Today’s Hyouka post is rather lighthearted but nonetheless interesting: short comments by all the episode directors regarding their feelings on the material that they personally handled. Sadly only the ones for the second half of the series were published in Otona Animedia, but it’s still enjoyable, brief insight by the creative team. If you want some more of that, megax also translated comments by each episode’s staff as they published them on the official site. They were quite fond of this show!
Episode 12 director comment: Taichi Ogawa
- I’m actually quite emotionally attached to the adorable part where Eru walks around everywhere to increase the Classics Club’s sales. Ever since I read the source material, I kept on imagining how could I bring it to life if I were the episode director in charge of this (laughs). I’m overjoyed that by sheer miracle I was given the chance to, so I made sure to give that visual form.
Episode 13 director comment: Noriyuki Kitanohara
- There happen to be big changes in Eru and Houtarou’s relationships in my episodes – 13 and 18 respectively – so I paid close attention to express them. 13 in particular has that moment when Houtarou sees the cosplay photos Eru took at the Photography Club and for a change reacts like a typical highschool boy, which I’m quite fond of.
Episode 14 director comment: Naoko Yamada
- Episode 14 is an incredibly lovely moment where the scattered Classics Club quartet aim for a common goal and plunge forward. Therefore, I drew everyone’s feelings in the storyboards with great care. This is my personal view, but it’s also the episode where the charm of all club members skyrockets. As a piece of trivia, the upperclassmen from class 2-F who appeared in The Furuoka Deserted Village Murder Case show up on the screen here and there. It seems like the animation staff really liked them.
Episode 15 director comment: Hiroko Utsumi
- Eru, Satoshi, and Mayaka take the spotlight this time, and I carefully portrayed how the three of them desperately try to do their best. Out of those, the one I particularly fussed over was Satoshi. I put a lot of care into his shifting facial expressions and behavior when he’s fixated on the case. I paid attention to depict a Satoshi who is slightly different from his usual self, such as when he’s really shocked despite all the hard work he put into the stakeout or when he lashes out at Houtarou. By the way, there’s an amusing drawing included in the scene with Tani-kun so please try to find it.
Episode 16 director comment: Kazuya Sakamoto
- Episode 16 tells the story of Satoshi reaching a stopping point regarding his own emotions. For that reason, I put the visuals together in a way that makes the contrast to his target Houtarou easy to understand. Satoshi’s facial expressions are a manifestation of his incredibly conflicted feelings so drawing all of those was a lot of work, but I believe we were able to bring out his feelings. Also, Houtarou and Eru’s comical interactions in the meanwhile were a great highlight. The elderly school janitor from episode 1 was one of the customers as well, but it seems like that was hard to notice (laughs).
Episode 17 director comment: Taichi Ishidate
- Since it’s the finale of the Kudryavka arc, it’s an episode where you notice that everyone’s feelings come to a closure. For that reason, I was really careful to dig up their emotions and make inferring those as easy as possible – mainly through the area around the eyebrows. Also, the viewers might have already noticed this, but when they protect the revised manuscript at the Classics Club, you can clearly see the moment Tanabe carries out his crime. It’s regrettable that he is obscured by the character in front of him and thus went unnoticed…!
Episode 18 director comment: Noriyuki Kitanohara
- The mystery in episode 18 deals with a harsh topic, which I tried to handle carefully, so I made it into an episode meant to show Houtarou and Eru coming to understand sides of each other that they didn’t know before. I believe that Eru in particular has come to understand why she’s so interested in Houtarou more clearly.
Episode 19 director comment: Taichi Ogawa
- An episode about Houtarou and Eru – just the two of them, alone in the club room. I directed it in a way that also makes the viewers get nervous about the distance between the two of them while watching. Eru throws in the line “Won’t you try to guess what it was?” in the last scene and Houtarou smiles slightly. I would be happy if that part made you sense a change of heart in Houtarou, who had initially turned his back to a rose-colored high school life.
Episode 20 director comment: Rika Oota
- I paid attention to portray both the festive and warm atmosphere at shrines on New Year’s Eve, as well as the coldness of a hard winter in contrast to that. And let’s not forget about Eru’s kimono! I worked on this episode alongside the key animators, looking up details we weren’t familiar with regarding the clothing, proper etiquette and so on, over and over again. It’s a pity that in the end you can only barely see it as they enter the pitch dark shed. Nevertheless, I believe the feeling of darkness turned out quite good. I would be glad if Houtarou and Eru’s adorableness within that darkness warmed you up!
Episode 21 director comment: Hiroko Utsumi
- The motto between the director and I was “Love For Satoshi“. That subject happens to be my forte, so I poured love in every cut with Satoshi in it. In consideration of him being the culprit and concerning points such as him acting the part, feeling guilty for deceiving the others and so on, I projected his facial expressions as little as possible and had him avert his gaze from the people he’s dealing with. The part I particularly obsessed over was Houtarou’s anger. He gradually becomes irritated by Satoshi, his anger accumulates and he grabs him by the collar! I love that part. I would be glad if episode 21 made you feel affection for Satoshi.
Episode 22 director comment: Yasuhiro Takemoto
- I poured all of my energy into the Doll Festival’s parade and the final scene to make them look beautiful. In order to display Houtarou’s inner voice in the most natural way to bring the story to an end, I was finally able to present his vivid fantasies to the viewers, as has been happening since the first episode, in the way I’ve wanted to show the most. I would be overjoyed if it was a finale that sparked the viewers’ imagination and made them fantasize about what happens to each of the four Classics Club members after that.
Originally published in issue 6 of Otona Animedia 2012. Translated by Pen, who will be spearheading this special Hyouka project.