(re-watch) Hyouka ~ first time anyone’s said that to me

April 17, 2013

Chitanda and Oreki in an intense moment from Hyouka.

Chitanda and Oreki in an intense moment from Hyouka.

The Spring 2013 season is in full swing, and I have enjoyed watching first episodes as usual. As usual some shows are utter rubbish, but it can be fun watching an episode to see how bad it turned. And as usual I have been watching some older shows as well, including a rewatch of Hyouka. I’ve written about Hyouka on multiple occasions before, so I don’t want to rehash that, but I must point out that the series stands up to a re-watch because of four factors: 1) the amazng job KyoAni did on animation, 2) a group of characters that were all quite interesting and endearing, 3) some unusual plot lines, and 4) a nicely detailed setting.

Of these factors, I hadn’t given much thought to Hyouka’s setting on my initial watch. The series is set in the small village of Kamiyama (“Spirit Mountain”) nestled in amongst several national parks. The remote setting adds an interesting element to the series, because episodes examine things like Shinto practices from an insider perspective.

I have enjoyed watching some of the new series, such as Red Data Girl, and Chihayafuru continues to impress, but re-watching Hyouka was far from wasted effort.

2 Responses to “(re-watch) Hyouka ~ first time anyone’s said that to me”

  1. DP Says:

    I think the only thing Hyouka suffers from is not falling into any readily identifiable anime category. Despite what you hear, it’s not really about mysteries, it’s not purely a romance (though that’s ultimately one of its key strengths), and I’m never really sure what people mean by “slice of life,” which really could be used to describe anything not otherwise readily identifiable. Which is fine, I suppose, but calling something that doesn’t really tell you anything!

    Truly, Hyouka is just a beautiful, subtly told, coming-of-age story, which despite its very typical high school setting, is quite unlike any other anime I’ve ever seen.

    Indeed, while I know very few will agree with me, and I’m fully aware that it’s not the kind of work that most people watch anime to see, to me I think it might well be the best, most fully realized anime ever made.

    That final scene of Oreki walking with Chitanda, where he basically imagines saying he wants to spend his life with her before gagging on his words and sputtering about it being cold outside, is simply breathtaking in its understated beauty:

    “No, it’s spring now.”

    • Joojoobees Says:

      I don’t think I can disagree with a single thing you said. The genre angle is interesting: I think I am more inclined to consider it a Mystery than you, but I think I know what you mean. It isn’t in the Mystery genre as most people would define it. Interestingly, the series included a considered discussion about what constitutes the “Mystery” genre, and there was even an extended consideration of popular concepts of Mystery involving murders, and so forth. So I think the author was engaging the Mystery genre and inviting the audience to consider the genre in a larger perspective.

      However the romantic story between Chitanda and Oreki was ultimately the central issue that was set up in the first episode and somewhat resolved in the last episode.

      WRT “slice of life” I had my opinions about that once, but the phrase has been abused and misused so much that I think it has been rendered worthless.

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