Hyou-ka: You can't escape
Keywords: , , , ,
Notables: Animation - KYOTO
SATOU Satomi
Oreki Hotaro is a high school boy, who always acts passively. One day, he enters "Koten Bu (Classic Literature Club)" as recommended by his elder sister. 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, he never deduces anything on his own. 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 33 years ago. Hints of the mystery are buried in an old collection of works of the former members of Koten Club. The collection is titled "Hyouka".
(Summary Courtesy of MyAnimeList.net)

21-episode anime series premiered on April 22, 2012.
Animated by Kyoto Animation
"氷菓" ("hyouka") = "ice cream"
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 9 8 8 6 6 6 Ggultra2764 [series:2564#1552]
Hyouka is a mystery title that is unconventional in the fact that rather than focus on crimes getting solved, it revolves around Oreki and the members of the Classic Literature solving mysteries to mundane issues. There are several arcs throughout the series revolving around the club trying to come up with a solution to a mystery with main lead Oreki doing much of the thinking and planning in resolving the mysteries. Some of the mysteries are rather easy for Oreki to resolve after he gets enough information, though there are some that offer a few twists in developments that lead him to reconsider how to think things through with the motive and suspect for a case. Pretty much, this series is a slice-of-life mystery title and may not be everyone's cup of tea if they are looking for more risks and suspense with their mystery viewing or hate the slice-of-life genre.

Beyond its mystery premise, the major characters in the series have simple personality types, though have enough fleshing out where you know of past connections the characters have with one another, their upbringings and possible romantic interests that get teased. The group even have some slight character developments throughout the course of the series as they interact with one another throughout the year they are together, though the series does suffer in that it doesn't really wrap up things with a possible Oreki/ Chitanda pairing. Also as to be expected of Kyoto Animation, their artwork is gorgeous here with vibrant and nicely detailed scenic shots, fluid animation and smooth-looking character designs.

While I applaud the effort for Hyouka to make something different for the mystery genre, its slice-of-life take on it is an acquired taste that won't be for everyone and I personally found myself underwhelmed with the mysteries and character developments that the series had to offer. This is definitely another one of those "your mileage may vary" type of deals.

Last updated Wednesday, August 27 2014. Created Sunday, April 29 2012.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:2564#628]
(One episode watched):

I don't know about this one; Chitanda seems like an airheadedly sweet girl, which in turn seems like a guarantee of a simple-minded plot. In fact, none of the characters piqued my interest. Episode one seemed pretty dull to me; will this be romance, or mystery solving, or what? And not much humor either--so, why am I supposed to watch this?

Last updated Thursday, April 26 2012. Created Thursday, April 26 2012.

Other Sites
Kyoto Animation's Official Web Page for Hyouka (Japanese) http://www.kyotoanimation.co.jp/kotenbu/

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