Three episodes behind, eh? I’ve could’ve easily asked someone else to do the previous posts if I didn’t have time to. I guess I really am a big, lazy idiot after all. Well then, in preparation for the inevitable last two episodes, let’s sum up our thoughts for these three! Well, mine anyways.
Episode 17 was… wow. Just… wow. My expectations were really high coming in, and I was definitely not displeased. The Houtarou’s big revelation, the individual intertwining stories of the side-characters, the overall theme of “expectations” – this episode blew away all my expectations, and can’t be considered anything less than a true masterpiece. I had a hunch that Houtarou was somehow involved in the Classics Club incident (it seemed way too unnatural & theatrical), but then it was revealed he set the whole thing up AFTER confronting the culprit moments before; in his crowning moment of pure awesome, Houtarou decoded every wordplay and scrambled hint spread throughout the events of the festival, starting from the order of targeted classes and ending with the A Corpse By Evening doujin – all down to the very last letter & name. No matter how many times I see it, and no matter what others will say, my opinion then has not changed now… Houtarou Oreki is a genius.
Not sure how many people thought Tanabe Jirou was the culprit, but Houtarou’s deductions hit the mark with a well-deserved standing ovation from even Tanabe-senpai himself. It doesn’t end there; there’s a deeper story found within the story, and it’s quite sad because it’s bittersweet. Jirou & Ayaka’s story is one and the same, and it brings up Irisu’s speech about talents during the previous arc (continuity, folks!). It’s a real waste when that much talent never reaches its full potential, with her or him not coming back to it out of little to no interest. Never allowing that effort into creating a masterpiece flourish, so that it’ll never be perfected. It’s something both Jirou & Ayaka suffer with, and it’s something Mayaka was so careless to figure out after her thoughts the nights before.
It wasn’t any easier for Satoshi, either. Everyone had expectations during this arc, but it was Satoshi who witnessed Houtarou become the core definition of his “expectations”. He aimed so high, coming so close yet so far. Even his motto, “a database can’t draw conclusions” seems to be a mere cover up for his apparent weakness & jealousy. It’s impossible for Satoshi to surpass Houtarou without being a hundred- no, a thousand times better. Eru, however, finds that she’s quite comfortable being who she is and won’t try to be like anyone else.
The Juumoji case ends with a bang! The Hyouka anthology sold out and the four can enjoy an off-screen dinner with a helping of Eru’s gleaming eyes in Houtarou’s face. A strong episode that ends a strong arc with a strong finish, one that I’m still thinking about long after watching.
Ladies and gentlemen, Houtarou Oreki is *GASP* curious! Did he just say the cursed word? OH THE HUMANITY! It’s the Kininari virus! Quick! Quarantine everyone in the Club! Do it before they all become mindless sparkly-eyed zombies! I always knew those sparkly eyes were contagious! Eru’s slowly converting Houtarou, and she’s slowly infecting us viewers! Before, Houtarou would do anything to save energy, but… choosing to walk further and more frequently? Refusing to ride on a bike with a cute girl? WHAT HAPPENED?!
*Ahem* All in seriousness, there’s a certain beauty about Hyouka that’s sort of hard to describe – no matter the length or relevancy of a particular story, there’s always something deep & meaningful beneath it all in a perfect pace. This story of Ogi-sensei, and the mysteries surrounding the legends about him, has a powerful feeling and leaves a powerful message, one that I find both sad & endearing. What started as a random helicopter case revealed to be the loss of comrades, and for Houtarou to sense this sort of inconsistency is amazing.
This episode shows how much time has progressed since the last one-shot episode (Episode 6) – Houtarou has grown, and this episode really emphasizes that. Both he and Eru have a much stronger bond than ever before, and yet, they’re still trying to understand each other. They continue to poke each other’s curiosity and… fascination, if I dare say so myself. He reveals how true he is when concerning other people, even someone he might never see again, leaving Eru at a loss of words. It might be much to say she’s lovestruck, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case.
All the shipping in episode 18? Yeah, 19 cranks that up to eleven with a handful of fan-squeal. By now, KyoAni isn’t even trying to hide it anymore – they might as well declare the Houtarou X Eru pairing official! Didn’t think the episode would star only Houtarou and Eru; I half-expected Satoshi to bust into the room with a bubblegum costume, or both he and Mayaka hiding somewhere observing the two love-birds, or Satoshi being Student X. Hey, I missed Satoshi and his gags & comebacks! Although, the lack of these meant there were incredibly cute moments between Houtarou & Eru, kinda like the Io & Tsumiki moments from Acchi Kocchi… with mysteries.
Houtarou’s reasonings & deductions are scarily accurate, even when he’s just trying to make a game of it. Coincidence? Maybe. But he’s still a genius, and nothing changes that. As long as he has the details and info, kindly provided by Eru herself, he can construct any theory, however implausible they may seem. It’s what his eyes construct.
Their little game shows a new side to each one of them, both of which are different: Houtarou being ambitious, and Eru being pouty. (Hehe, “pouty”.) Looks like Houtarou’s more than willing to put up with Eru’s curiosity now, and Eru… seriously, that pouty face is the new expression of “moe”. Eru’s earnest & gosh-darn adorable, but that face is just something else entirely. Perhaps Houtarou is rubbing off her as well.
Not much else I can say about this episode, other than charming. With only two episodes left, I’m curious to see how further their relationship can go on New Year’s and beyond that, and what kind of curiosity will gleam from her eyes next.
Thanks for reading! ^_^