12 Days of Christmas: The Art of Curiosity – Day IX
On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love for anime gave to me…
9 mundane mysteries
8 beats of jazz
7 legendary servants
6 witty lies
5 fun choir members
4 gigabytes of data
3 lovely flowers
2 sides of consciousness
And a wish-granting rock.
There are a lot of things in the world we don’t know of; very minor things that we lacked the knowledge of. They are always a part of our lives, yet, we never solve these minor mysteries as they are nothing crucial. What would happen if one actually takes the effort to solve these mundane secrets? Meet Hyouka, and it’s wonderful cast of characters.
Oreki Houtarou, lives a “grey” life, not desiring anything and just wishes to live through his school days normally and peacefully, making the best of each day by conserving his energy. On the other hand, Chitanda Eru is an epitome of curiosity, excited at every contradicting situations. When Houtarou joined the Classics Literature club with Chitanda, and also additionally, Satoshi and Mayaka, his “grey” life is beginning to be dyed by some other colors, making his life more colorful then he ever thought.
As much as the daily mysteries are interesting, Hyouka’s characterizations are still the main highlight of the show. Characters are in contrast with each other but they slowly grow as the series progresses, Houtarou, for example, changed a lot during the coarse of the show, but that change grows and develop slowly and gradually, which makes the development more realistic. Some other characters are especially intriguing too, perhaps controversial even.
Hyouka is also one of the 2012 shows which could even rival graphical beasts like Fate/Zero in terms of visuals. Backgrounds are incredibly detailed and vivid, lush colors are used too, providing a rich environment. The use of abstract symbolism to reflect Houtarou’s train of thought is an unique, but effective way to visualize these thoughts. Hyouka is a good anime no doubt, and it looks good too.
While Hyouka may starts a tad bit slow for some people, with it’s unique execution, stunning visuals and incredible characterizations, it is definitely one of the best anime of 2012, yet.