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: 8.211 (scored by 108553 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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May 28, 2015
We find ourselves in the Classic Literature Club of which Oreki Houtarou, our energy-conserving protagonist is reluctantly a member and is soon joined by his friends, thus completing the groundwork for this “mystery” anime. When one considers what constitutes a “mystery” show, it is often associated with preconceptions of crime, horror and eerie suspense but Hyouka is not your typical mystery show as it centralises on mysteries of little real-life consequence. Nonetheless, Hyouka excels at executing these mysteries and in an atypical manner, with each of our main characters bringing a unique perspective in solving these mysteries making the process fascinating as we observe the quirky and unpredictable methodologies being used.
Hyouka does not have one unrealistically prodigious detective that can unravel and deconstruct even the most intricate of puzzles but a range of characters, some unique to each case, that all contribute key aspects leading to the solution making for a more fulfilling and genuine resolution as you feel part of the process rather than a bystander in awe of some amazing detective. The solutions themselves are meticulously well-written and thus accurate and realistic yet simultaneously complex making you feel slightly more intelligent by the end of every one. Some may find the lack of ramification in the mysteries innately boring as the characters aren’t actually usually directly involved in them, for they act for their own various reasons but they at least create a desire for you to solve them.
However, what makes Hyouka so enjoyable is not the satisfaction of decrypting it all but the development of our 4 main characters throughout each one. Hyouka is an exemplar of how the high school slice of life genre could be achieved as the relationships between our characters are captivating yet incredibly realistic with each action remaining true to the psyche of high schoolers and the ways they make decisions. The pacing is slow but constant and we can see a smooth progression in the development of our characters which tackle real-life issues that high schoolers face but nonetheless in a Hyouka-esque fashion, usually amongst the mysteries. Besides the hyperbolised curiosity of our female lead, the dialogue is extremely genuine and for met at least, indistinguishable from your real life conversations with friends at school. As the characters interact more amongst each other and face their problems, we are shown a vast array of emotions and depth to their actions and motivations which are all relevant and likely to be issues that you yourself will have faced.
On the technical aspects, Kyoto Animation (Kyoani) must be lauded for how brilliantly Hyouka is presented. The atmosphere is prominent with both the visuals and the sound contributing vastly in creating a well-constructed universe that totally fits Hyouka’s quirkiness. The animation is of the best I’ve seen – be it the expressions, movements or the background/setting -they are all perfectly and smoothly animated with appropriate use of lighting and colour palette to fit the tone of the episode. Hyouka’s episodes are visually stunning to behold in particular when mysteries are being solved as it involves the use of avant-garde animation that diverges completely from the usual crisp style to a tailor-made style suited for each different mystery. Complementing this is a fantastic soundtrack that consists of instrumental pieces which further strengthens the entire show’s ambience.
Ultimately, I feel Hyouka is an excellent anime and I give it an almost perfect score. For me, it fell slightly short simply due to the sense of incompletion in the way the show ends. I say no more to avoid spoilers but if you do watch it you may find out. If you’re looking for a unique mystery or slice of life show whose fortes lie in its characterisation, production values and its take on the mystery aspect. If you’re however looking for a serious mystery (à la Death Note) then this might not be for you as the satisfaction you receive derives from observing how these mysteries are solved and the impacts each one has on the development of our characters. Some anime attract an audience through heavy fanservice, others via action-packed plot and others with a deep and profound plot. However, Hyouka is an anomaly. It shows us how even seemingly mundane things can be made fascinating and so if you’re looking for a distinctly novel anime experience in either mystery or slice of life, then I’d wholeheartedly recommend Hyouka.
Thanks for reading if you got this far!
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
Apr 2, 2015
Hyouka is none of that. It’s nowhere near “over-the-top” in any way. Hyouka is the definition of subtlety. It’s serene, relaxing, beautiful, funny, and smartly written. But the best thing about Hyouka is that it makes you think—and not just about the mysteries.
The mysteries are small-scale cases that manage to be incredibly intriguing, causing you to become “curious”. No, the writers don’t try to instill in the viewer a burning desire to figure out the solution—they elicit from us a compelling curiosity that will drive us to want to figure the mysteries out. To me, sometimes mystery stories are so grand and dramatic that I feel like I can’t solve them on my own. But in Hyouka, the understated enigmas are so accessible yet simultaneously complex. The peaceful atmosphere draws you in until you find yourself becoming the detective, trying to ascertain the truth. I thoroughly enjoyed this format for the mysteries—it was a breath of fresh air from the mind-boggling conundrums of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes.
Though the mysteries are well executed, it’s really the characters that shine in Hyouka. As the story progresses, each of the four main characters gradually undergo great changes in character. These changes are masterfully portrayed—while most anime will just slap you in the face with character change, the evolution of these characters is so subtle and understated that you hardly notice it until the end—which is when you’ll look back on the series and marvel at the beautiful transformation the characters went through.
The animation in Hyouka is simply beautiful. In fact, it is the most beautiful animation I have ever seen. Technically, Fate/Stay Night—Unlimited Blade Works has the best animation in terms of raw graphics, but Hyouka is more beautiful because of the idyllic, serene setting and picturesque locations. And the animations that visualize what Houtarou is thinking are bafflingly complex, creative, and artistic. Fate/Stay Night might have the better graphics, but Hyouka has superior artistic direction for sure.
The themes in Hyouka are elegantly expressed. There are so many of them, but each is hidden well within the mysteries and character development. I love the way they are presented—not like Naruto’s “Never give up!” speeches that straight up pound the themes into you. The themes in Hyouka are quietly implied and are there for the viewer to pick up on if they think hard enough about it.
Hyouka encourages you to think through things that may seem trivial, and to find meaning in the mundane. It’s when you get to the end of Hyouka that you realize that the whole anime was a hidden message that the author was encouraging the viewers to pick up on by analyzing the show, just like the main character analyzes other seemingly simple things.
When you look back on the anime and realize the themes presented therein, you realize that while Hyouka may seem to be a simple anime on the surface, it is in reality a masterpiece of subtlety, beauty, and surprising depth. read more
Oct 10, 2014
"I'm curious, I can't stop thinking about it!"
These words best described how I felt as I swept through the Hyouka series. Though initially slow, as I watched more and more episodes, I began to feel myself pulled into the curiosity of Chitanda Eru and the mundane school life of our protagonists, Eru and Oreki. By the end, I found myself personally enjoying the Hyouka series greatly and wishing for much much more. But here's a disclaimer; If you're looking for a thoroughbred Mystery or Romantic slice of life, you won't find it here. In the words of one of the main cast, (Fukube) - "I won't be the best at anything, or rather, I've stopped trying to be." and these words fit Hyouka perfectly.
Hyouka is not the heavy mystery we're typically used to seeing attached to that tag. There are no violent or ingenious crimes which require an equally ingenious protagonist to tackle, nor are there deep and dark underlying secret behind the characters' actions, neither are there floods of epic romance as with most other school / slice of life anime. But what Hyouka does succeed in is by maintaining a harmonious balance of the school life / mystery elements in a setting which we can consider completely average and mundane school life. And the lens through which it views the events which constitute this school life is what makes the show so amazing, albeit hated by some.
STORY: Let me get this straight. This is the kind of story you get from an average student plucked straight from school. There are no events which stick out all that much. It is an accurate portrayal of how one would expect a Japanese student to be. While this might be offputting for some, the way which these mundane daily tasks are viewed through the eyes of Chitanda and Oreki are what really makes the story shine.
While most would just move through their day without even noticing such trivial matters, seeing them through the eyes of Chitanda and Oreki allow the viewer to see mystery in seemingly meaningless and small events, making the smallest of things, like a school rumour or a library book the subject of an entire adventure with its own backstory and explanations. And though trivial, the boundaries of the mystery is usually highlighted early and the evidence is presented to the viewers early as well, allowing the viewer to play along with the mystery if they wish to. Ultimately, the mysteries are well crafted without overstepping its boundaries as a school-themed mystery, though specific incidents were rather boring. (Such as the first 2...)
However that being said, some arcs were also especially strong, particularly in my opinion the first arc and the third arc and may hit you slightly in the feels when you least expect it. All in all, a pretty well written story despite being completely average which still manages to achieve its goals, but suffers when the incident at hand fails to pique the viewer's interest or is simply too easy to solve.
ART: This quality of art is rarely seen in a slice of life anime. The reason being that slice of life is rarely an art or animation intensive genre unlike fantasy. Yet, the opening scenes of Chitanda's sparkling eyes and even in the OP, one can easily tell how much effort went into animating those scenes. The artwork is just gorgeous and the animation flows perfectly. You get exquisite detail and you can even see flowers and hair bobbing in the wind at some points.
SOUND: I have no complaints with the sound. The sound complements the moods of the show well, and OP 1 is a particular favorite of mine. Yasashisa no riyuu is playlisted in my anime playlist and it's been stuck on repeat in my head for quite some time. Not forgetting Mikansei Stride (OP 2) and Kimi ni matsuwaru mystery (ED 2) which are also excellent and extremely fitting tracks in their own right. I draw a blank when trying to think of ED 1 though, I didn't particularly like it.
CHARACTERS: The characters I felt contributed to my enjoyment of this series greatly. Though initially they felt rather stereotyped or fitting into certain archetypes, after awhile their quirks began to differentiate them from the bulk of other characters. Who could mistake the sparkly eyed 'Kimi narimasu!' of Eru and the hair twirling sigh of Oreki. Their quirks made them enjoyable.
As the series progresses, we also begin to see the backgrounds of all 4 of the main cast, getting insights into their life, their past and their philosophies. More importantly, it allows you to see how the four of them grow as the Hyouka series progresses, particularly that of Oreki and Fukube. Seeing them grow made me really glad to have invested in those characters and their relationships with each other (Particularly Chitanda x Oreki), though I must say the inconclusive ending was rather disappointing.
ENJOYMENT: As someone who likes to think and immerse himself in the world of the characters presented, I found this extremely enjoyable and I constantly found myself trying to theorize the explanations behind the mysteries presented and extremely eager to click 'next' and find out more after every single episode. It was the perfect treat, stimulating my brain cells without me having to tax them ceaselessly, as such I enjoyed it greatly.
With all these factored in, what else is there for me to say. Hyouka has been one of the most enjoyable school-life / mystery anime which I've come across. It's definitely not the anime for everyone, but if you're into a more light-hearted mystery series with a hint of romance and school life, then you'll definitely enjoy it as much as I have. 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
Mar 5, 2015
In fact, I’ve come to really despise character stories for the sake of character stories over time because I have enough boredom trying to examine my own miserable life and I don’t need the f*cking Oscars to complicate said examination with their own shallow input, let alone anime. So whenever I hear praise regarding how Durarara is awesome because watching Vorona chat emptily on about how intelligent and violent she is, only for that exact same person to criticize the upcoming Yuki Nagato-chan anime because it contains the same empty conversations except replaced with nostalgia and moe, I feel the urge to ring my bullshit bell after swatting their head with the barf bag I just filled up. Who cares what the subject is about if both conversations are empty go-nowhere crap at the end of the day? I certainly don’t. Just because “moe conversations” set the bar so goddamn low doesn’t mean I want to watch an entire show consisting solely of a travelling furry and his foxy love interest exchange romantic quips that is ultimately cock-teasing for a resolution we’ll never get.
Sorry, what was I supposed to be talking about again? Oh right, Hyouka. Anyways, when this anime first arrived on the scene, it got a bit of a mixed response for its dull conversations and over-directed nature, but it was the latter that got me through the show because I was a lot more shallow when it first came out and the animation tricks along with the hilarity of the two males being the Clannad protagonists with better personalities was funny to me. I ended up loving the thing, considering it to be one of the few anime from KyoAni and 2012 that were actually good, but now that three years have passed and most of my revisited favorites had to get the axe, I was worried that Hyouka would join their ranks. And you know what? It almost did.
Whilst the banter was still indeed charmingly smart – although Chitanda might grate on some people – and the direction continued to be top-notch, the first seven episodes of the show fell under Steins;Gate syndrome of starting on a really dull note because said good aesthetics weren’t being applied to anything the least bit interesting unless you’re a fan of Houtarou flexing his thinking muscles and Chitanda wanting to revive the club because “vague reason”. Whilst a bunch of people have complained about the mysteries being weak, it’s less the fact that the mysteries themselves are too simplistic and more the fact that the reasoning behind them was too simplistic. Because if murders and kidnappings were all that was needed to make a good mystery, we’d be watching Kindaichi Case Files.
No, the problem with Hyouka’s first few episodes is that the underlying story is one we’ve seen before: the lonely introvert will get cured of his loneliness through the girl (and the other two members of the Scooby gang) with a mission and they’ll fall in love. And just like mysteries, action, and character porn in general, romance for the sake of romance is really boring to me. There were few jokes and whilst there is some Japanese commentary mixed into the whole mess, it wasn’t the kind of commentary that I cared for – and even when I found it kind of intriguing (Chitanda’s family situation, the fact that you can’t smoke in schools, etc.), it was surface-level stuff at the end of the day. But most damning of all, the mystery elements were just “there”. You could have exchanged them for f*cking DDR elements and it wouldn’t have made much of a difference. Whilst I’m not going to deny the character porn was good, that means nothing to me without a use for it.
Eventually, I realized the rewatch wasn’t going too well and was worried that my only attachment to KyoAni from this point on would be an anime they made over a decade ago. So in desperation, I skipped ahead to the second arc, which I remembered being the point when the anime really clicked with me. And you know what? I liked it alot.
Yes, the “plothole” regarding why the students couldn’t just ask the writer was noticeable – although it does eventually get addressed in a way that was semi-convincing – but otherwise, the second arc had a strong enough plot to support the great aesthetics because it actually bothered to instill some goddamn complexity into the thing. The movie arc actually examined the mystery tropes along with how people see them today, as well as brought our main character down a peg when he realized his brains can’t outmatch beauty, which is the kind of substance that actually makes me give a shit regarding whether or not a film will be ready in time for the cultural festival, as well as the kind that will allow me to revisit your product again in the future. Also, it had a hilarious student-made film. It’s like Shirobako if Shirobako had something resembling conflict.
Relieved that the show wasn’t completely lost on me, I ended up watching the school festival arc and enjoyed it just as much as last time because it had everything I could want in a coming-of-age/slice-of-life story: good pacing, interesting narrative tricks, engaging dialogue, and really relevant/interesting themes about talent, dreams, and the roles people play in the mystery genre underneath everything to give them a sense of weight. Enough praise has been written about that arc, so I won’t go into detail regarding it other than it would be in my top 5 films of 2012 if it had actually been a standalone feature-length title. The final five episodes, on the other hand, were a bit of a mixed bag because they were supposed to function as random side stories to tie up loose ends and we all know how I feel about that sort of stuff in general. It’s nice to see couples form and everything, but whilst that’s what a lot of people like about Hyouka, that’s not what I personally like about it.
I like the show at its best because when it can, it mixes in all those fun character aesthetics into a plot that tickles my mystery-loving bone in a way that I want it to be tickled. It’s all about context at the end of the day, and that’s what separates the good (not just in the slice-of-life genre) from that godawful Steins;Gate movie. It’s fine to like the show simply for those “fun” elements I described earlier, but let me reiterate that I don’t do “fun” shows – unless they’re Mobile Fighter G Gundam of course – because liking a show because it’s “fun” is everything I consider wrong/weird about fanboys. What can I say? I’m a huge believer in Sturgeon’s Law, and when you define something as “fun”, you’re using a reason that can be applied to 99.9% of all entertainment (with a 3.1% margin of error). Yes, even total dreck like Superman 64. Brrrrrrr.
So in the end, I still do like Hyouka - or to be more precise, the middle two arcs of Hyouka. Thankfully, they’re separate enough from the arcs I find kinda dull that I don’t have any guilt in pretending the show is a series of four films where the middle two sit among my favorite anime. Most people consider Jojo to be a favorite despite the fact that it only has one good arc that hasn’t aged well at all (as of this writing). Babe: Pig in the City is a great movie and I couldn’t care less about the first film. There are people who have no interest in seeing Urusei Yatsura that love the second film. And whilst I love Lupin, if you think I’m going to watch all of it…okay you get my point by now. It’s not really “it gets better” with the later arcs so much as “it gets different”. I won’t blame people if they don’t care about the difference, but I personally do and that’s all that matters, along with the undisputed fact that anyone who stills think Kuragehime is a good show is a raging nostalgia-blinded hypocrite. read more
Jan 2, 2015
These are the words spoken by Oreki Houtarou and embodies his outlook upon life. This is an anime about the small things in life. It's slow paced, often meaningless but ultimately is an anime that blossoms over its duration.
Hyouka is a simple story where the main focal area is meant to be mystery with a tinge of slice-of life romance. However the mysteries are often simplistic and more often than not over dramatized and often leads to a somewhat uneventful and dare I say boring climax . On the surface it would seem that the dichotomy between the rose and gray coloured lives created a interesting commentary on the purpose of existence but it honestly feels like more than a symbolic gesture. 5/10
Hyouka is a wonderfully drawn and animated series. It is evident that there was a great depth of time placed to the creation of the series with serious consideration being placed upon how the mysteries were to be played out to the audience. The incredible thought that had to be put into creating some of the visualizations is astounding and allowed for some excellent depictions. The background scenery and the animation of said scenery in Hyouka has to be Kyoto Animation's best works; fluid animation and excellent contrast of colors pushed forwards and sold the somewhat strained supreficial message of life. 10/10
Kyoto Animation has always done an adequate job in terms of their sound department and Hyouka is no exception. The two different OP and ED used in Hyouka were both catchy and entertaining. Hyouka also boasts an excellent range of classical tunes and eerie melodies that work well to accentuates the mystery and intrigue found in the animation and the art, The voice acting ranged from adequate in terms of Chitanda to excellent in the form of Oreki. 8/10
This is definitely the area that Kyoto Animation did their jobs wonderfully in the adaptation of the characters and said character's interactions. The development of Oreki throughout the anime is the stand out and the selling point of the anime. The development, along with his character is lethargic but subtle; It's subtle and slow-paced to the degree where you don't realise the nuances until your second viewing. His transformation from an individual obsessed with energy conservation to that of an individual tiliting on the edge of a "rose-colored existence" and that of a "grey existence" is a pleasure to watch. The characters of Satoshi, Mayaka and Chitanda all interact with Oreki with fluidity giving the anime substance to the otherwise stereotypical character tropes. Chitanda's eccentric personality is a mixed bag that creates a somewhat confusing blend of mild anguish, confusion and joy. Mayaka's harsh words but underlying friendship creates an interesting blend that creates a memorable female character. Satoshi's blend of snide humour, careless happiness and hidden uncertainties creates a character that is the most relate-able out of the four.
Hyouka is an anime to which I deeply enjoyed, the excellent, interesting and fluid interactions created a series that I cherish and at times curse. Once I started watching it there wasn't a single thing I could do to rip my eyes from this slice-of-life wonder. It's my opinion that before prior to Hyouka and since, Kyoto Animation has yet to create an anime that captures that same sense of fluidity and maintain it throughout a entire series. Hyouka is my favourite slice-of-life anime series of all time. 9/10 read more
Oct 3, 2014
First of can I start with the obvious, can I just gush at just, wow the art and animation, my god this has got to be the best that kyoto animation have created next to TDOHS and some scenes of nichijou. Each frame moves like butter through every scene and its consistent too (see the final scene of ep 22), with added pyrotechniques like those surreal scenes where they do many types of experimental animation like the first encounter with chitanda where her hair grows into a flowery hair fly trap (I guess simbolizing oreki being taken in by her). Also I like the k-on inspired designs of them (and been doing ever since), the design is able to display emotion so well, personally I like this comparred to the eyes 5 meters apart thing that they were doing previously. This coupled with a complementary bgm by Tanaka Kouhei that is filled with classical and atmospheric tracks that just make this production just *blush*
As for the story, it's slice of life with mystery, so it's obvious that they will not do the classical murder mysteries but more subdued lighthearted problems that they encounter and the mysteries most of if not all are really well written, they don't dump information haphazardly or keep information away from the viewer. They will get a mystery with little clues at the beginning and through reasonable deductions through oreki, we get the picture, some of them are accually quite smart too. Not overly simplistic like gosick was (gosick as a mystery is terrible). The anime I think consisted of 3 long arcs with little mysteries in between. The arcs that last betweebn 4-5 episodes are the highlights of the anime (fav is the lively cultural festival arc), as they are the most interesting mysteries of the shows, sad they don't do more of those. As for the plot for slice of life, mysyery, school, romance show, it's pretty balanced mix going on and every single second was a treat. The ending is satisfying since it shows Oreki's development throughout the show. Slice of life is not known for plots, but the characters and they are good.
Hyouka's characters are the most likable bunch of characters, consists of Oreki Houtaro, Chitanda Eru, Satoshi Fukube and Mayaka Ibara. Some say that the characters are shallow and not face any real problems for character development. I disagree as I certainly see them different from the last ep as oppose to the first ep. This is the most seen in Oreki as he changes from grey and energy saving to accepting a rose colored life also there is some subtle romantic development which is amazing for anime that likes to shove lightshows of drama to show romance, (also he is the most adorable person ever, look at his innocence), his worldview is also pretty relatable too. Out of the four Chitanda is probobly the least developed character, but she is the "I'm curious" pivot character for the plot. Also she is extremely fun to watch. Satoshi aka the database, is one odd person, he is strangely hyperactive and optimistic in contrast to Oreki, I have no idea how to make of him, he feels complex after certain ep, he feels real, I like him. Even though, I thought he was just a comedy relief character but he did that and then some. Mayaka is pretty much a high school girl, angsty, bad tempered, sharp-toungued and crushing on a boy. This might seem she's very unlikable but she's the one keeping the boys in line. All characters are very engaging to watch as the interactions are so freaking real and funny, body language is also on point. Character designs are varied and attractively done, even all the side characters have a distinctive look.
The interactions are definetely helped in making the watch so fun with the monologues of Oreki are remeniscent of kyon from TMOSH, including some good murder mysteries to rack your brain, makes this show very enjoyable. Normally my mind wanders with dialogue heavy shows (fate zero, bakemonogatari) but this one didn't bore me and kept me watching throughout.
My recommendation this is a must watch, it is breath of fresh air to the anime mystery genre and its sad to see it so underrated for having mundane mysteries, not everything has to be serious ok, at least they are good and well written mysteries
Watch this show for
+ Pretty visual even by the standards of kyoani
+ Well written mysteries
+ Nice subtle romance
+ Likable characters
Don't watch it if
- You can't stand not having dead bodies in a mystery
- Hate the slice of life genre in general which is terrible man
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
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 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
Feb 8, 2015
Hyouka is centered around four charming students in the Classics Club and their desire to dive into the subtle mysteries of the world around them. The main character Oreki has committed to his "energy conserving" lifestyle, as he does not want to stand out, waste energy, or do things that aren't required of him. Upon joining the Classics Club, the club president Chitanda discovers that Oreki has excellent deduction skills and can solve simple mysteries that spontaneously spark her curiosity. Oreki develops into the group's lead detective as they discover the world around them.
The story itself is a charming and simple one focused around development of the Classics Club, as we watch the personal growth of the members during their first year of high school. A rather uncomplicated story work in its favor, as the the episodes develop "moment-by-moment", which engages the viewer into the story excellently. I regularly found myself getting lost in the episode that before I knew it, they were over. That's an impressive feat for a slice of life anime. However from a critical standpoint, the story was sometimes inconsistent and hard to follow, seeing that a lot can happen in a short amount of time.
This is definitely Hyouka's most impressive element. The art was almost flawless. Chitanda's sparkly purple eyes, the flow of the hair, the beautiful resolution, the stunning scenery. You'll definitely want to watch this in at least 720p, or you're not fully appreciating what this show has to offer. Throughout the series I was consistently impressed with the animation. The only thing holding this back from a 10 is some of the little things. Sometimes the hands lacked detail along with things like faces in the background etc. If it was just a little more detailed it would be a total 10. Still can't complain.
Never sure of what to say in this section, sound seemed good, nice and HQ but nothing that stood out as impeccable.
I really found myself relating a lot to the main character Oreki, as I too have been accused of not caring, being lazy, can't put effort into things, is never excited or smiling, etc. Some of the jokes the supporting cast say about his personality are things that have been actually said to me, even.
The characters have great, unique personalities and each had some growth in themselves throughout the series. However, this is also my lowest score for all the elements of the show (though a 7 is still good). I was hoping for a bit more development in the supporting cast and the relationships between them, as most of the development seemed to focus around Oreki. He is the mc, but regardless this could have been a very strong category otherwise.
I never thought I would watch a slice of life anime this fast. Episode after episode is completely packed with story and meaning and the series seemed to fly by. The innocent curiosity of the Classics Club kept me engaged and entertained, as I practiced by deductive skills and honed in on the world in front of my eyes. Especially through the great animation, falling into the story was easy.
Hyouka is a great example of a slice of life / mystery done right. Beautiful art and story from beginning to end, engaging and curious. Can't believe I waited so long to watch this! if you're looking to get lost in a cute and charismatic story, Hyouka is definitely the way to go.
Jan 22, 2015
The story revolves the Classics Club, that consists of the 4 main characters. On the surface, it is a typical non-competitive high school club who plays only a small role in the yearly cultural festival. Nothing will be interesting for our characters according to the club's agenda. However, mysteries are always finding them, regardless of our male lead's reluctance. The story has 3 major arcs, each requiring 5-6 episodes to wrap up its individual mystery. The resolution is important in any mystery, but the process of uncovering must not be ignored too. If the writer regurgitates everything within a single moment, the audience will be left feeling empty, confused and unsatisfied. Here, Hyouka did great by emphasizing the journey our character takes before the resolution is out. Those mysteries also do not seem out of place despite a mundane, typical school setting. Unfortunately, I am unable to give a resounding 10/10 since the remaining episodes, after the 3 arcs, are desserts with mystery toppings. The ending is also inconclusive, leaving the audience wanting for more. However, considering just the 3 major arcs aforementioned, it's definitely nothing short of a masterpiece.
By KyoAni, enough said. Watch it yourself and be overwhelmed by the brilliant and vibrant animation this studio is famous for.
Between sound and story, the story stands out more. Hence, I hardly paid attention to the background music. To my knowledge, none of them feel out of place. If I have to add on, the openings and endings are superb.
I guess here's where the series falls slightly short. We have 2 main characters and 2 psuedo main characters. Character development is minimal and though the writer tries not make the characters question their beliefs and "motto", they remain more or less the same throughout the series. Romance is there but the conclusion is not one that the audience is expecting and be satisfied with. However, the characterization of the main leads is well written and unique as they are not confined to any overused stereotypes.
What else can you say for a well written mystery. Within each major arc, until you reach the conclusion, you will not feel complete. Upon reaching the conclusion, you are left wanting to see more of what the series have to feed its audience. These are the motivations that push me to finish the series in 2 days. What else can I give for this criteria, other than a 10/10?
Overall: 9+10+8+8+10=45, 45/5=9
Hyouka is a brilliant work that is guaranteed to satisfy its audience. Besides, it's completed and hence is all packaged nicely for you to marathon. If you are into mysteries, do check this out. Unfortunately, I am unable to find any similar anime to recommend, and hence, I am sorry if you are left frustrated after finishing it. Maybe its too unique for its own good? read more
Nov 13, 2014
interesting slice of life story, and manages to do it
really, really well. Coming from Kyoto Animation you
could argue that it was always headed towards big
things, but this is different from what we normally see
from Kyoto, this is more interesting and holds more
depth, and makes for a far more interesting and
The plot focuses around Hotaro Oreki who lives by
the motto of "If I don't have to do something, I
won't, but if I have to I'll do it quickly." This motto
goes for every aspect of his life, leaving him with very
little drive or interest in actually doing anything with
his life until he joins his schools Classics Club, after
some encouragement from his older sister, and meets
Eru Chitanda. Eru is, without a doubt, a very
interesting character who shines throughout the
series; she's the type of character who is forever
curious about every little thing, and it just so happens
that Hotaro finds himself unable to refuse Eru when
she looks into his eyes and states she's curious about
something. Hotaro and Eru aren't the only members
of the Classics Club, we also have Satoshi Fukube who
is a close and childhood friend of Hotaro and claims
himself to be a "database" of, sometimes useless,
knowledge. We also have Mayaka Ibara who is also a
childhood friend of Hotaro and Satoshi. It makes for
an interesting group of characters and considering
they all get a fair amount of character development
throughout the series and a chance to stand in the
spotlight, they feel like characters you can really grow
close to and enjoy watching. The series is mostly a
slice of life, but because of Eru being endlessly
curious, the group end up solving a lot of mysteries,
which is a refreshing idea for the slice of life
genre. Fair enough, none of the mysteries are over
the top and most are simple things, but this is where
the characters really shine and bring out the best in
the show, plus simple sometimes isn't a bad thing.
Hotaro is a gruff and lazy character to begin with, but
as you watch him get dragged into things by Eru and
co and watch how he grows as a person you really
come to like him and realise he is by no means a bad
person, and the same can be said for the rest of the
cast. While you may not start off being very fond of
them, that can quickly change over time because
there is far more to them than meets the eye and
each has far more depth to them than you'd likely
The pacing of the show is done rather well, most
mysteries are solved within an episode or two with
the biggest exception being the Cultural Festival
which is spread out over five or six episodes, which
actually makes for a very interesting arc. Again
though, not being stuck on the same mysteries does
help the show because it keeps it fresh and
interesting. It's also a show that relies on its script a
heck of lot, both for when Hotaro is solving a case
and explaining it to the other members of the Classics
Club and for when he's narrating the story, but that
is by no means a bad thing either. It's the type of
series that will have you thinking deeply about things,
but it can also remember not to take itself too
seriously and throws enough comedy into the mix to
make sure you always find yourself with a smile on
your face at some point during an episode (even if
this is at the expense of poor Hotaro). It's down to
earth and feels like you're watching the day to day
lives of see characters, which isn't a bad thing
because it works really well for the idea of the story
and for the characters themselves, it's actually a very
strong show for its genre. Being only 22 episodes feels
like a shame, but at the same time it probably does
help the series. 12 episodes wouldn't have felt like
enough, and more than 22 may have hindered the
series more than helped even though we are left
wanting just a little more. 22 was enough to fully
explore any deeper aspects of the story and leave us
with a pleasing ending, so I can't really complain
Where the animation comes into things the series is
always very pleasing on the end, with some especially
pretty animation near the end. Character designs
aren't amazing, but they are different from the
normal designs Kyoto Animation throw out, and are
all interesting in their own right. The series also has a
nice way of working us through the mysteries as
Hotaro is explaining things with some rather
interesting animation, which is always refreshing to
see and really helps you understand the mystery at
hand and just what has gone on.
As far as the shows soundtrack goes, it doesn't
actually have a large amount of music because it
chooses to reuse a lot of it over and over, however
maybe more music would have hindered the show
and the music we do have works perfectly fine. The
fact the show reuses a lot of its tracks isn't noticeable
enough to become a bother, and the tracks are
generally nice enough where you're happy to be
hearing them again. It's also worth noting that the
series has two very impressive opening themes, which
are very catchy and will have you tipping along to
them after the first couple of listens.
Overall it's a strong show and certainly one of my
favourites. Any fan of mystery stores and the slice of
life genre will enjoy the series, either for the
mysteries it presents to the viewer, or because of our
loveable cast of characters. A solid show which is well
worth your time. 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.
May 18, 2015
There are some anime that when you see some sequence from the show, it immediately catches your attention. Indeed, when I looked up Hyouka, I was curious. Having seen it's catchy OP sequence, I was determined that this was an anime that I had to see. I was definitely not disappointed.
When making a live action film, the director can tell a story through many mediums: the dialogue, the actors, and the cinematography. While the director can create visual effects, he/she is bound by the physical world. What makes anime so fascinating and appealing is a director has one additional tool at his/her disposal: the artwork. With the lift of a pen, an artist can realize any image he/she can think of. That power is extraordinary because the way you can express your ideas is virtually limitless. Indeed, the artists at Kyoto Animation were flexing their artistic muscles and produced scene after scene of artistic virtuosity. The crisp animation, the fantastic backdrops, and the amazing "theory explanation sequences" (where Houtarou, our MC, is doing his explanation of what happened in the mystery) are all part of this fantastic visual journey planned out by the Kyoto Animation artists.
The sound is also very strong. The OST is composed of mostly classical music. Being a classical music fan, I appreciated their choice in using Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 as the main background music. If the art hadn't already provided a great experience, the music picked up whatever slack the art left behind. There is one piece of music they play when a new mystery arises that sounds a tad creepy and watching this anime at night made me reluctant to go to sleep. Perhaps the composer was trying to achieve a mysterious atmosphere but to me, it came off as creepy. The first OP and ED are very catchy but the second OP and ED fell slightly short. Nevertheless, they were very good. A cool fact if you did not know already: Houtarou is voiced by the same voice actor for Tomoya (Clannad: After Story) and his sidekick Satoshi is voiced by the same actor for Sunohara (Clannad: After Story)!
As a non-frequent mystery watcher, I felt the story was really engaging. Basically, we follow Houtarou, a brilliant sloth, as he reluctantly joins/re-establishes the Classics Club at his school (even perhaps coerced) . Unknowingly, he meets Chitanda, a girl who also happens to be interested in joining. These two characters have really great moments together. Chitanda is a very curious girl so anything piques her interest. Reluctantly fueled by her curiosity, Houtarou sets his thinking gears into motion every time she says, "I'm curious!" We all know a great mystery is ahead of us. The types of mysteries that the Classics Club solves are very intriguing and realistic. Mainly, they are characterized by their simplicity. But when Houtarou gives his theory (and usually it’s the answer), we come to realize how we often overlook so many details. Of course, given these interesting cases, I found myself attempting to solve the cases before Houtarou can but obviously, I always lost to this great detective mind.
The only negative aspect of Hyouka was that the story started off slow. The mysteries during the slow episodes were engaging but felt drawn out. In addition, the characters had close to no development in the first 10 episodes so that also contributed to the reason that Hyouka was a tad boring in the beginning. However, after those 10 episodes, the characters got much more exciting and subsequently, the story as well.
Another trip in Hyouka is its romance. Although Hyouka is not in the romance genre, there is some romance in the anime. If you were brought here because of a romance recommendation, you may find yourself unsatisfied by the end.
Aside from the strong art, Hyouka also has a cast of strong characters. Aside from the 4 main protagonists, there are some characters who appear but not given much development as they are only used for one or two mysteries. That means we get much more screen time for our main people! The other two characters who eventually join the Classics Club are Satoshi, a walking database, and Ibara, who is probably the most "normal" person in the entire group. The characters develop really slowly but this way, we get the immersive experience of how the character feels at the first stage before they move onto the next stage. They are very likable characters in that they have their struggles that we can relate to. For instance, Satoshi wishes to be a great detective but given that he is a "database" he is much slower than Houtarou at coming to conclusions. Satoshi's struggle is how he must reconcile the fact that he may never be as good as Houtarou.
Overall, Hyouka was an enjoyable anime. Great mysteries, great visuals, and great characters. If you are a fan of mystery, this is definitely an anime for you. If you are simply into artwork, you will have no problem immersing your eyes in all the glory that is Hyouka.
Thanks for reading my review! Let me know what you think of the anime! "I'm 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 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 24, 2015
Hyouka is a 2012 anime by Kyoto animation, it's a school slice of life (WHAT OMG SO ORIGINAL KYOANI HOW U DO DIS MIND=BLOWN) but in all seriousness this show is actually fairly fresh and has a rather unique feel, unlike some of the other SoL Kyoto animation are known for, notably, Kyoukai No Kanata and Haruhi Suzumiya, which both actually have story's where stuff ACTUALLY HAPPENS, this... Doesn't. Literally nothing happens, like, at all. Hell even K-ON had a more serious plot than this show, and that's not a bad thing don't get me wrong, cos the story isn't actually the strongest part of the... Story... Yeah, ummm. It's the characters, there's about half a dozen important characters in the show, and of them, 4 of them are even more important and of them, 2 of them are even more important, it starts with the very typical boy joins club in high school, girl is in club at high school, friends join and get involved plot happens kind of story, but about as early as half way through the first episode, you kinda sorta feel like this will be different, you see that the main character Oreki, isn't the stereotypical naive yet lovable and aloof MC, or rather, he's a lazy ass son of a bitch that only does what he absolutely has to do and nothing more, and what he does have to do, he does quickly so that he can get back to "conserving his energy" AKA sitting on his ass doing fuck all... And immediately I relate to this character... It's great, he joins the club cos his big sis told him to or something, it's not all to clear but that's pretty much the just of it, when he gets to the club room and walks in, the second MC Chitanda is already there, she recognises him as the lazy Oreki, even though they've never spoken, which immediately reveals how crazy this girl is, THEYVE NEVER SPOKEN, THEYRE IN DIFFERENT CLASSES, HE DIDNT EVEN KNOW WHO SHE WAS... SHE KNEW ALMOST EVERY THING ABOUT HIM, it's serves to strengthen our understanding of both characters, andddddd, if you were paying any attention you would have picked up almost as much information about Chitanda (aside from the fact that she is the generic KyoAni moeblob that we've all come to expect) as you have from Oreki, they're both pretty different characters as apposed to what you'd expect from this genre, and to be honest there's no real romance or connection between them... Well... I mean... There kinda is I guess. It's hinted at that they kinda dig each other, and we can assume that, what 3 years after the series finished, there like 20 now? Yeah they banging... Anyway the other two important notably characters would be Satoshi, Orekis, pretty much only friend by the looks of it, and Mayaka, one of chitandas friends, Satoshis girl friend and all round bitchy bitch... It's makes me wonder actually, since there close friends to both Chitanda and Oreki, and have known them for a long time, and there dating, how come Oreki and Chitanda have never even met... Dafuk, anyway it's unimportant... What IS important is that these two support characters support the main characters (who woulda thunk it) Satoshi likes to think of himself as some kind of "database" and somehow has an absurd amount of information on pretty much everything, Mayaka is just a smart girl who's very smart and pushy, these 2 characters are really my only gripe with the series, and by that I mean, I wish I could see more into there lives too, they're shown to be incredibly relatable and human characters going through an experiencing things many people have been through in the school lives. there are a few episodes throughout this 22 episode long series that are almost entirely focused on them, but aside from that it's mainly centred on Oreki and his overbearing weakness to Chitanda, and mo specifically, the words "watashi kininanimasu". It roughly translates to "I can't stop thinking about it" and is essentially orekis trigger, when Chitanda leans in blatantly intrudes on his personal space, and shoves her big round... Eyes.... In his face, and then shouts this at him, he can't really do anything aside from helping her, and this is where the "mystery" part of the series comes into play, it follows a fairly episodic structure, with mainly 1 or two episode long arcs which normally end with Oreki solving the glorified mystery (more like riddle, or puzzle, or in one case, math equation...) but there is one longer arc that lasts about half the series, and that arc is probably my favourite story arc of any arc I've seen in any anime ever, it brings together all of the characters we've met already, brings them all together to try and solve an actually mystery... Finally something's happening right? Nope. Still the same slice of life stuff, that, if you think about it, doesn't really matter, but that's the beauty of the show, you really care about it, it feels like it does matter, and it makes you wanna find out the answers, even if it's just so you can brag to your friend who you forced to watch the show about how you solved the mystery before the answer was revealed *cough* this is also where two more important characters are fleshed out, they had both been spoken about and introduced previously but only as side characters but here we see more of the student council president who's name I can't fucking remember at all, meh, and Irisu-senpai, aka best grill, she acts as kind of a mentor to Chitanda through out this arc and teaches her ways to get Oreki to do what she wants, aka the basics of seduction.... Nice. Through this, Chitanda becomes aware of Orekis weakness which leads to some of the more humourous scenes in the show, where Chitanda fails and convince him due to her own naivety and innocence, and where Oreki gets all flustered cos a cute girl just jumped up infront of him and tried to act all seductive n stuff without even knowing what she was doing.... Either way the mystery gets solved and it returns to its much more peaceful episodic format for the last few episodes and at this point you really see how all of the characters have changed, Satoshi has become more humble, but also has developed a great deal of both respect and resentment for Oreki who, whilst being incredibly lazy, solves all the mysteries with relative easy whilst he (who likes to think of himself as some kind of detective) could not, Mayaka shows her insecurity throughout, both infront of Satoshi, and during he manga club problems, and at the end, after confronting them all, she has become much more reliable and confident, Chitanda has become a little less naive but pretty much doesn't change, and Oreki, well he doesn't really change at all, he just becomes a little less lazy, which all works out for the better.
In short it's a great and very interesting series with a unique story in where literally nothing of any importance happens at all, and yet it feels super dramatic thanks to the strength of the characters and the artistic direction (the art is fantastic btw, like even compared to other KyoAni stuff, it's beautiful) there's a reason this is on my favourite anime list on my MAL account...
Would I recommend it? Yeah to some people, I kinda see it like marmite, you either think it's a master piece or you absolutely hate it and find it boring as hell, I'm in the first camp, the only difference is, if you like marmite, I might say "yuck it's disgusting how can u like that stuff" but if you don't like hyouka I won't even talk to you... Like seriously, get out of my sight right now you fucking WEEB... But in all seriousness, go and watch this series right now, even if your one of the people who would find it boring, it's something I think you should experience either way.
My score for hyouka is 10/10... Also if this review wasn't enough to persuade you to watch it, hyouka translates to ice cream... Yeah... And if you don't like ice cream, even if you lactose intolerant, there's something wrong with you... read more