Ah, ice cream. Technically the English translation is much closer to “frozen dessert” or even something like “popsicle,” but those are semantics that usually are good at Ruining A Damn Good Show.
Now, I gave this show a 6.5 out of 10. Do not let the rating fool you; almost everything about this show is done masterfully. The art is fucking incredible, the protagonist is great, the music is stunning (and the instrumentation is absolutely flawless), and even the supporting characters are both well thought out and interesting.
No, the reason it’s a 6.5 is because Chitanda Eru was so. Goddamn. Annoying.
See, I don’t want to go too deep into why I thought her character was a poorly written mess of Mary Sue tropes because, well, that would take entirely too long and use up too much of my precious energy reserves. But damn, I feel bad for poor Oreki for having to deal with her.
Because she’s a main character, she is huge and integral to how the show works, and therefore also manages to singlehandedly drop the show from a solid 9/10 to a 6.5 in terms of enjoyment. Chitanda Eru powers, everyone!
Aside from Miss I’m-Curious-And-Fuck-Your-Personal-Space, everything else is so high on the enjoyment scale that I actually kept watching the show even though I wanted to strangle a two dimensional character. Houtarou Oreki’s character design and art is some of the best I’ve seen for any character; in fact, the art is why I started watching this in the first place. The details are amazing, the facial expressions are out of this world, and Oreki exemplifies the quality of the animation.
Another thing I really appreciated about the show is that everyone clearly has some human flaws (besides Miss So-Moe-That-My-Flaws-Aren’t-Actually-Flaws) and clearly shows development. Houtarou is brilliant, but so lazy that he cannot bring himself to do anything without outside motivation. Satoshi is cheerful and a hard worker, but is plagued by the fact that he will always be second best to someone else, no matter how much effort he puts into it, since he has no outstanding talents. Ibara is tough and resilient, but breaks down easily when things that mean a lot to her go wrong (A Corpse By Evening, Satoshi’s feelings…). The cast easily carries the show.
Hyouka is a show without an obvious storyline. It doesn’t follow one plot, and it doesn’t have one huge insurmountable obstacle. Rather, it’s like interconnected vignettes. One arc in this show can take one episode, or it can take six. It takes whatever time is needed for the story to be told properly, but doesn’t stretch it out unnecessarily. And also–I like the ending. I like the vagueness and that it doesn’t devolve into romance. Sue me.
So here’s the thing about this show. If Chitanda Eru doesn’t drive you absolutely shit bonkers insane, then there is very little I can really criticize about this show (not that I’m that much of a critic anyways). I’ve heard complaints that it’s slow and such, but that’s in the description–Slice of Life, so it says. The way that the mysteries are presented is so engaging, you can participate in the mystery solving as the characters do. Immersion!
Do yourself a favor. Watch the show. It’s brilliant. Just try not to let Miss Unholy-Child-Of-Modern-Anime-Waifu-Tropes ruin it for you.
(Ah, also–has anyone else noticed how Houtarou and Satoshi are drawn like aged-down, anime expy’s of Sherlock and John from BBC’s Sherlock?)
Even their eye colors are similar!
now please excuse me i need to play with my cat so he stops scratching at my door my god he’s so fucking needy