「名誉ある古典部の活動」 (Meiyoaru Kotenbu no Katsudou)
“The Activities of the Classics Club and Its Honor”

If anything, I’d say this week’s episode of Hyouka was a lot more compelling than last weeks. Even though there weren’t any spectacular hair rape scenes, I thought this episode did a better job of telling its story and an even better job of portraying Houtaro’s nature. Now, if only it didn’t end on that damn cliffhanger…

While I wasn’t expecting much since Hyouka is a two-cour series and is probably still easing us into the fray of things, I was a little disappointed how identical this week’s episode was compared to last week’s. Following the same pattern as before — introducing a new mystery, gathering clues, and watching Houtaro blow everyone’s mind after coming to a completely logical conclusion that no one else even fathomed — I was hoping for something a little different. I suppose introducing the spunky Ibara Mayaka would count as something different since it appears she’ll actually bring some variety to the table but honestly, I think I may have been too focused on just how different Kayano Ai sounds when she’s not voicing emotionless characters (in a good way). That said, I was surprised to discover that she apparently shares the same love for mysteries that Chitanda does.

Luckily, two major things happened that swiftly brought this episode from being a complete bore to something really interesting. While I’d have to chalk the first one up to the original writer for creating such an interesting character as Houtaro, there’s something about his personality that reflects through his interactions with others that make him a joy to watch. Between his death stares at Satoshi for being a jerk, his fantastic skills at solving mysteries, and his sarcastic internal comments about Chitanda’s more eccentric nature, he’s slowly becoming the main reason I keep coming back to this show. While I’m not a big fan with his low energy issue, it is interesting to watch him struggle with it and hopefully with Chitanda’s help he’ll be able to turn things around in the future.

The second thing had to be that huge cliffhanger that the show built up in a matter of minutes. Starting as soon as Chitanda revealed a little bit about her personal need to understand how the parts of a system work together as a whole, things started snowballing when she privately met Houtaro. Because not only did it feel like Chitanda was ready to reveal what those personal matters she mentioned last episode may be about but I doubt anyone would argue that she looks stunning in regular clothing.

Seeing how the preview gave us almost nothing except the episode title, it looks like we’ll all be squirming around in the dark until next week. Joy.

P.S. Dat ending sequence. My goodness.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「まどろみの約束」 (Madorumi no Yakusoku) by 千反田える(CV:佐藤聡美)& 伊原摩耶花(CV:茅野愛衣) (Chitanda Eru (Satou Satomi) & Ibara Mayaka (Kayano Ai))
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼

Preview

86 Comments

  1. Air on G String: Yup
    Faure’s Sicilienne: Yup
    /a/ on Hyouka? LOL, mad, KyoAni complains, blah blah blah…
    Randomc’s take: =_=’

    My P.O.V.? Better than I expected(TY for the heads-up Croos!)

    So this is actually a mystery anime, I read.

    The Moondoggie
  2. Chitanda’s googly purple-eyed stare should be illegal. It’s a deadly weapon that will destroy a dude’s resolve in seconds. Assuming it doesn’t give its victims heart attacks first.

    fragb85
      1. @frag and belat:

        But that other short-haired girl has pink version of those eyes. Is this anime gonna end up having all the girls’ eyes like that? XD

        If it does, then I.AM.SOLD.

        The Moondoggie
    1. I think Houtaro already kissed his soul goodbye, between Chitanda´s glowing eyes, lack of regard for the guy´s personal space and that overwhelming aura around her, Houtaro has to fall for her or he´s not human.

      haseo0408
  3. I wouldn’t think twice about voting Chitanda as the cutest heroine and Yuuka as the hottest heroine!

    Chitanda’s googly eyes are… too good that words can’t describe it. You did it again, KyoAni!(the animation)

    The Story You Don't Know
  4. Is that long-haired girl in the ED supposed to be Chitanda? I know the other girl is Mayaka. They look alike. But the long-haired girl is a brunette. She is also more adult-looking and not as moeblob-ey as Chitanda.

    butterbean
  5. as expected the new anime from Kyoto Animation, is very very much interesting
    and as expected Ibara Mayaka Show Spoiler ▼

    (^∇^)

    i really enjoying this light mystery and Houtarou personal view to the world around him

    and after all that sparkle is very unbearable…

    shageki
    1. Wouldn’t really say she’s the ‘tsundere childhood friend’ xD

      Everyone including Satoshi knows she’s in love with Satoshi (her “you know how i feel…” and his “ah, sorry. bad joke.” reply), though it seems he friend-zoned her. She’s not really acting tsun-tsun, but not completely dere-dere either. Instead, she’s just the normal friend ^_^;

      Beedle
  6. I don’t understand why, but I really like this show. It’s not my fav, but I really do look forward to new episodes.

    Ibara Mayaka is so cute (in her actions). I can’t wait to see how the four of them interact in the future.

  7. (art nerd)The use of color in this show is positively stunning; all of the colors are muted until She Who Must Not Be Refused focuses her attention on something, lending it that little extra something to bring what is otherwise an ordinary looking show a special bit of magic. (/art nerd)

    Jean
  8. The use of classical music! I’m curious! When will they play Canon next?

    PS: To commentators keep up the good work 😀 I do want to know what the title of the pieces being played but sadly my knowledge of classical works is close to non-existent.

  9. I thought it was a decent followup episode. My fear though is that upcoming episodes will start to become formulaic. Even already at the second episode, the small mysteries aren’t all that compelling and a pattern already seems to be forming. Granted, that is the nature of a slice-of-life-esque mystery, but I sort of hope that at least once in the show, they include a big, possibly dramatic, multi-episode mystery, just to mix things up.

    Thankfully though, the characters are interesting enough for me to look forward to future episodes. I rather enjoy the character dynamics when they are interacting with each other, especially with the inclusion of a new character. This is probably where the show really shines. Enough so that I can probably overlook the smaller flaws.

    Cyrano
  10. “… but I doubt anyone would argue that she looks stunning in regular clothing.”
    Totally agree. Just when you think Chitanda couldn’t look any cuter, with the hairdo and the clothing 😀

    Shouhei
  11. I keep getting the feeling that Hyouka isn’t as absorbing as it should be. It’s fairly decent, and the visuals are spectacular (the first episode had a stunning 24 animators listed, lol), but I wish things would heat up soon.

    Click
  12. Houtarou, You Can(NOT) ESCAPE. Just use your reserved fuel already.

    Overall, still an interesting series and a good eye candy. So, 4 those who read the novel, is this mystery or supernatural?

    Dat ED, r they trying to charge our goggles? Still waiting for more gif of Chitanda frm Croos. (My aunt complained tht I laughed too loud yesterday…..)

    D-LaN
  13. Hmmm this one is one of my top 5 anime
    it’s around top 2 or 3 (just a note that F/Z is not on my list)

    The reason why I liked this is mainly because the mystery solving thingy and the beliefs of Eru and Oreki 😀
    I hope for more serious business though 🙁

  14. Probably the most compelling part of this episode was the use of space. It was amusing just to see how many ways Chitanda could invade Oreki’s personal space, and it also played into Oreki’s real issue, the fact that he’s socially withdrawn (not sure if this is the best term for it, but it is the best I could come up with). Watch the episode again and try to see how many times he is some distance away from the rest of the characters, from being on the opposite side of the table from Chitanda in the clubroom, to how Chitanda, Mayaka, and Satoshi were in close proximity to each other near the library desk while Oreki was a comfortable distance away from them. The most important scene in this episode was not the mystery reveal itself, but Oreki’s response when he sees the three laugh together afterward, thinking that “he doesn’t belong.” This is his real problem, and it is why he clings to this “low energy” idea, because it allows him to maintain a safe distance from others. It makes him a much more relatable character, in my opinion, because I think everyone at some point feels doubt about their friendships and whether or not they truly belong. Much more than an energy hoarder, I would think.

    The Big Guy
    1. Oreki says outright that he doesn’t mind socialising so long as it doesn’t take much energy. Now we probably shouldn’t be taking his personal psychoanalysis at face value, but it’s possible that his introversion is but a symptom, not a cause. If we frame Oreki as a tragic hero (he’s not, but whatever) his fatal flaw would perhaps be apathy. An arguably similar protagonist would be Kyon from the Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. Both Oreki and Kyon are evidently very intelligent people, but they lack drive and ambition. They are inverse Macbeths, if you will, and instead of being nudged to take action by the witches (ultimately to destroy themselves) they need to be dragged into the fray (to even get anything accomplished).

      Avoiding social interaction, then, is merely part of their general “meh” psyche. To deal with other people is to, ultimately, struggle and our apathetic protagonists do not feel any incentive to struggle. Consider the hikkikomori (is this spelt right?) that have some levle of infamy in Japan. They reject society not necessarily because of any innate ability to socialise but more often because of their disillusionment with that society. Struggling within does not, to them, bring any worthwhile rewards. Not that Oreki is a hikki or anything, but I think his attitude has similarities with this kind of ennui.

      Passerby
  15. Just what was the ED supposed to be? Should it be erotic or something? Sorry but no thanks. Im not into teenagers wearing oversized babyclothes looking like some slaves of a sick pedo-group. Just creepy.

    Flytaggart
    1. Hmmmmm…. That narrows your Anime viewing choices to about a dozen three a
      Sponge Bob Square episode or two.

      Just messin’ with you – don’t take it too seriously…

      mac65
      1. It was proven MrRei is the one who added the captions…

        /me nukes MrRei into the v0id
        /me HOICs MrRei into the v0id
        /me Croos-ify MrRei into the v0id

        The Moondoggie
  16. I guess the others try too hard when trying to resolve those cases, Houtarou being that lazy guy go to the simple yet most logical option.

    That second episode had better dynamic than the first and the main culprit for that had to be Ibara, from her tsuntsun interaction with Oreki to the sparking eyes mode. Ah, but she’s also in love with Satoshi (who I consider a nosy rat so far), with the latter having brushed her aside repeatedly makes me believe he may be gay for Oreki. The rest was the same formula as last time, low will Oreki versus intrusive Chitanda.

    Ananas
  17. These first two episodes are merely setting up for the real story for the first “arc”, but don’t expect Detective Conan-style murder or robbery.

    Chitanda was already extremely likable with her very persuasive eyes in the novels, but Kyo-Ani has upped her cuteness tenfold. Say what you like about Kyo-Ani, but you cannot deny that these guys have a way of turning ordinary girls cute and cute girls epic moe.

    And then there’s her looking spectacularly gorgeous in that one-piece dress.

    Ibara was also now more adorable than in the novel, thanks mainly to Kayano Ai. I’m beginning to like this seiyuu already since her fame with Menma.

    Credit to script coordinator Gatou Shouji (of FMP fame) does a good job so far in making these subtle character interactions more visible in animated form.

    As noted by many, besides their usual forte of jaw-dropping scenic porn, Kyo-Ani is to be applauded for suitable use of classical tracks.

    Kinny Riddle
  18. While this isn’t my favourite show, I do kind of like it. Oreki is a very fun characters to watch, I love the approach to their little mystery solving and the characters work well together. It’s kind of slow and hasn’t gone anywhere yet, so who knows what it might become, but I like it enough that I’ll keep watching anyway.

    Dvalinn
  19. My guess is that Chitanda’s not going to confess (love) to him, but confess something about
    herself that begins the next mystery arc. Although it looks like the recent trend in Anime is a
    (relatively) early confession (Accel World, Ano Natsu de Matteru, Nazo no Kanojo X, et. al.) –
    so I could be wrong, too.

    There’s something sincere and compelling about the characters that makes me want to see
    their development. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, though.

    Other series this season are good, but after a few episodes you can kinda see their basic plot
    and where the story will, more or less, end. That’s not a bad thing – like a roller coaster, you know
    the route but experience the ride (of course in the case of Guilty Crown, train wreck).

    This series is off to a good start.

    mac65
  20. This’s what i got from this ep –

    Chitanda approx to an extremely toned and mellow haruji
    Houtaro approx to kyon-kun
    Satoshi approx to the esp-er from sos brigade… Was it koizumi?

    And seriously speaking… Gotta agree w some of the above comments… Chitanda’s geass is powerful!

    c2710
    1. In defense of Chitanda, I would blame screenwriter Gatou Shouji (of FMP fame) for giving Chitanda that quote, whereas in the novel, Houtarou merely wondered if she meant “cutting his head open”.

      Still, it’s probably not impossible for Chitanda to actually say that.

      Kinny Riddle
      1. Please don’t take it the wrong way, my reply was not meant to have a go at you. 🙂

        I would agree with you that the changes Gatou made simply added to Chitanda’s airheaded charm.

        Kinny Riddle
  21. Oreki’s swag reels in bitches. Too bad he doesn’t know how to turn it off. One day he’ll wake up covered in Eru’s “I’M SUPER INTERESTED!!!”-stare.

    Mediafag
  22. At least the mystery this week was better than the “mysteries” last week. Still boring, though, though I already expected that. I hear this is more slice-of-life than mystery, in fact, so I think that if you’re looking for mysteries, you’ll be disappointed in what this show has to offer.

    But personally I don’t think that matters because the best part of this show is the characters, or more accurately, their interactions. I especially like Chitanda’s intrusiveness and curiosity, and how it clashes with Houtaro’s lethargy. It helps that the animation is really good at conveying those, like in the hair scene, Chitanda’s sparkly purple eyes and invasion of personal space, and of course the color motifs (the OP being a particularly obvious example of this).

    potato
  23. Well within my expectations. Slightly off from what I had imagined but nevertheless spot on.

    Well since I’m going about reading the translated novel as well,
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Show Spoiler ▼

    And just now have I realized they completely translated ch 6… Off to read.

    megalith
  24. I’m wondering if Houtarou’s plain lazy, or he might actually be ill. Also, novel readers, I just want to clarify; there’s no supernatural aspect to the series, right? 😮 Just character quirks?

    Beedle
  25. The Drawing Faces of the Girls… It’s the same Studio that made K-On?

    And, looks like they have more Budget then other. They even have Animated “Backgrounds”

    And well Drawn and Sharp. Looks like they Combined Handwork with CG. I will follow this Anime a while

    Germanguy
    1. Yes, same studio as K-On (and Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi and Clannad). The studio is Kyoto Animation, nicknamed KyoAni, and is quite known for their scenery porn (Haruhi’s backdrops were realistic enough that people took pictures of the same angles of the real life locations and they were exact down to wires).

      Wenike
  26. This episode was way better than the premiere in my opinion. Maybe because I know what to expect now. Chitanda is just unreal.
    The thought went through my head that she’s an alien or something sci fi related. I doubt she’s going to confess to Houtarou next week, but I’m super excited either way.
    I also wonder what is happening with Houtarou’s daydreams or whatever they are. It’s interesting, but I wonder if there’s anything more behind it.
    And the ED? What?

    innerchihiro
      1. Not really annoyed (excuse me for the term) but it makes her face very circular, but her hairstyle on the cafe was good XD

        That aside, I’m curious on how this series will unfold, what I’m so wanting to know is the setup, the fact that they are a classic club but the show is focusing in the mystery/investigatory aspect. Hopefully Chitanda will have an answer for that next episode.

  27. hmm…is it just me that the main guy has similarities with Narumi Ayumu from spiral? oh well this series is somewhat boring but I just can’t take my eyes of it ^^ owh can’t wait for the “confession”

    Kagura
  28. Ah..the school library, the borrower card, reminds me of the days in primary and secondary school.
    The stylistic explanation scene of the mystery is nice, Oreki thought visualization is nice too.
    Somehow this reminds me of Zetsubou Sensei 😛

    Things are starting to look interesting with the little things Chitanda is hinting at and that cliffhanger.
    Man! I need spoilers!
    To the wiki!

    I don’t mind if its mystery of the week as long as its interesting.

    iron2000
  29. What everyone seems to overlook is how much of an ahole Houtaro was at the end of the episode to Chitanda. I mean come on, how can you talk to someone that way, especially someone who is so nice and innocent, even if they didn’t look like this.

    Chen2
    1. I guess it’s because he’s been a scumbag towards her from the beginning. He doesn’t want to waste his precious time at all, and there are no exceptions. For some reason however, he feels unconsciously compelled to abide by her wishes once she mutters: “i’m curious about it”.
      Houtaro is a misanthropist of the highest order, so regardless of gender or looks he will avoid wasting time solving misteries or “dating” by all means possible. To people like him, life is simpler and more comfortable without social interaction as he mentioned in the first episode. He’s basically been dragged into the club and the oddities of its members and doesn’t seem to find the right words and moment to withdraw.
      He’ll probably warm up to the club and the guys later, so I don’t really mind…

      Helvetica Standard
  30. As much as I’m liking Houtaro’s character and his relationship with Satoshi and, now, Mayaka, I’m getting a bit put-off by Chitanda’s pushiness. She literally strong-arms Houtaro into solving this week’s mystery and, entertaining as the mystery itself was, that really bothered me.

    It’s that “just give in a deal with it” attitude from some male characters in anime and manga that I find particularly frustrating, so I dearly hope Chitanda has a good reason for her single-mindedness and, shall we say, “passionate drive” to involve Hotaro in these scenarios. I do like her character to an extent (though I wouldn’t have called her out-of-school attire “stunning” – perhaps with a more contrasting color scheme?), so I want to love the entirety of Hyouka‘s cast. With that in mind, I’ll be crossing my fingers for next week’s episode.

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