Back in November 2017, I picked up the first part of a very beloved Kyoto Animation series that I never would have thought would get brought over to the west. Here’s an unboxing redux look at Anime Limited & Funimation UK’s now out of print collector’s edition Part 1 release of Hyouka.
Hyouka is a 2012 television anime series from studio Kyoto Animation, published by Kadokawa Pictures and directed by Yasuhiro Takemoto (who sadly passed away in the KyoAni July 2019 Arson attack). The anime is based on the novel series of the same name written by Honobu Yonezawa.
As I had mentioned with the unboxing for Part 2, the license for Hyouka was a bizarre one. Other KyoAni titles including Nichijou: My Ordinary Life had some availability through streaming, but Hyouka never had a legal stream or a home video prior to Anime Limited and Funimation’s acquisition. Nowadays you can legally stream and own the series on Blu-ray (though in Anime Limited’s case the license had expired and reverted back to Funimation), and there’s an English dub available as well.
Before the UK & Ireland license had expired, Anime Limited handled the release and offered a really nice collector’s edition set for both parts of the series. Funimation only released the show as a standard combo pack with slipcovers. While the license is technically filed under Funimation UK, the packaging is with Anime Limited so you could argue it’s more of an Anime Limited title than Funimation UK. The license for Hyouka was part of the massive Kadokawa Pictures package deal that Funimation acquired.
Hyouka Part 1 from Anime Limited contains episodes 1-11 and an OVA across 2 Blu-ray discs using the Funimation master in this collector’s edition set. The audio options include both the Funimation English dub and the original Japanese with English subtitles. The disc is region locked to B and the white subtitles are locked during playback.
Languages: English, Japanese
Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 2.0, Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0
Video: 1080p High Definition Native format with 16:9 ratio
Locked Subtitles: Yes
Plot Synopsis (via Anime Limited & Funimation UK):
“Hyouka tells the story of disenchanted high school boy Hotaro Oreki. Rarely one to go out of his way to do anything for anyone else, Oreki is pressured by his older sister to join the school’s Classic Lit Club in order to keep it from being abolished.
There he meets Eru Chitanda, a kindhearted and inquisitive girl who’s joined the Classics Club for “personal reasons.” Oreki is immediately drawn to her, but finds her endless energy a little overwhelming. After the pair is joined by Oreki’s best friend Fukube and the fiery Ibara, the club is complete. Left to their own devices, the four students quickly get off track when Oreki’s talent for solving mysteries sparks Chitanda’s boundless curiosity. She has a mystery of her own to share, but first she needs to make sure Oreki’s the right man for the job.”
Blu-ray On-Disc Extra Features:
OVA: Episode 11.5 – You Can’t Escape (Motsubeki Mono wa)
Textless Opening Song
Textless Closing Song
Collector’s Edition Extras:
Rigid Box with Clean artwork, Title on Spine, Digipack for Discs, Info on Paper Sheet
Outer Rigid Box to house collector’s edition Parts 1 & 2 sets
Last but not least, here’s photos of the two parts together for the series.
Hyouka was licensed for home video by Anime Limited & Funimation UK. As of 2019, the license has reverted back to Funimation with no word on a re-release in the UK & Ireland.