Hyouka (END) – 91 points

I’m a KyoAni fag so when I first heard about Hyouka, there was no doubt in mind that I would like. 22 episodes later, that fact still remained . . . and more I guess.

Hyouka is about four guys who pretend to be solving mysteries and such, but most of the time it’s just an excuse to laze around and waste time. Sounds boring? Well thinking about it now, a lot of Hyouka’s episodes are pretty damn boring when you state it. Episode 6: Chitanda gets mad; Houtarou figures out why. Episode 18: Houtarou gets a little curious; Chitanda is fascinated. Episode 19: Houtarou and Chitanda chitchat.

Objectively, Hyouka should be fairly boring. Well, in fairness, most premises of KyoAni shows are fairly damn standard too. The thing that Hyouka excedes on though, is its execution and the addictiveness. You CANNOT watch an episode of Hyouka without watching the one before. If you did, the episode will be fairly boring. The thing with Hyouka is, is that it slowly builds upon itself. Layer by layer, characterization by characterization, Hyouka grows on you like a mold in a bread. Houtarou slowly becomes more involved, Chitanda slowly becomes more open and involved, Satoshi slowly becomes a guy we can all probably relate it, Mayaka slowly becomes more compassionate. Character dvelopment isn’t forced; it happens naturally. Houtarou didn’t suddenly become someone who would care about whatever Chitanda did; He slowly went to that point (he hasn’t even reached it yet after 22 episodes) and it just makes it oh so real.

The thing that helped Hyouka pulled off what it did is its narrativistic/novel-like tackling of the dialogue, narration and monologues. everything is laid out, explained andthen laid out some more. At first I thought this was pretty annoying and boring (I mean did they really hae to spend a minute explaining why Houtarou conserves energy) with the way it tell more than it shows, and most shows that do this end up failing miserably since it doesn’t take into account that it has animation that can explain it (Hi Index, Accel World), but the thing with Hyouka is that it also shows. I guess it helps that a fucking awesome Animation studio is behind this (otherwise Hyouka wouldn’t work at all). Anyway kudos to Mr. FMP man for writing such a detailed script.

Another thing that Hyouka managed to do is to create the best Cultural Festival anime has ever witnessed. Better than School Rumble. Better than Haruhi. I guess it helps that they gave 6-7 episodes for it. Actually at the point of the cultural festival, I was pretty much ready to say that Hyouka is a masterpiece (just to justify how great that Cultural Festival was).

Animation = Self Explanatory. KyoAni in movie-levels except its a TV series. Overall, Hyouka ended up being one of the best series that aired in Spring and it was my favorite series throughout Summer.

Execution: 36/40 (Risky but worth it)

Engagement: 25/30 (Uses a lot of buildup and it pays off quite well)

Characters: 20/20 (KyoAni breathe life into them that no other studio, or series for that matter, can.)

Production Values: 10/10 (Almost Movie-like)

Overall: 91/100 (A-)

I’m a Kyoanifag

I just realized this now.

Analyzing my top anime, I just realized that most of the stuff Kyoto Animation did are in there (and quite deep at that). Besides being produced with top notch visuals, Kyoani has the knack of trying to make everything perfect. While it works at times and fails at times, apparently on whatever they do. . . I like it.

Clannad After Story – Best sequel ever. It still holds the record as the anime that made me cry the most. Bringing out emotion on me is hard and only a few shows have ever done that, so to be able to do that and even more, Clannad is just amazing.

Suzumiya Haruhi – The first season was just amazing. A totally refreshing take on execution and storytelling by skipping around the chronological order. The characters get develop in totally unique ways.

Full Metal Panic Fumoffu – I love FMP but I have to say, I enjoyed the comedy first and foremost. Imagine that! They made 12 episodes of just pure comedy between Sosuke and Chidori. Oh god I still get the chuckles remembering this show.

Nichijou – It’s one of the strangest comedies I’ve ever seen. It’s random, it’s absurd and it totally hits the right buttons on making me laugh. It especially has scenes that really bust your guts out (even moreso than Fumoffu) like the Mio wrestling episode.

Lucky Star – You could say Lucky Star made a new wave of comedy. It’s just girls doing cute things yet it’s so fucking entertaining. Nothing happens but at the same time, so much stuff just appears and makes you crack up.

I also liked Kanon, K-ON! and now Hyouka.

With Hyouka, Kyoani just took a leap in Slice of Life. From girls doing cute things, to girls doing nothing, Kyoani now makes people that talk about doing nothing. Hyouka has a lot of drawn out dialogue and exposition and you realize, WHY? Episode 6 is imminent of this. Chitanda got mad and asked Houtaro why she got mad. THAT’S IT. THAT’S THE WHOLE FUCKING EPISODE. And guess what? I loved it. I fucking loved it.

This is embarrassing, I never realized it until now but I really am a Kyoanifag.

Nichijou – 14

FUCKIN EPIC

As much as I love Nichijou, I do wish each episode is as awesome as this one. I just love it when Nichijou goes on “We have awesome animators” mode that look 100 times better than your average shounen action anime. Heck I’ll say this looks even better than Soul Eater. Come one KyoAni keep wasting your money cus I LOVE IT!

Also Nano’s finally at school. OP2 isn’t as catchy as OP1 but fucking ED is Tsubasa wo Kudasai with “Find Wally” animation. God I love this series.

Uncurrency Anime- Kanon 2006 (Endpoint)

D’AWWWW END

Kanon has become a pleasant surprise for me to watch. It really became an emotional roller coaster going through the end. From Nayuki, to Ayu, to Makoto, to Mai and to Shiori, and also to the other characters, I grew to love them. They all started as Neo Mikuru’s in Kyon’s wonderland but after sitting through 24 episodes of this, each one of them had depth. Kudos to KyoAni for that as they perfectly dolled up and deepen the Key Visual Game into an animated masterpiece.

One thing that bothered me a little is that half the cast went to the hospital/became sick. Its like there’s no other way to be sad. It’s passable though as I was tugged emotionally on each one of them. Minase, Nayuki’s mom, tugged me the most as it’s the one I did not see coming. . . and in such a brutal car crash. It had the same elements with CLANNAD in which there was a lot of supernatural effects happening, but more so here. I do like the idea of lost memories and finding them slowly through each episode being etched into the core of this series. Smehow this series was the adventure of Yuuichi’s memories coming back through each girl.

There’s also this KyoAni trick (which was amplified in CLANNAD) in which the longer you know the character, the more the emotional string gets pulled when the sad parts come. Makoto’s arc was the longest simply because she’s the first and the producers really want to give their first big scene to tug. When Mai’s arc came, since she was already more and more established in the Makoto arc, hers what a bit shorter and did the same effect of tugging my emotional heartstring. Then Shiori’s too. When Ayu’s arc came into play, it was just so natural because of all the flashbacks and small meetings spread throughout the series. Nayuki’s too with her mom intertwining with Ayu’s just made the last part of Kanon better. I’m definitely sure no other production team can handle a Key game where one knows how to envoke emotions properly.

Well as much as I praised it and loved it, here is my rational reasoning through the series:

MEH->GOOD->AWESOME->AWESOME->GREAT->LEGEND

Pros: Emotional rollercoaster, delicate and masterfully handled by a certain studio, depth of characters

Cons: Loldoctors scene, slow start, neo mikuru designs for the girls(though I got used to it after a while)

Story:49/50

Art/Animation/Production:19/20

Characters: 18/20

Overall Feel: 9/10

Verdict: 95/100 (Well forget about RAHHHHHHHHHHH I’m replacing Luck Star with this on the Top 20)

PS. Lol there was a CLANNAD commercial at the ending of Kanon in what I watched. I wonder how excited people got then?

Uncurrency Anime-Kanon 2006 (Halfpoint)

I thought there was some magic voodoo for how they didn’t know each other for eleven freakin episodes.

Well Kanon is certainly quite a surprise for me. After how I thought AIR was horrible, I managed to keep up with this just because I’m wishing its at least as good as 1/8 of CLANNAD or something as CLANNAD is one of the few eroge/game adaptations that I ever liked. Turns out Key is awesome cus this is pretty darn good.

It started pretty slowly though as I died in boredom with the introduction. It is as if Kyon landed in a world full of Mikuru wannabees and there’s no Haruhi to stop him or something. Seriously each girl has their own animal sound like Auuu or Ugyuu or GAHHH. When the Makoto Arc started kicking though, that’s when I thought. . . this is darn good! I was glued to the screen until the end of that arc and it even brought me a few tears along.

The arc I’m currently on is Mai’s arc and so far I’m lovin’ it. There’s also that mystery Misaka sisters (lol reference) and Ayu finally meeting Nayuki. Animation-wise, only when Mai danced in the ball on episode 12 did I realize that Kyoto Animation was doing this. It took a while for me to get used to the art style and animation as they all looked like Mikurus and I couldn’t differentiate one from another. Also the fluidity of the characters movements was a tad bit of a downgrade than Suzumiya Haruhi, their work previous to this. I think its because the animation people know and like now in 2011 is different from half a decade ago. Once I got used to it though, it kicked into my head that this really looks good!

PS. Nayuki’s sleeping face is adorable.