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Old 2012-04-23, 08:39   Link #561
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It's a little confusing when I receive messages asking me if I was being sarcastic. No, I truly loved the first episode. I may have had it unsettling when I came here and found so many people disliking it and went overboard with the superlatives, but still I found this to be quite within the high side of my taste range.
Yeah apparently saying "I liked this episode cool story bro" makes you either a idiotic fanboy or a troll.

I will say I liked it, but unfortunately KYoAni is now facing a more fierce competition than six years ago, with Fate/Zero, Kids on the Slope, Uchuu Kyoudai and Jormungand. Which, all the four, have a more compelling cast of characters and/or story and /or running theme that all together have a broader appeal. And this is how I feel that Hyou-ka is going to be compared all over the run.
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Old 2012-04-23, 08:40   Link #562
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Hmm... not sure why people are comparing Satoshi to Sunohara from CLANNAD. They may share the same Voice Actor(VA), but their characters are much different. Sunohara is basically a lech with a heart of gold. Satoshi so far, is acting as Houtarou's wingman.

Note that Houtarou was going to opt out of joining the Classics Club because Eru had already joined. If Satoshi had not intervened, they might never have continued to interact meaningfully. To put it simply, there is chemistry between Eru and Houtarou, but Houtarou is kinda inert. Satoshi is the Catalyst.

*BOOM!* Chemical reaction, and fun times are had.

As the episode progresses, you will see that Satoshi acts as an ice-breaker, and also prods Houtarou into action towards the end of the episode.

Cheers.
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Old 2012-04-23, 08:49   Link #563
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I'll just get this outta the way because this statement pretty much sums up Hyouka for me:

DEM PURPLE EYES

Seriously, I lol'd when they became all artistic and almost Shaft-like with all that iris sparkling and various camera angles and zoom-ins. The hell is Kyoani trying to do here? Trying the mimick the Nisemonogatari toothbrush scene but replace it with eye fetish? Well at least it wasn't obnoxious fratboy fanservice so at least I'll admit to enjoying "dem purple eyes" somewhat . Actually somewhat is underrating. I ENJOYED THEM A LOT. They look like purple lolipops that are desperately wanting to be licked :3

But aside from that... I didn't care much for the series as I was quite bored tbh. In fact, I forgot what the mysteries were already. The atmosphere seems like a poor man's Bungaku Shojo to me, though visuals were superior. Talking about visuals, they were indeed great, typical of Kyoani, except for those chipmunk faces which I dislike. However, it wasn't mindblowing or anything as in recent years we have been spoilt by glorious visuals. I'll put it up in roughly the same league as Hanasaku Iroha or Guilty Crown from last year, but inferior to the likes of say Fate Zero/Lupin III this season.

5/10 + 0.5 for strong visuals +1 for dem purple eyes = 6.5/10. Call me shallow but fuck it... it's not like I had high expectations for this so I'm not raging unlike a certain thread . And I think a certain level of shallowness is required to enjoy this series as this was obvious from the Kyoani history in recent years + trailer that this wasn't going to be groundbreakingly awesome in any way.

EDIT: Talking about "top of the season". No, Hyouka isn't close to it. Space Brothers, Sakamichi no Appollon, Fate Zero S2, Lupin III, Jormungand and heck even Accel World is superior to this (at least for now)...
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Old 2012-04-23, 09:03   Link #564
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Not so original, but I can only agree that this pilot episode was a tad too safe for my liking, and doesn't present a engaging mood... yet.
If I discard the mystery label put beforehand, the first episode did accomplish an appropriate setup for a "regular not ambitious high school boy".
Bland? Perhaps, I wouldn't be surprised if much more events are set on motion: after all, Houtarou did something unusual compared to what a "CBA" guy would do.

That being said, I sure hope things will have more dynamics from now on, as Satoshi is the main catalyst of everything right now, which is a bit plain (In fact, I was wondering if the voice acting direction was a bit misplaced or truly depicting Satoshi's character since... he talks as if he was in a drama/theater). Speaking of which, I was nearly expecting some cameo or seiyuu joke, since Houtarou/Satoshi duo isn't without similarities with Tomoyo/Youhei from clannad, albeit hardly that extreme (I plead guilty that I sort of expected Eru to be voiced by Nkahara )

Meanwhile, I'm sort of surprised about the criticism regarding animation and design for this series: I dunno, KA isn't really prone to dish out things for eye candy aspect alone. The strength for Hyouka however is that things -do- look alive here: it isn't only the main characters, but you have some environment cohesion with a sheer amount of details regarding students walking around, furniture in the rooms etc.
It isn't like you need anything close to Iroha or FZ for that kind of stuff, since it would make things totally unecessary. It is basically K-on but on a much higher level.

Anyway, average pilot, but still has potential to have more engaging plot, depending what kind of mysteries they will introduce.
I surely don't expect anything the likes of Higurashi, Another and whatnot. If mystery are presented in a casual fashion, that's fine too if the characters interactions are brought to an interesting/funny light, which seems to be the case.
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Old 2012-04-23, 09:08   Link #565
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Sunohara was a fair catalyst too. A much more colorful one with worse intentions, but still a catalyst. Houtaro's apathy isn't that different from Tomoyo's thus far, nor Kyon's, but not as negative yet admittedly.

There are finer details that are different but the overall dynamic is fairly similar to some things seen before. Hyou-ka is far from the worst show of the season. But when you start morphing in aspects from several shows into what you do next, a good number of people will be reminded of those aspects/moments and start making comparisons in their head over and over while they watch the new one. K-ON worked because it struck a chord with a crowd previous KyoAni titles didn't - high school girls, plus also generated interest within that age group to want to play music. Haruhi is still easily recognised today as is Yuki because they have the visual appeal and the numerous moments to appeal to both genders plus Haruhi's personality just reaches out and demands your attention from the get go. Clannad had a mix of personalities where at least one character was easy to bond with if not more, its sense of humour and sob story.

My point is - despite my varied feelings about said shows, there were undeniable hooks from the get go. The shows quickly established where they would go overall even if the pace was slow early. The things mentioned about this show on database sights in the blurb really weren't fleshed out much. A bit more development of character motivations and what the show wants to do would have helped big time. Or a stop-in-your-tracks moment. That's all I'd have wanted. The fact I didn't see or get one was a fair letdown. An episode fairly dominated by the side male character, Satoshi, didn't leave much of an impression.

I'll follow this for a while longer, since it was a somewhat positive start and probably something to do with a two cour pacing. Still...that episode could have done more.
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Old 2012-04-23, 09:13   Link #566
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Errr...what did I just watched?

It felt like a Clannad episode with Tomoya and Sunohara just talking and talking.

I almost wanted to see a toilet seat cover joke there.

You can see the Kyoani quality, but that's really it so far.
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Old 2012-04-23, 09:20   Link #567
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Originally Posted by Klashikari View Post
Anyway, average pilot, but still has potential to have more engaging plot, depending what kind of mysteries they will introduce.
I surely don't expect anything the likes of Higurashi, Another and whatnot. If mystery are presented in a casual fashion, that's fine too if the characters interactions are brought to an interesting/funny light, which seems to be the case.
Pretty much what I think too. In no way is this going to be a Higurashi, Another, Shiki, Ghost Hunt or any of those "critically acclaimed" horror/mystery series. It's too lighthearted for that. At best it'll probably be a Bungaku Shoujo (which btw is a vastly underrated film ), though so far it lacks that magic touch for now. Hyouka is just... unremarkable so far and feels very mundane. It wasn't terrible by any means though. But man do Kyoani know how to do hooks (Purple eyes ). Guess I'm somewhat feeling what K-on fans feel regarding the "Kyoani-hook" cept I was immune to it in regards to K-on.
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Old 2012-04-23, 09:36   Link #568
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I'll just get this outta the way because this statement pretty much sums up Hyouka for me:

DEM PURPLE EYES

Seriously, I lol'd when they became all artistic and almost Shaft-like with all that iris sparkling and various camera angles and zoom-ins. The hell is Kyoani trying to do here? Trying the mimick the Nisemonogatari toothbrush scene but replace it with eye fetish? Well at least it wasn't obnoxious fratboy fanservice so at least I'll admit to enjoying "dem purple eyes" somewhat . Actually somewhat is underrating. I ENJOYED THEM A LOT. They look like purple lolipops that are desperately wanting to be licked :3
Thank you, I thought I was the only one that noticed the Shaft-like direction. It's almost like they looked at Nisemonogatari (Kyoani also appeals to the Light Novel going crowd to a similar degree it feels) asked themselves what they were doing and how they could emulate it and the result is pretty much as you say. The rapid unusual camera angle switches and awkward framing of shots is definitely there. They're missing that one particular expression that Shaft adores though, the one where the character has their head cocked with mouth wide open in a smug sort of grin or as I now call it, the Shaft Face.

Instead I'd definitely have to say Kyoani's signature look is school interiors with hardwood floors, sunlit windows and glamor shots of random every day objects that are clearly recreations of actual photos. This is the first I can remember them doing the camera angle thing to anywhere near this degree though.

The eye thing is pretty hilarious though. I can't tell if they're working on a fetish appeal for the character or just being random though....which is kind of the same situation I've run into with a lot of Shaft shows. Anyway thanks for bringing that up so I didn't have to.
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Old 2012-04-23, 09:48   Link #569
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Hyouka reminds me a lot of Disappearance in terms of visual style, designs, directing and pace. Same restraint as well and the signature Kyoani Haruhi eye-zoom in...

Houtarou is a slacker/sarcastic MC, bit of a dour version of Kyon. Satoshi seems to be the MC's Watson. Eri so far has not reveled much of her personality yet, except a tendency to obsess over details.

The anime is very striking in what is absent. Nothing out of this world or outrageous of the type of things that you'd expect in a late night anime so far. Also, the characters actually wear realistic high school uniforms instead of some fantasy, candy colored version. It's almost like watching a Shinkai, Yoshiura or Ghilbi production. Kyoani seems to continue a trend that set in around K-on's second season.
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Old 2012-04-23, 09:57   Link #570
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First episode was average. I wasn't impressed and looking at Houtarou made me bored.
He doesn't want to waste energy seriously , what a lazy person. There are some Kyon/Tomoya vibes but that's it. He looks boring but well let's see how it will go.
Fortunately there's Satoshi to help him.
The scene Chitanda x Houtarou with flowers was ridiculous , and the purple eyes isn't to my taste.
The mystery , well , it helps the charac's introduction but hope it was really for this and not what we'll eat the next episodes.
So they choose the popular violon's music(don't remember the name of the music) as the main bgm.
Well , give it 2/3 more episodes.
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Old 2012-04-23, 09:57   Link #571
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The anime is very striking in what is absent. Nothing out of this world or outrageous of the type of things that you'd expect in a late night anime so far. Also, the characters actually wear realistic high school uniforms instead of some fantasy, candy colored version. It's almost like watching a Shinkai, Yoshiura or Ghilbi production. Kyoani seems to continue a trend that set in around K-on's second season.
I'm sorry but... no.... strongly disagree. Shinkai, Ghibli being likened to K-on 2nd season? Cmon now, that's just absurd. Shinkai and Ghibli appeal to a mass audience of all ages be it an anime fan or not. Kyoani and (specifically K-on) appeals to a specific demography of anime fans (namely male otakus who love moe) and as a periphary, teenage girls. Surely you can't believe Kyoani has the same level of mature storytelling or mass target focus as Shinkai or Ghibli films.

Won't comment on Yoshiura since I can't remember anything he's done on top of my head.
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Old 2012-04-23, 10:07   Link #572
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Thank you, I thought I was the only one that noticed the Shaft-like direction. It's almost like they looked at Nisemonogatari (Kyoani also appeals to the Light Novel going crowd to a similar degree it feels) asked themselves what they were doing and how they could emulate it and the result is pretty much as you say. The rapid unusual camera angle switches and awkward framing of shots is definitely there. They're missing that one particular expression that Shaft adores though, the one where the character has their head cocked with mouth wide open in a smug sort of grin or as I now call it, the Shaft Face.
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This is the first I can remember them doing the camera angle thing to anywhere near this degree though.
I've gotta agree with you, at least artistically, the scenes with her hair seemed reminiscent of what SHAFT has been putting out over the last few years; surrealistic, with an unusual visual flair.

But the camera work seems more an extension of what they've been doing since their earlier series; such techniques were used to quite great degrees even in their last production Nichijou, which was a hotbed for all kinds of animation and artistic experimentation. (I'll really recommend anyone who has an interest in animation to watch Nichijou)

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The eye thing is pretty hilarious though. I can't tell if they're working on a fetish appeal for the character or just being random though....which is kind of the same situation I've run into with a lot of Shaft shows. Anyway thanks for bringing that up so I didn't have to.
It's one of Kyoani's favorite habits, to associate a particular story detail, in this case her curiosity, with a certain action or object.

Or hell, maybe they're finally going down the shaft route. Who can tell?
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Old 2012-04-23, 10:20   Link #573
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I'm sorry but... no.... strongly disagree. Shinkai, Ghibli being likened to K-on 2nd season? Cmon now, that's just absurd. Shinkai and Ghibli appeal to a mass audience of all ages be it an anime fan or not. Kyoani and (specifically K-on) appeals to a specific demography of anime fans (namely male otakus who love moe) and as a periphary, teenage girls. Surely you can't believe Kyoani has the same level of mature storytelling of mass focus as Shinkai or Ghibli films.
I'm not talking about the quality of the source material or the scriptwriting abilities of the studio staff. What I see is that Kyoani seems to use less and less otaku tropes, as you can see for yourself in Nichijou, K-on 2 and Disappearance.

The visual approach Takemoto uses now with Houyka is very much like cinematic/ova anime that build ambiance rather than late night anime centered on character marketing.
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Old 2012-04-23, 10:33   Link #574
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I'm not talking about the quality of the source material or the scriptwriting abilities of the studio staff. What I see is that Kyoani seems to use less and less otaku tropes, as you can see for yourself in Nichijou, K-on 2 and Disappearance.

The visual approach Takemoto uses now with Houyka is very much like cinematic/ova anime that build ambiance rather than late night anime centered on character marketing.
Nichijou was a effectively a lolrandom comedy which is common genre in anime ... and reasonably loved by anime fans. K on season two less otaku? Huh what? How does cute girls doing cute things equate to a more mainstream all ages anime fan or not audience? And dissappearance... cmon man. Film was good but it was effectively fanwank for haruhi fans.

Hyouka isn't bad but calling it or kyoani similar to ghibli or shinkai is just outrageous. If anything noitamina shows have the best chance to reach that outside audience outside of those prominent directors.
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Old 2012-04-23, 10:37   Link #575
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The visual approach Takemoto uses now with Houyka is very much like cinematic/ova anime that build ambiance rather than late night anime centered on character marketing.
I don't see how this is any less character marketing than late night animes such as Aria,Kids on the slope,Hanasaku Iroha,Ikoku Meiro no Croisé,Usagi Drop,Natsume Yuujinchou,Chihayafuru and that's off the top of my head.

edit:

However
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Nichijou was a effectively a lolrandom comedy which is common genre in anime ... and reasonably loved by anime fans. K on season two less otaku? Huh what? How does cute girls doing cute things equate to a more mainstream all ages anime fan or not audience?
Actualy Nichijou's brand of "lolrandom" comedy isn't that common,or at least isn't generally commercialy successful. (no,it's not like lucky star or K-on)
As for k-on,even if you might wonder how it's surprisingly popular among highschool girls so it is a fact that it's become popular outside of otaku demographic.Or so I've heard,don't have a source.
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Old 2012-04-23, 10:42   Link #576
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You should not compare Fate/Zero and Lupin III animation to this, I'm sorry but that's just ignorant. I like both show more than this show premiere, but both show using 'satsuei' (photography) more than actual animation on its visual, by photography its means there's a lot shot to the face or high part to reduce the animation and trying to make still shot looks pretty despite lack of animation, Hyouka's animation is not like that. Although Hyouka do look like satsuei anime here n there, typical Kyoani that love their sexy background.
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Old 2012-04-23, 10:47   Link #577
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Hmm... not sure why people are comparing Satoshi to Sunohara from CLANNAD. They may share the same Voice Actor(VA), but their characters are much different. Sunohara is basically a lech with a heart of gold. Satoshi so far, is acting as Houtarou's wingman.
Indeed, another difference is that Satoshi might actually get a girlfriend assuming that the four characters will end up being perfectly 'paired-up'.
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Old 2012-04-23, 10:55   Link #578
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I'm sorry but... no.... strongly disagree. Shinkai, Ghibli being likened to K-on 2nd season? Cmon now, that's just absurd. Shinkai and Ghibli appeal to a mass audience of all ages be it an anime fan or not. Kyoani and (specifically K-on) appeals to a specific demography of anime fans (namely male otakus who love moe) and as a periphary, teenage girls. Surely you can't believe Kyoani has the same level of mature storytelling or mass target focus as Shinkai or Ghibli films.

Won't comment on Yoshiura since I can't remember anything he's done on top of my head.
I don't live in Japan and I hardly know enough Japanese to state this with certainty, but it actually surprises me a lot that K-ON gets this level of "bash" for being about some relatively normal girls doing girly stuff over their time at school. People talk as if K-ON wasn't mainstream, but considering the number of stations S2 ran in and stuff like Takanori Nishikawa (from T.M Revolution) saying he was almost brought to tears with some of the second season's final moments, I really can't believe that K-ON wasn't able to enjoy a moderate success among "normal people". It might not be "Shinkai or Miyazaki", but I don't think it's any stretch to say that K-ON! easily appealed to more than just a certain kind of anime fan.
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Old 2012-04-23, 10:58   Link #579
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We might as well redirect the discussion towards KA / K-on threads instead, but to put the facts back to where they belong: judging from the reception, sales, marketing etc, no, K-on is hardly "otaku pandering only" by a long shot, considering the demographic (hell, it even airs on jp Disney channel). So like it or not, the series has won over an audience far less niche than other KA series.

Back to Hyouka, the targeted audience is on the middle ground once again, although it really depends how they are going to play their game for this one.
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Old 2012-04-23, 11:05   Link #580
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Originally Posted by DemiSoda View Post
Nichijou was a effectively a lolrandom comedy which is common genre in anime ... and reasonably loved by anime fans. K on season two less otaku? Huh what? How does cute girls doing cute things equate to a more mainstream all ages anime fan or not audience? And dissappearance... cmon man. Film was good but it was effectively fanwank for haruhi fans.
Well the way this conversation usually goes is that somebody will come in, quote the sales numbers of K-On and attempt to use that as an indicator that because it's above a certain number that it must mean that it reached out to more than just the usual otaku audience and is therefore mainstream.

This approach fails to take in a number of key factors though including:

- Which demographic bought which percentage of the products
- Diehard otaku that buy multiple copies of the same product to jack up sales numbers thus throwing off many of the normal indicators you might be able to look for in them...yes some fans in Japan are this intense.

Large numbers can mean anything, but a breakdown of sales by demographic would be more of an indicator. I can see some young girls getting into K-On, but when I think mainstream for that demographic I think something more like Precure. Likewise I just can't see the salary-man demographic latching onto something like K-On.

This brings up an interesting question though, who is this particular show attempting to appeal too? Mystery fans? Moe fans? School-Life anime fans? I don't think there was much in the way of a mystery in the first episode so I kind have to lean more towards the latter.

edit: Argh beaten, but yeah sales numbers.
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