September 27, 2012

Anime Review: Hyouka

Hyouka is not your ordinary slice of life anime, but rather it touches upon the human nature of curiosity and how this feeling takes interest of a group of friends in the Classics Club.


Oreki Houtarou is a minimalistic high school boy. One day, he joins the Classic Literature Club at his elder sister's request. 

There he meets Chitanda Eru, Fukube Satoshi, and Ibara Mayaka. Chitanda is a calm beautiful girl but she turns into an embodiment of curiosity once she says, "I'm interested in it (Watashi, Kininarimasu)". Fukube is a smiling boy with a fantastic memory who calls himself a database. Ibara is a short girl and is strict with others and herself. She loves Fukube, but he always dodges her approaches. 

They begin to investigate a case that occurred 45 years ago. Hints of the mystery are buried in an old collection of works of the former members of Classics Club. The collection is titled "Hyouka."


There is no drama to be found, nor is their action or adventure. Rather, Hyouka is pretty much like your average slice of life anime. However, what makes this slice of life anime different from the rest is that is adds simple yet complex mysterious elements into the story. The curiosity into the simplest of things can turn out into long-winded explanations and Hyouka tends to touch upon this human nature a lot. That said, the beginning of the series was quite slow indeed. We get introduced to a rather boring and ordinary high school boy named Oreki Houtarou which doesn't like to waste energy. He joins the Classics Club after being forced by his sister and there he meets a cute girl named Chitanda Eru. Unlike Houtarou, Eru is the complete opposite of him. She is peppy, lively and curious about even the tiniest of details. The group begins to investigate a case that occurred 45 years ago in search of the truth behind the history of their high school and from then on, Houtarou gets involved more and more into solving mysteries ranging from your simple locked room mystery to your cultural festival clubs theft mystery. That said, you can;t really call this a detective story but rather a problem solving story that requires logical thought. It gets interesting as the series progresses and you do see some change in the characters. For a slice of life anime, it was really entertaining.

The art was beautifully illustrated and animated throughout the anime. The characters looked great and presented really well. I had nothing wrong with frame rate and choppy animation; everything was fluid and smooth. I really admire some scenes that featured vivid backgrounds and sceneries that were pleasant and wonderfully drawn to perfection. Of course though, the art is comparable to 5 Centimeters Per Second but did lack the magical experience that it portrayed. Overall, it was wonderfully done.

Voice acting was not too bad. Apart from Chitanda Eru, everyone else was not memorable at all. The voice acting felt too generic for some characters and so lead to unmemorable characters. This didn't really affect the overall presentation of the anime as it solely focuses on presenting us with an intriguing story rather than the characters themselves. The enjoyed listening to the theme songs and they were full of emotion that suited the anime really well.

Hyouka mainly features a handful of characters with some supporting characters to help move the story along. You will be instantly captivated by the lovely relationship that Houtarou and Eru mutally share; and its enjoyable to watch oppisutes attract and they both have different personalities. Apart from them, Satoshi and Mayaka are pretty much your typical "best friend" and "childhood friend" characters that support Houtarou and Eru throughout the series.

Overall, I must say that you must need some patience and understanding to fully appreciate this anime. The lack of action or adventure may put many people off, but for those who like mysteries and slice of life anime situated in a high school, Hyouka definitely delivers.

From a slow start to a steady finish, you can say that this is a slice of life anime with mystery in it.

ART: 9
Beautifully illustrated and animated. The characters looked well presented and backgrounds were highly detailed.

Voice acting although perfect but felt a bit generic for some of the characters which made them unmemorable. However, the main character stood out a lot and their voices were uniquely different from the rest.

I have to say that the characters slowly grow on you and you come to understand them more as the story progresses.

You can say that the most enjoyable and interesting parts of this anime depends on how much you like to discover new things, think logically and draw conclusions based on given information.

OVERALL: 7 (+1)
It was a pretty interesting anime to watch, and I enjoyed the mysteries. Why the (+1)? Because Miku was in it that's why.