Tuesday, July 3, 2012

[Jas] Anime Vanguard: I'm Curious!! - Hyouka Review

[JT's note: Hey, everyone!  So while I am busy trying to promote the site through my Deck Discuss from the weekend, the lovely Jas did an anime review.  I was going to try and leave it alone as much as possible, but during my last review, I promised to have a name for these.  So welcome to the first official piece of Anime Vanguard!  That's right.  That's the name.  >_> <_< >_>  What?  It's a good name... oh ok, sooooo maybe it won't work if we talk about an older anime... but it's still a gre- ...ok ok... what we'll do is if the anime is currently running either here (stateside) or in Japan, we'll call it Anime Vanguard.  If it has finished airing and has been available for a decent amount of time, it'll be Anime Rewind.  Ok?  Ok.]

FIRST OFF! Before I begin…this show is not Bleach, Naruto, or One Piece [JT's note: ask her about Ace... I dare you...]. It’s not an action adventure "I’m going to whip out swords and slice things in half and scream all the time" full of excitement blood and over-the-top training anime….it’s more realistic/slice of life-y. So if you don’t like realistic then GTFO! (but not really, that’d be mean of me. Stick around. I have cookies.).

I make it a point to at least try to watch the first episodes of all newly airing animes. So when the little icon picture has an adorable girl in it, I obviously can’t turn it down. Paired with an awesome opening + ending song, well, I’m even more excited. Within the first few moments I figured the show to be a “slice of life” type show, something I might not be too interested in. Though, as I went on the characters became more exciting and the story seemed to have a little more to it than just a typical high school romance-type show, it seemed to have more…mystery! Well, I’m talking about Hyouka of course!

11 episodes strong at the moment, it’s such an interesting show that I have started looking forward to the new episodes. The lead boy, Oreki, reminded me of myself with his aversion to social interaction. (What can I say, I’m legit a hermit half the time..what you want to go out and play? Sorry I need to scrub my floor tile with a tooth brush or something. Yeah.) [JT's note: Notice how she doesn't say that Oreki reminds her of a male version of herself... >.<].  Eru also grew on me quickly with her adorable personality and in-your-face-ness. I WANT HER TO BE MY WAIFU! ;_; Sorry the creep in me came out there.

excuse me while I dream of Eru (。♥‿♥。)  
So since the anime is still not over I obviously don’t want to ruin anything for people who haven’t started watching yet, so I’ll try not to go into too much detail…or I could just hide the spoilers like a normal person. Ah, either way let’s see what we have here!!

So obviously I didn’t have high hopes going into this, I really don’t with any anime unless I’ve previously read the manga. (Ex: Hiyokoi which had a 1 episode pilot/ova type thing that literally made me piss my panties when I saw it on the ‘latest’ screen. It was cute, but if I don’t stop now I’ll get off topic (FFFFF TOO CUTE HNNGH!!!). So anyways, episode one starts off with the whole high school scene along with main character narration. “I don’t do anything I don’t have to. What I have to do, I do quickly.” The main character's lovely life motto. And pretty much my own too. Is that a bad thing?

Next came the forming of an after school club, obviously, and the introduction of new characters. The Classics Club was a club that had been at risk of being disbanded since there weren’t enough members. Although, now the four person club is going strong and….solving mysteries/problems that lead to mysteries. Not quite what I expected of something called the Classics Club…but maybe that’s because I have a lot of English major friends and a fetish with books. (Don’t judge)

Also…can I just spaz a little over Eru Chitanda? TOO ADORABLE! (spoiler [highlight to read]) kinda sorta love it when she looks into Oreki’s eyes and hers just sparkle and then her hair grows out super long, sprouts flowers, and wraps him up. It’s so interesting and honestly at first I thought she was going to be some sort of apparition or demon thing because of that. Though I’m rather certain that she’s just a normal girl and it’s Oreki’s interpretation of how binding it is when she asks him to solve something that she doesn’t understand. (end spoiler).  She’s pretty much this ball of energy that forces all these mysteries onto poor Oreki to solve by shouting "I'm curious!" or "I can't stop thinking about it!!". Even though he never really “wants” to, well he can’t help it. Man, I wouldn't be able to turn her down either….not if she was looking at me. Those beautiful purple eyes. That long black hair. Those angled bangs. THAT SCHOOL UNIFORM!!! (Tame thyself Jas, tame thyself) [JT's note: Again, Jas is female.  Don't be fooled.]

Eru proposes the first mystery, which I thought would be the main one. Like, something that would take the whole season to solve. (spoiler) But I was wrong, it was solved a LOT faster than I thought. The one disappointment that I’ve had with the series as of now was actually how fast that mystery was solved. I was hoping it would last longer. It seemed so interesting, what with the missing uncle and all. I hope that it comes back, or she gets a letter from him or something, but I’m rather positive that the mystery has had the book closed on it…pun sorta intended (end spoiler) There is more than just one mystery though, and they are all interesting! So don’t go thinking it’s a show that’s just about one huge mystery or anything. There is a lot more to it than that.

They also really go into depth with the explainations of how they solve the mysteries. With different styles and such; it’s really cool. That being said, I adore the animation style, character design, and personalities. I almost had to like them all, granted Oreki and Eru are by far my favorites…Satoshi probably falls in third place. He talks a whole lot…at least I think he talks a whole lot.

Also, if you watch you may read my episode 11 rant below, hidden for spoilers:

(spoiler) [JT's note: Normally I edit these posts, but I am not going to for this spoiler in hopes of actually watching this myself.  Tl;dr blame Jas for any problems in this section.] Honestly was not expecting that. I didn’t see all that angsty nonsense coming with Oreki was deceived like that, though I did enjoy it slightly. I also didn’t think Irisu was chatting with Tomoe, I thought in the beginning of episode 9 that it was Eru, not Tomoe. Though I thought there was something up with Satoshi, he certainly feels quite a lot of jealousy towards Oreki for his deductive abilities, though he couldn’t even deduce that he was being duped in the beginning! Oh man! I didn’t even realize the rope from episode 10, am I stupid? I immediately assumed Oreki was right because well…he’s Oreki! But then…HE WAS WRONG! Well, kinda wrong. ಠ╭╮ಠ Then Oreki got all that emo-angsty and punched the wall when the whole mystery thing came up and I got all (◕╭╮◕) because I hope he doesn’t stop solving mysteries just because he now thinks that he isn’t special anymore. YOU ARE SPECIAL TO ME OREKI! SO VERY SPECIAL Irisu is just a big meany pants!! I do want to know the deal with his sister though….I want to see her, or know what she’s up to. If she’s up to anything at all….can’t wait till next episode! :3 (end huge spoiler)



Opening: 4/5 I didn’t like it much at first, but it certainly grew on me
Characters: 4/5 It’s too soon to judge completely, but I’m liking almost everyone as of now. There is a lot of depth
Story: 5/5 As of now, I’m loving it!
Animation: 5/5 I like the style, what can I say.

Final thoughts:  Remember, this is just my personal opinion. You’ll have to watch Hyouka and see for yourself how much you like it/hate it. “The best way to tame a mystery is with another mystery.” I can’t wait to see what more this anime has to offer. It’s nothing ground breaking, but it’s a cute little watch indeed! The characters express a lot of emotion (Episode 11 really brought that out) and showed really how much certain things mean to them. I think I have a better feel of the characters after the latest episode! Can't wait for episode 12!
Watch it! :3

[JT's final note: Anyone else feel like she just described Lucky Star meets The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya?]

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