hyouka 18

Categories: anime


“I’m glad I could see a different side of you today.”

Momentum. Killed.

Hyouka is such a frustrating show. I’m not sure if it is Honobu Yonezawa’s or Kyoto’s fault, but the show could have been much better than it is now. This episode is a great example. We just wrapped up Hyouka‘s strongest arc thus far with the promise of everyone dining at Chitanda’s family farm. That would have been an excellent denouement out of the school festival arc and possibly setup a new one. Instead, we get a seemingly one-shot story about people who don’t matter. I’m supposed to be excited about a character who hasn’t even appeared in the story and most likely will never appear in the story again?

Now if this episode was an excuse to get Houtarou and Chitanda alone and spend quality time together… then it kinda succeeded. I loved Chitanda and Houtarou killing time at the library, but it was too damn short and not much happened with it. Houtarou maybe is glacially slow at realizing his feelings for Chitanda, and Chitanda isn’t exactly egging him on… but you know they’re on a Mulder and Scully course right now. Still, they’re basically giving K1 and Belldandy a run for their money at this point in terms of speed… and this is a guy supposedly good at critical thinking and thinking outside the box.

(Maybe this is why all engineers are romantically challenged… mmm…)

Chitanda likes big houses, veggies, and dung beetles. In other words, Chitanda is awesome.

(Chitanda offers Houtarou shiitake mushrooms, and he whiffs. Watching the two of them is only slightly less painful than watching Ritsuko and Kaoru on Kids on the Slope.)

“I’m curious!”

Wow, Houtarou get curious into something that really doesn’t impact him… and Chitanda curious about that and why Houtarou is curious? Kininarimaception! And how can one resist Chitanda? Damn, those eyes…

“This girl is pretty rude.”

Instantly resisted by Houtarou. Sigh. Anyway, ever since that summer where I would hear Britney’s Crazy every time I drove to San Francisco (and never anytime else), I’ve been anointing various “Songs of the Summer.” The criteria: has to be overplayed, overparodied, and stuck in my head. Last year was Foster The People’s Pumped Up Kicks. Besides being overplayed, it felt like summer and brought back nostalgia for those Reebok pump shoes. Back in May, I thought it would be a race between Somebody I Used to Know and Call Me Maybe this year before Carly Rae blew Gotye out of the water like Usain Bolt. Well, summer’s not over… and watching the Giants and Dodgers game last night… well, how can this summer not belong to Psy? Damn. Gangnam Style isn’t the Korean Macarena; Psy’s the Korean Elvis. He has 15 times more YouTube views than Gotye and 3 times less than Carly Rae. Hell, I’m writing this post while doing the horseback, and I’m going to finish line at the “Kininarimasu!” mark. (Wow, that last sentence… oh fuck it, not going to change it now. Even if it sounds both sexual and like an advertisement for Just Dance.) Anyway, I think this just shows we should be more afraid of Korea and Samsung now than we ever were of Japan and Sony back in the 80s. They are a force to be reckoned with. What was my point again? Oh, Hyouka needs more mysteries and Houtarou needs to start, “Heeeeeey Curious Lady!” to Chitanda.

My favorite scene. But I feel cheated we didn’t get a reaction out of Houtarou when Chitanda pushed her melonpan up against his back. Oh, wait, that didn’t happen? What the hell. It should have. Oh, expectations.

My gosh, this rural library is Japan is ridiculous. What library still carries actual newspapers? Wouldn’t hey microfilm or interwebz that? And I like how they had to tell the librarian how to google search and then need a second librarian with her own Fellowship of the Ring to excavate the newspaper. And she couldn’t even get the exact newspaper, telling them to “thumb through it.” Well, if you’re going to spend 30 minutes and 12 dwarves finding it, you might as well bookmark the newspaper they are interested in. My guess? She spent 29 minutes playing Words with Friends and 1 minute fetching it. This library can’t be a good use of tax dollars the way it is. Needless to say, I’m all for Proposition P: “Cutting the library staff and replacing them with Vocaloid holograms.”

(I’m all for libraries, but my local library is basically a huge DVD rental store. Watching a poor librarian wheel out a new rack of DVDs is like watching meat dropped into a river full of piranhas. Netflix and Hulu aren’t the reasons the local video rental places went out of business– libraries are. I actually feel weird going to the library to look for a book.)

Meanwhile, Sword Art Online wraps up a two episode arc that’s basically Asuna and Kirito solving a mystery… and it wasn’t bad! It was a bit predictable, but I didn’t lose patience with the story, the pacing was good, and it deepened Asuna and Kirito’s relationship a bit (well, at least he got her friend request). See, that’s the baseline level of mystery I want out of Hyouka. It doesn’t have to be grand, just serviceable. Chitanda’s adorableness and Kyoto’s animation prowess can handle the rest.

I was going to make a Shaft being Shaft joke, but then I realized they should have copied Shaft’s ability to follow up shows instead. Five seasons of Hidamari Sketch?! Where’s my Day By Day?! Where’s my Astonishment?! You know they are behind when the English novels have caught up.

Speaking of “hidamari,” I do like all the small touches. Stained glass sunflowers? Nice touch. And I like the depth of field change from the sunflowers to Houtarou. No other studio really uses depth of field quite like Kyoto.

Kininarimasu!” Things I’m Curious About

1. MTV Cribs featuring the Chitanda Farm.

2. Undercover Boss at the Kamiyama City Library.

3. Survivorman featuring Ogi-sensei.

13 Responses to “hyouka 18”

  1. You’re a week behind on SAO!

  2. I agree it was kind of momentum killing, but I felt the main point of the episode was mainly to show that thanks to the Classics Club, Houtarou is slowly breaking out of his energy conservation + delicious Chitanda/Houtarou together time. Considering they’re gearing up for the final storyline of the season, this growth might be significant.

  3. http://blogsuki.com/images/hyouka/18/005.jpg

    I wonder if this pic becomes the new Kyubey, hmm?

  4. Yeah, I think it was a good episode for character development. It really became clear that Houtarou is starting to actually take an interest in things, and each arc he uses his critical thinking skills more and more. This is all because he met Chitanda. I think it’s also the point where Chitanda really starts to fall for him after hearing how he wanted to understand this guy who he’ll never meet again’s feelings. This show has always been mainly about Houtarou’s growth.

    Also the beginning tricked me by making me think that this Ogi would be some kind of great past influence on the three of them, but it turned out to be that Houtarou just has a great memory.

  5. Hmm, if we take a look at Baka-Tsuki, they’ve already went through 3 volumes already. With only 2 volumes left, it should be (probably) enough content to wrap it up in the remaining episodes.

  6. @Apathy

    On the other hand, I wonder when will the novel series end considering that there are no plans for the author to either conclude the series or make another volume.

  7. I didn’t expect an episode about hunting down information about helicopters based on a bunch of old memories… but everyone’s reactions to Houtarou wanting to go and investigate something (Chitanda’s in particular seemed to mirror Houtarou’s reaction to her energy conservation line in episode 6), and Chitanda spending some time with him and repeatedly invading his personal space probably made up for it.

  8. I’ve been meaning to watch this, but I haven’t found a reason to do so. It feels like another cookie cutter slice of school life. Could I haz a reason?

  9. ^ “Kininarimasu”, is your reason, Kamerad-to General.

  10. I was also wondering about the low-tech nature of the library, but then I remembered a blurb somewhere about this show that it’s actually set in the 1990s (which I can no longer find). This would explain why no one has a smart phone.

  11. Satoshi has an iPhone.

    Episode 16

  12. PSY showing up at Dodger stadium was an incredible delight. Op, op, op, op… oppa Gangnam style!

  13. The first volume in the LN series is set at the end of the year 2000, so it’s possible the tech. references are accurate.

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