Synopsis: Energy-conservative high school student Houtarou Oreki ends up with more than he bargained for when he signs up for the Classics Club at his sister’s behest—especially when he realizes how deep-rooted the club’s history really is. Begrudgingly, Oreki is dragged into an investigation concerning the 45-year-old mystery that surrounds the club room.
Accompanied by his fellow club members, the knowledgeable Satoshi Fukube, the stern but benign Mayaka Ibara, and the ever-curious Eru Chitanda, Oreki must combat deadlines and lack of information with resourcefulness and hidden talent, in order to not only find the truth buried beneath the dust of works created years before them, but of other side cases as well.
Based on the award-winning Koten-bu light novel series, and directed by Yasuhiro Takemoto of Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu, Hyouka shows that normal life can be full of small mysteries, be it family history, a student film, or even the withered flowers that make up a ghost story.
When I first said that I would watching Hyouka, a lot of people said that hyouka was a fantastic choice and it was, I loved it from beginning to end. Although this was released almost a decade ago but it feels like it was just released recently. I was watching the anime thinking that it was released in 2018 or 2019 but when I saw a comment saying that it was almost a decade ago, I was shocked because the animation was just that good. It would be a hit even it was released today.
Story & Animation
At first look Hyouka may look like a mystery anime which has mysteries to solve with different main arcs but once you get through half of the anime you’ll realize that Hyouka is just an mystery anime at it’s core but it’s actually a masterpiece of a slice of life anime with multiple philosophies and the many issues they face as they struggle to discover themselves.
From colourful characters and their interactions to the brilliant and aesthetic animation. The whole anime was a new experience for everyone, usually every anime needed strong and powerful characters for the anime to be good but even with their weakness Hyouka truly shines as one of the best anime. The characters have their fair share of struggles, even though during the first few episodes you don’t notice anything but as you go on you’ll watch all the real struggles the characters are going through.
One thing I really love about Hyouka is that they didn’t overuse the amount of vibrant colours and breathaking moments. Like I said before, the animation is timeless and Hyouka shows us what true animation looks like at it’s best.
Hyouka is one of those anime that doesn’t need any kind of narrator or character mologue for the viewers to understand. The characters are full of emotions and each line they say is delivered with care which makes their interactions real with life in them. The amazing animation alone is needed to convey what is needed to show all the internal struggles they face.
The plot is very simple yet complicated, our cast is faced with issues and mysteries that they solve. There are three major arcs in this show each focusing on different sides of our characters and how they grow and learn from them. There were few moments that made me think that whether it was going to be like every other mystery anime but it’s not. The pacing of the plot made me forget all that, each episode just jumps from one level to another, if you thought episode 1 was good episode 2 was even better and at the last few episodes it really made me think that I was wrong. It wasn’t any mystery anime.
Character’s and Development
The part where the anime truly shined. This where it shows that Hyouka is a great slice of life. Every character has its own unique appearance and characteristics, no two characters are the same and no character is shallow to be overshadowed by our main cast. There are characters you may hate and there are characters you may love that’s upto you but you can agree with me that each characters unique traits made them stand out. Each character is has its own depth that makes them unique and are discovered throughto the series.
“I don’t do anything I don’t have to. What I have to do, I do quickly.”
Oreki is a high-schooler with messy brown hair and green eyes. Due to his very lazy lifestyle, he almost always has a tired or bored look on his face. His hair is especially very messy when he wakes up. He is shown to be a quiet student, and never concerned about things that happens around him. Despite being shown as an average high school student, he is quite intelligent and perceptive. The reason for his usual laziness is because he wishes to “save energy”.
Oreki just wants to spend the day without spending energy but with chitanda around that doesn’t seem possible. He’s always living on the gray side, with no ambitions he’s just a lazy bum but smart. Even though he might not seem it, he’s unbelievably good at solving mysteries and seems to be able to always find a solution if he gives it a thought. Oreki just goes from “I’m not inerested” to “I’m curious too” which just shows what kind of guy he really is underneath even though he just wants to nothing with anything.
Chitanda is a calm and happy person, but can become very excited when new or interesting things happen, especially when it involves her club. At first glance she is your average shallow cute main character but that is quickly proven to be false.
Chitanda looks like the main character with the purpose of just moving the main character and progressing the story but that is not true. She is the deepest character in the show with her own struggles and issues that are made clear throughout the show. She discovers what kind of person she really is during the school festival.
An inseparable friend who’s been in the same class with Houtarou since their first grade in elementary school. She has an interest in Satoshi, which is what leads her to join the classic literature club. She is also a member of Library and Manga Society.
She has a strict and frank person which acts as the rational person in the group. Ibara was never overshadowed by our Chitanda but she did not get enough attention which is a little sad. Mayaka is strict with others and herself. She is short and has brown hair that extends just past her ears and pinkish-purple eyes.
Satoshi went to the same middle school as Houtarou and Mayaka. He knows a lot of things, but most of all are trivial ones. He’s really cheerful and a great match to befriend the apathetic Houtarou. He is really active, already being a part of the Student Council and Handicraft Club before joining the Classics Club. He is the “database” of the club and has very good memory.
Probably the most surprising character. At first he may be the most cheerful one of the group and the one who raises everyone’s spirit up if anything’s wrong but later it is revealed that he is obsessed with not becoming obsessed with anything. He always manages to liven up the mood in the classical club but as the show goes you start to understand that there so much more to him than it meets the eye.
I was slightly disappointed by the ending not because Oreki didn’t confess to Chianda but the fact that the characters did not get a proper send-off. I loved that the last episode didn’t have any big mystery in it and made it light-hearted for the perfect end, but the send-off was not proper. We never got to know what happened to Satoshi and Mayaka, did satoshi figure out his obsessiveness? who knows. Together or apart, they can walk forward on that path. Maybe in season 2.
One of the best anime I’ve watched so far, with meaningful and natural character interaction coupled with the wonderful animation, from various mysteries to hilarious moments, Hyouka was truly a beautiful anime to watch.
Thank you for reading.