Hyouka [First Impressions]
Seiyuu cast: Satomi Satou, Yuichi Nakamura, Ai Kayano, Aki Toyosaki, Ami Koshimizu, Aoi Yuki, Atsushi Abe, Daisuke Sakaguchi, Katsuyuki Konishi and more
OP: Yasashisa no Riyuu by Chouchou
ED: Madoromi no Yakusoku by Satomi Satou & Ai Kayano
Summary: The story follows a boy named Hōtarō who joins the club of classical literature by order of his sister, although he prefers not to get involved in anything. Before he knows it, a perculiar girl named Chitanda piques his interest and thus the mystery solving begins!
Loving a significant amount of KyoAni shows in the past; including my all time favourite K-On, there’s no way I’d bat my eye away from Hyouka. In fact, Hyouka was one of my most anticipated shows along with Sankarea, Accel World and Fate/Zero. After watching the first episode with such anticipation, I was satisfied without a doubt. As basic as the mystery is currently, it was still enjoyable to see being unraveled by the Classic’s club or specifically by Houtarou.
Hyouka’s slow, yet relaxing pacing in episode 1; accompanied by various classical music including a well-known piece from the visual novel G Senjou no Maou named ‘Air on a G String’ by Bach. Not only was it beautifully befitting in terms of the setting throughout the episode, it turned what could’ve been interpreted as a word-by-word adaption from the novel into a well adapted piece still full of text but feeling as close to a novel at all. It was done brilliantly that Hyouka felt like an original anime.
This series wouldn’t have sold me if it was the mystery and music alone, in fact it was the art which sold me the most. KyoAni has come a long, long way in terms of art; showcasing a indescribable piece of work that could rival with Ufotable’s Fate/Zero. Trust me, you’re missing out if you haven’t picked up Hyouka yet and I’m sure many others will inform you just how brilliant the art is in this one episode alone. The effort KyoAni has gone through in bringing us a stunningly beautiful series is evident from start to finish.
Although Hyouka is only labeled as a mystery in both MAL and ANN, there’s definitely subtle comedy and romance here and there which isn’t a bad thing at all. A series like Hyouka with such a lighthearted feel to the character designs and even its highly detailed art (just imagine it in 1080p~!) could definitely do with the comedy and romance but do remember that it’s very, very subtle. More so, the characters introduced in the first episode all have their own unique traits to them that makes each of them so special and important to the plot as ordinary as the traits are.
Chitanda’s definitely the most intriguing character out of them all and KyoAni has done a splendid job in symbolizing her pure enthusiasm in solving cases. It’s not depicting a romantic development and I don’t think there would be a romantic development between our two main characters, but it’s depicting her personality as having a big influence on others, especially piquing Houtarou’s interest and why he wished to find an answer as to why he feels that way towards her.
As heavy as the discussions went, nothing from the first minute to the last were a waste of time. In fact, I praise how Hyouka has delivered a great setting with such a slow paced episode. It really suited the simplistic mystery in episode 1 but it’s definitely not something you’ll want to watch 12 episodes of. I’d like to see more complicated mysteries in the future and I hope Hyouka will deliver. Even so, if I was to summarize the episode in one word it would be beautiful. Every detail in every aspect gave itself a brilliant start to the season and it’s definitely something you do not want to miss out on.