Hyouka – 01
OP: 「優しさの理由」 (Yasashisa no Riyuu) by Choucho
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼
「伝統ある古典部の再生」 (Dentou Aru Koten-bu no Saisei)
“Revival of the Classics Club and its Traditions”
Nearly three weeks into the spring season and one of the hottest shows finally makes its debut. While Hyouka may not have been exactly what you were expecting, its first episode really highlighted the main reason I picked up the show — interesting mysteries that didn’t feel overly dramatic or too unrealistic. Of course, when a huge studio like Kyoto Animation is handling the adaptation of an award winning light novel and has two-cours to tell its story, I can’t fathom it being anything less than spectacular. (Except for endless eight, which we shall no longer mention anywhere in this post!)
To start things off, I personally was blown away with how perfect the casting choices were. For all the CLANNAD fans out there, it felt like a blast from the past with Oreki Houtaro (Nakamura Yuuichi) and Fukube Satoshi (Sakaguchi Daisuke) chewing the fat with each other. While their respective character personalities may have been slightly different than what I was accustomed to with Nakamura taking on a more somber character and Sakaguchi being extra perky, I can’t complain when a show puts one of my favorite male duos together — especially when their synergy with each one another overflows into the characters they’re portraying.
That said, before witnessing and having a seiyuu-gasm after listening to my two favorite “bros”, I was probably more psyched with the promise of Satou Satomi finally taking on a lead role in something I was covering. While I personally prefer her lower more boyish voice (Ritsu anyone!?), I was surprised how much I enjoyed listening to her more feminine side; most likely because of how well it complimented that air-headed feeling Chitanda gives off. However, I don’t think her seiyuu was enough to change my feelings about her character. Even though I do enjoy her presence, there’s something about the way she handles herself that doesn’t quite appeal to me. It may be her catchphrase or just the way she behaves when something piques her interest but I’m hoping my feelings will change within the next few episodes.
In terms of the story, I’m happy to say that Hyouka delivered on its promise to be an interesting mystery show. Unlike other offerings that aim to create a gigantic mystery and horribly fail to deliver a satisfying ending, Hyouka seems to be taking the other route of having shorter and easier to palette ones. However, it seems to pack all the depth that a big mystery would have into each of its shorter ones, giving each of the reveals something substantial to stand on top of. Not to mention that it also helps that each of the characters have their own skills: Chitanda’s love for mysteries and wanting to solve them, Satoshi’s gigantic database of information on anything and everything, and Houtaro’s innate ability to turn into a Japanese Sherlock Holmes.
Even though this week’s episode only tackled real simple things, it feels like the foundation for a great show has been laid down. There is not a single doubt in my mind that Hyouka will deliver on its promise to be a great mystery show. But what I wasn’t expecting was an interesting cast of characters that seem to string each other along — specifically Houtaro and Chitanda. Sure it may be way too early to say that the two will end up with each other, but it’s becoming really interesting to watch the low profile Houtaro step out of his comfort zone and engage in things that he normally wouldn’t all for the sake of satisfying a girl.
With our fourth character, Ibara Mayaka, still missing from the fray I can’t imagine how interesting things may get from here. Besides the potential love struggles that may appear due to Ibara having an interest in Satoshi, I can’t wait to see how crazy things will get when the Kotenbu decides to tackle a true mystery.