Hyouka is, without a doubt, an experience. From its expressive color palette to its wonderfully seductive soundtrack and the writing that makes it both a great slice of life show and a great mystery show, Hyouka has so much to offer. It may not be the most popular Kyoto Animation show to come out of the last year, but it is definitely one of the best.
The story of Hyouka centers around Hotaro Oreki, a high school student whose motto is “If I don’t have to do it, I won’t, and if I have to do it, I’ll do it quickly.” A self-described energy-conservationist, Oreki wishes to go through life using as little energy as possible, until one day his sister asks him to join his school’s classic lit club. Along with his best friend Satoshi and other friend Mayaka, the three usually spend their time solving mysteries to curb the insatiable curiosity of their club leader Eru Chitanda.
A lot of the show’s appeal is founded in its writing, specifically the relationship between Eru and Oreki. The show never sets out to make their relationship romantic in the first place, but it is easy to see from the beginning that the two have a special connection. From the first time, they meet the show gives a visual representation of the spell that Eru puts on Oreki whenever the two are together. Oreki knows that he will not be able to resist her request for help when she asks, so he goes with his motto and tries to solve the mysteries quickly.
Speaking of, the mysteries are another essential part of the shows massive appeal. Not only are they well crafted and executed, the show also makes a lot of references to famous mystery writers and stories, enveloping the show further in a self-awareness about the genre that it is tackling.
The show also focuses a lot on the other two members of the Classic Lit Club, Satoshi and Mayaka. Satoshi describes himself as ” a jack of all trades but a master of none.” He feels that he himself will never be especially good at anything but will always have knowledge on things that many do not know. It was fascinating seeing his character slowly unraveled by the story and then eventually revealed at the end. Mayaka also turns out to be a much more interesting character than initially suspected. Her Arc with the Manga Club turned her from an ok character to someone with an actual backstory, and that ended up being what made her likable in the end.
The music, while nothing particularly special, does do an exceptional job. The choice to give the soundtrack a more classical feel helped to invoke the Sherlockian Era that is often referenced by the show itself. Each track has a fairly unique feel to it while maintaining a level of thematic consistency throughout its use in the show.
The show’s animation is yet another high point, with Kyoto Animation bringing the show’s world to life in every conceivable way. One of the most beautiful things about the show is the way the atmosphere will turn a hazy purple whenever Oreki is around Chitanda. Not only does it make those scenes absolutely lovely, but it also ties together multiple thematic points in the story.
Overall, there is very little bad I can point out within Hyouka. It’s mystery storytelling combined with its fascinating cast of characters and lovely soundtrack and music make Hyouka one of the best shows not only within the slice of life genre but of all time.
What do you think about Hyouka? Love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments below. Thank you for reading and bye for now, Friendos! Also, if you like what your reading and want to help the blog, consider supporting The Aniwriter on Patreon. Even one dollar a month would be a big help.