Hyouka (氷菓) is new Kyoto Animation series of 2-cour, and I finally get to see their late release of the first episode.
God damn, that budget, Kadokawa scale. Kyoto Animation is possibly the only studio which can produce this kind of god quality animation for mere late night animation. This series consumes money and endless work of sakuga-men. For sake of that, I would watch.
But hey, problem of Kyoani's series has been same since K-On production; plain direction, pacing and script. From what I've seen from this 1st episode, Kyoani DO know their problem and constantly trying to make their animation something more than just quality animation. However, that attempt clearly back fired in Nichijou and lead to massive financial failure. This? I don't know. I won't buy it. The only appeal point it had so far was super kawaii Chitanda Eru, but even with her great character design set and moe attributes, she lacks some serious amount of uniqueness, compared to competing Sanka Rea with similar image.
Again, Kyoani switched their style of direction a bit more. Actually, I was surprised that it actually looked like 'SHAFT', especially when they used words flying on the screen. However, it is immense amount of improvement from fuckin Nichijou which had just poorer direction and poorer sakuga.
HOWEVER, it is still... plain, even with those colourful directions and filters. Maybe it's because of the story; for the first episode, its pacing was very slow. But I don't know. Since K-On, this aura of unexplainable plainness has constantly challenging Kyoani and it exploded in Nichijou. Since this is a field of area that Kyoani is usually good at animating, I'm watching it even though it isn't really something in my taste.
Anyway, this definitely seems to be something that Kyoani definitely knows how to cook, contrast to how they had absolutely no clue about animating Nichijou properly, start to the end.