Hyouka — First Impressions

ki ni narimasu!

Japan­ese Curi­ous George is moé.

Despite start­ing Hyou­ka with the ini­tial bad reac­tions still stuck in the back of my head, I was sur­prised that I actu­al­ly enjoyed it, despite the first episode being rather so-so (being based on a nov­el rather than a light nov­el, I was expect­ing a much larg­er scale of depth in the vein of a school­boy Sher­locke Holmes). While I am known to enjoy com­plete crap some­times (Mirai Nik­ki comes to mind, but that’s meant to be crap in a good sense), I often real­ize it — and I must say, this isn’t crap at all. On the con­trary, after the whole lock-mys­tery with the jan­i­tor in the first episode, I ratio­nal­ly adjust­ed my lev­el of expec­ta­tion to that of what I expect a light-heart­ed mys­tery to be, and I end­ed up appre­ci­at­ing what the show is try­ing to be.



While the char­ac­ters so far aren’t impres­sive in terms of stand­ing out from oth­er shows (although Orek­i’s lazy boy atti­tude seems to be very extreme com­pared to oth­er pro­tag­o­nists, it isn’t exact­ly new or par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ing), they aren’t unlik­able, and I like the fact that the ani­me seems to be head­ing in the direc­tion where they’re put onto the cen­ter stage as opposed to throw­ing all the depth onto the mys­ter­ies. Orek­i’s char­ac­ter cer­tain­ly has plen­ty of room to grow. And I found the whole mys­tery around Chi­tan­da’s uncle to be gen­uine­ly inter­est­ing, and as long as the series keeps up pump­ing episodes like those, I’m sold.

The prob­lem is, episode 6, the episode that came right after those set of superb episodes, is a good episode, but was a major step down from the pre­vi­ous five episodes that were grad­u­al­ly get­ting bet­ter. Real­ly, the only thing that saved that episode was the awe­some char­ac­ter inter­ac­tion (to be fair, it’s kind of hard to top the fifth episode in terms of qual­i­ty, with­out unre­al­is­tic expec­ta­tions for each pro­ceed­ing episode). In ret­ro­spect, there has­n’t real­ly been a bad episode of Hyou­ka yet, but the series has­n’t hit a ground where mul­ti­ple episodes can be con­sis­tent­ly amazing.

Tentacle hair rape

Ten­ta­cle Hair Rape

Admit­ted­ly, despite my praise, it’s not bring­ing much to the table in terms of becom­ing one of my top series of the year as of now — but it has poten­tial. 🙂 I hon­est­ly don’t see how peo­ple can unre­al­is­ti­cal­ly com­pare the qual­i­ty of this show by com­par­ing to jug­ger­nauts like Haruhi Suzu­miya or Full Met­al Pan­ic! I mean, I’m rather angry about still not get­ting con­tin­u­a­tions of those series (and Kyoto Ani­ma­tion giv­ing Key the cold shoul­der in favor of Kadokawa — my poor Lit­tle Busters!), but I’m glad that Kyoto Ani­ma­tion is doing some­thing besides a yonko­ma adap­ta­tion, which was hon­est­ly get­ting old. That, and I smell a whole lot of but­thurt com­ing from fans.

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