Minna-san, I want to thank you for replying to my request for help and giving me some insight and ideas for this blog! Your input has been invaluable! I’ve decided to share with you my 13 favorite anime (old and new) in honor of 2013 on the 3rd Thursday of each month. Each of these posts will feature a “Joel says…” (he’s my partner in crime ^_^) with Joel’s thoughts on the music used for the anime. In addition, on the first Saturday of each month, you’ll get a Japanese Phrase of the Month! Banzai!
氷菓 – Hyouka
studio: Kyoto Animation; licensed by: n/a
quick summary: a group of high school students, all members of the Classic Literature Club, must use their skills at solving mysteries to uncover the truth of their school’s (and one student’s uncle’s) past.
Hyouka follows the recent trend of novel (or light novel) becomes manga becomes anime. The Classic Literature Club series of novels (there are five of them, Hyouka was the first) was first published in 2001. The manga and anime were released almost simultaneously in 2012. I haven’t read the novel (I wish I were that fluent!), and I wonder how true to the novel the anime is.
Yonezawa Honobu, Hyouka’s author, definitely has a sharp mind and a keen grasp of mystery fiction. Both Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s and Agatha Christie’s talents (and sleuths) are mentioned in Hyouka, and I get the feeling that Yonezawa is a big fan of both. (note to self: read some Sherlock Holmes! I can’t believe I haven’t done this yet!) I’ll say, too, that the library and the school librarian play a fairly significant role in Hyouka, which makes me very happy. I also learned that students refer to their librarian as ‘sensei’, and that makes me very happy, too!
Kyoto Animation, the studio behind Hyouka, K-ON!, and the like, is fast becoming one of my favorite studios. Their animation style is clean, beautiful, and fluid. Some studios tend to slip up on some episodes and then make up for it on other (bigger budget) episodes; but I haven’t come across that with KA. Any episode of any anime that they do seems to have been animated with the same care and attention to detail as any other episode. I get the feeling that they really love the work that they do. And I love them for that. Hyouka is a feast for the eyes as well as a workout for the brain!
Joel says: A good soundtrack can really make or break a show for me, and Hyouka does not disappoint. The music fits the mood of the show perfectly, in that it can be deep and symphonic, or light and aloof, when the situation calls for it. Kohei Tanaka really does a fantastic job conveying the emotions of the events that unfold throughout the show. And I only just realized that Kohei Tanaka is the composer for one of my newest favorite games: Gravity Rush. Go figure.