hyouka 22

“How about I take care of that for you?”

If Kyoto and Hyouka didn’t chicken out, that line would have been the balliest and greatest end to an anime since Gene professed his love for Melfina at the end of Outlaw Star (yes, I had to go back that far and, no, Simon and Nia don’t count since that happened like halfway through rather than the end and, okay, you might argue for Nodame and Chiaki at the end of season one, but dammit that’s a josei series). Instead, this finale felt like a dud, and the only line that could have redeemed it was only spoken in Houtarou’s fantasy. Sigh. I guess that line sums up the show for me: a lot of wishful thinking.

(A Chitanda and Houtarou pairing would create a top ten anime power couple. I have every reason to believe Chitanda will become a master agriculturist and develop a banana strain that’s resistant to fungi, brussel sprouts that actually taste good, and a tree that sprouts ice cream cones and Houtarou will develop an ecommerce backend that’ll rival Amazon. Their primary competition would be from the Daru x mystery girl power couple.)

(Another dangling thread slash wasted opportunity: Houtarou’s sister. Why did she encourage him to join Classics Club? Did she know Chitanda beforehand? These were never resolved yet hinted at.)

(Andohbytheway, this relationship between Chitanda and Houtarou is the exact opposite of the one in Poppy Hill. “Hey, I just met you, and we’ve only known each other for two weeks– soulmates.”)

“This is my place.”

I must be reading too much Drops of God, but I keep thinking Chitanda’s family is actually an old family of master winemakers. They have a lot of land, influence, and a lot of respect for water and soil… how can the Chitanda’s not be making awesome wine (or sake, if you must). I want to see more of Chitanda’s family; it seems to me like some sort of benevolent cross of the Sonozaki family and the Amagi family.

“The people are growing old and tired. I don’t think that this place is the most beautiful. I also don’t think that this place is full of potential. But I wanted you to see it.”

Chitanda is almost describing Hyouka. Even now after the series is over, I’m not sure how to approach the show. There are points in the show where it’s brilliant, like the school festival arc, and other places where it disappoints, like the whole deal with Chitanda’s uncle. And, even in the end, we’re denied a satisfying conclusion with basically, “Welp, things are going to be peachy normal from now on… nothing happened in 22 episodes and an OVA. Thanks for watching!” At least in K-fucking-On!, the girls graduated and all of them (except Mio) grew a bit.

Dammit Kyoto for showing this scene in a dreamy Instagrammy state instead of normal Kyoto animation. We would have liked to see Empress Eru Chitanda, thank you very much.

(Also, this sequence did not need to be dreamy. Okay, maybe Houtarou wasn’t right of mind, but we didn’t need a filter to illustrate it. Houtarou going, “I’m curious… I’m curious… I’m curious” is enough.)

Where’s the dude trying to take a picture with his iPad? I feel like taking pictures with iPads has gone from an occasional “Haha” moment to an everyday “OMFG PUT DOWN THE FUCKING IPAD!” first world problem. I’m having my pictures interrupted more and more often by idiots with their iPads… like what compels someone to use a 10″ tablet to block out everyone else’s view just to get a picture with a shitty megapixel camera? Idiocy? Selfishness? Both?

I’m beginning to think Houtarou doubles as a male fashion model. Last episode he was wearing a styling white trench with a cream scarf. This episode, he’s wearing a totally different jacket and scarf as well as currently fashionable colored khakis. Kyoto is really on the ball with fashion, but I don’t think it suits Houtarou… if he is lazy, why would he keep his clothes reasonably fashionable? Especially for a high school male?

(Handwritten directions seem so 2009.)

Further fashion review: I like Mayaka’s necklace, and Satoshi looks like the guy from the space jizz fishing anime. If only had he blonde hair.

“I had to control myself all day long!”

Chitanda’s like a puppy greeting you when you come home from work. Instead of “Arf! Arf!” it’s “Kininarimasu! Kininarimasu!” Though now I want Chitanda’s commentary for Anchorman… “Who pooped in the fridge and who ate the cheese? I’m curious!”

I like this scene. It’s a good symbol for Houtarou’s and Chitanda’s distance… closeness… awkwardness… opaqueness.

(Time flies. I can’t believe I spent almost half a year blogging this show. Looking back at it, I think if this show was viewed as a just a slice-of-life series, it’s quite successful. For me, I always ask, “Am I entertained by the show?” at the end… and I was. It just turned out the big mystery I wanted had nothing to do with an actual mystery but rather the mysterious love of two teenagers.)

Kininarimasu!” Things I’m Curious About

1. Does Chitanda and Houtarou ever realize their feelings?

2. Will we ever see Houtarou’s sister’s face?

3. Does Satoshi upgrade to the new iPhone?

15 Responses to “hyouka 22”

  1. When Houtarou confessed, I cheered… when it was just a fantasy, I face-palmed…

  2. >Does Chitanda and Houtarou ever realize their feelings?
    No. By the time Houtarou gets around to confessing his feelings it will be too late. Based on how traditional Chitanda’s family is, I wouldn’t be surprised if she has an arranged marriage or an assumed future partner already.

  3. So close yet so far.

  4. damn.. we want some more hyouka..
    well i think that houtarou realised his feelings for chitanda. and is just doubtful about her feelings for him. he isn’t that idiot i think. (although he might really be..)
    i liked how mayaka thanked him about how things developped
    it was quite a show i enjoyed:)

    by the way, i advise you yo read the manga “IRIS ZERO”. a similar story line, with a similar idiot-looking protagonist that is rather smart but just don’t admit it. a girl that always forcing him to things while he can’t say no. and a bunch of friend with their friendship problems. Quite good!! if only this same studio can animate it!!

  5. I don’t know whether cross-blogging is allowed by your Homeland Security Agency or not, Jason; but nevertheless…


    I must say that I agree wholeheartedly with the guy who write above review ._.

  6. It went through 4 Volumes man…there’s one more, at least make Oreki validate his Eru nape fetish. There’s even a chapter in the last one with “Epilogue” in it! C’moooonn KyoAni. Always such a tease.

  7. Even if it took 22 episodes, I’m glad you realised the characters were the reason for watching Hyouka, and the mysteries just a sideline that sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. In fact, I’d call the weakest episodes of Hyouka those where the mystery was allowed to take central focus in priority to character interactions or any other activity; some of the uncle arc episodes, all bar the first and last episodes of the film arc, and the helicopter one. The brilliant culture festival arc is quite the opposite, KyoAni made a real meal of the whole experience, and had all the characters enjoy it in their own way, with the mystery element only building up gradually. It’s also the only longer mystery which provided the viewer with all the information necessary to solve it, which actually made it engaging. I also particularly enjoyed the hot springs and Valentines day single episodes.
    I’m disappointed that Houtarou just imagined his offer at the end of this episode, and that more wasn’t made of Aneki’s return, after she controlled the first half of the show from behind the scenes.

    Alice: No. By the time Houtarou gets around to confessing his feelings it will be too late. Based on how traditional Chitanda’s family is, I wouldn’t be surprised if she has an arranged marriage or an assumed future partner already.

    I’m sure Houtarou can do something about that. Either by digging up something that either makes the agreement null and void or casts doubt on how beneficial it really is to the Chitanda family, or failing that, blackmailing the other party into calling off the marriage.

  8. I felt exactly the same way about both Hyouka and Binbougami this season. They are both shows that could have been great if the creative minds behind then knew how to focus on what really worked. If Hyouka was 13 eps and slice-of-life it would have been amazing, just as if Binbougami could focus on the Ichiko X Momiji relationship it would really shine. So much lack of focus, so much wasted energy that finally corrupts the show and prevents the viewer from really getting into it. Well, what are you going to do, top-notch shows have always been rare. That said, much like you say above, the highlights of the show were wonderful, and I was entertained every time I watched.

  9. Hotarou’s non-confession: Biggest KyoAni troll since Endless 8?

  10. omg sons………. this anime is like a lingering cigarette when you are about enter a restaurant, you wanna get rid of it cause there is no reason/purpose/want to continue smoking it, but you will never let it go and smoke it till the smoke gets into your eyes. And that is Hyouka.

  11. Great review man, very insightful. I wish Hyouka had a more conclusive ending, but even so, I still loved this show.

  12. the most important line in the episode is what hints the future of their relationship:

    Hotarou: “Its gotten cold isn’t it?”
    Chitanda (after a pause and a smile): “… no, its barely spring”

    This lines where explicitly chosen as the closing, and properly adorned with cherry blossoms so I can guarrantee you its meaning.

  13. I liked Hyouka, but I agree that the Houtarou confession would have made it much better.
    I also like Brussels sprouts, though, which may explain a lot. (preferably with balsamic vinegar)

    Inexplicably, I also liked your review. Well spoken.

  14. I seriously hope that they make more of this anime..

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