Hyouka – 05 Review
It’s good to know that everyone feels the same way. =P
Episode 05 – The Truth of the Classics Club and Its History
I am suffering from sleep deprivation and this episode didn’t help me counter that one bit.
The episode was a weird one that had made it seem like this were the last episode of the series and that the show was over. Naturally… it isn’t.
Believe it or not, this “laid back detective/story-telling” series is slated for 21 episodes + an OVA. Whether my new found revelation (due to this episode) of the potential series structure for the show is a blessing or a pain-in-the-arse is left to be seen.
So, it seems like we are done with the “main” mystery.
Due to the lack of English information on the series, I had gone about watching this show thinking that this whole story about Chitanda’s uncle is meant to be the main plot driving the series. With another 16 episodes left in the series, I am glad that ill-drawn conclusions about the series structure was proven wrong. Hopefully, what one can draw from this is that the series may end up having a typical mystery arc-by-arc structure.
Structure thus far:
Episode 1&2: Introduction to the characters and mini mysteries + glowing eyes Chitanda
Episodes 3-5: Arc 1 (?) – Mystery behind Chitanda’s tears and the Literature Club (aka, introductory mystery to the series) + Oreki’s slow change in attitude.
Episode 6>: Hopefully this marks the start of something decent. If I were to take a step back and give the series the benefit of the doubt that they were simply trying to slowly escalate things, I am definitely going to be holding out hope that the next arc would be better than this.
Don’t get me wrong. If you think that I am enthusiastic about the series and that I have changed my views on it altogether, I assure you that this episode had me in tears due to all the yawning done on my part and not due to me getting all emotional.
The episode had a slow build up with lots of dialogue and pretty animation can only do so much to help it. The tension had reached it’s peak during the whole Pun/Reason-Behind-Chitanda’s-Tears scene where it was finally revealed that Sekitani Jun was simply doing a shout out of – “I SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM!”
Just kidding, all jokes aside, as I know that many of you are probably not watching the series, I shall start at the beginning with a brief explanation of what had happened in this episode
Skipping past the starting bit of Oreki doing his usual “bored of life” stint… Oreki receives a call from his sister who gives him a cryptic explanation of the event that had occured 45 years ago and had left it at that.
It was hinted that the festival was not something to be seen as being heroic or positive but rather as a taboo and a tragedy. This was a 180 degrees change from Oreki’s speculations of the events in the previous episode.
To pursue this further, the team visits the writer of the diary – the current librarian.
After some chitter-chatter, it is revealed that Sekitani Jun was used as a sacrificial lamb and had simply been cast-away as a scape goat for the rebellion and not some heroic leader of the rebellion.
The final touch on the whole arc was the naming of Hyouka.
Essentially, Hyouka is meant to be Ice Cream in English and when read out loud, it’s a pun for “I Scream!”
The reason behind Chitanda’s tears was the fact that her uncle had simply told her that if she didn’t become strong enough, one day she wouldn’t even be able to scream and would end up being eaten.
The episode then pretty much goes into the ‘wrapping-up’ mode.
Why Didn’t They Just Do That From The Start?
Because they are idiots.
Okay, backtracking… the “They” that I am referring to is the merry club of readers, and the “That” that I am referring to is them talking to people who knew of the events that had happened 45 years ago.
Instead of going around in circles and making speculations, wouldn’t it have been more effective and lesser effort to simply ask either Oreki’s Sister or to have seek the librarian from the start?
Then we have Chitanda and her “on and off” intelligence. There was a point in this episode where Chitanda’s knowledge/”smarts” had come into play with her knowing more than the other 2 normal kids in the group, but when it had came down to the main “mystery” component, she was the slowest of them all and had to be clued in by Oreki.
Pretty animation that is coupled with a sub-standard plot
Oreki, Oreki, Oreki
As much as the episode was a wrap up for the main mystery component, it was just as much of a character development episode for Oreki.
The show had spent time focusing on the concept of a “rosy” high school lifestyle and Oreki had finally started to realise that doing nothing might actually be boring. We should give the detective a sweet for realizing that =P
By the end of the episode, Oreki had the “burning fire of youth” in his eyes and has come out looking like a slightly reformed man. Hopefully this would be the last time that we’ll hear him whine about wanting to be lazy and the energy levels of the show might pick up a tad.
The episode wasn’t interesting bar for the Hyouka part, and it was dry and dialogue heavy for the most part.
The show still depends on the animation to provide a much needed edge due to the lack of a substantial plot. However, as pretty as dynamic angled shots and cool perspective shots are to watch, it is not enough to carry the series.
What this show needs to fix is it’s inconsistencies when it comes to the mystery. The series has proven it’s ability to be captivating and interesting as long as some effort is placed into the atmosphere of the story through content and music, but these moments are far and few inbetween. The characters themselves are unmemorable and as such, I see little hope for the show in that aspect. Perhaps if the focus were to shift to concentrate more on the detective component as oppose to the “SoL” side of things, this series might actually become a worthy series to watch.
Episode Rating: 5.5/10 – Too much dialogue and the mystery had been dragged on for too long thus losing it’s ability to retain the interest of the viewers due to a lack of substance.
P.S: Did you guys find it interesting how the episode didn’t have a proper OP and ED scene and had taken more of a “movie/final-episode” like approach in that aspect?
Hyouka Question of the Week:
What stories did/does your school have?
I remember that my primary school was meant to have been built on a war ground and thus we had tonnes of ghost stories floating around our school. It had made for a highly spooky and interesting primary school life. =D People climbing into the drainage and having claimed to have seen skeletons in them… and those ghost stories of floating heads and devil statues beside the statue of mother mary in our school… good ‘ol times… good times. =D