This series receives Satoshi’s silly saturn suit seal of approval.

For me, Hyouka is the undisputed series of Summer 2012. I am enjoying a couple of other shows, but this is a series that really feels like it is raising the bar. It has been obvious from before the series aired that it would be visually excellent, and even that turned out to be an understatement, but what I really find impressive is the way Hyouka is succeeding with character development and its exploration of the Mystery genre. Add back in the unrivaled animation abilities of production company KyoAni, and you have one of the greatest shows of 2012 at the very least.

This post is mostly a reaction to the third arc of the series (episodes 12 – 17), but my interest here is less the events, and more the bigger picture.

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Intense contrast as the storm clouds part.

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.

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What happens when KyoAni tries their hand at the Mystery genre? We're about to find out.

Hyouka is a new series for the Spring 2012 season. In a season that is already loaded with very promising works, it is almost difficult to believe a work that is this anticipated is just beginning. Hyouka is being produced by the [in]famous Kyoto Animation studio. KyoAni is famous for their abundant talent in creating gorgeous animation, but they have tended to focus on moe shows, and thus their brand is polarizing. Hyouka is supposed to have elements of Mystery, but do KyoAni have what it takes to deliver a real Mystery? Are they destined to turn Hyouka into a moe-infused school life show?

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The masters of puppets are the masters of humans. To bring life to a puppet one must capture the human soul.

Puppet Master Sakon (Karakuri Zoushi Ayatsuri Sakon) is a two course supernatural-tinged mystery series. The show rests upon two primary conceits: the connection between spiritualism and certain traditional Japanese arts, and the familiar mystery trope of the amateur detective who has a tendency to stumble across murders. This is a spoiler-free review, so if you are interested in mystery series, puppetry (Bunraku), or older anime, please read on.

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Okabe goes shopping for pudding, and receives another mysterious threat.

Episode 11 of Steins;Gate introduces a new concept: the time leap. A time leap occurs when one pushes one’s current memory state back in time to a previous you. Presumably this avoids the problem of jellification, as instead of sending the entire mass of the human backwards in time, only the energy pattern (information) is sent. Seemingly it is Okabe’s discovery of the time leap that triggers another threatening message. This post speculates about who might be sending Okabe these threatening messages.

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