hyouka 19

“That’s impossible! That’s not realistically possible! That’s not theoretically possible! This is a failure! A catastrophe!”

JUST SHUT UP AND SMOOCH ALREADY!!!

With only two (!!) episodes left, Hyouka is either going down as a frustrating series that never quite got its act together, capable of some awesome moments yet also some catastrophic ones (Jake Plummer)… or it does down as one of the greats (John Elway). There’s no in-between. Hyouka‘s legacy, much like two quarterbacks (one who just abruptly quit and one who went out with a Super Bowl win), will depend on the how the story concludes. If it ends on a weak mystery with no further development of characters, the series is a disappointment. It needs to nail the final two episodes, which obviously isn’t enough for a great mystery and development, so just give us one: the metamorphosis of Houtarou from the homeless man’s Encyclopedia Brown to the second coming of Encyclopedia Brown. He needs to rise to become the detective that we need and deserve.

(And if he scores some Chitanda, he goes into the male lead Hall of Fame, which is still quite empty. It’s that simple.)

I’m not sure what the show is doing at this stage, but the past two episodes have been pretty much just Chitanda and Houtarou (with Satoshi and Mayaka and the normal huge cast completely absent this time around), so I hope the final arc puts Chitanda and Houtarou front and center. And, really, they should have been all this time. They are the show’s two strongest characters. Chitanda has been on an unparalleled run of adorableness. She’s like a dozen shiba inu puppies combined with a baby sloth mixed in with some Potemayo. This year? She’s the Mike Trout of anime. Houtarou? He is the backbone of the series. For the series to be great, it needs both development and adorableness, and Houtarou needs to come through with the development (either character or story) aspect. Otherwise, Hyouka is just K-On! with a classics club.

We went from Houtarou trying to figure out why a previous teacher who was never seen previously nor will be seen again cared about helicopters to Houtarou spending twenty minutes to decipher a 15 second announcement. In other words, he’s turned into one of those anime bloggers who write more words than are actually spoken in an anime episode. Nonetheless, this episode is still basically twenty minutes of Houtarou and Chitanda examining a single announcement as if they were JFK and Robert McNamara going over Soviet missives during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

(Though the funny part about that old Binchou-tan post is that no one called me out for writing 4,000 words a post on Bakemonogatari… which probably is because Bakemonogatari hadn’t aired yet, and there’s probably more than 4,000 words in a typical Bakemonogatari episode.)

Houtarou just channeled Kyon for a second. While this moment would suit a typical Kyon and Haruhi scene, it seems really out of place for a Houtarou and Chitanda.

Houtarou plays this “game” as he calls it with Chitanda to show that his theoretical powers are just theoretical. But I’m not so sure. I think he was a bit bored and saw the chance to impress Chitanda. It’s something to do to get over the awkward silence of just the two of reading together since usually Mayaka or Satoshi would interject some much needed drama. Maybe Houtarou realized this and started on this game to get to know Chitanda better. Well, I can dream.

(Can I say that Houtarou’s power levels are… OVER 9000!!!)

At least with K-On!, the girls got out of school and played instruments. This episode (and the last) really didn’t properly showcase Kyoto’s animation prowess. It’s quite wasted just depicting a lot of dialogue in the middle of a fairly boring room. Though part of me is just complaining that we haven’t seen Chitanda in as many outfits as I would have liked.

(The whole mystery… ugh… wouldn’t it be solved if the stationary store just checked the bill before accepting it? Especially since it’s a large denomination? Whenever I try to pay with a $100 at Taco Bell, they check my bill. Also, only in Japan could someone feel so guilty about a crime that they wrote a note back to the store. I cannot imagine this happening in 2012 America. But the mystery did keep me focused the whole episode, though in a, “Wait, they plan to kill twenty minutes with just this?!” way.)

Best. Chitanda. Ever.

Kininarimasu!” Things I’m Curious About

1. What the final mystery will be.

2. Will Houtarou and Chitanda break the Morisato Barrier.

3. How long will this Gangnam Style fad last?

16 Responses to “hyouka 19”

  1. The perfect title for this episode would be “frustrations”. Chitanda’s frustration to just have Hotaro man up and gobble her up. Hotaro’s frustrations to get the kininarimasu bug off his back. Kyoto ani’s frustration to just animate a material with more stuff to actually animate. And finally the viewer’s frustration to see more Chitandalicious kininarimalicious Chitanda stuff.

  2. I forgot to add that although I was a bit frustrated with this episode it was loads better than the previous one and made me lookforward fo the next ep.

  3. She pouts too?! Girl is a siege weapon.

  4. http://cs315118.userapi.com/v3.....Y_S9VQ.jpg

    Welcome to the StrangeReal World, Jason *evillaugh.mkv*

  5. oppia gundam style! you can’t unhear it now. it’s never going away. I was going to send you some choice youtube videos, but I held myself back this time.

  6. Pout ? She would be spitting any seconds now.
    Maybe the disappointment will go away with some Chitanda x Mayaka goodness. Or toss in some Ibisu or sth.

  7. ‘Kininarimalicious’ is now my favorite word!
    Next week on Hyouka 20: “Where are my car keys?”
    Can Houtarou rise to the challenge and solve this mystery?

  8. Man, is KyoAni gonna waste this series by creating fillers and move on to the next one?

    Say it ain’t so!

  9. Jason, you really need to see this, assuming you know enough Japanese to ignore the Chinese subtitle. It’s called Hyouka Gaiden: Hangyaku no Chitanda Eru. There’s 4 episodes, I couldn’t find it anywhere on English sites, so I’m assuming it’s edited by fans, but they are hilarious.

    http://v.pps.tv/play_31USYB.html

  10. Oddly, my Taco Bell totally refuses to accept $100 bills nowadays. They’ve got it posted and everything.

  11. This show, much like Bakemonogatari is able to do nothing but talk for 20 minutes and still make me think “that was 20 minutes already?”

  12. I followed the link to binchou-tan 2, and all the links to the other bloggers are bad… I guess I’m stuck with just you.

  13. DAT KIMONO!

  14. Chitanda is not impressed should really replace that other internet meme.

  15. Elway, Plummer, and Encyclopedia Brown? A kindred spirit.

    Wait, are you even old enough to know about Encyclopedia Brown? Next, you’ll be quoting Dorothy Sayers! (Whom I rank AHEAD of Dame Agatha…!)

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