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Old 2012-05-16, 04:04   Link #1
Kairin
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Hyouka - Novel Discussion

This thread is to discuss the Hyouka novel series. As a courtesy to readers who cannot understand Japanese, please use spoiler tags when discussing any content that has not yet been translated.


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Old 2012-05-16, 04:35   Link #2
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By the way, as a starting point for this thread, if someone would like to write some sort of information piece or primer about the novel series (including what the various volumes are, etc.), some of that could probably be added to the opening post as a courtesy to people who want to learn more. I was actually surprised there didn't seem to be an existing novel thread already.
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Old 2012-05-16, 05:28   Link #3
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Heres a start. Thanks to Kinny Riddle for the English titles of the novels.


Kotenbu is a series of mystery novels written by Honobu Yonezawa. The anime Hyouka is named after the first volume in this series. The series is set in Takayama City of the Gifu Prefecture, where the author was born.

Currently five volumes have been published starting from November 2001 by Kadokawa Shoten:

Volume 1: Hyouka (氷菓) - You can't escape / The niece of time
- Published: November 2001 (by Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko)
- Received an honor in the Young Mystery & Horror category of the 5th Kadokawa School Novel Prizes.
- The original English title was You can't escape, but after the change in publishing division to Kadokawa Bunko the English title changed. From the novels 28th edition onwards, the official English title is The niece of time.

Volume 2: The Credit Roll of the Fool (愚者のエンドロール) - Why didn't she ask EBA?
- Published: August 2002 (by Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko)

Volume 3: The Kudryavka Sequence (クドリャフカの順番) - Welcome to KANYA FESTA!
- Published: June 2005 (by Kadokawa Shoten)
- Republished: May 2008 (by Kadokawa Bunko)

Volume 4: The Doll that Took a Detour (遠まわりする雛) - Little birds can remember
- Published: October 2007 (by Kadokawa Shoten)
- Republished: July 2010 (by Kadokawa Bunko)

Volume 5: The Approximation of the Distance of Two ふたりの距離の概算 - It walks by past
- Published: June 2010 (by Kadokawa Shoten)
- Republish: planned for June 2012 (by Kadokawa Bunko)
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Last edited by winhlp32; 2012-06-06 at 04:11. Reason: Added 5th volume English title
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Old 2012-05-16, 05:52   Link #4
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Supplementary Info

Quoting myself posting under another alias in BT:

The original series started under Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko in 2001, a light novel label. They do not originally have English titles other than romanized titles, and every book is done by a different illustrator. It then moved to Kadokawa Bunko, a normal novel label, in 2006, and got the "You Can't Escape" as the English title for volume 1, with a new illustration. The latest print got its English title changed to "The Niece of Time". Hyouka has undergone close to 30 prints AFAIK for the past decade. It seems like with the anime, Kadokawa wants to remarket the series back to the LN market with a new anime-ish cover without replublishing it back under its LN label, which has sparked some negativity among the readers.

This is the old-skool version of Hyouka (ie. volume 1), which you can't find on Amazon anymore:


This is the version when it moved to Kadokawa Bunko. You can find this version in most bookstores:


This is how the anime-ish cover look like:



On a side note, quite honestly, there are times when I feel like sleeping while reading volume 1, but the anime did an outstanding job with its 'extra effects'.
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Old 2012-05-16, 08:55   Link #5
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Originally Posted by larethian View Post
On a side note, quite honestly, there are times when I feel like sleeping while reading volume 1, but the anime did an outstanding job with its 'extra effects'.
I found episode four hilarious in that regard. When I read the book, I thought, "Wow, this chapter's going to make a horribly boring episode -- the characters are just sitting at a table talking for thirty pages." I half expected them to come up with anime-original material to show the gang investigating. Instead, KyoAni did it exactly like the book, except every five minutes someone said, "I'm bored, let's go outside," or "I'm hungry, let's go to the kitchen."

I do agree that the book was boring and the mystery wasn't that compelling. When I finished it, I honestly couldn't figure out why KyoAni chose this of all things -- I'd much rather see them try their hand at Zaregoto or Bungaku Shoujo, which have similar themes and tone but are a lot more interesting.
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Old 2012-05-16, 12:23   Link #6
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Really? I found the book to be really intriguing and engaging. Might be the novelty of reading in a foreign language haha.

But I do have to say, KyoAni did a fantastic job of converting exposition into animation. I would go so far as to say the anime is superior.

Can I point out that the KyoAni inspired cover is not actually a new edition of the book? I actually own the book.

The KyoAni cover is not actually a new cover. It's an obi (book sash) that's large enough to cover the whole book. On the backside of the obi are character sketches and a sketch of the club room that KyoAni provided. The obi is a time limited 1 print run (as of now) thing. The regular cover is underneath the anime obi.
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Old 2012-05-16, 13:56   Link #7
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Originally Posted by Utsuro no Hako View Post
I found episode four hilarious in that regard. When I read the book, I thought, "Wow, this chapter's going to make a horribly boring episode -- the characters are just sitting at a table talking for thirty pages." I half expected them to come up with anime-original material to show the gang investigating. Instead, KyoAni did it exactly like the book, except every five minutes someone said, "I'm bored, let's go outside," or "I'm hungry, let's go to the kitchen."

I do agree that the book was boring and the mystery wasn't that compelling. When I finished it, I honestly couldn't figure out why KyoAni chose this of all things -- I'd much rather see them try their hand at Zaregoto or Bungaku Shoujo, which have similar themes and tone but are a lot more interesting.
I was also impressed by the adaptation of Vol 1 in anime form thus far.

To be honest, though, I thought the first novel was very interesting and read very well.
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Old 2012-05-16, 20:55   Link #8
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regarding the translation status on vol.2


Quote:
Originally Posted by larethian View Post
On a side note, quite honestly, there are times when I feel like sleeping while reading volume 1, but the anime did an outstanding job with its 'extra effects'.
Ditto. I felt that the first two chapters were kinda flat.

Had a hard time thinking how are they gonna make this more interesting.
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Old 2012-05-17, 00:00   Link #9
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Originally Posted by Sylphic View Post
Really? I found the book to be really intriguing and engaging. Might be the novelty of reading in a foreign language haha.

But I do have to say, KyoAni did a fantastic job of converting exposition into animation. I would go so far as to say the anime is superior.

Can I point out that the KyoAni inspired cover is not actually a new edition of the book? I actually own the book.

The KyoAni cover is not actually a new cover. It's an obi (book sash) that's large enough to cover the whole book. On the backside of the obi are character sketches and a sketch of the club room that KyoAni provided. The obi is a time limited 1 print run (as of now) thing. The regular cover is underneath the anime obi.
Didn't know that since it was called a "renewed version" on 2ch (unless they are referring to another version). Are you sure it's not the latest edition? I can't imagine having that cover before this year or last.
Jeez, I can't find it anywhere in a bookstore except on Amazon. It's funny, because people are actually pissed by that cover (though I can understand why): http://2chbooknews.blog114.fc2.com/blog-entry-2013.html

I rather they republish it under Sneaker again, this time having two labels rather than making another jump.
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Old 2012-05-17, 08:43   Link #10
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Didn't know that since it was called a "renewed version" on 2ch (unless they are referring to another version). Are you sure it's not the latest edition? I can't imagine having that cover before this year or last.
Jeez, I can't find it anywhere in a bookstore except on Amazon. It's funny, because people are actually pissed by that cover (though I can understand why): http://2chbooknews.blog114.fc2.com/blog-entry-2013.html

I rather they republish it under Sneaker again, this time having two labels rather than making another jump.
I'm 100% sure it's not the latest edition. It's just the previous book given another publication run but this time with a special anime related sash. The old cover is intact underneath the anime one. I believe the book was actually out of print for a long time prior the anime. The novels sold extremely poorly, so it boggles my mind why KyoAni chose this book to make a show. If amazon dates can be relied upon, I'm fairly sure this new run was introduced to coincide with the anime.

I'm actually against the anime cover myself, but I like the bonus material on the inside of it. The book itself doesn't have any of the trappings of a light novel, no illustrations, style is not light novel style (e.g. the book is not written in first person etc.), so the addition of a light novel cover is extremely jarring to say the least. High schoolers who would have been the audience for this book, pick it up and feel that it's a bait and switch. Adults who are picking it up are turned off by the new "childish" cover.

I don't think Sneaker is ever going to appear again. They invested quite heavily in the Classics club series and it actually drove the label under. But thank god the series is alive and well as part of Kadokawa bunko.
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Old 2012-05-17, 11:21   Link #11
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I'm actually against the anime cover myself, but I like the bonus material on the inside of it. The book itself doesn't have any of the trappings of a light novel, no illustrations, style is not light novel style (e.g. the book is not written in first person etc.),
Wait, what? The BT translation is in first and I've never heard of them making drastic changes to the style of a novel.
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Old 2012-05-17, 20:36   Link #12
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Wait, what? The BT translation is in first and I've never heard of them making drastic changes to the style of a novel.
Sorry, I meant that as a general example of what constitutes not being a light novel style. Hyouka is indeed in first person.
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Old 2012-05-17, 20:43   Link #13
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Originally Posted by Sylphic View Post
I'm 100% sure it's not the latest edition. It's just the previous book given another publication run but this time with a special anime related sash. The old cover is intact underneath the anime one. I believe the book was actually out of print for a long time prior the anime. The novels sold extremely poorly, so it boggles my mind why KyoAni chose this book to make a show. If amazon dates can be relied upon, I'm fairly sure this new run was introduced to coincide with the anime.

I'm actually against the anime cover myself, but I like the bonus material on the inside of it. The book itself doesn't have any of the trappings of a light novel, no illustrations, style is not light novel style (e.g. the book is not written in first person etc.), so the addition of a light novel cover is extremely jarring to say the least. High schoolers who would have been the audience for this book, pick it up and feel that it's a bait and switch. Adults who are picking it up are turned off by the new "childish" cover.

I don't think Sneaker is ever going to appear again. They invested quite heavily in the Classics club series and it actually drove the label under. But thank god the series is alive and well as part of Kadokawa bunko.
I see... Though they are doing a pretty good job of it.

Actually, while it's not common, there are several light novels written in the third person narrative. On the top of my mind would be Shakugan no Shana and Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei.

I think the adults don't want to be seen reading something with the anime-ish cover, though they can simply remove the external cover easily. I don't always do that myself, but I do do that for 'ecchi-er' covers
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Old 2012-05-17, 22:25   Link #14
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When I read the first few "mysteries" in the novel, I felt like dozing off. Without the frills and visuals provided by the anime, the story was actually very dry.

On the other hand, when the Classic Literature Club mystery came around, it became interesting. For one thing, it did a better job of laying out the mystery and clues to the audience than the anime did, allowing for more immersion into solving the mystery at hand. This was further strengthened by the fact that the clues consisted of several blocks of old text. In addition, the nature of the medium made it much easier to review the evidence without losing much momentum.

So yeah. Cool stuff.
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Old 2012-05-17, 23:39   Link #15
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I see... Though they are doing a pretty good job of it.

Actually, while it's not common, there are several light novels written in the third person narrative. On the top of my mind would be Shakugan no Shana and Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei.

I think the adults don't want to be seen reading something with the anime-ish cover, though they can simply remove the external cover easily. I don't always do that myself, but I do do that for 'ecchi-er' covers
I sometimes have a lot of down time at work and I read light novels haha. I pretty much take the cover off every time

Don't really want to be seen at work reading Rokyuubu.

You can take the cover off but the cover will discourage people from buying in the first place.
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Old 2012-05-22, 20:17   Link #16
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I'd much rather see them try their hand at Zaregoto or Bungaku Shoujo, which have similar themes and tone but are a lot more interesting.
NO, you keep KyoAni away from my Zaregoto! *hugs it tightly*

As for Bungaku Shoujo... Meh.
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Old 2012-05-23, 20:23   Link #17
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NO, you keep KyoAni away from my Zaregoto! *hugs it tightly*

As for Bungaku Shoujo... Meh.
I think they'd be capable of adapting Zaregoto, and I wouldn't mind it if and only if they retain Take's art and not turn it into their typical moe style.

Otherwise they can stay the hell away from it.
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Old 2012-05-24, 10:49   Link #18
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Why the hell are we being picky about someone animated Zaregoto? And considering KyoAni's track record with adaptations... Jun could look like a red haired version of Yui for all I care as long as it was animated! KyoAni should go after Zaregoto and Biblia Koshoten no Jikentecho so they can lock up the closed room light novel genre lol.
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Old 2012-05-30, 11:39   Link #19
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Originally Posted by ultimatemegax View Post
Both of the two episodes following this one share titles with short stories included in the fourth novel. It would be practical to assume this setup was designed to allow arcs to fit within certain BD/DVD volumes for packaging purposes. Thus the Hyouka arc, and the next arc, could be spread amongst 3 volumes self-contained for the most part.
So is the entire content of vol. 4 a collection of short stories? I still don't get the standard format for each novel. I though it's supposed to be a few short stories follow by one big story latter at the end.
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Old 2012-05-30, 15:37   Link #20
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So is the entire content of vol. 4 a collection of short stories? I still don't get the standard format for each novel. I though it's supposed to be a few short stories follow by one big story latter at the end.
Novels 1-3 consist of a long story while novel 4 is a collection of short stories. With the exception of the last story The Doll that Took a Detour, all of these stories were published in [/i]Wildness Era[/i] or The Sneaker (for the story the next episode is based on) prior to being collected in the fourth novel.
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