Energy-conservative high school student Houtarou Oreki ends up with more than he bargained for when he signs up for the Classics Club at his sister’s behest—especially when he realizes how deep-rooted the club’s history really is. Begrudgingly, Oreki is dragged into an investigation concerning the 45-year-old mystery that surrounds the club room.
Accompanied by his fellow club members, the knowledgeable Satoshi Fukube, the stern but benign Mayaka Ibara, and the ever-curious Eru Chitanda, Oreki must combat deadlines and lack of information with resourcefulness and hidden talent, in order to not only find the truth buried beneath the dust of works created years before them, but of other small side cases as well.
Based on the award-winning Koten-bu light novel series, and directed by Yasuhiro Takemoto of Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu, Hyouka shows that normal life can be full of small mysteries, be it family history, a student film, or even the withered flowers that make up a ghost story.
Based on 18 review scores:
As is no doubt evident by now, Hyouka is a truly remarkable series. It is an excellent example of what the anime medium can do should everything fire on all cylinders. Pretty, subtle, graceful and sophisticated are just some of the words to use when describing this series. So… Finally, it must be stated that passing on Hyouka would be a tragic loss for anyone even remotely appreciative of Anime today.
Hyouka is incredible. I watch a lot of anime (haha) and believe me when I say this is one of the best anime of the year, no question. I’m going to break my own rule here and give it a five overall, even if every category wasn’t perfect. The other categories more than make up the deficit.
Overall, the stories and mysteries of this anime are well-crafted and we don’t see these kinda things in every anime! In most of the animes there is actually no character development at all. So if you want to see characters that are inspired to change themselves, even if they are fictional characters, look no further. You might find some inspiration of your own if you watch this anime.
Chikorita 157’s Anime Blog
While Hyouka’s mysteries aren’t groundbreaking, I liked how they got used to develop the relationship between Houtarou and Eru along with their interactions. Also, I think Kyoto Animation did a very good job with the production values for this show. Even so, I’m going to miss Eru’s raging curiosity and Hontarou having to deal with it, until he can control it.
I’ve seen some people complain that the mysteries are trivial things and don’t really matter. But that’s part of what made this show so endearing to me. It’s a show about ordinary high school students, in the truest sense of the word. Their adventures are corresponding ordinary. And yet, even their ordinary lives are filled with mystery and excitement when they search for it.
The Foodie Geek
Anyway, if you’re the kind who likes a good mental exercise, Hyouka is recommended!
Hyouka is just a very well made shows that loves to use its own simplicity as a smokescreen for a detailed cast of characters and setting. It’s subtle in a lot of different ways, so if you like these kinds of series, then definitely give it a show, because it has a lot to deliver in that area.
Monkeys Fighting Robots
Even though the series wasn’t perfect it was entertaining. Sometimes that is enough for me, and being able to do that in 22 episodes is always an extraordinary feat. Thanks to this I was able to appreciate the series and do recommend it as a fun mystery title.
My Anime List
In the end, Hyouka does fall short of some of its potential due to issues with the script, but what the anime lacks in mysteries it more than makes up for with its characterization and presentation. It’s just a bit of a shame that many people will choose to write the anime off and treat it as something weak and disappointing because the mystery aspect didn’t hold up to their expectations. A misconception exists where people treat Hyouka as a strictly mystery title, and while it does hold true to some extent, these mysteries are instead used to develop the characters and have them interact in a remarkable manner, distinctive manner. This is an anime that essentially amounts to mundane events presented in a stylized and intriguing way. For those looking for something fresh in an age of uninspired rom-coms and homogeneity, Hyouka is a title that is easily worth your attention.
It is definitely worth checking out; if not for the story, then at least for the style itself as it is very unique. You will discover a show that is very different from your typical run-of-the-mill high school anime, and if you’re a fan of thoughtful, realistic suspense stories, then it will be a solid viewing experience.
Overall Hyouka is a top-class show. It brings something new to the table in terms of mystery and it is well-written and beautifully realised. At least half to two thirds of this show is exceptional but sadly that remaining portion does drag it down to the point that I cannot give it my most enthusiastic endorsement. That said, I do recommend it.
The Nihon Review
The one major complaint I’ve heard about Hyouka is that its mysteries are too mundane. In a sense this is true, but I would argue that it is more a matter of misattributing preconceptions within the mystery genre. While Hyouka is ostensibly a mystery, it does not attempt to be suspenseful or dramatic. Instead, the mystery plots are a tool to draw the characters closer together and to contrast Oreki’s level-headedness with Chitanda’s dreamy curiosity. For those who want either a traditional murder mystery or a fluffy K-ON!-style slice-of-life, Hyouka is liable to bore. However, when given a chance to grow, the series develops into an extremely clever story that largely escapes genre categorization, subtly mixing larger themes into a mystery plot with character interaction and a straightforward love story at its core.
The Visual Medium
I’m not terribly familiar with KyoAni’s past works, but this is the first serious slice-of-life from them that I’ve really enjoyed. While the mysteries were mostly pretty lacklustre, they were worth going through to see the characters develop. The detailed backgrounds and animation will probably not be matched for quite a while, but I’m secretly hoping the inevitable final season of Haruhi will boast similar production values…
Hyouka is a perfect combination of Slice of Life and Mystery, fun and intriguing. The anime will find you on the edge of your seat countless times with its mysteries, but its personal touch – the character development – is guaranteed to touch you. Its only flaw may be in the story, which has inconsistent build-up of tension thanks to its usage of arcs, but that appears to be its only issue. Everything else – its pacing, visuals, audio, ending etc. – are all satisfactory, just as expected from something from Kyoto Animation.
If you want to find sometime to relax and get some good-old-memories from your student time back, or even you are not, this is sure a good series to watch
Overall, Hyouka is a worthwhile watch. The mysteries are fun, the characters are likable, and the plot is interesting. There are a few issues though, such as the fact that Mayaka doesn’t get enough screentime and the occasional over-reliance on Japanese. The ending is a bit of a letdown as well, as there isn’t really a suitable climax. Nevertheless, it’s still a good show, and the animation and sound make Hyouka one of (if not the) best-presented anime I’ve seen.
The Pulse Entertainment
The animation is good and clear, none of that saturated, bright and hazy stuff. It also isn’t dark and morbid. I recognized Houtarou’s and Satoshi’s voices as Okazaki and Sunohara from Clannad, which I think I’ll review sometime in the future (I’m not ready to go down that heart-wrenching road again anytime soon!) The mysteries were interesting and I was trying to solve them right along with the group. The soundtrack was appropriate for the genre and created a sense of suspense. The first opening song is catchy and lingers in your mind.