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"If I don't have to do it, I won't. If I have to do it, I'll make it quick."—--Oreki Houtarou's life motto
Hyouka (氷菓) is a mystery novel written by Honobu Yonezawa, serving as the first volume in a total of five in the Classics Literature Club series. It was turned into an Anime in Spring 2012, produced by Kodokawa and animated by Kyoto Animation. A manga counterpart was started in January 2012 in Monthly Shonen Ace.
The story follows a lackluster teenager by the name of Oreki Houtarou who, while cursing his first year of high school, lives by his motto "If I don't have to do it, I won't. If I have to do it, I'll make it quick". Nonetheless things don't go as planned as Oreki becomes involved with his local high school "Classics Club" at the behest of his elder sister. There he meets Chitanda Eru, an apparently happy go lucky girl, belonging to a very wealthy family, who besides having an extraordinary memory, possesses an incredible sense of hearing and smelling as well. Alongside Eru, and old time friends Sato and Ibara, Oreki will find himself pushed into resolving various mysteries varying in nature and scope.
Hyouka demonstrates examples of the following tropes:
- All Love Is Unrequited: Ibara has had a crush on Satoshi since middle school, but despite being aware of this, Satoshi still hasn't returned her feelings.
- Alternate Character Reading: Discussed regarding the word 犠牲 (either gisei/"scapegoat" or ikenie/"offering") in the foreword to the second volume of Hyouka. This may be because Sekitani was forced to be this scapegoat, but came to take the position willingly. This trope is also the origin of the term "Kanya Fest". It appears to be a simply shortening of "Kamiyama", but the "Kanya" is actually written 関谷 (Sekitani) to honor him.
- Art Shift: Sequences play that help illustrate the analysis' that the characters discuss when solving a mystery, and they are animated a different way each time. In the anime, we so far have a pop-up book, mixed media imagery of 60's propaganda, and sketchy, dreamy animation.
- Awesome Art: It's Kyoto Animation, after all.
- Awesome By Analysis: Oreki. When he puts effort into it, he can make brilliantly logical deductions by simply examining and thinking about a few clues in a matter of minutes.
- Bishonen: Houtarou, Satoshi and Masashi.
- Brilliant but Lazy: Oreki, he is always complaining about how much energy he has left.
- Camp Straight: Satoshi seems to have this going for him a little. For example: while Houtarou describes the ideal high school life as being "rose-colored," Satoshi claims that his is "Shocking Pink."
- Catch Phrase: Chitanda's "Watashi, kininarimasu!", variously translated as "I can't stop thinking about it!", "I'm curious!", etc.
- Childhood Friends: Oreki and Ibara.
- Deadpan Snarker: Houtarou.
- Ditzy Genius: Oreki pegs Chitanda as this.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Ibara for Satoshi.
- Dramatic Wind: Inside the bathroom?
- Eagle-Eye Detection
- Genki Girl: Chitanda for sure.
- Hey, It's Those Two Voices!: Tomoya and Youhei have gotten a second shot at high school together, it seems.
- Hime Cut: Chitanda
- Japanese School Club: What brought the main characters together: the Classics club.
- Locked Room Mystery: Except no murder is involved.
- Keet: Satoshi.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Eru to Houtarou.
- Meaningful Name: Hyouka is the name of the main characters' high school student anthology publication. Also see Stealth Pun and Alternate Character Reading.
- No Social Skills: Oreki comes off this way, seeming to be too lazy to bother learning social etiquette. He doesn't really emote (although he is shown blushing when praised), is shown interacting with only Satoshi, Chitanda and Mayaka on a regular basis and is rather blunt when speaking with others. Still, the fact that he can't seem to say 'no' to Chitanda to save his life and that he went out of his way to help Chitanda at least twice suggests that Oreki is actually a nice guy underneath his constant frown.
- The Nose Knows: Chitanda has this ability, which makes Oreki compare her to a dog.
- Posthumous Character: Chitanda's uncle, Jun Sekitani.
- Perpetual Frowner: Never smiling or even grinning, the only expression worn by Oreki is a hollow and lifeless stare coupled with a constant frown on his lips.
- And even when he does smile, it looks really snarky.
- Pun-Based Title: See Stealth Pun below.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Oreki and Chitanda
- Scenery Censor: In Episode 7, with Oreki at the hot springs.
- Sherlock Scan
- Stealth Pun: Hyouka means frozen treat in Japanese. Oreki turns this into the English way we call a frozen treat, being ice cream. The message that Sekitani Jun left for Chitanda was 'I scream'.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: How Houtarou views the abovementioned.
- Tsundere: Mayaka for Houtarou (Interestingly enough, she acts nice towards her crush Satoshi).
- Arugably, Houtarou for Chitanda.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Houtarou and Satoshi and also Mayaka and Houtarou.
- What Beautiful Eyes!: A common reaction to Chitanda's eyes.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: In the beginning of the novel and anime, before the actual storyline kicks in, the mysteries Houtarou solves are pretty trivial, yet most of an episode focuses on them. He solved how a room becomes locked seemingly on its own, why the same book was checked out and in from the school library for weeks, and where the unauthorized flyer for a "ghost club" was hanging (this last one was actually a fake mystery he planted to amuse Eru).
- ↑ "Ice Cream"