels. OP-ED included too, outstanding sound.
The development all the characters got in only 22 episodes That's why the characters get a 9. The first episodes seemed like they stabilized stereotypes as the 4 main characters and this is how they'll be for the entire series. well no. They all change. They all go through a constant changing, because of what happens around them or the people they meet so at the end of the series you just can't help but smile thinking of how many characters we might have initially misjudged. Hotarou, the main and his friend, Satoshi, I think went through the biggest changes of heart.
All those things above said, are you even wondering why I gave a 9 to enjoyment? xD I would have given it a 9,5 but MAL doesn't allow half votes unfortunately. read more
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
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
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.
Nov 5, 2013
If you're reading this and haven't watched the show yet, this will somehow show you that the show is really a MUST-SEE!!
If you're reading this and have already watched the show, I'll appreciate a comment :)
I have conventionally disassembled the show into strengths and weaknesses of its respective elements. I hate long and novel-like reviews so this will be a brief one...
The strength in the story is that it had proven that mysteries don't always have to be dark and serious.
The show also vividly presendted a significant character development plot through their daily interaction
and ofcourse their mystery-solving theme of bonding together.
One word... CLASSY!!!
The strength is obviously the great and consistent proportionality in the character design, bright background and superb simultaneous animation. Personally, this is one of the elements that really carried the show all the way!
not much to say but I personally adore the second half's ending song, the one with the lyrics..."you are a mystery, detective I'll try to be" :D
Along with the show's visual art, this element had hard-carried the show to its glory.
The great stuffs about this is first, the colorful personalities of the characters which blended perfectly creating a rainbow like combination and charming chemistry that makes you want to go in their world and bond with them. Second, like what I have stated in the story element, the character development which was significantly presented
through the main protagonist's transformation from a dull gray character into a more active and rosy romantic one.
Lastly is the show's ULTIMATE EYECANDY... ERU CHITANDA :")
on the other hand...
I don't know if it's just me but I find some of the episode heavily text barricaded, what I mean is you have to really
focus on EVERY WORD on the subtitles or on what they say to somehow flow along with their thoughts. Sometimes, you even have to hit the pause and
rewind button to absorb some of the details presented especially when the MC is doing the deductions. I also noticed some gaps in the story line that made me have a lot of "SAY WHAT!!??" and "WHAT THE FVCK JUST HAPPENED" moments while watching. Lastly, I had a hard time going along with the deduction of some of the mysteries involving the use of Japanese characters and hiraganas. I just hope that the author would lessen those kinds of mysteries in the future volumes for the non-jap fans! :)
This is unfortunately FLAWLESS!!!!
I had no problem with this either :)
If there's any lack on this field, it would be a significant romantic interactions between the main characters which is fairly understandable :)
Oct 3, 2013
I'm not here to tell you that you must absolutely watch it, because if i was being honest, to me the ending could use some work. This isn't to say it isn't worth watching, as i stated above this is a journey anime. If you enjoy character development and interaction between characters in anime, you know what i mean when i differentiate between "journey" animes and "climax." animes.
a journey anime is one that may not have the best conclusion, but is still amazing because of the journey it brings you on felt perfect in it's own way.
a climax anime builds and builds until the end, and if the end isn't good it could ruin the entire series.
Basically, a journey anime relies on making a well rounded "every episode and arc feels amazing", while a climax builds for an amazing ending.
I hope you enjoyed my random thoughts on anime in general, and if you got through that rambling, i invite you to take part in this journey.
one last question: What is your rose coloured highschool life? 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
Jul 4, 2013
I learnt about Hyouka when going through the recommendations thread here in MAL and got intrigued due to the combination of High School and detective fiction. And as a big fan of both genres I decided to give it a chance.
STORY (9): It is about a boy, Houtarou Oreki being requested by her sister to reestablish the Classics Club in their school and there he joins Eru Chitanda, Satoshi Fukube and Mayaka Ibara. They encounter mysteries that are happening around the school as well as the events in their outside life in high school. The premise kind of reminds me of Tantei Gakuen Q but still they differ in the execution in combining high school and mystery genres. The opening arc of the series is really interesting and the mysteries are not that hard but not that easy either which can give you a good chance in solving the cases as the episode continues unlike in Detective Conan or Tantei Gakuen Q. Also the mysteries presented are very wholesome.
ART (10): Hyouka was produced by Kyoto Animation and they mostly specialize in high school anime. It is very well done in my opinion. The animation is fluid but the colors are kind of limited in my opinion, but it works well with how the anime is shown.
SOUND (8): Background music for Hyouka is very typical for the high school scenes and for the mysteries, its not much as heart pounding as I have hoped for but they are still reputable. The OPs and EDs used are okay in my book. And if I have to pick my favorite among them, it would be the 1st OP theme.
CHARACTERS (9): The four leads have practically have only two types of demeanor: the quiet and the loud one. Two for each type of demeanor. Houtarou is the smart, lazy and silent type. Eru is the demure yet sometimes "gets in your face" when she's intrigued by something. While Satoshi and Mayaka are practically the same when it comes to personality. Their personalities might be very common but the chemistry between the four works really well. Their designs are realistic as possible such as hair style and color except in the eye color department.
ENJOYMENT AND OVERALL (9 and 9): When I was watching Hyouka, I actually felt very happy every time I get to solve the case presented in the show. The depth of the show is enough for all types people with different thinking to enjoy it unlike in Detective Conan and Tantei Gakuen Q where most cases are really hard. It is a good show to practice basic deduction skills as well as observation skills. read more
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
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.
May 23, 2013
When you first get into this series, you get introduced into an kind of unsympathic main character. Houtarou Oreki is a typical lazy student who seems quite pathetic in the beginning. During the series you slowly see him evolving into somebody completely different due to his friend (if you can call her that), Eru Chitanda. She is his obvious opposite: She is a happy, optimistic and most importantly curious person. The character development is pretty good. There is a small romance between to pairs of main characters as well : Oreki and Chitanda and their friends, Satoshi and Mayaka. I'm not going to get too deep into their character development, but it shows some relevance in the later episodes.
Art & Sound:
This area of Hyouka can be summed up in 3 words: pretty freakin great. I didn't want to fix myself on this aspect, but during my run I realized, that these 2 things were pretty amazing. The Art Design and the Animation is very detailed and in my view quite beautiful. The Soundtrack underlines the atmosphere very well, but it could've been done better.
You could say, that this is one of the weaker aspects of this anime. It's PG-13 what basically tells, that there are NO REAL MURDERS OR SERIOUS CRIMES. For me at least, it was a huge bummer and a waste of potential. I don't intend to say that what the writers did here is bad or anything. But this series could've been much better with actual crimes. As said, the story, as it is, is ok and quite entertaining as well. I also gotta say, that Hyouka had the best School Festival Arc I've seen in a long time.
Hyouka has its flaws, but I cannot deny that I enjoyed the heck out of it. My attention was fixed on Shounen and other anime genres for most of the time, so this Mystery type anime is quite fresh to me. The astethics blew me away and its overall presentation is pretty well done. Charachter development is pretty good.My only problem is the lack of actual crimes which could've lifted it up to one of my favs. In the end I can only say that I hope for an improved 2nd season.
9/10 read more