|…Well at least this isn’t as bad of a catchup as before. School has started for me again, yet I’m being way more productive than I was without it since I can steal the building’s internet. Life is good. As for Hyouka, it’s also good. It’s almost sad how this slice of life anime is making my inner romance fangirl go off more than Arcana Famiglia, the otome game adaption.|
It’s the perfect disguise
Are Houtarou’s deductive successes luck, or are they an actual skill? I suppose this is the question that this episode was exploring. There’s no denying that Houtarou has something special (as cheesy as it sounds) since he pieced together the entire mystery with an extremely vague set of clues (…that could extend to the entire season). On the other hand though, there was luck involved too since he might not have deduced it correctly without Chintanda pointing some clues out (or without his sister’s help in the last arc). He had the luck of her being there and being knowledgable. While Houtarou was trying to prove to Chintanda that he’s not all the amazing since a lot of his deductions could be attributed to luck, there’s something to be said about the fact that he was correct, even after making such a wild theory. I know that he lost his original goal of trying to prove Chitanda wrong somewhere in the middle of it all, but still. For a guy trying to make a more unlikely story fit certain criteria, he figured it out pretty well.
Also interesting was the way the story pieced itself together. The solution was formed completely by forming theories and then figuring out if they worked or didn’t work with the circumstances. Thinking of it like a sudoku puzzle (I’ve been catching up on Phi Brain, can you tell?), it kind of makes sense that the right answer would be the correct conclusion they reach so long as all of their other information was right. At the same time though, life isn’t as simple as a sudoku puzzle and there are so many uncertain factors. They might have gone in a completely different direction and still could have found an answer that fit all of the criteria.
…Long story short, Houtarou has both skill and luck when solving mysteries and I have a headache from trying to wrap my head around all of this.
Oh man, the tension between Houtarou and Eru this episode. We’ve witnessed them grow closer over the course of the series, but this was the most concrete evidence yet that the two are attracted to each other. Eru has never really had problems with being that close to Houtarou before. The entire episode was incredibly fun to watch thanks to those two. Looking back at this episode after watching these other two, you can see a steady theme of exploration on pairings/ the character’s levels of awareness of one another amidst the mini side stories. It’s an interesting way to connect an arc for Hyouka since they’ve focused on a mystery to create an arc before.
The events of the episode aside, it’s nice to see how New Years shrines work in Japan without the distractions of fanservice and other nonsense. The little attention to detail with the breath showing in the cold air and shivering was really nice and consistent as well.
Even with her air-headed-ness, at least Chitanda has some sense of atmosphere and how things could be interpreted. Or I guess another way to phrase it is that I’m surprised that she even knows what couples do when they’re locked in a shed when she’s proven to be fairly naive and sheltered this entire anime. I find it a bit inconsistent that she would know what people would think if she was caught in a shed alone with a guy, but she has no idea about other things like how to ask people for favours without sounding desperate. …In the end, I assume that it’s part of the respectable image she has to maintain with her family being prestigious. Eru probably doesn’t have to ask for much due to her upbringing and her parents or whoever would have educated her on how and how not to act in public places.
Despite his lack of self confidence, Satoshi is pretty reliable if he can deduce Houtarou’s vague message. There was some subtle teamwork there with Houtarou knowing that Satoshi would have liked the drama enough to pay attention and pick up a message from it and Satoshi knowing that the string was something Houtarou would do. …Though I’m sure if they had dropped the bag in the first place, Mayaka would have come if they went missing for a long period of time. Sure, they might have had hypothermia by the time help arrived, but they wouldn’t have been stuck forever. …I also assume that neither Chitanda nor Houtarou had a pen/viable writing utensil that they could have just written a note in.
I’d take the chocolate’s statement seriously if I were you, Satoshi
Whoa, go Mayaka. At the beginning of the episode, I thought she was still giving Satoshi chocolate only because of her stubborn streak, but it seems she really likes the guy. Considering that she’s been thoroughly rejected ever since middle school, you have to admit that she has some admirable tenacity.
Satoshi on the other hand is still the same ball of inferiority issues. I’m glad this episode took a deeper look into that since it’s been a rather big issue these past arcs. Now, he mentioned that he gave up on ever trying to win and that’s why he gave up on ever being with Mayaka. That definitely explains the carefree attitude since there’s the mentality where you can justify losing by the fact that you never tried in the first place. On the other hand, something about that doesn’t quite add up since he was trying fairly hard to figure out who the culprit was back in the cultural festival. Maybe losing there was his absolute breaking point? Either way, the guy has some rather large issues to work out. I’m surprised that he even came out and said that he wants to be with Mayaka and it’s a dream that she even cares about him. I guess he’s not as gay as he previously acted.
…Though if you still wanted to go with the gay argument, you could just say that he likes the fact that Mayaka gives him attention.
So not only does Chitanda get fired up when she’s curious, she also does it when one of her friends is in trouble. I’m sure most of the people watching this could have deduced this character trait 5 episodes in, but at least no one can claim that she isn’t consistent. Another thing was Houtarou. He wasn’t visibly upset when he confronted Satoshi about breaking Mayaka’s chocolate, but he made a point of Chitanda getting hurt because of the whole thing.
If she hadn’t had the family rule about gifts, would Eru have given Houtarou chocolates? Did Satoshi ever figure things out with Mayaka? …Next week should be good assuming they continue this. I think it might be the last episode as well. I vaguely remember seeing that Hyouka only had 22 episodes. Even if it doesn’t continue, Hyouka has been absolutely wonderful to watch and I don’t regret picking this up from Miyu in the least bit.