Hyouka – 10

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Well, they still didn’t answer the question in this arc’s title…

[Mazui]_Hyouka_-_10_[724679C8].mkv_snapshot_00.24_[2012.06.24_19.28.01]All things considered I’d call this episode a considerable step up from last week’s effort, which left me pretty disinterested in the end.  I usually find with Hyouka that it’s hard to say just exactly why some episodes work better for me than others, but at its best this show has a certain off-kilter sensibility that I find gives it a desperately needed edge.  In short, on balance Hyouka is quite nice – a relaxing contemplation of the idle hours after school that so many of us had trouble filling.  But I like it better when it’s just a little bit weird.

[Mazui]_Hyouka_-_10_[724679C8].mkv_snapshot_03.26_[2012.06.24_19.29.43]As usual with Hyouka, the mystery is mostly beside the point for me (though it was certainly more involving than last week’s “Let’s listen to three dumb theories” approach), but the character stuff definitely had some spark this time.  I’ve already stated that Satoshi is the most interesting character in the cast for me, and that continues to be the case.  There’s a subtext in so much of what he says – something hiding behind his cheerful self-deprecation.  Perhaps it’s a little bit of anger, some pride, and certainly defiance and a strong sense of self.  It was certainly plain in his conversation with Houtarou this time, where he proclaims his lack of any special skill in any area and declares that Mayaka would be a better Sherlockian than he in three months, if she wanted.  For himself, Satoshi says, he’s nothing but a traveler good for “nothing more than a stamp on the pamphlet.”

[Mazui]_Hyouka_-_10_[724679C8].mkv_snapshot_03.37_[2012.06.24_19.29.54]Now, I don’t believe that, Houtarou doesn’t believe it either and most importantly I don’t think Satoshi believes it either.  When Hotarou says “I don’t agree with that stuff you’re saying about yourself” (which is an interesting character moment in itself) Satoshi’s answer is quite intriguing – “There are things that interest me more than being a Sherlockian.”  He pairs this with a rare drop of the smiling veneer of genki that he always surrounds himself with – just for a minute – when he confesses to a little jealousy of Houtarou.  We see the world through Houtarou’s eyes in this series, and hear his thoughts – and Mayaka and Chitanda are fairly transparent personalities – but Satoshi is different.  There’s always a sense that we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg with him, and that makes him the one to keep an eye on.

[Mazui]_Hyouka_-_10_[724679C8].mkv_snapshot_04.02_[2012.06.24_19.30.19]As for our main character (and Satoshi is careful to tell us “I could never be the star”) Houtarou has an interesting week, too.  There’s the protestation to Satoshi for starters, which I think was his true opinion.  But it also represents a quite open gesture of support for someone else’s feelings, which is another sign his shell is starting to crack.  As is his quite transparent thrill at being praised by The Empress, which he fails badly at trying to hide.  As Satoshi says, it’s made him start to question his own character – to believe that might actually have a talent that makes him “special”.  Solving this mystery is kind of a dumb thing to get so amped up about, to be honest, but at least it’s movement.

[Mazui]_Hyouka_-_10_[724679C8].mkv_snapshot_04.33_[2012.06.24_19.30.50]In terms of that mystery, I confess that even though I knew this was a four-part arc I almost bought into the notion that this ep was going to end here, and that no one was going to ask the stupidly obvious question that’s been the white elephant in the room the whole time.  Good troll, there – and it was Mayaka of all people who put a fly in the ointment in the end, pointing out that Houtarou hasn’t accounted for Haba-kun’s revelation that Hongou had asked for a rope for the production.  Not to mention that Houtarou’s solution was not acceptable according to traditional mystery rules – that’s another debate.  All that is small potatoes – I just want to know what’s really going on with Hongou, and why nobody is wondering why they don’t just get the answer from her.

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  1. A

    Mazui – “There are things that interest me more than being a Sherlockian.”

    Commie – "There are things more attractive than being a Shylockian"

    I don't think these two lines have the same meaning. Mazui's implies that Satoshi doesn't care about being a Shylockian, but it doesn't fit with his envy towards (I presume) Oreki's raw talent.

    Commie's line fits better with the exchange. There may be a more attractive interest, but it doesn't mean that Satoshi gave up to become a Sherlockian.

  2. To be fair to Mazui, I watched their sub and definitely got the jealousy subtext out of that line.

    And let's make sure people understand he didn't say "Shylockian"! Now that would have a completely different meaning…

  3. A

    Oh wow, that was happens when I blindly rely on Google's spell-checking.

  4. L


    Shylockian makes sense, though. You can sense a tinge of instability in Satoshi, and the image he portrays in front of everyone seems almost "calculated" in many ways. When whatever he's keeping close to his chest explodes and comes out into the open, I bet he's gonna hack & slash a pound of flesh out of someone. XD

    My guess …. he wants to be "more than friends" than Hotarou. 😛

  5. K

    If I'm not mistaken, "Shylockian" would be one who studies the motives and personality of the said character in a Shakespearean play. 🙂

  6. I

    I put down this episode being one of the better in the series to Houtarou's interesting deductions, Irisu being quite a character and most importantly virtually no Chitanda.

  7. I

    About the rope I think that the closet that blocked the thin corridor was pulled back by it to make others think that that way was blocked when it originally wasn't, so it was the escape route meaning the person on the other end of it. Otherwise why show it in such a, I found, creepy manner.

    Hannin wa the girl in blue with a short ponytail and the guy with a yellow shirt. Considering that a big guy was the victim I think two culprits subduing him seems more likely. This of course is under the assumption that the seventh actor was just an extra and that the locked room was somehow open for Kaitou in the first place. Solving a mystery like this somehow reminds me of Another.

  8. A

    This was indeed a better episode than the previous two, which were intellectually satisfying, but lacked drama. It's like the previous one (episodes 2 to 5) I think, it's clearly building up to something, and we've seen some of what that may be in episode 10.

    It's the first time Houtarou considers himself special or talented. He's getting congratulated by the Empress herself, and the rest of the staff of the movie. It's already clear that solving mysteries, however trivial (although that's certainly up for discussion; I don't consider the Hyouka mysteries trivial just because there are no serial killers involved), is something that gives him pleasure.

    And then… the realization that he may be wrong. He may not have seen the whole picture. Something is missing. Maybe he's not that talented after all. The world lost its color.

    That was a really great episode on a whole lot of levels.

  9. m

    Reminds me of Dr. Sheppard in the Murder of Roger Ackroyd, although in a movie format rather than a novel format.

  10. t

    I hope when they do solve the real mystery of the arc they take the time to answer the remaining questions about the locked room mystery.

    I really want to know how the killer severed a guy's arm with a knife like that. Short of suddenly putting the victims full weight on his arm whilst it's looped through razor wire, the killer would need time… and a bone-saw.

    Not very practical!

  11. K

    Once again, we have Houtarou in his Sherlock-like "Mind Palace".

    Though this time, the joke's on him, as Ibara has made it quite clear that he's being "trolled" by the Empress to do her bidding for some purpose (mainly the solving of the movie mystery), where a good little praise usually does the trick.

    Sure takes a girl like Ibara to recognize a female troll. Chitanda being evasive at the end also implies she has doubts about Houtarou's deductions.

  12. s

    I enjoyed this episode as an interesting development in character. I sensed the little pride that Houtarou felt would lead to his downfall, and it seems like it did. And I think Chitanda was going to say, "I can't accept your theory!" That would have destroyed Houtarou on so many levels. The only character that really confuses me in this show is Satoshi. At first I thought he was a flat character, as indicated by his database position, but he's turning out to be an interesting character. 🙂 I love Hyouka!

  13. d

    I somewhat feel that the writers put us in the shoes of the characters themselves or always make sure to put a line in the episode that goes along the lines of what us the viewers are feeling.

    Like that episode when they were just spending time after school talking about the seven sins; Houtarou concluded the episode with some words about time wasting.
    In this episode, and after Houtarou give the solution to Irisu, she objected that the viewers would question how nobody talked directly to the cameraman or how it's a mystery movie when it's too easy to instantly put the blame on him just like we're here wondering why nobody talked to Hongou directly and asked about the plot. Would it be "It's not that important… Isn't it enough if it makes the viewers think about the mystery?" in the end.

    Either way, I'm much more interested in all the character development and the deep inner selves with all the hints thrown here and there than anything else.
    I can't wait to see the "end credits of the fool".

    Thank you for a great review!

  14. A

    I'm seeing a lot of questions about why they don't just ask the writer and while it is not stated directly, I think it is possible to deduct if you know a thing about Asian culture. Recall that Hongou was forced into writing the script of the movie by the class of 2-F. The energetic girl detective mentioned how someone else recommmended that Hongou be the writer. So, since class 2-F has forced her into a role she did not volunteer for, and this scriptwriting job has gotta her sick, they are in no position to bother her more with the movie thing. It is an Asian thing where it is something very rude to do.
    Although there may be more to why they cannot ask the writer since the question is "Why didn't they ask EBA?" which probably means Eba Kurako, the girl who claims to be a good friend of Hongou and was not involved in the movie project, therefore, she is in a position appropriate to go visit the sick Hongou and ask what kind of ending she wanted.
    In any case, we'll find out next episode probably.

  15. A

    i love this show. especially the first half of this ep stirred up a lot of emotions within me.
    as someone with tremendous talent in a certain field and no talent whatsoever with most other things i could relate very well to both oreki and satoshi in this episode.
    having talent and being too humble about it.
    then accepting your talent and with that, losing you intuition/becoming stifled because you became aware of your skill.
    encouraging others with "you can do it too if you tried!" (oreki)
    and then the look of "that's easy for you to say." (satoshi)
    well, i think everybody can relate with these kinds of experiences.

  16. A

    an interesting detail: when oreki realized he had a "talent" or at the very least he realized he wasn't just a "normal" person anymore, he had a distinguishing feature, there was this scene where everything became literally "rose colored". with petals flying and all.
    and then at the end, when it was revealed that he made a mistake. the colors broke down and everything became grey again.

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