Hyouka – First Impressions

ki ni narimasu!

Japanese Curious George is moé.

Despite starting Hyouka with the initial bad reactions still stuck in the back of my head, I was surprised that I actually enjoyed it, despite the first episode being rather so-so (being based on a novel rather than a light novel, I was expecting a much larger scale of depth in the vein of a schoolboy Sherlocke Holmes). While I am known to enjoy complete crap sometimes (Mirai Nikki comes to mind, but that’s meant to be crap in a good sense), I often realize it – and I must say, this isn’t crap at all. On the contrary, after the whole lock-mystery with the janitor in the first episode, I rationally adjusted my level of expectation to that of what I expect a light-hearted mystery to be, and I ended up appreciating what the show is trying to be.



While the characters so far aren’t impressive in terms of standing out from other shows (although Oreki’s lazy boy attitude seems to be very extreme compared to other protagonists, it isn’t exactly new or particularly interesting), they aren’t unlikable, and I like the fact that the anime seems to be heading in the direction where they’re put onto the center stage as opposed to throwing all the depth onto the mysteries. Oreki’s character certainly has plenty of room to grow. And I found the whole mystery around Chitanda’s uncle to be genuinely interesting, and as long as the series keeps up pumping episodes like those, I’m sold.

The problem is, episode 6, the episode that came right after those set of superb episodes, is a good episode, but was a major step down from the previous five episodes that were gradually getting better. Really, the only thing that saved that episode was the awesome character interaction (to be fair, it’s kind of hard to top the fifth episode in terms of quality, without unrealistic expectations for each proceeding episode). In retrospect, there hasn’t really been a bad episode of Hyouka yet, but the series hasn’t hit a ground where multiple episodes can be consistently amazing.

Tentacle hair rape

Tentacle Hair Rape

Admittedly, despite my praise, it’s not bringing much to the table in terms of becoming one of my top series of the year as of now – but it has potential. 🙂 I honestly don’t see how people can unrealistically compare the quality of this show by comparing to juggernauts like Haruhi Suzumiya or Full Metal Panic! I mean, I’m rather angry about still not getting continuations of those series (and Kyoto Animation giving Key the cold shoulder in favor of Kadokawa – my poor Little Busters!), but I’m glad that Kyoto Animation is doing something besides a yonkoma adaptation, which was honestly getting old. That, and I smell a whole lot of butthurt coming from fans.

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