Hyouka – My Guilty Pleasure

9 comments

30-Day Anime Challenge
Day 5: Anime You’re Ashamed You Enjoyed

Some may say this series was a step KyoAni needed to take. However, I would have to disagree. To me, Hyouka was both entertaining yet depressing.

hyouka cast

 

Don’t get me wrong; I did enjoy the show. I liked how it wasn’t just a typical slice-of-life rom-com series. The slight flirtation with the mystery genre kept me on my toes. But still, I was a little sad to see KyoAni adapt this one after some reflection. In hindsight, Hyouka signified KyoAni’s departure from adapting visual novels. I understand that visual novels take much longer to come out compared to light novels. As such, light novels offer a more steady stream of content for studios to animate, which is one possible reason for KyoAni made said switch. That being said, KyoAni seems to be adapting light novel series with minimal content (Musaigen no Phantom World) or choosing to adapt a single volume from a light novel series (Amagi Brilliant Park). Either way, this means KyoAni’s anime tends to have considerable amount of filler, which can be good or bad. Furthermore, “modern” KyoAni seems to have an increased dependency on fanservice. I guess it can’t be helped since that kind of stuff is in every show, but I expected better of KyoAni.

hyouka

The characters were interesting and the music was great (I particularly like Kimi ni Matsuwaru Mystery). It’s just that I can’t help but think that KyoAni has seen better days whenever I watch Hyouka.

What do you think? Was I too hard on Hyouka?

 

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9 comments on “Hyouka – My Guilty Pleasure”

  1. I liked Hyouka but I’ve never made it through a rewatch. Once you know how each ‘mystery’ is solved there isn’t a lot else to hold you in the story. As sweet as the characters are at times, they aren’t overly compelling once you aren’t interested in what they are doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Quite frankly, Hyouka embodies the best of KyoAni. It’s practically a cliche to say that the mysteries isn’t the point of Hyouka, but it can never be more true that this: Watching the characters interact and ever so subtly change for the better throughout its 22 episode runtime, is what makes it my 2nd favourite series of all time.

    If anything, Hyouka is perhaps one the most thematically dense series ever to be produced by the studio, though its density is buried so intricately under its diverse use of experimental animation, camera work and revolutionary lighting techniques, that people are not bothering to look beyond the spectacle.

    Some reading to give you an idea of just how rich and dense a SINGLE Hyouka episode can be:

    https://mageinabarrel.com/2016/02/14/hyouka-episode-22-end/

    https://frogkun.com/2013/08/11/a-database-of-curiosities-a-hyouka-literature-review/

    So no, it is not a guilty pleasure, but a visual masterpiece that deserves to be enjoyed.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hyouka is probably the best Kyo-Ani show so far, with maybe the exception of Sound! Euphonium, although I’ll have to rematch that to make a final judgement. It really isn’t about the mysteries, the mysteries are just a backdrop to Oreki’s coming of age story, in which he begins to take an active role in his life, rather than continue wasting his youth “conserving energy.” Hyouka manages to build its characters and entertain the audience without relying on melodrama. Air, Kanon and Clannad too often relied upon emotional manipulation using melodrama in order to get the audience to care about the heroines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t say I disagree with any of your points. I actually regretted saying Hyouka was my guilty pleasure shortly after publishing this post, but what’s done is done. I should really revisit Hyouka once again soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, don’t worry, I enjoyed both seasons in December. I ended getting a little angry at the “yuri bait” between Kumiko and Reina, but the friendship between Natsuki and Yuko kept me satsified. It was a very well-done show overall.

        Liked by 1 person

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