Nobody told me this show would involve freaky hair-tentacles
|Yay Hyouka! … You know, I have absolutely no idea what to expect out of this since all I know is that this is KyoAni and the mystery genre. Will this impress me? We’ll see. …Though chances are that it will.|
|Hello everyone! I’m so sorry for this really late post, I’m still in the process of battling against terrifying monster exams and projects, but I’m here now along with Kara to bring to you Hyouka’s FI! To be honest, I’m not sure what to expect other than pretty animation, but I have high, high hopes for this show!|
Straight into the episode, we’re introduced to our main character oh ma shoe! Houtarou, a very low-key dude who doesn’t believe in doing anything unnecessary. The only person he seems to be willing to spend his precious energy to talk to is his childhood friend, Satoshi, the ever outgoing one who makes up for all his dullness. Houtarou ends up joining the Classics club due to a threat request from his sister, thinking that he would be able to use the isolated club room as his own private space.
ALL the bromance!
Contrary to his wishes, though, the isolated club room turns out to be not so isolated at all. He meets Eru, who happily introduces herself as a new member of the Classics club. Rejoicing at the fact that the Classics club was still going to continue regardless of his presence, Houtarou takes his leave, only to let it slip that the door was actually locked before Houtarou entered the room. Eru, however, states that it was unlocked when she arrived, explaining why she could’ve gotten in without the key. Eru becomes inexplicably interested in the mystery of the locked door, and eventually convinces Houtarou to help find an explanation with a strangely convincing aura. Satoshi soon joins in after being found eavesdropping, and the three join forces to solve the mystery. Or at least that was the plan, until Houtarou abruptly announces that he has already figured it out – Eru had entered the club room when the serviceman had unlocked the door to fix some lights, and simply happened to be unlucky enough to get locked inside when he locked the door once he was done with his work. With this, Eru gladly invites both Houtarou and Satoshi to the Classics club – a trio has been formed!
A fateful encounter between a boy and a girl…
…results in an irresistible attraction, and a touching confession…
…aaand the best friend ruins everything by interrupting. /anticlimatic
Once you can get past the creepiness of the fungi plant-infested long hair, this scene is actually really pretty
The next day, Houtarou and Satoshi tell Eru about the rumor of a secret club existing in the school. Each year, there is one single recruitment poster that doesn’t belong to any registered club, belonging instead to a secret club called the Golden Web. The story obviously gets Eru interested, and the trio set off once again to search for the one recruitment poster by this mysterious club… Houtarou eventually leads them to the notice board near the main entrance – the most conspicuous place the poster could be. Searching for it in a sea of other posters takes a bit of time, but Houtarou finally finds it hidden behind another poster – a short, succinct note that conveys all it needs to: Join the ultra secretive Golden Web! Satisfied at finding the note, the trio decides to leave it off at that and head home. As Houtarou and Satoshi walk back home together, however, it is revealed to us that the entire Golden Web rumor was actually entirely made up by Houtarou. For what reason, even he himself is not sure, even though he eventually convinces himself it was for the sake of upholding the status quo. Before they part ways, Satoshi leaves Houtarou with some bromancy advice: being low-key might be able to last him through the day, but perhaps it would in turn, cost him more in the future.
How I feel like when Sensei tells me to read a passage in Japanese class
Last night was fun, if you know what I mean
This story still has a lot of potential to it, but why on earth would they start this storyline with such a low key mystery? So the main guy doesn’t like to put effort into things, so he makes up his own fake mystery… All I’ve gotten out of this anime so far (plot wise) is that Houtarou is a lazy genius and Eru is your stereotypical all around perfect girl who likes mysteries. While I can’t say that I’m particularly attached to any of the characters at the moment, there’s probably a ton of room for growth. The lacklustre mysteries this episode ate up so much time that there wasn’t much room for anything else. While the Spider Council or whatever it was called was kind of interesting, I can’t help but think that this could have started better. It’s hard get into the mysteries that they’re solving when I barely know who the characters are or why I should care about them.
On that note, at least the setting is pretty realistic. My prior complaints about them being boring aside, at least none of the mysteries were over the top and all of them felt believable. They could have easily happened in real life and I guess they helped the viewer get accustomed to the school setting. The character Satoshi also helped with that since he’s like that stereotypical male friend who appears in every school themed anime ever. He seems like a pretty normal character thus far, so I wonder how he’ll fit in with the Literature Club. Normally the stereotypical male friend is just someone who gets involved with the main character’s life from time to time, but here it looks like he’ll be taking a more active role. From her scene with the hair, it’s obvious that Eru is going to be the one pushing the club forward and Houtarou is going to do his whole solving mysteries thing, but Satoshi and that other member (the female one who hasn’t been introduced yet)’s roles are still a mystery.
That… was quite a letdown after all the good first episodes many anime series have had this season. Of course, if we’re talking about the animation and the music alone, I’d say it was beautiful. But story plot wise? I am disappoint. The character introductions were done way too predictably and it was the typical first day of school thingum, anti-social guy and his less angsty best friend meets beautiful rich famous girl who also happens to have a weird ability to be able to convince people to do stuff for her through her mesmerizing eyes… okay. At this point in time I would say all the characters are stereotypical, although I can’t dispute the fact that they do have potential for character development – especially Eru, because we still don’t know much about that strange tendency of hers to influence others. Minor point but, I don’t know what to feel about those mottos… What kind of anime character has a “motto” that is repeated like 4 times in the first episode alone? Not sure if cheesy or unique. >.> If they continue to keep repeating it in future episodes though, it will get annoying.
Moving on, the mysteries were also… not very mysterious. The locked-door “mystery” was incredibly uninspiring, but thankfully the one about the Golden Web was slightly more intriguing. And then it turned out to be a fake. Y u cheat my feelings? ;_; I’m sure that the following episodes will have more exciting mysteries (probably involving that old building Eru spotted?), but I felt that the first episode could’ve at least given us some sort of introduction to the main mystery of this anime, which actually revolves around a old collection of works created by previous club members, titled Hyouka – that’s what caught my eye during the season preview. They could’ve left us off at a cliffhanger after they discovered the works or something – that would’ve been more effective in leaving us with something to think about so we would actually be excited to find out more.
To be honest, I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it, but that’s mainly because of the gorgeous animation. I love pretty art (call me shallow), but I can actually watch something for its graphics alone. This is one of those shows. As expected, KyoAni gave us awesome character designs and scenery (loved both the music and the PV for the OP), and this was actually the saving grace of this episode. That being said, I really do hope that Hyouka will pick up its pace. Although I’m not expecting to see lots of bloody gore or madness that conspired in Another, I am looking forward to being drawn in by lots of fun mysteries. It would be a pity for such a beautifully-animated series to go to waste.