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Anime Reviews

Hyouka (2012, KyoAni)



Hotaro Oreki is your unmotivated but intelligent high school student whose motto is "if I don't have to do something then I won't do it or if there is, I do it quickly." However, that changes when his sister asks him to join the Literature Club to stop it from being abolished due to the lack of members. A cheery, energetic and inquisitive girl Eru Chitanda joins in and decides to offer help to fellow students in an effort to boost their club's popularity. As a result, Oreki is dragged into Chitanda's wild imaginations as all the requests turn into more dramatic mysteries than they really are.

I'm not really a KyoAni fan but decided to watch this show when I saw it advertised during my trip to Takayama. This show is based on a mystery novel series apparently. Apart from your quality animation and your usual cute, lively character designs it's an interesting mystery show. Rather than focus on big crime based mysteries, the mysteries are mostly self-contained and are focused on everyday trivial matters that no one would give a second thought about like why are students borrowing a book and returning it on the same day? Definitely not your regular mystery show and fan service is mild too.

The interesting part is how KyoAni decides to use some serious, creepy music you'd usually hear in a thriller with these not so serious mysteries and it's done so well, you end up feeling tense as you watch. But at the same time, you've got your comic relief coming from characters like Chitanda that just lightens the mood when it just gets a little too tense. By the end of the show you'll probably have learned the Japanese phrase "ki ni narimasu!"

Oh, and pay attention to Satoshi's bag throughout the show because he changes it almost as often as Haruhi changes her hair (one of KyoAni's more well-known show besides K-ON and Lucky Star). You'll even see them all gathered in his room at some point - talk about attention to detail.


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