「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! ;__;