Hyouka 02 – Review
Hyouka – A mystery series where what the girl wants is more important than the truth
Episode 02 – Activities of the Glorious Classic Literature Club
This episode brings us to the end of the introduction of new characters and the episode finishes on a cliffhanger (kinda).
Judging from the way things are progressing, we can expect the next episode to cover the main mystery plot of the series.
I love the contrast between the vivid colours of the characters when placed against the duller background settings
As with the first episode, the animation is definitely one of the biggest positives of this series. The nice use of textures mixed with a slightly desaturated colour palette provides a nice serious tone to the series whilst the “adorable yet pretty” character designs counter balances it with a bit of mainstream fun.
One of the big execution positives of the episode was how the dynamic-angled shots were used to boost the duller scenes to make them more interesting.
For me, if the story isn’t interesting enough, it is always good to know that at least the animation is there to pick up some of the slack. This had definitely gave me hope in knowing that the animation in the first episode wasn’t simply a one off thing to suck the audience into the series. Hopefully this consistency will carry on through the rest of the series.
Just as important as animation in this series is the soundtrack. One of the more disappointing series background music for me this season was ‘Sakamichi no Apollon‘. To put it simply, whilst that show had some awesome Jazz songs in it and awesome moments of music application, it was disappointing to be faced with constant background silence during those other slower paced moments. It grated on my nerves that a series that had a focus on music was so temperamental with their on and off moments of brilliance.
Seems like the show has developed a habit of introducing the mysteries using different animation styles.
Whereas in Hyouka, despite the uninspired choice of background music, the execution of those songs were nicely done and for the most part, it had helped with building the atmosphere of the series.
One obvious way in which the music had benefited the series was during the mystery buildup. The case in this episode (as with the previous episode) was really uninteresting and simple. However, through the use of background music to build-up the tension, the case had created some sort of appeal for itself.
Once again, this episode places a huge importance on Oreki and his incessant need to save energy.
(If I were to meet a man as whiny as this guy in real life, I might just give him a good kick to shut him up.)
As for how his attitude is meant to be important to the overall storyline?
Your guess is as good as mine.
The first episode had done a well enough job in establishing that Oreki is lazy (or in ecofriendly terms – he loves to conserve energy) and that due to Chitanda’s whirlwind personality, he is finding it harder and harder to live by his motto. This becomes obvious through Oreki’s actions in trying to pacify Chitanda’s curiosity.
It had felt unnecessary to re-establish that fact in our minds over and over again, and unless that personality trait is to come into play in the near future (with a big impact on the overall plot) I can’t see a reason for this loop.
Another positive aspect of the show was the fact that the character introductions for this series only spans across two episode. Whilst the character introduction process usually tend to be on the tedious side for most series, this series had managed to ease through this stage of things by placing the focus on the mystery whilst integrating the characters into the situation in an almost normal manner by having the mystery play-out around Oreki instead of giving the other characters too much attention.
At this stage, the show is obviously trying to build up to something, but I am uncertain as to what it’s really trying to accomplish overall. The tone of the series definitely seems to be leaning towards Slice-of-Life with a hint of light mystery, but until we dive deeper in the main storyline I can’t say for certain if that is really the path the series is going down towards.
One things for sure though, this is another one of those series where the club doesn’t seem to have a proper plan of action and what happens simply revolves around what the club members feels like doing at that moment in time. It reminds me of all the other club series with harebrained focuses (or a focus that gets lost along the way) but with a touch of solemness to things due to Oreki’s approach to life coupled with the animation style.
Overall, the series has yet to leave me jumping for more, but at the same time, it hasn’t done much wrong to make me want to drop the show. It is currently hovering on the realm of being safe with no risks having been taken in the series when it comes to creativity. It definitely doesn’t seem to have an “out there” plot like Mawaru Penguindrum had, but it is neither a shit show that simply plays on the fan service side of things.
Episode Rating – 6.5/10 – Its was simply more of the same as seen in the first episode.
Question of the Day:
How many of you were expecting this to either be a K-ON or Haruhi copycat series?