「栄光ある古典部の昔日」 (Eikouaru Kotenbu no Sekijitsu)
“The Antiquity of the Classics Club and Their Glory”

Four episodes in and Hyouka finally delivers an episode that completely removed any fears I had about another mystery show failing to deliver. And even though the current mystery wasn’t as breathtaking as I hoped, I think it was the perfect catalyst that allowed each character to shine this week. Because unlike other mystery shows where there’s only a single person who has the ability to put facts together, I was pleasantly surprised with Chitanda, Satoshi, and Mayaka’s ability to keep up with Houtaro.

When you stop to think about how much effort everyone excluding Houtaro went through to craft their theories, it’s quite impressive how different each person’s theory differed from one another. Starting with Chitanda’s theory of how her uncle was a hero who fought against bandits who were pillaging the school’s culture festival and then transitioning into how a hero from the time period would be referred to someone fighting against the oppression that was rampant during the time period between any form of authority and what they presided over; I was blown away with how deep each explanation was and how well it could stand up as a legitimate guess as to what happened to Chitanda’s uncle.

But as certain people like to say, even with skill it’s near impossible to beat a genius at their trade. And in this case I was floored by Houtaro’s actions for two reasons. The first being that I couldn’ t believe he’d skimp out on doing his fair share of the research when everyone else put in tons of effort. Second, I still can’t believe how he came to such a reasonable and logical conclusion from analyzing just the information given to him from everyone else plus the single sheet of paper he brought with him. While I have to give credit to the source material for devising such a crafty situation for Houtaro to flaunt his skills, Kyoto Animation’s skill at adapting stories is definitely doing this series justice by executing on everything perfectly.

Sure, the mystery surrounding Chitanda’s uncle may not have been as exciting as I hoped it might be but I got more than enough enjoyment watching Houtaro and crew do what they do best. Not to mention that there’s a chance the entire mystery has yet to be solved! But if I had to have a gripe with something, it’d have to be how little the preview shows us. Dark clouds and Houtaro in the rain — real informational, right?

P.S. The animation quality of this series has and continues to be absolutely astounding. From the random scenery shots to the shifting of the gears on a bike — I can’t imagine how much money Kyoto Animation is throwing into this series. If only they picked up Little Buster! ;__;

 

Preview

58 Comments

  1. While his conclusion was astounding one has to take in the fact that the conclusion was drawn from existing material that may or may not be accurate and as such I can’t say I was thoroughly surprised at the end when Chitanda doubted if that was really happened. When you look at it that way you really can’t see why she would cry her eyes out if that was the story. I’d say the conclusion Houtaro came to is partially correct but a key piece of information is still missing.

    ps. That sneeze was so adorable >_<

    gawrshness
  2. Given Chitanda’s monologue in the end, Houtarou’s conclusion is partially correct, though I wonder if Houtarou really thought about the mystery or if he merely crafted another explanation just to satisfy Chitanda’s curiosity. Like when he crafted a new mystery just to get out of having to go to the music room, there’s still the chance that Houtarou crafted this explanation just to meet everyone’s expectations so he wouldn’t be harassed.

    Beedle
  3. that preview makes me wonder if he thinks of something else on the way home, there’s so much room to maneuver here. any number of things could change the answers thus far. yay for suspense!

    Breedo
  4. I think the biggest hole in the series (and his conclusion) is that
    I’d expect there would be an expulsion record of some sort. But,
    maybe that’s sealed or unavailable to our team.

    I think Chitanda’s the reason I continue to watch, although the mysteries
    are much more plausible than in other mystery series.

    mac65
      1. As an south east asian, I believe I have adapt the hot weather. A fan should be enough for me, BUT, I cannot imagine how damn cold in that house during winter. And you are right, practically it is very hard to maintain that house. Such as cleaning the house will drive you crazy……

        Vivace
      2. Despite the hot summers, these sort of Japanese wooden houses with their long halls and elevated floorings were designed to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter, even without air conditioned.

        Kinny Riddle
    1. Whtever happen to “Chitanda loss footage”? Is it going to be DVD special ^.^

      Well too bad Mayaka have better luck with Cheery Sunflower-kun. (4got his name) NO ONE SHALL HURT YOU TWO!!!!

      D-LaN
      1. Err.. You know what scratch that. I can keep this joke up with that funny first Mayaka gif.

        Hahaha.

        Off topic to this chain of post but I’ll just post this since I don’t want to end up spamming any further.

        Just wanted to share my favorite cut in this episode. Damn KyoAni. Makes me think you can still pull of mecha genre despite having only a few experts in your studio.

        Oh and, one for the girls sickos.

        megalith
  5. I like how Kyoto Animation keeps throwing in some subtle hints that Houtaro likes Eru. Last week, it was the heart-shaped pendulum when he thought Eru was going to make a love confession. This week, he gulped down his drink when she turned and smiled at him. But, then again, he also got shy when Mayaka praised him. Maybe he’s just not used to attention from girls?

    Isabel
  6. The SHAFT-yness is strong in this one.
    Yet, it doesnt feel like a SHAFT show at all.

    Honestly, I was kinda disappointed too that the mystery was kinda too easily solved, even with Houtarou’s Ubersolving skills.
    Thankfuly, this scene seems to prove me wrong…

    Rakkyo
  7. I was a bit tired when I watched this yesterday evening and found myself unable to properly follow the plot/ discussion. But indeed, Takaii, the animation quality is is beyond awesome. Shots like the different views of Chitanda’s family mansion or the rain scenery in the preview make this series worth watching even for the visual pleasure alone.

    jreding
  8. Does anyone else find it strange that in such a big house like that, there isn’t even a shadow of a servant the whole time the team were meeting there? And it looks like Chitanda even has to do all the household work, like making the onigiri for the Classics club members and bringing in the shiitake mushrooms that had been let out to dry.

    And I really believe that the mystery of Chitanda’s uncle isn’t fully solved. The theory Oreki gave out indeed sounded plausible given all the current information at hand, yet there still isn’t any concrete proof to support that theory of his. His theory is still mostly conjecture and Chitanda’s monologue questioning herself if that would have made her cry when she was little forebodes something much darker may lie in her uncle’s past.

    On a side note, I was pleasantly surprised at how authentic the postcards from Malaysia that were on Chitanda’s desk looked like. They even got the stamp design correct. I guess this shows how thoroughly KyoAni did their research for this series.

    1. Not really, and I believe the producers don’t want us to find it strange just yet. It does make sense to question that though, and somehow, I have a feeling it has something to do with stuff that has been mention within the previous episodes. Nothing like good foreshadowing to make a mystery that much more mindblowing when it gets unraveled. I’m a little too lazy to do the detective work myself though, so I’ll just wait and see what happens.

      And yes, I’m pretty sure that the whole case hasn’t been solved yet. They didn’t even look for any proof to back up Houtarou’s conclusion. I might be reading into this a bit too much, but I believe why sensible Houtarou didn’t question the decision of the rest to agree completely with his theory is, besides knowing that it would cost him more energy (man, he’s lazy), that he was hiding a few conclusions he had arrived at while he was in the toilet from the rest. The scene skipped directly to him explaining his conclusions to the rest, so we didn’t get to see his thought process and how he got the explanation that he gave. Who’s to say that he didn’t hide any other important points? As long as his theory sounded plausible, the rest would have come to agree with him (he might have know that, considering that everyone now pictures him as Sherlock).

      So why would he hide information from the rest? I can only guess that it’s to protect Chitanda. I doubt Houtarou left out the fact that Chitanda was affected enough by what her uncle said to break into tears. I doubt he also didn’t forget that while finding out the significance of her uncle during that particular time in school was the objective of the meeting, his true objective was to help Chitanda remember what he uncle said to her. So why did he leave after the meeting as if everything had been solved? Just something to think about.

      Yeah, it’s a little far-fetched, but I just thought it would fit nicely as a dramatic build-up to the next episode. Thought of all this when I saw that preview with Houtarou looking seriously glum and deep in thought while still on his bike. Now, that I think about it, why would he still be doing any thinking if the cases has already been solved? Hmmm…

      Junglepenguin
    2. Is it really that much of a big deal that Chitanda has no servants despite living in a huge mansion?

      It could just be that the Chitandas prefer to be courteous and down-to-earth despite their status.

      Like I said, try not to think things too complicatedly. 🙂

      Kinny Riddle
  9. That screenshot of closed-eyed Ibara does not even come close to capturing her confused nodding that had me laughing out loud. The animation is the best yet in this episode!

    starss
  10. One of the things I love about this show is how Kyoani just keeps experimenting both artistically and animation-wise. From the picture-book sequence last episode to the cartoony sequences and retro-filter visuals, I’m always looking forward to what they’re gonna pull out next.

    Asobi
  11. KyoAni production quality… Doesn’t dissapoint. Rakkyo, I second tht.
    The mystery….. so mundane yet so hard to figure out….. Now I am more curious at wht happened bet. Eru and her uncle….

    Well, NO paranormal 4 sure.

    D-LaN
      1. Nah. Knew you were too busy with IRL stuff just that I didn’t know you were freed of some burden already.

        Anway, thanks for sticking up with the show besides having such a tight schedule. We really appreciate it. 🙂

        megalith
  12. https://randomc.net/image/Hyouka/Hyouka%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2030.jpg
    This kind of feels like Houtarou doing his “mind palace” thing.
    http://youtu.be/vmueuSRJrZc
    (I recommend this series, a smart update of the Conan Doyle original into the 21st century. Better than the Robert Downing Jr movies in fact (though that version was also entertaining for Holmes fans), and it stars future Hobbit Martin Freeman, what’s there not to like? )

    At one point I was afraid how Kyo-Ani would animate this scene from the novel with everyone doing nothing except sitting at the table and analyzing. So I’m quite pleasantly surprised to see they’ve adapted and took a partial “Shaft” approach, incorporating moving imagery as well as a different location in Chitanda’s mansion for every person’s speech.

    Kinny Riddle
    1. At one point I was afraid how Kyo-Ani would animate this scene from the novel with everyone doing nothing except sitting at the table and analyzing.

      You and me both. I’m very pleased with the addition they came up with. It gives the characters some subtle backgrounds. Like that part with the onigiri where Mayaka got irked in a way when she saw Satoshi’s happy face. Not to mention this episode showing that Eru really worked hard even though she couldn’t couldn’t come up with a solid theory.

      Hell even in episode 1 there was already tons hints regarding Houtaro’s true personality which actually shows that he’s not the typical lazy person. It also implies that he’s unsure of whether or not he would like to accept this change in pace in his life.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      Well anyways kudos to them for giving the characters these subtle touches. Will be looking forward to when Mayaka and Satoshi’s relationship/personality gets fleshed out. Satoshi was pretty interesting during that cycling scene and I like the way he stated that if he wanted to demean Houtaro he would call him colorless.

      PS: Sorry to ask this but,
      Show Spoiler ▼

      megalith
  13. “tons of effort” … uhm, have you been paying attention at all to how Houtaro is a master of conserving energy?.

    Loved seeing him collect the information and do something about it. Also enjoyed how each new bit of research wholly refuted the previous theory. Cute literary tool there from the original author.

    kumakaori
  14. For some reason, i’m getting some Mythbusters vibe when watching this series in how they go about deducing stuff. Things are either busted, plausible, or confirmed :P.

    Euzio
  15. I think Houtaro blew solving the mystery. Nothing in his explanation can tell us what the uncle said that made Chitanda cry. Sure, his explanation was good given the information that was available, but his conclusion doesn’t fit what we know about the aftermath. He missed something.

  16. Subtle fanservice of female domesticity is the new trend. Good stuff.

    I guess the mystery isn’t 100% solved, given the fact that Chitanda still doesn’t remember why she cried.

    petitorenji
  17. “But if I had to have a gripe with something, it’d have to be how little the preview shows us.”

    The mystery of Hyouka continues even into the preview! (@o@)

    okami

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