Hyouka 18 is, overall, a very interesting episode – it comes directly after the end of an arc, so you’re left wondering if this will be the beginning of a new arc or just a one-episode mystery kind of filler. Keeping away from Satoshi and Mayaka (who really did steal the spotlight in the last arc), this episode focuses more on Houtarou and Chitanda – a surprisingly fresh breath of air considering the fact that they are, in fact, the main characters. It may inspire mixed opinions, so let’s see what’s in store for us!
Just as a note, I will not be covering Hyouka 19 due to the fact that I’ll be away on vacation. Which is a shame, considering that there’s probably going to be more Houtarou x Chitanda action. This means I’ll probably leave it to Tofu for his weekly roundup or compile it in with Hyouka 20. (The first option is more likely than the other.) I’ve also noticed that I call everybody by their first names except for Chitanda Eru – I don’t know, I just feel like it’s weird calling her “Eru,” so please bear with me!
It seems that they skipped the dinner party entirely, though I’m slightly glad that they didn’t pull a KHR on us and recap everything that’s happened in the arc so far. It’s a disappointment that we didn’t get to see Mayaka and Chitanda in all their moe-moe splendor. It’s alright, because we find our Classics Club in the middle of a discussion about mushrooms; they become larger when getting hit by electricity because the spore will be urged to grow larger(?) I was thinking, “Oh no, it’s going to be one of those episodes with nothing but random conversation. I already have to deal with Joshiraku!” but things seemed to take a turn for the better when the conversation start to center around Satoshi/Mayaka/Houtarou’s middle school English teacher. Houtarou starts tugging on his bangs and we see that he (surprisingly) cannot come to a conclusion:
So it wasn’t really Houtarou’s finest moment, but he goes to the library with Chitanda in tow, and for the rest of the episode everybody gets a little bit of the Houtarou x Chitanda that they’ve all been waiting for. He sees a couple go by with the girl on a bicycle and her boyfriend walking alongside her, so when Chitanda offers Houtarou a ride, he imagines this:
That didn’t particularly work, so he tries a different sort of scenario:
Houtarou just ends up telling Chitanda to go on ahead, and eventually they meet at the library and try to find some articles pertaining to Ogi-sensei’s love of helicopters. It turns out that it’s not a love of helicopters but a love of hiking – and helicopters, to hikers, mean either delivering rations, a movie filming, or a rescue. Originally, I had thought that Ogi-sensei being struck by lightning three times would play a large role in the mystery, but it didn’t become as important as I expected in the solution. To be honest, I thought that the solution was much too quickly solved and not very deep – I’m convinced that this will be a one-episode mystery, though if we get to see Houtarou and Chitanda’s relationship grow through these sorts of episodes, I’m all for them. It’s tragic though, because we learn that the helicopters were truly out for rescue but the two hikers that were stranded were found dead. Maybe watching this at 12:00 in the morning was such a good idea, but I found that to be extremely sad. Especially after seeing Ogi-sensei’s smiling face in a flashback!
The most important part, however, was the fact that you got to see a new side to Houtarou – Chitanda points out that though he has helped her many times, she hardly sees him do things for himself. She starts to say something but admits that she can’t find the words to explain it. (Much to my disappointment, haha. I was hoping for a confession like scene from the beginning episodes.)
Rating: 8/10. This was close to being a great episode, what with all that relationship building and poignancy at the end, not to mention something other than the deadpanned face of Houtarou was seen! (Is it just me, or does he blush a lot in this episode?) But the mystery went by too quickly and hoping for a romance is wishful thinking in an anime like Hyouka, not to mention that a good chunk of the beginning was taken up by awkward dialogue that I wish meant something but in actuality, didn’t play much of a big role. Hope you all enjoyed the fact that there were more images in the post – see you all in two weeks!