Monday, 6 August 2012

Hyouka - Episode 16

As the final day of the Kamiyama Festival begins, the so-called Juumoji incident is the talk of the school - numerous parties seem determined to catch the thief red-handed, including Satoshi as he sets out to prove his own worth.

Meanwhile, things seem as relaxed as ever for Houtarou as he idly ponders what he can do to ensure that the Classic Club's anthology sells out - a train of thought interrupted by a visit from his elder sister who happens to be passing by, and who also just so happens (or does she?) to trigger a chain of events which might finally bring us a full answer to the Juumoji mystery.

This comes courtesy of her swapping Houtarou's mirror which he traded in previously for a volume of manga - not just any old manga either, but the much-vaunted "A Corpse By Evening" which Mayaka was fruitlessly searching for previously.  While this is a pleasant exercise in squaring the circle in itself, the manga (itself created at a previous Kamiyama Festival) holds some interesting suggestions as to what its group of creator's next work would entail - a piece based upon an Agatha Christie mystery.  With the pieces of the puzzle seemingly falling into place, Houtarou starts to put some flesh upon the bones of his theory... but is it enough to actually catch the culprit and give the Classics Club the promotion that they need?

In spite of focusing, quite understandably, on the Juumoji incident in a surprisingly pleasing fashion - sure, the way the mystery is unravelling is contrived and almost forced in its progression, but you could probably say that about a lot of the classic mystery literature the series nods to - it's the little touches that continue to make this story arc something special.  The understated yet still very apparent behaviour of both Satoshi and Mayaka as they deal with their respective issues is as fascinating as ever, leaving me as curious as Chitanda when it comes to digging a little deeper into their personalities and what makes them both tick.  It's something that I really hope the remainder of this series is gearing up to do rather than leaving us hanging after all these pointers towards those characters - as wonderful as waiting Houtarou solve mysteries and Chitanda gawp over said solutions is, I feel like there's a whole lot more just bursting at the seams to come from this series before it ends.

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