Ah, nothing like a good mystery show. Wait, what mysteries?
Despite implying “detective work” as the setting of the story, I think Hyouka is banking on its character development to win us over. Back in the spring season, my attitude for this show was on the lines of “I’ll watch it because Kyoto Animation is making it, and they make good stuff.” I had high expectations. But as the episodes drew on with lots of talking scenes, I was on the verge of dropping it. The mysteries aren’t helping either, most involve long explanations or references to Japanese language and culture that no Englishman will understand. But something made me keep watching. Was it the animation? Partly yes. But the element that kept me tuned in each week was how well these characters interact (or in Houtarou’s case, avoid contact) with one another. Each member of the Classics Club gets more than 15 minutes of fame, and I don’t mean the obvious focus on one character per episode. It’s constantly revolving as the mystery gets solved. A lot is portrayed on them trying figure out what’s going on in the minds of their peers. The most prevalent one being “how does Oreki solve them mysteries without ‘putting an effort’ to do it?” I’m curious… All of these methods define the art of character development, an element that makes Hyouka entertaining. The episodes just flew by, grasped by those sparkling eyes you can’t escape from. With only 3 episodes left to go, what else can be accomplished? Recommended, but not my first choice.