|Original Light Novel||Honobu Yonezawa|
|Made By||Kyoto Animation|
|Episode Length||26 Minutes|
|# of Episodes||22|
Sum it up in a Sentence:
Four High School students
driving around in a van hanging out in their clubroom solving mysteries.
Houtaro Oreki is a young man whose primary principle is to conserve energy whenever possible, avoiding extraneous effort like a plague. When his older sister suggests he join the Classics Club to keep it from being lost due to inactivity, Oreki reluctantly agrees assuming no one else will be in the club. Much to his surprise, a young woman named Chitanda Eru has already joined the club just before him. Joined by their two friends Satoshi and Mayaka, the four find themselves drawn into a number of mysteries that only Houtaro can solve. Their adventures and Chitanda's curiosity will put his energy conservation to the ultimate test.
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One of the most enjoyable series I've watched in recent memory. The characters have understandable and realistic motivations for people their age, the mysteries are equal parts confusing and interesting to try and solve while watching along, and the art direction is very pleasing. Even the secondary cast of characters is interesting.
Gorgeous animation and a well written cast help make this a whole lot of fun to watch. While the mysteries they solve might not always exactly be world-shattering the writing is consistently good and makes even the most mundane seeming puzzle interesting to figure out along with the cast. I wasn't expecting to find complex characters whose motivations are believable and who grow and change throughout the series and I was very pleasantly surprised to find them here.
This is detective mystery done right. There's no dark overarching mystery full of drama and action to take away from the pure and simple experience of solving the puzzle. This show takes the most mundane events and stories and turns them into the most fascinating mystery puzzles you've ever seen. If the mystery somehow doesn't do it for you (which should be impossible, honestly), the animation is top notch KyoAni, the imagery and presentation is beautiful, and the characters are all interesting. It does lose a bit of steam in the last several episodes, but overall this is a fantastic show.
Understanding people is hard. So it's rather brilliant that Hyouka frames this conflict through the lens of classic-era mystery novels. Though Hyouka ultimately admits that people aren't a mystery you can just solve. And this fundamental conceit is the foundation for Hyouka's poignant insight. Hyouka is a story that truly understands its own characters. Every aspect of the cast, from seemingly innocuous gestures to their respective character arcs, are all reflective of their personalities and their flaws. Supported, certainly, by KyoAni's brilliant aesthetic work. KyoAni once again demonstrates the merit of "over-animating" in a genre that rarely sees the budget of its more frenetic counterparts. Even the slightest of glances and expressions speak volumes about a character's emotions and disposition. Hyouka is a story built upon, and driven by, dynamic and likable characters that are also deeply flawed and troubled people in the midst of adolescent growing pains. The mysteries, though often times awkwardly shoved into the story, work as a surprisingly strong platform for character development and are pretty fun on their own. Though the lack of any real overarching plot could still be a deal-breaker for some.