The real mystery here is how Houtarou actually looks okay with a monocle.
|I-I’m still alive! I swear! …I am so sorry for the delay with Hyouka. OTL I swear, it was one internet problem after another whenever I tried to work on this. It was ridiculous. Anyways, quite a bit has happened (though I guess people could argue that nothing has happened at all this entire run of this anime) and I like that they’re developing characters who aren’t Houtarou and Eru now.|
So compared to the last episode, where the whole thing put emphasis on how Houtarou is ‘special’, this episode felt like the complete opposite where absolutely all of his friends wanted to let him know how wrong he was. By the end of it, I just felt sorry for the guy. I do like how each of them picked up a different reason as to why Houtarou was wrong as opposed to beating the same point into his head over and over again. …Maybe it’s not the best for Houtarou’s self esteem, but it does make the characters seem more real in a way since their different thought processes as characters made different points more important to each of them. On top of that too, it differentiates them subtly instead of the story narration flat out saying “I picked up on the rope because I look at the finer details as a character (and normally complain about them)”. In the end, the rest of the team screwed the story up, so I guess there was never any ‘correct’ answer to begin with. Having Houtarou play the detective while actually being the writer was a smart move on Irisu’s part, since no one involved actually figured out what was going on until it was all over with. The only thing that really surprised me was the fact that it was Houtarou’s sister who got him involved (or at least I assume that it was her since they mentioned being outside of Japan). I’m pretty satisfied with this arc in general.
No real mysteries here, but KyoAni decided to show off their animation skill using… breakdancing. Why. Anyways, this episode didn’t really have a focus, but it was fun to watch anyways. It just kind of displayed character traits for each of the club members that we already knew about and put them in a different setting. Like Chitanda being curious about everything and then having her in a place with a million and one distractions. In any case, we know the characters well at this point, so watching them in a different environment is great. I’d also like to point out that they’re still really keeping the sense of realism. I really felt the energy of the festival and while the focus of the episode was the main characters, they did a good job at making it realistic by having the focus on the other activities going on around the festival as opposed to focusing solely on the MCs. The whole thing was just so… lively. The new ED is pretty entertaining too.
This episode was just more of the same really… Though there was slight hints towards a mystery in the making. The energy is still there, but the focus of the episode seemed to be more MC oriented than just showing the festival in general. Each character seems to have their own mini side story developing. …That conversation between Mayaka and her club member was actually pretty deep though (or maybe it just hit me hard because I review anime). Why do people review media in the first place? What makes an anime/manga/whatever media you want a classic? Who really cares what someone else thinks? Why do places like Metanorn (or any other aniblogging site you want to fill in here) exist? Personally, I’ve always thought of anime review sites as a place to share opinions (even more so now since we’ve moved away from summaries), but I can see the other girl’s point about all anime being the same. How many ecchi harem comedies do we get a season? I do think that each one has something that’s unique though in it’s presentation and messages and that’s where the conversation comes in.
Still no mystery, but watching the club members cook was great. Plot? Who cares about plot. Watching the characters is great. Oreki even took the spotlight to help out the members. He’s come a long way from someone who wanted to make the least amount of effort possible. …Or at least that’s how he looked here. Maybe he hasn’t changed all that drastically since he still wanted the job with the least amount of effort, but at least he took the effort of helping out the people close to him. This episode was also an interesting look at the rest of the club when Houtarou isn’t there to steal the spotlight with his one man detective show. I’m a bit surprised at how well they acted as a team this episode (…and I’m surprised that all of them could cook considering that it’s a HUGE anime cliche that there’s always a character who can’t cook).
Vocaloid: You can’t escape
…Chitanda couldn’t manipulate to save her life (or at least not while she’s aware of it; she seems to have a nice leash on Oreki). Actually, I was more surprised at the fact that Oreki wanted to jump into solving another mystery after what happened in the last arc. I thought that this mystery would have been something to forcibly pull him back into all of that as opposed to him just saying “okay, the classic’s club is involved, let’s do this.” I guess what I’m trying to say here is that he’s more resilient than I thought he’d be. Mayaka is surprising me as well with her issues with the manga club. It’s unusual to see her unsure of herself like that, but I can relate to her more now and I guess it add that extra dimension for her as a character. I just wonder if these developments with Mayaka are going to be arc contained, or if they’re going to have some continuity outside of this.
I told you it was spreading
So other than giving me the urge to punch those Vocaloid cosplayers (and the rest of the manga club) in the face, I can’t say that much was accomplished this epis0de. Sure there was a ton of buildup to the solution, but ever since the last arc, Hyouka seems to like dancing around the problem as much as possible before giving us an actual solution. Satoshi had a little meltdown here, but I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that he still views himself as an all around man who can’t be the ‘main character’. Every attempt at doing so has failed, where Houtarou doesn’t even need to exert much effort to figure things out. At the same time though, Satoshi seems to respect Houtarou, so there’s probably a bit of inner conflict there. Now for what he said about there being no connections as to who the culprit is, …aren’t there actually some pretty obvious connections? From the connections to the manga, couldn’t they just ask the council president or whoever who else worked on the manga? Also, we never did hear Mayaka explain the ending to the ABC Murders or whatever the book was called. The only Christie novel I can actually remember the entire plot to was And Then There Were None, so I can’t really go into how much this whole arc ties into her works. I guess to a person in that situation, the fact that these are solid clues is less obvious then they are to the viewer, but still, there is definitely something for Houtarou to work with here.
Next episode should be the one that provides answers. I guess we’ll wait and see. …I swear it won’t be as late as episode 11 was. Ahahaha…ha.
So if you were to describe the plot of this arc alone, everything about it would sound boring as hell to me. However, for whatever reason, it isn’t. What’s driving the series for me now is undoubtably the characters. This arc, they haven’t really accomplished anything yet it’s as interesting as when the club is out solving mysteries. Overall, this has to be the longest I’ve ever seen any anime cover it’s Cultural Festival. Hyouka is doing great at keeping it interesting and showing a lot of different events as opposed to just the Classic’s club. …Though it probably helps that a few of the members are in different clubs to begin with and the whole mystery involves having things stolen from other clubs in the first place. Still, they did a good job with making the other clubs actually seem like things that exist and have their own purpose outside of having something stolen from them in order for the classic’s club to shine. You have to admire Hyouka’s realism.