Sunday, 19 August 2012

Hyouka - Episode 18

Now that the culture festival is over, normality returns to the Classics Club, although it isn't long at all before the group find themselves embroiled in another everyday mystery.

This time around, proceedings are kicked off by a helicopter passing over the school, which causes Oreki to reminisce about a middle school teacher he remembered as liking helicopters - the trouble is, it isn't a memory that Mayaka and Satoshi particularly share despite attending the same school, and in Satoshi's case he specifically remembers a scenario that disproves said teacher's love of helicopters.  Throw in another anecdote about Mr. Obi, the teacher in question, being struck by lightning three times and something seemingly clicks in Houtarou's head - something so major that he even wants to investigate this line of thought for himself to satisfy his piqued curiosity.  Could Chitanda's influence be rubbing off on him?

As Satoshi and Mayaka are too busy to help, it's up to Chitanda to help Houtarou by accompanying him to the local library, where a search through the local newspapers soon helps to solidy and clarify Oreki's train of thought - namely that Mr. Obi didn't like helicopters, but was pleased to see one on the particular occasion he remembered for another reason entirely.  All is revealed in what is ultimately a rather melancholy fashion, but it does show a different, more sensitive side to Oreki that neither ourselves nor Chitanda have seen before.

This focus on character over outright story-telling has pretty much become Hyouka's raison d'être by this point - although this one-shot episode was nowhere near as compelling as much of the culture festival story arc, the way its characters bounced off of one another was largely satisfying while the miniature mystery itself held just about enough interest to keep the episode moving.  This series certainly does continue to be an odd beast in its outlook and the way it handles its setup, and it's certainly no classic, but I find myself increasingly unable to complain too much about its warm and heartfelt way of doing things, no matter how mundane those things might be.

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