Hyōka (ep. 22)

And they lived happily ever after.

. . . is what I’d like to say, though it isn’t really possible to see how things will turn out from here. It seems our reluctant Sherlock’s parting thoughts, so beautifully rendered in his imagination but ultimately left unexpressed, will have to wait for another time.

I wish I could muster the energy to give this series the send-off it deserves, but I’m pretty much running on fumes now so we’ll have to settle for a quick farewell.

I suppose the word I’d choose to describe Hyōka is “consistent”. It didn’t start with a flash, nor end with a bang: rather the whole thing just marched along determinedly at its own unhurried pace. No doubt some will disagree, but in my own unworthy opinion there are no distinct peaks or troughs to be discerned, no heights of greatness or phases of significant deterioration. Never outstanding, never terrible – just consistently good.

But that’s only as far as the story is concerned. When the production values come under the spotlight . . . ah, now that’s where I’m prepared to use superlatives without inhibition. The striking beauty of Hyōka is something I’m hard pressed to recall seeing in any series of recent vintage, other than animated works made for the big screen. Almost every frame is a feast for the eyes, awash in rich colour and luscious detail. I’m the sort of chap who appreciates this kind of visual splendour, so much so that even if the story were significantly weaker I’d probably still brand this a series worth watching – for the gorgeous scenes if nothing else.

There’s a lot more I’d like to say, but my present state of mental exhaustion will not permit it. I shall leave to more talented writers than I (of whom there are many in the anime blogosphere) the task of setting down the detailed reminiscences and perspectives that will collectively constitute the fitting farewell merited by this absolutely splendid series.

To all who shared the journey, and in particular to the four who accompanied us on this enjoyable romp – Hōtarō, Eru, Satoshi, Mayaka – I raise my hand in farewell and say . . .


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