Well, that was very pretty.
And so, Hyouka comes to an end with a particularly artistic episode. Houtarou gets to see Chitanda all dolled up (literally) and it looks like he’s finally realized his feelings for her too, subconsciously. Gotta love it when he thought “Ah, there goes my energy preservation policy” upon seeing Chitanda’s Empress look. On a sidenote, why am I not surprised Irisu-senpai is the Emperor lolol.
The ending part with Chitanda and Oreki walking back home down the river and discussing their futures was really great too. Moments like this really flesh out Chitanda’s strength of will, despite her usual air-headedness. I can understand Oreki’s “I want to be beside her” sentiments. It’s just quite the shame he didn’t actually do his “confession” for real, but oh man, that would have been a great way to go for it. Still, both of them are young and have a loooooong way ahead of them, so it’s okay for Oreki to bide his time first. Ah, it almost feels a real shame the series ends here, but I guess there’s only so much shitty mysteries they can cook up.
While I can’t really say Hyouka is masterpiece-level, no thanks to the mystery gimmicks, it did have the strengths of good characterization and development. I really enjoyed the episodes where the main focus wasn’t on solving some random mystery plus it had one of the best ever “school festival” arcs to have graced the anime medium (and that’s saying something!). Really, Hyouka shows that no matter what they do, KyoAni’s magic touch…
Wait… why am I writing this like I really love the show. Well, I do towards the end but… ahhh dammit, all this conflicting feelings. I think this show just pulled a Chitanda on my Oreki feelings, goddamnit.
In short, great slice-of-life show, terrible as a mystery genre one. Good job, KyoAni. Good job.