Hyouka Review

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Synopsis

Oreki Hotarou is a lazy sloth who avoids doing any activity that he consider a waste of energy but if he have to do it, he will do it the simplest way possible. He goes to highschool as a freshman and is forced to join the Classics Club by his sister. Since he is scared of his sister, he joins the Club against his will. After joining he meets Chitanda Eru, a girl who will mess up his way of life.

Review

Honestly, I’m quite confused about the primary genre of this anime. At first glance, I thought it was a slice of life anime but when the main character starts to solve mysteries, I was not sure anymore. It’s certainly not a love story though. That’s the thing with this anime. It seems like a slice of life anime but at the same time, it also seems like a mystery anime. My final conclusion is it’s a slice of life anime but with mystery element that I would really recommend others to watch. This is just me though but can’t this anime be more straight-forward about what it’s trying to be? It’s very hard to interpret. I’m not really good at analyzing literature so when my friend asked “Hey, what’s this anime about?”. I don’t know how to answer him correctly. I would simply answer “it’s basically a slice of life anime that has mystery in it,”. I believe that’s the most accurate answer.

The story revolves around Hotarou who wants a greyer coloured life while everyone else want a rose-coloured life. That basically means he wants a simple and relaxed life while other students want to have fun and live their lives to its fullest. He believes that doing something that he don’t have to do requires him to use too much energy. He wants to conserve as much energy as possible by doing nothing or doing things as simple as possible. His motto ‘if I don’t have to do it I won’t but if I have to do it, I do it quickly’ supports his action. However after he joins the Classic Club and meets Chitanda Eru, he can’t live his life like he always have anymore.

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The story is quite interesting but sometimes it can be a little bit dull since it’s a slice of life anime where nothing much happens. At least, the mysteries are captivating enough for me to become curios over it. The payback for every mystery gets better and better throughout the series. There are tons of mystery in this anime and I could only solve two of them before Hotarou concludes it, one of the two because it’s painfully obvious. At first I was really invested in giving a very hard thought of the clues given and tried to solve the mysteries before Hotarou does. However, as the series progresses the mysteries have gotten harder and harder to solve to the point I finally gave up. Well, It’s easier for me to just wait for Hotarou’s explanations. Though, there are times even he can’t solve it or come up with a wrong conclusion, that’s the best.

Hotarou, despite his laziness, has an ability to analyze every information that he gets and come up with a very accurate conclusion. The fact is he can solves mysteries with only minutes of thinking after collecting information, his deduction skill is brilliant. Everybody else describe his ability as special but he doesn’t feel that way. He also doesn’t tend to use his ability to its fullest potential because well, he’s lazy.

Chitanda Eru is a top student in the school, excellent in academic. She will always become curios over anything and everything. Since she lacks deduction skill, she can’t solve the mysteries by herself so she often drags other people into her curiousness. Hotarou being a genius mystery solver will always be the first person for her to seek help and solve the mystery. Hotarou usually doesn’t help anyone because it contradicts with his energy-conservation style of life but when Chitanda says “I’m curious!” (I love that phrase) to him in front of his face with a large sparkling bright purple eyes, he can’t resist. Chitanda is the only person who can make him do what he don’t want to do. By the end of the series, we can see that she manages to slightly change his way of life.  He becomes more diligent and actually have things that he want to do which is fairly weird for a lazy guy like him.

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The other two main characters are Satoshi and Mayaka. These two serve the purpose of collecting informations and giving flawed speculation to the mysteries before our badass main Hotarou solves them all. Satoshi is a fan of Sherlock Holmes while Mayaka is also a fan of mystery fiction but I can’t remember what she reads. That’s where they get their mystery logical way of thinking and use it to create theories. Well, they’re not geniuses like Hotarou.

This anime does portray a little bit about talent. The most obvious is Satoshi feeling envious towards Hotarou’s deduction talent. I can relate to him especially when he says “If Mayaka reads Holmes mysteries like I do, she will be a better sherlockian than me in just 3 month” because I said the exact same thing to one of my friends, even the number. The only difference is it’s not about mystery fiction. Another time they convey it is during the Kanya Festival about someone who draw manga. I don’t think it’s worth mentioning in detail because the fact is, it’s about talent. Talent is very harsh and unfair. I personally have been in both talented and untalented side, most of the time being the latter. From what I’ve concluded, talented people could demotivate people who aren’t pretty easily.

I have to talk about the animation (even though I don’t really know how to talk about it). The animation is amazingly beautiful, it’s even comparable to Makoto Shinkai’s movies.  I love the character’s bright sparkled coloured eyes. I also love the rare animation style whenever a character gives explanations or theories. It is different every single explanation.

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Again, maybe this is just me but I think HotarouxChitanda have some similarities with KyonxHaruhi don’t you think? I mean, both male lead always have a long face, both female lead are pushy but in a different way and always successfully make the male lead do things that they don’t want to. Well, there are only very few similarities but I just spontaneously think of Kyon and Haruhi when I was watching Hotarou and Chitanda.

Overall, I think this anime is great. This is a slice of life show, not comedy so there isn’t many jokes in it so it might turn some people down. Some would also find the mysteries mundane but I don’t know, I enjoyed it. In fact I think it is the best element in this anime. The fascinating animation gives this show a very serene feeling. What else should I say? Umm… well…highly recommend if you’re a fan of slice of life.

~4 out of 5 star~

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