Hyouka – Beauty In The Mundane

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Nowadays, supernatural occurrences bring out little to no emotions in people. A man of the XXI century likes to think rationally, and can easily find logical answers to the questions that are bothering them. 

Some still like to believe in the higher powers, treating even minor events as the messages of spirits. The protagonist of Hyouka, Oreki Houtarou unmistakably belongs to the former group, but for a different reason: he finds it too tiring to listen to fairy tales.

With the main character that is too lazy to put in any effort, can Hyouka really be worth your watch?

Too Lazy to Care

The pinnacle of modern philosophy lies within the boundaries of self-deprecation and pessimism. The amount of negative influence media has on the average consumer just makes it impossible for anyone to keep out the sadness of their lives. 

Houtarou on the other hand, doesn’t care about the flow of emotions. He ignores everything that happens around him because he believes being “gray” is just enough to live his life.

“If I don’t have to do it, I won’t. If I have to do it, I’ll make it quick.”

-Oreki Houtarou’s singular motto that he lives by

Forced Into Friendship

As time passes, he enters Kamiyama High and encounters the beautiful and curious Chitanda Eru. She is the exact opposite of Houtarou. A bright extrovert, who enjoys joining any activity when an opportunity arises. 

She inadvertently forces Houtarou to solve a minor mystery that occurred to her. Chitanda is flattered by Houtarou’s logical thinking and invites him to figure out other weird occurrences from time to time.

They both join the Classics Club for different reasons. Soon two other members appear, namely Satoshi and Mayaka, who are more or less Houtarou’s friends. They don’t do specific club activities, but when a mystery is discovered, it is up to Houtarou to provide an answer.

A Detective of the Supernatural

He is not quite fond of these activities but still goes on with every request. He isn’t easy to persuade, but because of Chitanda’s cute pressure, he always gives in. Houtarou doesn’t care about girls, but still accepts his fate as a detective. 

For most of the series, his only reason for this is to conserve as much energy as possible. He wants to avoid being annoyed by Chitanda, and figures that finding the truth would be much easier.

Slowly, a change of gears happens for every character. Chitanda finds out about her uncle’s past. Satoshi struggles to keep up with Houtarou’s leading spirit. And Ibara puts up with the unfriendly atmosphere at the Manga Club. 

Houtarou on the other hand doesn’t want to change. He fights with all his might to stay in his shell, but there is a force even he can’t defy: the curious angel who led him into life, Chitanda.

Glistening Hope

Houtarou’s feelings develop towards the heir of a massive agriculturalist and soon starts activities on his own. He invites Chitanda to the library, escorts her to the shrine on New Year’s Eve, and carries her umbrella during the spring festival. 

They grow closer, and despite everyone’s outrage at not even confessing, Houtarou still turns his life into “pink”.

Is Hyouka Worth Your Watch?

Hyouka is considered boring by many. Well, it’s a slice of life anime, and focusing on both philosophy and psychology will guarantee the slow pace. 

If you can overcome the lack of action, the wonderful music and animation will leave a mark on your standards. You can take any scene from Hyouka without context, and it will make an outstanding gif. Every frame is a work of art, and the many hidden details in the background deepen the atmosphere to perfection.

Hyouka uses countless references from classical detective stories, so if you are a fan of Agatha Christie, Conan Doyle, or other authors, the enjoyment is set in stone. 

Kyoto Animation truly stepped up its game with this adaptation of a light novel. They are the kings of slice of life, so check out their other works in the genre, such as Clannad or Violet Evergarden. Hyouka is one of my all-time favorite anime and it is definitely worth your watch!

“If you don’t want a sarcastic answer, don’t ask a stupid question.”

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