Going Down The List: Hyouka

(MAL LINK)

I’ve written in length about Hyouka before, but I think it’d be nice to revisit it now, slightly under two years since I last rewatched it, and over half a year since I last wrote about it. Since then, many of the people I know on Twitter have watched Hyouka and talked about it, which has given me the opportunity to reflect on my own thoughts a bit more. Since the rewatch and the first blog post I’ve also read a mystery novel, Agatha Christie’s The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side, which gave me a lot of fresh thoughts when it comes to the mystery genre in general.

Comparing Hyouka to The Mirror Crack’d and BBC’s Sherlock, the only two non-anime mystery works of fiction I’ve read/seen recently, it’s clear that Hyouka is much, much more similar to the Agatha Christie novel than to the modern reimagining of Sherlock. Hyouka and The Mirror Crack’d are both more about the characters and the people involved in the mystery than they are about the mystery itself, whereas Sherlock is mostly about Sherlock himself and the mysteries. Sure, they try to include some drama regarding Watson, but it’s never the main focus of the series. There are also many similarities between Miss Marple and the main characters in Hyouka. Most notably, Miss Marple can be a very passive character at times, not showing up for several chapters, and she doesn’t investigate a lot. This reminds me very much of the 19th episode of Hyouka, Kokoroatari no Aru Mono wa, in particular and Chitanda’s way of doing things in general.

Reading that novel rekindled my desire to rewatch Hyouka yet again, and I have a feeling that the feeling will just get more and more intense as I read more mystery novels. Most of all, though, I am once more reminded of Froggy’s blog post on Hyouka, and how people have very different views on what the true focus of the show is, if a “true focus” can even be determined. See, I have a feeling that as I continue to familiarise myself with the mystery genre and maybe rewatch Hyouka, my personal opinion when it comes to the focus of the series will continue to change. For instance, I predict that I will stop considering Chitanda pointless. I mean, I kinda already felt bad about saying that last time, but now I realise that it’s bold, to say the least, to dismiss an entire character – a main character no less – when criticising the show. Mea culpa.

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