It’s what everybody’s been waiting for; the always-enjoyable Valentine’s Day episode! This episode takes a different turn from the rest of the series so much that sometimes it makes you think, “Huh? Hyouka can be like this?” It’s intriguing and rather strange, but then again, who doesn’t love some action from our two favorite couples? It certainly gave me everything I was hoping to see from a Valentine’s Day episode – this was definitely the episode that made me think, “Man, I really want to watch what happens next!”
Isn’t middle-school Mayaka the cutest thing ever? Anyway, her relationship with Satoshi really gets fleshed out in this episode. The couple was quite the favorite, even more so than Houtarou and Chitanda sometimes, but after Mayaka mentioning that she confessed to Satoshi and her few stray glances at him, the whole relationship thing has gotten swept under the rug. I’m glad to have seen it brought out and have some sort of conclusion by the end – to be honest, I got really excited when Satoshi said, “I want to be with Mayaka, but…” I’m really quite curious as to what he said to her in that phone call.
Once again, however, I cannot get my head around what Satoshi’s thinking. He says he doesn’t want to go back to his middle-school selfish persona, and while he’s coping pretty well with the change, the only thing in his way is Mayaka. He can’t be with her because he’s worried about how he’ll become? For some reason, it isn’t coming off as strongly as I thought they wanted to convey it.
Houtarou, on the other hand, seems to be more concerned about Chitanda.
Speaking of Chitanda, the sudden mood whiplash she has is undoubtedly surprising. I wonder if I just happened to miss a certain part, but the line between happy Chitanda and the broken, regretful one we see for most of the episode seems to be skipped without an explanation. I guess she really is disappointed that Mayaka lost her chocolate, but seeing this more vulnerable side was really quite startling. Admittedly, it was rather fascinating as well, and to see new sides of these characters is without a doubt refreshing.
I’m sure many of us can agree that the moment that takes the cake is when Houtarou grabs Chitanda’s hand and tells her to leave it to him. It’s good to see Houtarou progressively change and “waste more energy” over the series – if this was the first episode, I would have expected him to just let Chitanda walk by and let her be. Though he doesn’t show it through emotions or words, Houtarou’s simple actions can show how much he cares for Chitanda – I hope. I’m only wondering how Chitanda will react when she realizes that Houtarou lies to her just to get her out of his business? She knows that Houtarou had lied to her once about the chocolates, but there had been many other times other than that.
And the mystery? What mystery?
Rating: I give this episode a 9/10 – partially for effort. I really like how they’re (they being KyoAni/the light novel) trying to turn the light-heartedness of Hyouka on its head and humanize the characters. Though some parts weren’t as strong as others and Chitanda overall was rather odd in this episode, I think the Satoshi x Mayaka that we’ve all been waiting for, not to mention Houtarou in general this episode, all makes up for it. Hopefully. I’m dying to see the next episode!