Hyouka anime – dropped after 5 episodes but it’s decent

Hyouka is one of the recommendations I got from AnimeSuki when I asked for recent, decent and complete shows. I still haven’t worked through the entire list. I use it as a fallback when I can’t think of anything to watch at all, which happens less and less often as my backlog keeps growing.

Blurb: At the request of his older sister, student Hōtarō Oreki joins Kamiyama High School’s Classic Literature Club to stop it from being abolished, joined by fellow members Eru Chitanda, Satoshi Fukube and Mayaka Ibara. They begin to solve various mysteries, both to help with their club and at Eru’s requests.

I watched four episodes and read summaries of the fifth and that was enough for me. But it’s not that Hyouka is a bad show or anything. For one thing the art is gorgeous and extremely detailed. That’s the one thing even the fiercest haters of the show will agree on. For another thing the laidback slice of life mood of the show is very relaxing. I’ve been watching a lot of action-packed fantasy stuff lately, so the 100% reality-based Hyouka was a nice change.

Despite the high-school romance setting, it is also refreshingly free of the usual melodramatic love triangle do-they-don’t-they time wasting you often get in shows like that. And lastly, it’s nice to have a mystery show that doesn’t involve murders or other gory crimes. The “mysteries” solved in the first five episodes were relatively banal but sometimes it’s nice to have a whodunnit without the blood splatters.

No, not really.

Having said all that, Hyouka just wasn’t compelling enough to get me to watch the whole show. Oreki is your typical “bored with everything” anime genius with a voice like a 40-year old man. His friend Satoshi is an insufferably perky know-it-all. Mutual friend Ibara is just kind of there when she’s not being caustic. Chitanda is the most annoying of all. Whether you like the show or not will depend on how much you can stomach her pushiness and endless nosiness.

But I’ve watched many a show with an even less appealing cast. The real reason why I dropped Hyouka is that five episodes were enough. It’s enough, I get it. They like each other and they hang out and they solve minor mysteries. Okay, that’s fine. It’s fine for 5 episodes but do I really want to watch another 18 or 19 episodes on the same theme?Not really. I’ve seen what it has to offer, it’s decent enough but there’s nothing that makes me want to watch any more. The mysteries aren’t that gripping, the characters aren’t that likeable, the art is beautiful but not interesting enough to stare at all day.

In the end I used Hyouka as a kind of palate cleanser between more active and more involving shows. If you like slice of life, light-hearted mysteries or high school romance you might enjoy it. Even if you don’t, it’s a nice change to try a few episodes just to get a different experience. Whether it’s good enough to watch the whole thing or not depends on you.

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