Hyouka – 04

And so the mystery of toilet bowl-chan unfolds…

Hello everybaddy! Recently I’ve been in higher spirits as I’m finally left with one last exam (which also happens to be Japanese) and then I’ll be free! I am still running on a super high and I am literally bouncing in anticipation for Hyouka yaaaaay.

On Houtarou’s subtle prompting, Eru decides to involve Mayaka and Satoshi to help her solve the mystery centered around her uncle. The Classics Club has their first official meeting outside of school, and at where else would it be other than their club president’s glorious house mansion?

This is like Farmville all over again

Their meeting goes surprisingly smoothly and efficiently (despite several breaks in between to switch locations to admire the wonderful pond and fill their hollow stomachs) and information reels in from all four members of the club. Condensing their long discussion, what they basically established from the research was that the incident happened 45 years ago in June, and subsequently caused Sekitani Jun, Eru’s uncle, to be expelled in October. The incident happened at Kamiyama High, and was mainly instigated by the Classics Club president, Sekitani Jun, although the entire student population was involved.

And here we observe the members of the Classics Club in their natural state


The question now is why and how did the incident happen? With the theories of Eru, Mayaka and Satoshi shot down, they all look to Houtarou with high expectations. His genius brain then somehow links the entire dump of information they had uncovered, and comes up with a spectacular conclusion – the students were standing up against the teachers and principal, who had originally wanted to shorten the cultural festival to less than five days. No violence was involved, but they could’ve planned a boycott, which left the school management with no choice but to negotiate with the students and restore the cultural festival to its original length – at the cost of the expulsion of Sekitani Jun.


With the mystery “solved”, the Classics Club parts for the day, but Eru still has a lingering thought in her mind – if what Houtarou said was true, then why did she cry so hard?

“Watashi wa kininarimasu!” Oh no Eru, not again

Houtarou is brilliant!!! I think I might consider marrying a fictional character. I find myself enjoying most episodes nowadays because of the amazing ways in which Houtarou’s brain works. Although the solution to the mystery wasn’t of the breathtaking, mind-blowing kind, in a way it’s still awesome that he could come up with a conclusion and link all the evidence together on such a short notice. Although Eru’s thoughts at the end of the episode and the title of the next episode “The Truth of the Classics Club and Its History” kind of suggests that his deductions may not be entirely right, I still think he’s pretty close. The pacing of this episode was slow, but that’s Hyouka for you, and I feel the beautiful animation, the interesting characters and the easygoing vibe of the anime more than make up for it.

I’d also like to point out the intricate uses of different themes in this anime. During the first part of episode 4, Houtarou and Satoshi had a little lover’s quarrel friendly debate about colors in relation to their personalities. The scene felt out of place, maybe unnecessary really, but that’s what makes it worth thinking more about. Of course, Satoshi describes himself as a rose-colored person, but Houtarou disagrees and says that he’s shocking pink. The selection of such a neon color is pretty obvious as Satoshi portrays your typical obnoxiously loud, outgoing character who likes to stand out, but perhaps there’s more to this – “My default status is shocking pink, nobody can change it, I can’t be dyed.” Many people have commented that Satoshi has the least character depth out of all the Classics Club members, but this might be hinting that there’s something more to him. He’s usually easygoing and lucky, and it felt weird for him to say something so… rebellious? His cheerfulness may just as well be a façade, and it seems as if he’s hiding something important that could possibly change our entire opinion of him. I don’t mean he’s like inherently evil or anything like that, but maybe he has a dirty little secret that makes him different from others. Don’t even get my fujoshi mind started on this, but it’s worth looking into, and I hope that they’ll expand on this.

On the other hand, Houtarou is grey – again, pretty obvious why. Grey is associated with being a background color and the words “calm”, “composed”, and “conservative” may come to mind. Houtarou is exactly just that, but another thing about grey is that it doesn’t really have its own unique, prominent characteristics – to put it in other words, grey may be easily dyed. And I think that’s exactly what’s been happening. Ever since meeting Eru and becoming part of the Classics Club, he’s been changing. Whereas he couldn’t be bothered to do anything unless it was absolutely necessary, Eru and her strange mysteries have been inexplicably influencing him to work his brain, to do more than he usually does. Her own colorful personality is rubbing off on him, and he’s slowly being dyed. I could go on all day about colors and personalities (I see Eru as violet and Mayaka as green) but in short, I really do appreciate these little thought-provoking scenes that Hyouka presents, and they are interesting to analyze. I’d also like to hear your thoughts on this – do you think that that scene had more to it beneath the surface?

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A stressed-out jyoushi kousei doubling as Metanorn's loli with a soft spot for sappy romance animanga. She will watch anything with bishies in it. :3
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21 Responses to “Hyouka – 04”

  1. skylion says:

    Good review, Miyu.

    Hasn’t it become rather more than subtext; Eru, Mayaka, and Satoshi all want some of that Oreki?

    Heck, I want some of that Oreki…

    • Miyu says:

      Lots of love for Oreki everywhere!♥ They’re totally exploiting him as fangirl/boy bait xD

      And thank you! (。・ω・。)ノ♡ Do you personally have any thoughts on the colors – personality thing?

      • skylion says:

        Colours? Are we talking about the debate that sub groups are having over “Rose-coloured life”? If that is the case, I’m afraid the debate was never really resolved with me, and I got kind of sick of reading it. I pretty much stick with Mazui as I feel they have a better grip on how the characters express themselves.

        The debate aside, I think it’s a good way to describe character.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Satoshi is pretty flamboyant with his “rose-colored” status even though it’s like Hotarou is making remarks about it and is totally aware of his obnoxiously loud, outgoing character who likes to stand out. Like Miyu said, that could be just a mask he’s using to cover something.

          • skylion says:

            I liken Satoshi to a character type that is very sensitive to some issues and rather insensitive to others. Most masks cover feelings of inadequacy; what that might be is up to conjecture. He feels halfway out of the closet, so to speak…

            He screams gay in this episode, almost literally. Perhaps this is why Mayaka never was able to get close to him.

  2. Joojoobees says:

    I didn’t expect the mystery to have anything to do with student unrest, so that was a very interesting angle.

    • Miyu says:

      Indeed, actually I wasn’t even sure what to expect because it could nearly be anything, but Hyouka never fails to deliver :D Did you have any possible theories for this mystery?~

      • Joojoobees says:

        Not really. I thought maybe it had something to do with that old building that was shown in the first episode, but that doesn’t seem to be anything.

        • Miyu says:

          Oh yes we seem to have completely drifted away from that old building… I’m thinking we might be returning to it in future episodes though. This mystery surrounding Eru’s uncle doesn’t look like it’s going to last very long. xD

  3. Liza says:

    I really did like this episode but it felt like there’s not going to be much anime left after this. Apparently this series is going into 20-something episodes the last time I checked and I wonder how they could stretch it out this far if they only focus on the what Eru’s uncle said. Other than that, I loved it and Houtarou’s explanation was actually pretty good for something he came up while in the bathroom. XD

    • Miyu says:

      Yup, your sources are correct! It’s 2-cour so it’s 25 episodes long :3 True, at the rate it’s going the mystery about Eru’s uncle is prolly not gonna last for much longer. I do think that they have a lot that they could possibly expand from for the Hyouka anthology series though ^A^

      Houtarou is amaaaaaazing. ♥

      • Son Gohan says:

        This show is actually 21 episodes long because it started later in the season.

        The case of Chitanda’s uncle is only the first volume of the Kotenbu series. They will probably wrap it up next episode and then go on with a 5 episodes per volume formula.

        • Miyu says:

          Whoops sorry I stand corrected. 21 episodes yes. Thank you for pointing that out ^^

  4. BlackBriar says:

    I’m liking this anime more and more. Extra points go to the flawless animation. The best part is that it’s making people think about the mystery, facts and clues. Maybe even to the point that you might end up in a coma trying to find the next piece of the puzzle. Like Joojoobees said, the student unrest was an unexpected and interesting part.

    Houtarou is brilliant even if it seems he’s making it up as he goes along!!! This is the best explanation of a mystery so far in the show. They’re really picking it up. The only thing I don’t get is why they would publish an anthology based on a theory? It’d be pretty embarassing if someone walked up to them in the middle of the festival and started explaining how it’s wrong, right?

  5. Amutofan123 says:

    I love watching Houtarou come up with his conclusions. The first episode kind of bored me, but the episodes afterwards have me hooked. I do kind of hope that there is more to the mystery though, since Hyouka is suppossed to be twenty-five episodes long. Eru’s comment about her crying certainly implies that there is more to the mystery. I liked the whole color scene. It made me wonder what color I am. I’m probably a bright and cheerful yellow~ I hope that there is more to all the characters and that we get some good developments. There probably is going to be comsidering how great this show already is. I just hope they can keep it up through the span of twenty-five episodes and that they don’t stretch anything out too long.

  6. JPNIgor says:

    Everybody loves to see Houtarou coming up with awesome conclusions XD Me too, it’s just too awesome. But the main reason I’m watching Hyouka is the animation *-* It’s beautiful and highly detailed and OMG it’s SOOOO AWESOME! *w* I wonder how many hours they spend working on the animation of each episode…

    I don’t know why, but I can’t watch Hyouka without remembering K-ON. Their faces are very similar (Maybe because the studio is the same…) To me, Houtarou and Satoshi are more or less what would be a boy’s face in K-ON, since I don’t remember seeing any.

    Well… The plot is still a little weak. Seems more like a slice of life than a mystery anime. I can’t wait for the start of the main plot *-* Then, Hyouka will be absolutely awesome.

  7. lvlln says:

    With all the visual abstractions going on in Hyouka, it almost seems like KyoAni is making a statement to the rest of the anime industry. They’ve been making the best looking shows for a long time, but their shows have almost always looked good in a traditional sense, with good animation and art. Meanwhile, studios like Shaft, Silver Link, and recently Deen and AIC have stepped forward with works that try new things visually, creating shows that look beautiful while being budget constrained. And now KyoAni is doing what they’ve been doing, but with their typical top-class quality, resulting in a show that just looks so much better than anything else out there.

    With Bakemonogatari, Shaft took a light novel that was pretty much all dialogue and used lots of imaginative visual tricks to turn it into something that was breathtaking to look at. The same phenomenon seems to be happening with Hyouka and Kyoto Animation.

    • skylion says:

      The main animation in Hyou-ka is just flawless; full motion, detailed backgrounds, and fluid transitions. The abstract is clearly defined and stands as a sharp contrast; good for separating the mental/hypothesis world from the real world.

  8. Gecko says:

    I was pleased with this episode since all of the characters contributed. I’m okay with Oreki pulling it together, but I really hope that the others will slowly be able to think like that by the end, or at least have serious ideas that work. Or maybe Oreki will be wrong sometime. I don’t know.
    I’m happy that we get presented with quite a bit of the information before Oreki solves the mystery, but we aren’t getting enough to think on our own. It’s a little irritating since I like to think about it and try and get the mystery right.
    As for the colors, I get the feeling Oreki and Satoshi’s colors are going to mix for the viewer: Oreki seems to be the more “pink” one and Satoshi seems to be more “dull” since his character is very obvious. But I’m sure that Hyouka has something planned to make Satoshi a bit more interesting. And hey, maybe Oreki will do something similar to Sekitani Jun (the uncle) later on… I don’t know. I’m just watching for fun, after all.

  9. Kitty says:

    I love that he is so lazily brilliant. Really what made me start watching this!! Finally caught up so I can enjoy your posts! I really like that this anime has a modern Sherlock Holmes feel to it. Add a little blood and it would be the perfect psychological thriller. However, I love the cute nature and the art is fantastic! Chitanda’s eyes!! and Houtarou’s eyes are just stunning!

  10. [...] the subject of Jun doing some student activism work. If you don’t watch Hyouka, they actually touch on the subject of students going on strike against their own school. While [...]

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