Hyouka concludes half-respectable, half-detestable – either way however, the series is certainly not less than excellent as while it does have a few points to dislike, it simply has far many more to admire.
From well before its release, Hyouka seemed interesting – and indeed, upon its launch, it was an experience quite renowned with the first episode. The series had an aura of subtlety which persisted to the end – and the visuals of course spoke on their own behalf. There is admittedly a nuisance in how certain characters are morphed to fit a fetish – yet the general aesthetics of Hyouka are sublime, and similarly, the animation is running a race where no one else is even qualified to compete.
In the opening few chapters of the animation, the series was grand in that it enthralled the mind – leaving one questioning simply where the series intends to go, or perhaps rather, what is it which our protagonist will decide?
Oreki lived his life with a solid “do nothing” policy in place – and interesting with Hyouka is how his laziness so gradually evaporates over the course of the series, all whilst undertaking a variety of mysteries, and experiencing a multitude of events. Now here is where Hyouka ruffles a bit – the assorted occurrences which take place and contribute to Oreki’s development as an individual vary in how much they may captivate.
Two issues prevalent in Hyouka’s earlier slab of episodes is that some stories may seem irrelevant and don’t particularly contribute to any character or story, such as the onsen getaway – and aside from that, the presentation also suffers problems in priority. The emphasis on the moeblob heroine becomes unfavorably indulgent – although thankfully, Hyouka does recover, easing into more interesting affairs before then entering one of the single greatest arcs of any highschool slice of life, the festival bit.
This segment is so significant in that here one will truly come to see how intricate and maze-like the plot of Hyouka can be – there’s a whole framework spent into character development, and one will bear witness of some very gradual yet powerful transitioning as the characters visibly grow in their ideology. It’s notable at this point how Oreki starts to escape his sluggish nature – and in addition, we also see the woes of self-identity plaguing Neon Lights, as well as the personal problems of the tsundere.
Better yet, it all carries out to an entertaining and reflective tale – from the festival arc onward, the story truly engages not only in how the exploits are highly amusing, yet also in how those not directly related to our main crew would still mirror or somehow represent the worries tearing at our leading unit.
Implication powers much of this series – Hyouka builds the personality of each of its characters to where it doesn’t need to blatantly share items on their mind for us to already have an understanding, and this drives the series into its closing moments where it does indeed get heavier and employ a mixture of more explicit scenes amongst some minor hints of story. Such is the case with Neon Lights’ love tale – and likewise comes with Oreki’s.
Within this episode, we’re shown Oreki’s final breakthrough from his reserved nature, as well a confirmation of his falling in romantic interest for the moeblob – both of which he even recognizes himself as they occur.
Of course, it unfolds in typical Hyouka fashion – meaning a seeming side-story, albeit one in which the side-story is merely something of a cradle for the main points. It’s not a closing scene of fireworks and kisses – yet the genius is in that Oreki’s self-awareness of his feelings serves as affirmation of them. He loves the moeblob and he knows it – therefor, it needs not be said.
Now, a lot has physically occurred within Hyouka – however, it all did little more than re-calibrate Oreki’s emotions.
Not everyone is outgoing or sociable, different people have their own taste and personality – and in the case of Oreki, moving forward to go beyond his sloth tendencies took a seasonal cycle. If one thinks back, Hyouka had exclaimed this to us in the very first episode – courtesy of Oreki’s lifestyle. And indeed, the seasons have rotated – and with that, revolution has come.
Those wanting to see either the evolution of a human being, a smooth love story, or an uplifting adventure, if not all three and everything in between, then Hyouka is certainly a series fitting to satisfy that need.