Anime provides an infinite scope for symbolism, which is something that got me hooked to it in the first place.
Take Hyouka for example. Now, this is a series about small scale detective work and one can expect it to be factual rather than philosophical. It is indeed just that, but I really enjoyed the fun hints of symbolism they put into their opening and ending sequences. Now I don’t speak Japanese, so lyrical references might be lost on me.
If you’re planning to watch these, or the anime, please pick 720p at least. It deserves every pixel.
1. Opening 1: Yasashisa no Riyuu
The first opening just sets the mood for the entire anime, letting the viewers know that they’re in for a visual treat. Lots of ripple effects, which I think is sort of a signature for this series. You get to see Oreki living a grey life and occasionally glancing at pink flowers by the roadside, or being thrown into a new world consisting of nothing but a bright blue sky. Quite fitting, especially since the first few episodes is mostly about the clash of the rosy and grey lifestyles of the characters. [On a side note, I found the rosy-gray stuff a little childish, but meh, they used it well.]
2. Ending 1: Madoromi No Yakusoku
One word, FANSERVICE. If it means anything, I didn’t get it. But it sure is pretty, and the song is good.
3. Opening 2: Mikansei Stride
This is the best of all, and certainly my favorite. Oreki falls asleep during a conversation among the four, and finds himself in a dream in which he is trapped inside a whiteboard. He can move along glasses and water surfaces, and can see everyone, but no one can see him. Finally he is sitting on the water beneath a cherry tree and suddenly sees the glimpse of an opening umbrella which sends him crashing through lots of colors (you won’t get it if you haven’t seen the last episode). He runs away and ends up in the Classic Lit club room, where Chitanda and the others promptly see him inside the glass. Finally Chitanda pulls him out into the real world and that’s where the dream ends.
I think this falls back on what Oreki said in episode 2: “They live in a world different from mine. What makes us so different? What is it?”
So it takes people to know who you really are to save you from yourself, huh?
4. Ending 2: Kimi ni Matsuwaru Mystery
This one is very funny; I laughed SO hard! The girls are dressed up as detectives and the guys are the criminals, and the entire package comes with floating titles of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie mysteries in the background. I think they made this because both the guys were scared to commit on the inside and looked like ‘Coldcases’ on the outside. Man, this surely cracked me up!
If you haven’t watched Hyouka, I certainly recommend it. It is a gem of an anime, especially if you like insights into logical deductions, and something off-beat.