Hyouka 5 ~ sometimes I feel restless when I see you
May 21, 2012
Episode 5 ends Hyouka‘s initial arc. I was extremely pleased with the way everything came together in the end. Nevertheless this is yet another post about how great this series looks.
The artwork and animation in Hyouka continues to impress me. I could speak of the character growth that Oreki showed, or the details of how the mystery came together: both were good. But the thing that keeps blowing me away is how visually amazing this series is. The background art, the still-life details in cut-away shots, the creative way in-story narrative is enlivened by using a variety of techniques, including animations of the words themselves … there are so many ways that this show just visually excels.
Another way is in the amazing detail of things that are not critical to the plot. In the video above, you can see a 1/2 speed clip of a very short sequence in which the characters leave the club room. This is the sort of scene that is never animated, because it is easy to find ways to cut it, or work around it. And yet here, Kyoto Animation has taken the time, effort, and money to animate in detail the process of getting up, collecting things, pushing in chairs, and so forth. In one way, these gratuitous animations are showboating — nobody else would attempt such a sequence, so they are a sign that we are watching the indisputable masters at work. On the other hand, such sequences do have an effect; they give Hyouka a quality of existing in a real world, one that isn’t made for the convenience of this story. There are what can only be assumed to be real people in the backgrounds having their own conversations, living their own lives.
To sum up, this first arc was very impressive. I am certainly looking forward to seeing more of Hyouka.