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16 of 22 episodes seen
If you're a fan of Detective Conan, this is not the 'mystery' anime for you. Like Detective Conan, Hyouka is broken up into many small stories (cases), where Oreki Houtaru and his fellow Classic Club friends attempts to solve mysteries within the school. In Hyouka, 'mystery' does not circulate around horror, thriller, psychological or any 'dark' themes. Compare to other mystery anime such as Detective Conan, in terms of executing mystery, I prefer Hyouka. Why? Simply because Hyouka is more realistic (Detective Conan's cases are way to superficial eg. Hey someone died!, let's use puzzles and word riddles to solve the case! (I call that 'mystery storytelling' not 'mystery story')...). I cannot emphasise more on the magnificence of the pacing in Hyouka. Hyouka also very successfully put forward evidence for the audience to solve each case and the timing of it is perfectly executed to give me enough time to think, I love it because I was able to solve some cases beforehand whilst Hyouka did not decrease the quality of the mystery. Whereas Detective Conan's clues/evidence seems to appear out of nowhere when Conan is giving his deduction most of the time. Why did I give it a 9.5? I love Hyouka, but there are unnecessary stuff, and personally I ended up expecting more as the anime progresses.
The art is superb, it brings out the vibe of mystery while keeping a peaceful feel.
This is just my personal opinion. Well, the voices of the characters expectedly matches the face of the characters... Hyouka also adds in background music to cue us certain clues, drives me to think and concentrate; eventually helps me to solve it. Sometimes I prefer
Characters are very diverse and unique. Especially Oreki Houtaru: his renowned motto of "If I don't have to do it, I won't. If I have to do it, I'll make it quick", believes that he is "conserving energy" instead of being lazy. I actually find this really interesting. I hate anime where the main character comes out confident, intelligently perfect and solve every mystery perfectly and quickly with a smile/smirk on their face. And I also hate whimpy characters, cry-babies whom just pisses me off. So Oreki Houtaru is perfect for this particular anime. He makes mistakes, he makes wrong assumptions, he struggles, it is ideal to make me dwell into the case instead of just taking his answers for granted. Ultimately increases my enjoyment and involvement in the anime.
I also like the characterisation of Fukube Satoshi, a very likeable, carefree character. He's like the clown of the anime, who provides comedies to lighten up the anime.
I love how I was able to get involved, given the enough time and clues in attempt to personally solve their cases. If you're the type of person who likes to think, you'd find this enjoyable, otherwise you'd be the person who prefer things like battle anime, where you don't really have to think much. But given I'm the type of person who likes anime that involves solving problems, thinking, philosophy, etc, I found this an exceptional enjoyable anime.
It really all comes down to personal preference of what you prefer and expect in a 'mystery' genre. Hyouka is no way a dark/brutal/psychological anime, as most people would associate mystery with those. However, it should not be dismissed as a crappy anime, not fit to bear the holy genre of 'mystery'. Put mystery aside, it'd still be an interesting anime to watch too.