The common theme for reviews of Hyouka is to laud its animation while sounding disappointed about the story. But I found it delivering on both counts.
The animation of motion is frankly astonishing in Hyouka, and it's pervasive. It looked to me at least a half step above of what Studio Ghibli accomplished for its movie-budget productions such as Porco Rosso, and it's a TV series. I saw a couple of instances of a typical anime frozen frame, where only character moves. But they only stand out because everything else was made to the highest standard.
The story was primarily centered on the growth of main characters. I don't know just how Tappan managed to be blind enough to write "almost a year has passed and nothing much has changed", when so much has.
If I had to compare, the closest thing to Hyouka, story-wise and character-wise, is probably Shingu. Of course, Shingu has the story of interstellar war intruding onto the characters, and the motif of the primacy of the school. But setting that aside, the ways the main duo interacted and grew into their relationship were remarkably similar in both series, if we correct for the scale of the deeds into which they had to partake. Also, overall cast of both series did not consist of broken people, and it was really pleasant.
P.S. Moogy pointed out that KyotoAni jumbled up the storyline by adapting 3 out of 4 novels. I suspect that is the reason why Kaho, for example, appeared as she did. She was set up to take upon a bigger part, but it never happened. But then Shingu was the same, w.r.t. Subaru's origins. It's not a big detriment.