Hyouka – 04 Review

Episode 04 – Past Days of the Classics Club and It’s Glory

Right… So Oreki does it again with his mystery solving skills, but this time he solves it all?

I doubt it.

The show is bad… but it can’t be that bad.

Review

This episode was pretty much a speculation episode with nothing to it. Perhaps it has provided a basic foundation for them to continue their speculations upon, but I would presume that the findings in this episode is probably not going to matter by the end of the series.

The club has now decided that finding out the truth behind mystery of what had happened 45 years ago would be made as part of the official club activities, and this episode had everyone presenting their own speculations as to what had happened based off research/homework that they’ve done.

Of course, as with many stupid shows, everyone does stupid things and this episode’s stupid thing is that they walked away deciding that what Oreki had said is most likely the truth – that the whole thing was a boycott incident due to the cultural festival having been cut short that year. Yet honestly, I can’t believe that Chitanda was the only one who had picked up on the fact that the story didn’t explain the main key factor of the mystery – what had caused Chitanda to cry all those years ago.

Once again, the show had heavily depended on it’s animation. The animation styles used to present the data/speculation that each member had found was interesting to watch and had managed to deflect how illogical/uninteresting some of their theories were. I’ve got to applaud the show’s ability to make something as dull as researching appear somewhat slightly above being dull, but it was still boring as hell.

Usually I would say that “I hope the next episode would step up it’s game” but it is appearing quite obvious that the series merely uses the case from 45 years ago as a device to simply to give this Slice-of-Life series a focus and reason to even exist as a story. It pretty much reminds me of ‘K-ON!’ with how this show masks its main focus (the characters and their lives) through using the detective element as a way to bring the characters together for that one sole purpose without actually giving much weight to that factor (the mystery).

Oreki get’s his own “cool” deciphering scene occurring on an alternate reality plane
(At least no flowers are wrapping around his this time.)

And then we have Oreki… The master of mysteries or big fat liar?

From observing the last few episodes, we can conclude that Oreki is simply like any other detective in a detective series. Where Conan from Detective Conan has the habit of pointing things out, Oreki has a habit of twirling his hair with his fingers with one eye showing. *insert sarcasm* Wow…. what a cool and unique trait…not.

But you’ve got to hand it to him, for a lazy person, he sure has a very good ability to imagine and speculate based on the facts that are provided to him. As to whether it is accurate? Well, no one really seems to question it too much and he simply acts as a plot device to drive the story forward.

Then there’s his weird behaviour in this episode.

He had gone through all that effort of getting to Chitanda’s house and had even done his research yet he didn’t even bother to come up with an explanation as to what may have happened a long time ago until he had stumbled Chitanda’s room? Well, I never picture Oreki as being a person who did things half-assed. I always thought that he would either be too lazy to do anything at all, and if not, he would do it right. So this idea of cycling all the way to a location and putting in the hard work to research the past without finishing things off with a conclusion seemed a bit out of character for me.

Whilst I know it is hard to be original in this day and age, it saddens me that so many series are conforming to what the public would want to see in their characters without putting in too much effort to give those stereotypical personalities a slight edge above the rest, and this results in series such as this where all the characters have no unique personality trait that would appeal or stand out.

What this episode has definitely proven to me is the fact that even though the small and simple mysteries were not great, it did have its value and place in the show. Without those small one percenters (more like 50 percenters) this episode was definitely duller than usual and all we had seen was a bunch of people letting their imagination run away with them.

Episode Rating: 5.5/10 – Although I know that this episode had accomplished something, I can’t help but feel that nothing was accomplished at all. Also, whatever nice atmosphere that had been build up was constantly disrupted by mundane household stuff like mushroom getting wet, people being hungry or the group simply wanting to move to another location.

-ra

P.S: Was anyone else annoyed that Chitanda kept getting interrupted despite the fact that she was in a hurry to get the mushrooms out from under the rain?

P.P.S: The bidet in the bathroom was one of the more interesting elements in this episode. Can you believe that a bidet was something that I had taken note of as being interesting? And where did that weird draft that blew Oreki’s shirt in the toilet come from anyway? All the windows and doors were closed, no?

Question of the Week:

Boycott yes? or Boycott no?
How accurate do you think Oreki’s theory is?

I would like to think that Oreki’s theory is so out of wack and that it’s actually a murder mystery that no one knows of, yet. But if the incident 45 years ago was mainly due to a Boycott over a cultural festival, I might actually be bored to death by the end of the series.

About Saranaufogus

An Anime fan who can't seem to keep her thoughts to herself. Find me on: Instagram | Twitter

Posted on May 19, 2012, in Anime, Hyouka, Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I loved this show for the first three episodes. The characters were interesting enough but I believe this show is going downhill fast. It has put me to sleep halfway through episode four and I don’t expect it to “wow” me much further. This show had great promise, but promises, are typically broken.

    If this show becomes more interesting I may pick it back up. I’ll check the reviews as they are published.

    That’s my 2 cents as usual…

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  2. “Was anyone else annoyed that Chitanda kept getting interrupted despite the fact that she was in a hurry to get the mushrooms out from under the rain?”

    ^^^ YES!!! Thank you for noticing that! I’m a mushroom farmer, and I would be very pissed if some stupid high school kids and their babbling prevented me from saving a shiitake harvest from rain.

    Another thing that caught my attention (it’s on the level of you noticing the bidet) was all the talk about rich farming families. Since when are farmers in any developed nation rich? Maybe I should move to Japan….

    M0rg0th and I had a nice laugh about how many sheets of paper they wasted to print out their research and theories. You would think that they could just email that stuff to each other, or maybe even write it on a whiteboard. None of them really looked at those papers during the presentations anyways and I can only imagine they all ended up in the trash.

    And this is the problem with Hyouka – why are things like bidets, shiitakes, and wasted paper so much more interesting than the plot? This is what I would call a *fail*. I’ll probably watch it anyways though, since I like the art, and the upcoming summer semester should be a breeze for me with very little homework/studying. 😉

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    • “Since when are farmers in any developed nation rich?”
      I don’t know about modern times but back in the Edo period when you had the class system, your class didn’t necessarily define your level of wealth. You had dirt poor samurai and rich farmers. In this case, the term “farmer” might be used more loosely to mean “someone who manages land farmed by other people” instead of “land you farm yourself”. That’s my guess anyway. A house like that doesn’t look like it belongs to someone who does all the work themselves.

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  3. I agree with your assessment of Oreki and his relationship to the mystery solving. He certainly makes the deepest theories based on the evidence but everyone just assumes he’s right because deep in their hearts they know he is the MC. This mini-mystery doesn’t seem particularly related to the main one but then again I couldn’t keep focus because their research gathering was so boring. How can they make the plot interesting when the great climax is finding out why a girl cried several years ago?

    I was drawn into this series by seeing screenshots of episode 1 of what appeared to be Chitanda using supernatural powers to grow plants. I was disappointed. For the infinite why’s in this show, I answer them with infinite ‘who cares’. I’m dropping the show but I’ll follow your reviews to see if my appraisal was wrong in the end. 😛

    PS, I’m the Anon who replied to Kelfio, I just forgot to sign in DX

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  4. Some bloggers even put the screenshot of Oreki playing with his hair. Does “posing cool” make him likeable character? I, for one, don’t want to associate myself with such a lazy guy who has never missed a second to self-narrate how he wants to converse energy. He should just hibernate like a bear. It will do the world a favour.

    The only way to save this series is:
    “Chitanda later finds out that Oreki has never really solved the mysteries, that he’s just making things up so satisfy her, so she may buzz off. Angered, Chitanda goes into Saya (Blood-C) mode and make a mincemeat out of him. The end.”
    😀

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