Logic will get you from A-Z
Imagination will get you everywhere.
The inquiring mind becomes so full of imagination because curiosity hangs in anticipation to disclose every unknown whenever we talk about mystery cases. Because of this, I find that the challenge in constructing this genre is not the creation of the enigma per se but rather the structure and dimension of the cases. But most importantly, how the viewers can equally enjoy the opportunity to solve the mysteries.
Although I don’t disagree to demand for intricacy, usually I find myself liking more when simplicity contours the mystery since oftentimes the simplest ones are the hardest to see and the trickiest to explain. If done right, it’s a pleasure to watch—not because of the mystery but because of the approach. And this is something that I’d seen in Hyouka. It tackles seemingly easy riddles yet subtly preserves the secrecy behind the plotline. The clues are also well set that I don’t feel cheated once the characters started to decipher the cases. Nature, order, and series are beautifully and believably embellished on this show.
I’m not going to deny that the mysticism and cute characters caught my attention. Little I know that I will enjoy the exquisite realism of this show. The storyline is so neat in visualising Houtarou as the vehicle to enchantment and in envisaging Chitanda as the seed of curiosity. I find balance in the relationship between these two. And it’s fascinating how Chitanda falls into Houtarou’s ploy in reality, and at the same time, how Houtarou falls into Chitanda’s charm in his imagination.
In fact, one of my favourite moments is the café scene. The ambience, the heart-shaped pendulum and other symbolisms, and the dumbfounded reaction of the male lead as he got back to reality adorably tickled the audience’s imaginations. This journey into Houtarou’s mind edifies that regardless of how far our minds magically travel, we’re still watching something natural and “grounded” to reality—which is a component of a good detective mystery show.
Further, indeed imagination will tour us anywhere but it’s undeniable that we need logic in shaping our destinations. Of course we don’t want to get lost in our own imaginations. For such reason, I commend Hyouka’s scripts and imageries. They unveil the ambiguities without spoiling the fun.
Let’s see for instance the diagrams. These stay true on how flowcharts work. I love how these brought order and flavour to Houtarou logical inductions. The wiggly lines, incessant circles, and the bordering rectangles were all playfully crafted to inventively present logic. The used of grids and binaries are also so artistically used in hinting the viewers how the clues must be perceived—with evenness and symmetry.
Apart from these, I find Hyouka’s illustration of linearity classy. I couldn’t help but to creatively imagine the horizontal x-axis whenever the logical deductions are being explained. Just like the infinity of an x-axis, sometimes looking for answers only leads to endless questions. But like how any equations were solved, every point must be set and mapped accordingly to gradually and surely work out the problem. And this is how I find Hyouka’s presentation of events, with fathomable sequence and series.
As a visual and logic fan, I truly take pleasure in how Hyouka artistically landscapes our imagination and reasoning. With anime like this, how can you not say that the use of logic and structure can be so cool and inventive? Maybe I’m praising this show too much, but whatever… as architects of our own imaginations, we certainly have different forms of appreciations. Hopefully, Hyouka will continue to deliver and become more interesting.
- Topology is a branch of mathematics and can be formally defined as the study of qualitative properties of certain objects.