Hyouka 22 [END]
This makes me kind of sad – my last Hyouka review!
I didn’t anticipate the end of Hyouka until I went to watch this episode and realized that there was no upcoming episode after it. So I pretty much went into some sort of a crazed internal fit (complete with shouting at the computer screen) and when I calmed down, I tried to tell myself that I would make this review so that it would give the show justice – because this episode tends to sum up everything good, bad, frustrating, and wonderful about Hyouka. But it really will be tough without a weekly dose of Chitanda and Houtarou; I’ll miss this show deeply!
We’ve watched as Houtarou gives up more and more of his low-energy lifestyle in order to keep up with Chitanda, and we finally address this problem with his single revelation – “If this keeps up, my low-energy lifestyle is in mortal danger!” I think that’s the reason why Houtarou (though clearly having some sort of crush on Chitanda) refuses to get any closer to her. Also, that whole blurry and beautiful scene of the doll procession could not have just been for eye-candy. Alright, maybe it is, but really, to get a glimpse into Houtarou’s mind, just for that moment, was so intriguing and really gives an insight to what he feels towards Chitanda. It’s good to know that he does feel something towards her – especially with that imagined stunt near the end. Oh, how I wish that would have happened! But I guess it’s best to leave things as they are and leave some strings untied, just so we, as viewers, will have things to think about and things to hope for. Perhaps that’s what the whole episode’s about – hope for the future.
It’s rather refreshing to see that Satoshi and Mayaka’s relationship isn’t yet set in stone. Though it’s obvious from the last episode that I’ve been pining for them to get together, perhaps it’s better without a definite answer. Though I was disappointed (and a little puzzled) to see Mayaka reply to Houtarou’s question with “It’s going;” it’s so open-ended! It could mean that it’s ended, or it could be that it’s going well! Hey, a fangirl can keep dreaming. But there’s another romance that seems to be going better.
I wonder if Houtarou feels any guilt for not saying what he had been fantasizing about saying. That truly threw me off for a second there – “Leave the management to me.” But then again, if the anime really ended on that note, it wouldn’t be so interesting, would it? KyoAni and Hyouka itself loves to play around with our emotions. But this isn’t about romance, isn’t it? Yes, while we did get our occasional dose of fanservice and we’re always begging for more, we’re somehow satsified even without our two favorite couples going out. This basically contradicts everything I’ve said since I’ve started covering Hyouka, but really – a kiss at the end of the season would be more disappointing than no kiss at all. Though I really do think they like each other. It’s the thought that counts.
On a final note, I love Irisu and I’m really glad she could make it back for the final episode. Yes, she’s a little bit of a manipulator, but she’s set Houtarou on the right track once again. I’ll miss her just as much as the main characters.
Rating: 8/10. While this made a fabulous ending episode by itself, it pales in comparison to the other episodes. It lacks much of a mystery – in fact, this is the first mystery that I’ve solved by myself, and honestly, I didn’t notice that there was even a mystery until it was over. Though I can’t say I’m disappointed with how Hyouka ended, I really wished that KyoAni had done something different to give the episode more of a resolution. This open-endedness makes me crave a second season!
Art: 10/10. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. No need to say more.
Music: 6/10. Besides Choucho’s amazing job at singing the first OP, I really did not pay any attention to this at all. This totally flew out of my mind.
Story: 7/10. There isn’t much of an overarching plot line, so to say. This was basically a hit or miss, depending on the episode. Some stories were brilliant while some just fell short.
Characters: 9/10. Yes, they may be irritating sometimes, but they’re just so human, and that’s what makes them admirable, from Satoshi’s jealousy to Houtarou’s lack of confidence. After a while, you really learn to love the Classics Club and all their flaws and perfections.
Overall: 8/10. I know, I’ve been slavishly complimenting this series from the start, but like many others, I think back and realized that I’ve been disappointed a bit too many times to give anything higher. Yes, I loved many parts of the series, but there are parts where I just really want to hit my forehead against the table. While Hyouka’s been one of my favorites from the start, not to mention that it’s one of the only shows where I’ve completed every single episode, I just wish that there was just a little something more. For now, I guess I’ll wait until the OVA gets subbed.