Hyouka – 03 Review

Episode 03 – Inheritors of the Classics Club and Its Circumstances
aka Episode 03 – The Case of The Smelly Student

So this episode finally gets down to the main “mystery” plot and the episode simply starts off on a “WTH” note and ends on a “WTH” note. (And I don’t mean it in a positive manner)

If you like some mystery mixed in with your slice-of-life genre then this might be right up your alley as this is just what the series is playing out to be – a light (and not that interesting) slice-of-life show with a hint of mystery.

So many shots that look like they were taken from the perspective of a surveillance camera =/

Review

Just like it’s main character, this series is not looking to over-achieve in any manner and is simply settling into being a very average series with nice pretty pictures.

The last episode had left us on a cliffhanger of sorts, and this episode continues that cliff hanger in the most boring possible way ever – 7 minutes of non-stop chattering over 2 cups of coffee.

Visually, the animation was once again nicely executed through the use of dynamic framing, and whilst I love entertaining animation, I really wished that more effort were put into the actual script of the show. I wouldn’t mind the compromise since it’d be better to have a average animated series with a solid plot as oppose to a series where the animation is trying it’s best to pull things out of the land of boredom.

It seems like the whole series’ mystery about the literature club stems from Chitanda’s poor memory and OCD-like character trait. Due to the bits and pieces of a childhood memory of her uncle explaining something “shocking” to her, Chitanda has dedicated her life to figuring out what that story was that had led her to tears as a kid and had left her uncle acting in an uncaring manner.

Honestly, it doesn’t sound like much does it? It just sounds like someone being obsessive no?

So what does the series do in trying to make things better?

Well… *enters sarcasm* Instead of working on a creating a solid and intriguing plot revolving around the main mystery, the show had taken on the style of episodic small “detective” short stories being solved as the main plot slowly develops in the background.

Though I am basing this judgement on the first 3 episodes of this series, I can say that the show is not really looking like it is going to be getting any better.

So if things aren’t getting any better that way… What about the characters? After all, the characters are the life force behind a SOL show right?

Simply said, the characters are just as annoying as ever. Oreki has this unjustified and adamant behaviour towards living his motto and yet he never seems to actually live by it due to Chitanda. Why? God knows. Perhaps her eyes are simply too pretty for him to resist. Where the motto may have been annoying in it’s redundant need to reinstate Oreki’s “passion” for “the easy life”, this episode had gone overboard with the scene of Oreki having decided to help Chitanda the minute he had heard about her wanting to search the whole school.

  • Firstly, he had offered his services, so it was illogical for him to want to walk away right before they had managed to get what they wanted.
  • Secondly, if it was the fear of effort that had made him walk away in the first place, why couldn’t he simply walk away if Chitanda were to really scour the whole school for the anthology?

Either way, the reasons behind the actions of many of the characters are as solid as fluff.

The case of Chitanda’s magical eyes… This mystery intrigues me more than the actual one in the series.

Then we have our dear Chitanda, I find it really hard to believe that a supposedly highly intelligent person such as Chitanda has only managed (up until now) to come across as being nothing more than a simple girl with airhead tendencies. Where’s the supposed intelligence behind her character? Maybe she is actually really a genius and is using her crazy eye power to manipulate Oreki into doing what she wants him to do.

As I had said, the episode had started off on a WTH note with it’s stupid reason of the driving force behind the main plot. As for what the WTF moment was towards the end of the episode?

Well, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at the fact that everyone was so shocked that the first volume of the anthology was missing. I mean, wasn’t that to be expected after having read the second volume?

The dramatic manner in which everyone was “surprised” by that fact simply had me losing hope for a good intense mystery waiting to unfold.

My expectations of this series has finally hit rock bottom and I’ve resigned to the fact that this is just going to be another one of those “light-watch” series. (When I say “light-watch”, I don’t mean relaxing, I am simply referring to the lack of substance in this series.)

Overall, if you have dropped the series after episode 2, you definitely have good foresight and are not as much of a dreamer as I am.

The first couple of episodes established the tone of the series and it is not looking to change. The show attempts at being dark and mysterious but fails horribly as it tries to balance that with the dominating slice-of-life element.

It’s hard to mix two such genres together and it is obvious that this series struggles to do so at an acceptable standard.

Episode Rating: 6/10 – So much talk…

-ra

Question of the Week:

Anyone care to garner a guess as to what next week’s mini-mystery is going to be about?

I would love to say it is going to be a murder mystery, but we all know it is going to be something stupid like “The Case of The Disappearing School Shoes” =P

So… has everyone decided to drop the show? =P

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About Saranaufogus

An Anime fan who can't seem to keep her thoughts to herself. Find me on: Instagram | Twitter

Posted on May 9, 2012, in Anime, Hyouka and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I am anticipating some murder case too. Or a serial killer who roams the neighborhood. Or a curse which kills one student every month. But What The Hell!
    Who cares about what a no name middle schooler did 45 years ago?!
    I bet it’s something trivial anyway.
    Something like saving a kitten from a top of tree.
    Or, he knocked up one of his female friend.
    Oh yeah. There’s this one stupid woman who cares.
    And one stupid energy conservation guy who hasn’t ditched her.
    Really, if I were somebody like him, wouldn’t “yawn and walk away from her” is a logical thing to do? Beware the hypnotic power of the sparkly eyes!

    Like

    • Ooo! A serial killer would be a nice touch!

      But seeing as to how this show seems to love it’s unimportant cases, maybe it is a serial killer that goes around killing ants. (Reminds me of a friend who use to be so bored that she would create a mini hill out of dead ants =_=” She would just sit and kill all the ants that walked by and piled their bodies.)

      “Beware the hypnotic power of the sparkly eyes!”

      I couldn’t agree more. =)

      Like

  2. I actually ended up trying to google the source material to see what the big mystery was; the lack of substance really was noticeable as were the plot holes. I honestly couldn’t imagine a believable setup for why there was so much drama over one incident with her uncle, about another incident 40+ years before the start of the main story. The search came up blank which tells me not enough people cared enough to post spoilers in easily searchable sites. Unless this series has some kind of supernatural or sci fi element coming up, I agree that its just being way too dramatic for it’s self contained mystery.

    The positives, the setup for the tobacco scene was kind of clever, but it seems like it would have been easier for the guy to just take a walk and smoke. And the way the scene progressed, tobacco just seemed like a letdown, marijuana would have made more sense given the precautions but I’ll say they didn’t want to show weed and leave it at that.

    Like

    • A lot of delinquent boys and girls in my old school smoke in the toilet. 😛
      And they were never caught.
      Seriously, who the hell would bother setting up an infrared censor and alarm?
      It doesn’t worth the effort.

      Like

    • Well, seeing as to how the source material is really a novel, it is not surprising that there are few who would bother to read and translate it/explain it. (especially since the show aint great)

      But yeap….I wouldn’t be surprise if the uncle was like.. you know… a huge ass peeping tom or something. =P Hero of the boys but tormenter of the girls. =D

      While watching this show I had this bad feeling at the pit of my stomach that this is going to be another series like ‘Another’. That show was so bad it had to resort to a royale battle style thing at the end…. and I won’t be surprised if this series were to suddenly attempt to up the mystery by creating some crazy weird story.

      “The positives, the setup for the tobacco scene was kind of clever, but it seems like it would have been easier for the guy to just take a walk and smoke. ”

      Lol! But he can’t remember? cos he is so smart and so careful that he is unable to simply not smoke in school. Seriously. Who would go through that much trouble at the end of the day. It was the end of the day for heavens sake… just go back home and find a public toilet to smoke in or something.

      “And the way the scene progressed, tobacco just seemed like a letdown,”

      Maybe he is actually a underwear thief who is addicted to sniffing undergarments. =P That could work too. j/k

      Like

  3. This show is definitely riding on its dramatic animation and Chitanda’s eccentric personality to overcome its lack of substance. All of the drama is really forced and exaggerated (but not even for the sake of comedy). A guy went through that many precautions to hide the fact he was smoking? Really? Are you sure he wasn’t running a meth lab because that’s a pretty stupid reason otherwise. Chitanda’s personal quest to remember the reason why someone made her cry is going to be the driving force of the plot? Why does she care so much?

    The characters are also a bit nonsensical and irritating. Oreki is supernaturally lazy and he doesn’t let a moment pass to remind the audience of this. “Man, I’m so lazy. What’s the easiest way to do this task so I can go back to being lazy? If I’m so lazy, why do I entangle myself in other people’s affairs and then complain about it?” Mind-control galaxy eyes is the only answer. His other superpower is his Sherlock Holmes level detective skills. I feel like the library girl is just there to have things explained to her (and by extension the audience) whenever Oreki makes a brilliant deduction on the overly dramatic mysteries.

    Chitanda has her charms but she is too nonsensical to really make a good character. Why is that forgotten memory so important? Why does she think someone else can help her remember something from her own childhood? Why is she so fascinated by the most mundane mysteries? So much drama.

    My hopes for this series is that the forgotten memory that made Chitanda cry was her uncle telling her that she’s adopted. As for Oreki, I secretly hope he’s Kotomine Kirei as a child. Someone with no passions in life until he learns to enjoy the suffering of others. 😛

    Like

    • Chitanda : “Ojii-san, ojii-san. Am I adopted child?”
      Uncle : “No, I am your father.”
      Chitanda : *cries* *rejection* *self memory termination*
      Can’t there be better premise?
      ;-(

      Like

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