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Author Topic: Hyouka  (Read 27103 times)

Offline Fumoffu!!

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Re: Hyouka
« Reply #105 on: September 24, 2012, 01:51:21 PM »
I am giving Hyouka an 8, it's strength doesn't lie in it's mysteries (although they are good too), but in the characters, their growth and interactions. It was really a joy to watch at points, it's a weak 8, but an 8 nonetheless.

Offline ImperialX

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Re: Hyouka
« Reply #106 on: September 25, 2012, 09:57:56 PM »
1-22:

I started this thread with extremely high hopes of KyoAni, and they did indeed deliver.

Hyouka is once again a brilliant demonstration of why KyoAni is so good at making Slice of Life anime work. As Akira once said, a successful Slice of Life anime is when you yourself become so engaged with the setting, that you feel you're amongst the characters because the way they are presented is so detailed and lifelike, you can't help but feel that way. That's precisely what Hyouka was. However, that does not mean it doesn't have its downsides.

For one, this show took far too long to get started. Don't get me wrong - it takes time to build up character for a good slice of life, and KyoAni did it in a very reasonable amount of time - about 10ish episodes. However for many people, that is far too long and they are likely to have dropped it by then. This is also one of the biggest reasons I couldn't give Steins;Gate a high score. It just took far too long to get started! This is an unreasonable request, maybe, but if I think back to similar character-driven series such as K-ON or Lucky Star, I don't ever recall myself being 'bored' even thoughout the first episodes.

Hyouka's school festival arc and the ending are amongst the best I have ever seen in anime, so I won't talk about that much. I think the "open-ending" is perfect. Nothing I can complain about. If I rewatch Hyouka, I'm sure I'd enjoy it more than the first run because by now I'm in love with the characters so much, just watching them talk would bring me joy instead of brining me sleepiness like the first time I saw it. However, that doesn't change the fact I was bored for almost half the series on my first watch.

7/10, though this is a very strong one. I will almost certainly change this to an 8 if I rewatch it. The above average score is due to the very strong second half after we have been introduced to the characters. As of now, it joins Nichijou, Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid and Clannad: Kyou Chapter as the lowest rated KyoAni anime in my list. Yes, I know I'm a fanboy.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 10:04:16 PM by ImperialX »

Online TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Hyouka
« Reply #107 on: September 25, 2012, 11:54:41 PM »
Quote
This is an unreasonable request, maybe, but if I think back to similar character-driven series such as K-ON... I don't ever recall myself being 'bored' even thoughout the first episodes.

*Spit*

What?
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Offline leokiko.

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Re: Hyouka
« Reply #108 on: September 26, 2012, 12:44:21 AM »
I don't really recall being bored in K-ON! either. 'Cuz I fell asleep while watching it.

Offline SQA

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Re: Hyouka
« Reply #109 on: September 26, 2012, 12:46:45 AM »
K-On! was okay, but I was bored to tears by K-On!!.  Just saying.

I actually was in on the characters by the trip to Mayaka's extended family's hotel.  I loved the details on the way the two cousins interacted.  It showed where the series was going very well.

Offline ImperialX

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Re: Hyouka
« Reply #110 on: September 26, 2012, 12:52:17 AM »
*Spit*

What?

K-ON!! is a solid 9/10, my dear TIF. I was on the verge of tears when it ended.

Offline leokiko.

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Re: Hyouka
« Reply #111 on: September 26, 2012, 01:05:17 AM »
ImperialX, I would certainly be interested in reading your thoughts on K-ON. You seem to hold it in high regards, but it's hard for me to think of a good thing about it, with the little time I spent watching it; up until episode 4 or so.

Offline ImperialX

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Re: Hyouka
« Reply #112 on: September 26, 2012, 01:16:32 AM »
ImperialX, I would certainly be interested in reading your thoughts on K-ON. You seem to hold it in high regards, but it's hard for me to think of a good thing about it, with the little time I spent watching it; up until episode 4 or so.

I'll be copying a few things from my blog here and here in my response. I get asked this question a lot, and it's understandable for you to think poorly of K-ON. Before we get started, I would like to point out that the only two 10/10 I have given out in my career are to Lucky Star and ARIA the Origination. Both are SoLs. Again, as Akira said, if you don't like the characters, you can't enjoy the Slice of Life. If you don't like K-ON's characters, it's already over. When I judge a SoL, I judge it completely differently to other genres. Everything with regards to plot, animation, music, pace, voice acting, cinematography...they're all thrown out the window. I judge an SoL based on how immersed I feel in its World. That is naturally defined by how attached I am to the characters.

Yes, in the elitist anime blogosphere and /a/, there is much shame to be had in admitting you enjoy watching K-On!, because who in their right mind would enjoy a plotless moeblob slice-of-life show over sayÖ the testosterone filled battle epic TTGL? Certainly no one would admit to such an atrocious act to their friends face to face. Hence it becomes extremely hard to be objective when posed with the question, ĎWhy do you like K-ON?". This is one of the reasons I enjoy Reddit and /r/anime. Those guys are not as knowledgable as us, but they have no 'shame' in admitting they like watching high school girls chatting and eating cake.

In recent times I feel that too much anime are being categorized based on if they have any moe elements in them. While thereís nothing wrong with giving labeling an anime as containing moe, it unfairly depicts certain anime as catering towards the niche otaku audience and suggests itís lack of depth and unoriginality, which in many cases simply isnít true. Take Lucky Star for example. Everyone says it's a moeblob. But it's also one of the two favourite anime of all time for me. As I said, everything about judging a Slice of Life is different to other genres. For one, every episode should end with you feeling relaxed and contented with a smile on your face. Does K-On!! achieve this? Yes, absolutely 100% yes.

K-On!! follows a relatively frugal format in terms of storyline. You wouldnít go into each episode expecting anything dramatic or exhilarating, and for some this may be what they like to call boring. But then again, you wouldnít open a bag of chips expecting M&Ms and chocolate fudge, so why you go into K-On!! expecting anything even resembling a continuous plot? K-On!!ís style single episodic scenarios work greatly in itís favor, viewers are never startled with annoying cliffhangers or feel an obligation to keep up with it in fear of missing out on some important plot element. If watching K-On!! becomes a chore (Iím looking at you Bleach manga), then itís missed the point completely, and in this regard, I give K-On!!ís Ďplotí two thumbs up.

Despite this though, K-On!! deals with some surprisingly deep themes that would go right over the heads of most casual viewers. One definite improvement from itís first season is the branching out of the limited focus of club practice (eating cake) to wider array of activities. Granted, most of them are still obvious and predictable, the sort of been-there done-that stories weíve all seen before, but the shift allowed K-On!! to focus on many different aspects and resort less to what I like to call Ďmoe-momentsí in order to fill up the 24 minutes. Lets face it, how many different ways can you eat, drink and procrastinate before it starts getting old? Instead though, from the summer trips to school plays to the air conditioning campaigns, K-On!! moves away from the same-ness of cake/tea/practice/more cake in the first season and closer to true slice-of-life.

K-On!!ís real brilliance shines in the final 6-7 episodes or so, as the girls neared the finale of their school life, the realization that their after school tea times canít last forever hits them quietly and their are faced with the challenges of change and the future. Though not exactly compelling and dramatic, it nevertheless teaches us that our beloved peaceful times cannot always last forever, which only makes them more precious, not unlike Aria the Origination, but on a smaller scale. K-On!ís main idea was a carefree life of daily cake, tea and music with not a worry in the world, but K-On!!ís step away from that ultimately paid off and turned what would have been just a mediocre moeblob into a great slice-of-life.

I supposed Iíd better tackle the moe problem, as it seems to be the main issue dragging K-On!! down. Yes, there is a lot of it. Yes, it is overused. Would K-On!! be better without it? This is extremely questionable. but then it wouldnít be K-On!! anymore. As much as we all hate to admit it, moe has become an integral part of the characterization of the K-On!! girls. Yui simply wouldnít believe the same if she didnít drool over Azu-nyan or cake, Azu-nyan wouldnít be the same if she didnít get embarrassed over every little thing and Mugi simply canít exist without her air-headed-ness and cheerfulness. Sure, they could do without it, but then theyíd be different characters completely.

And to be fair, a lot of the moe-hate stem from people who watch 3-4 episodes, drop it, and then go complain about it on forums. As I followed K-On!! throughout itís season, I was quietly surprised as the moe-moments gradually thinned out little by little. It was as if as the girls grew older, the show slowly matured along with them. Donít believe me? Well, donít my word for it, see for yourself. Right now. Open up say episode 2 or 3, count how many moe-moments there are, and then compare them to a later episode, say, 21 or something. Donít worry, Iím not going anywhere so take your timeÖ OkÖ done? See? Good. Anyway as I was saying, the gradual fade of moe was was subtle and barely noticeable, but for those paying attention it was a nice touch, and went along well with the tone of bittersweetness of the end of their high school lives.

I could probably very easily write a long rant about the negatives of vanilla ice cream. I could talk about how bad it is for your health, how expensive and nutrition lacking ice-cream is, or how it is an overrated flavor and too many people eat just because they donít have the guts to try new and better flavors, or how the ice-cream companies continue to make vanilla ice-cream to cater for those idiotic people, cashing in instead of nobly taking the first step in revolutionizing ice cream flavors. But at the end of the day, it doesnít change the fact that I like vanilla ice-cream, and that I enjoy having it every Friday night after dinner as I tune in to watch the weekly action flick on television. I personally think it's more skilful to be able to state in the current blogosphere that I LIKE K-ON, and then defend my views. Not to mention it's my genuine opinion - not just deliberately playing the devil's advocate.

Offline Fumoffu!!

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Re: Hyouka
« Reply #113 on: September 26, 2012, 05:01:16 AM »
Well, for one thing welcome back ImperialX, next is that I read through that and it made sense.

Honestly I don't know anymore how I feel about K-ON!, I watched it all a long time ago before I even knew what moe was. If I watched it now, I have a sneaking suspicion I may even like it, I don't even hate moe, I just don't like it when it's got nothing else to it other than moe. For example you're recommendation Sora no Woto was something I loved, and I liked the moe parts too, but it had something else to it as well, which made the show as a whole more interesting, but also allowed me to get more involved in the characters. Nichijou had humour as well as moe, and it worked well together in my mid.

With regards to you saying that if you don't like the characters to a Slice of Life it's over, I find this to be so very true, in fact if I don't like the characters in any genre I will end up not liking the show. I don't know, for me being invested in the characters is one of the most important things (unless it's a comedy, although it helps), it allows you to feel the drama through the characters themselves, rather than being an objective bystander.

On topic, the reason I enjoyed Hyouka so much towards the end was because of the characters and how they interacted. Houtarou who I initially thought was plain turned out to be a decent character, and Chitanda was also a character that grew on me. I actually hope for a second season, which is regrettable since I am also hoping for another season to Full Metal Panic from Kyoto Animation.

Maybe I should rewatch K-ON!

Offline ImperialX

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Re: Hyouka
« Reply #114 on: September 26, 2012, 05:44:19 AM »
With regards to you saying that if you don't like the characters to a Slice of Life it's over, I find this to be so very true, in fact if I don't like the characters in any genre I will end up not liking the show. I don't know, for me being invested in the characters is one of the most important things (unless it's a comedy, although it helps), it allows you to feel the drama through the characters themselves, rather than being an objective bystander.

Liking the characters and resonating with the characters are two different things. Sorry, but I should have made that more clear.

Let's take Zetsubou Sensei for a moment here. There's no way you can resonate with any character in Zetsubou Sensei, because they have been twisted to such extent, they are no longer 'realistic' by any means. This doesn't mean you don't like them, but you cannot put yourself in their shoes, nor become immersed in their World. However, you don't need to do that to enjoy Zetsubou Sensei! It isn't a Slice of Life, so it will rely on cinematography, scriptwriting, or some other form of technique-based appeal. In SZS's case, it's the witty satirical humour. a.k.a. Script.

With Slice of Life series such as K-ON! and Sora no Woto, it as of absolute importance that you can resonate with the characters. Immerse yourself in their World. That is the only way to appreciate Slice of Life, and it's putting yourself into the entire setting and landscape which allows Slice of Life to have limitless potential. It's also why I believe only Slice of Life anime can get 10/10 from me. If a third 10/10 anime ever comes along, I'm almost certain it will be a Slice of Life.

On topic, the reason I enjoyed Hyouka so much towards the end was because of the characters and how they interacted. Houtarou who I initially thought was plain turned out to be a decent character, and Chitanda was also a character that grew on me.

I bet if you rewatch Hyouka, you'll be amazed at how good the first ten episodes were. What you thought was 'boring' before may turn out wonderful. That's what great Slice of Life series do to you.

I am also hoping for another season to Full Metal Panic from Kyoto Animation.

Not happening. Learn Japanese. Or if you want, I can spoil everything for you since I've read all the light novels to the conclusion.

Maybe I should rewatch K-ON!

Again, it's all about the characters. If you think Yui is annoying as many people do - you guessed it - it's already over.

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Re: Hyouka
« Reply #115 on: September 26, 2012, 05:20:42 PM »
K-ON!! is a solid 9/10, my dear TIF. I was on the verge of tears when it ended.

Were those tears of pain... like how you feel when someone pulls your teeth out with a pair of pliers?

If so, then I agree with you.  A 9/10 on the trainwreck scale and I was crying like a little bitch.
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Offline SQA

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Re: Hyouka
« Reply #116 on: September 26, 2012, 07:03:34 PM »
Slice of Life also seem to work better in Week over Week viewing format, compared to just mainlining through the entire series.  I tried to mainline S1 and S2 together.  That's why I got lost in S2 pretty badly.

I find it humorous we're talking about Full Metal Panic! in the Hyouka thread.  FMP!'s writer did the series comp on Hyouka.  So, it's not completely insane to think we won't ever see another FMP series, but it's pretty unlikely (at this point in time).  Though we might see spiritual successors if Gatoh keeps working with KyoAni.

Offline AC

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Re: Hyouka
« Reply #117 on: January 15, 2013, 07:50:06 PM »
11.5:

Oh jeez, can't we even get like just one glimpse of Houtarou's sister's face already...

Basically, this episode summed up what Hyouka was all about in a nutshell: deriving to a conclusion of a "mystery" by logical means. But the pet problem have always been the same: Oreki and Co. are always "obliged" to solve mysteries and they override practicality, showing just how over-zealous they can be at solving something. To be honest, they wouldn't have to go through the trouble of looking something that never existed if they had only ask the lady. Oreki had a point when he said there's nothing wrong about asking her an innocent question, Mayaka simply shot back and brushed aside his point. Simply put, I seriously don't see why they would go through the trouble of searching the entire pool rather than just asking a simple question. For all we know, Mayaka could've asked since Chitanda's too shy.

But never mind; it was a good episode, nonetheless.
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