「歴史ある古典部の真実」 (Rekishi Aru Kotenbu no Shinjitsu)
“The Truth of the Classics Club and its History”

Boy, was I mistaken when I said last week’s episode was good — because this episode completely overshadows last week’s by leaps and bounds. Besides picking up last week’s mystery and examining it in a completely different light which consequently blew my mind away, again, I was even more shocked as I witnessed Houtaro embark on his voyage to change his gray world into something a little more colorful.

But before anything, I can’t believe I was right about Houtaro’s sister playing an important role in the development of both his character and the mystery revolving around Chitanda’s uncle, Sekitani Jun. And even though the confirmation came from a mere afterthought that Houtaro had toward the end of the episode, it does make sense that someone who shares the same gene pool as him would have the ability to cognitively manipulate someone as covertly as his sister did.

And as we get back on track, how crazy was that twist about the mystery and the meaning of Hyouka at the end? Starting with the “supplemental” pieces of information on Sekitani which normal people would describe as “terribly important”, it’s crazy just how different his role as leader changes when you take into account the circumstances behind how he actually got there in the first place. Instead of being the supposed hero who sacrificed himself for the common good, it was shocking how he was simply a figurehead who was turned into a scapegoat by both the people he was fighting for and the people who stood alongside him. But even more shocking than how unfair Sekitani’s situation was had to be the hidden meaning behind naming the anthologies Hyouka. Not only does it get the hairs on your neck to stand up a bit when you hear everyone say its meaning in english but isn’t it quite impressive how he was able to leave his exact feelings with just two words?

With the mystery about Sekitani Jun and consequently the meaning behind why Hyouka was chosen as the name for the anthology officially behind us, I’ve come to two conclusions. The first being that the end of this episode felt awfully close to what the last episode of a series should feel like and the second being my new found confidence that this series will turn out much better than I originally thought. With another mystery hopefully waiting for us next week, I’m excited to see what they’ll throw at us next.

 

Preview

61 Comments

  1. Glad I’m not the only one who got a chill when the true meaning of the word came out. Most of the opinion that I have read said that it was a bad punchline to the mystery.

    Wibnice
    1. Well, this week’s Art Director is Horiguchi Yukiko, the character designer for K-ON after all.

      Everytime I watch a Kyo-Ani anime, for some reason, I find her art direction easily recognizable.

      Kinny Riddle
    1. After so many years, she have any intention to find a stranger? Yeah maybe, but she should give this job to the Red Cross, not just because they do this for free.

      FFF
  2. Random thing; how could Houtaro write to his sister if she’s constantly on the move? Emailing should be the way to go. Less effort wasted~ Gah, my lazy-hero is evolving!

    Kyzel
  3. I just loved this episode. It answered every question I had from the previous episode, and in a way that felt realistic. I too was taken by the meaning of Hyouka, and since the name titles not only the anthology, but the series itself, I wonder if Hyouka will come to mean anything for Houtarou in the rest of the series. Does his gray world relate to the oppressive world of Sekitani Jun? Can Hyouka be used to describe both of their lives?
    This is where the series reminds me of Haruhi (befitting since it’s the same studio). I have always felt that Haruhi and Kyon were two sides of the same coin; they both have had an experience that makes them lose their faith and wonder in the world around them, but they cope with that loss very differently. Kyon lies down and takes whatever comes at him, trying to accept the normal world and hiding his dissapointment. Haruhi on the other hand denies that the world could be so normal and actively seeks out a more interesting life, hiding her inner desire to experience a normal life as well. These two very complex characters balance each other and are therapeutic to one another.
    It seems to me that Houtarou is another once of these characters that has lost faith in the world around him. I’ll be interested to see if Chitanda can create a balance between them. It’s clear she has an influence on Houtarou, as he’s decided to strive for a more rose colored life now, but whether or not Chitanda will advance the story as a more similarly complex character, such as Haruhi, or bring strength and possibly love to a character who needs it, such as Nagisa in Clannad, remains to be seen. Personally, I hope it’s the former 🙂
    Plot wise, I was a little surprised that the reveal of Sekitani Jun happened this early and wasn’t saved for the end. It seemed like that was Houtarou’s biggest connection to Chitanda, so I’m interested to see what takes its place. But it makes sense given that Hyouka is a light novel. I reckon we finished the first volume here. Hoping the second is as good as the first.

    Innerchihiro
  4. The sketchy sequence at the end TERRIFIED ME. I never felt so bad for a rabbit before. Maybe it was the haunting animation combined with the point in the story where Houtarou finally cracked the case!

    starss
  5. Up till now I’ve enjoyed Hyouka for its relative lightheartedness but this is the first time it struck an emotional and intellectual chord. The title “Hyouka” is actually clever. As a title for an anthology it feels like a high-school publication, something that sounds light and gentle to attract a reader. But once Oreki discovers the context of the title, it suddenly becomes darker and more tragic. “Hyouka” now becomes an artistic expression of Sekitani Jun, that shows how royally pissed he is at the world and with good reason.

    fragb85
  6. I’ve always had detective conan and kindaichi as benchmark for mystery or detective-themed anime or manga (i don’t know whether that’s good or bad though hahahaha) and therefore I always whine about how 90% of those series never satisfy me because the mysteries or cases are not scary or complicated enough.
    The cases in Hyouka are far from complicated. In fact, I am not that curious about the cases. But for this one, there is some kind of “emotional engagement”, especially after they reveal the story behind Hyouka. it might sound like a lame pun, but it is also surprisingly deep and even touching. I hope the next cases will prove to do the same, or even better!! 😀

    AX
    1. Usoda, Rei-kun. But you deserved cakes! The cake is a lie.

      Croos, Doggie, just face your shadow the truth, you can(NOT) escape from your true self the truth. /me [brain wash both of them].

      I totally can imagine how sroos-tan BSOD face look like. /me dance in joooooyy.

      D-LaN
    2. An excellent closure to the arc. I really enjoyed how they handled this particular chapter of the book.

      The revelation scene kept me coming back for more. I watched that part almost 5 times now. It was just a brilliant execution. Great use of BGM with a fitting imagery. Up until the end it was well done. The part where Houtaro and Eru were saying that they both had no idea what they want to say was a nice addition. Well done Gatoh.

      OTOH: next arc coming up. Since they have already announced another OP/ED, makes me wonder if they’ll ramp it up and make different OP/ED for each arc.

      megalith
  7. I wonder how many people that still watch this show weekly, seeing many people already dropped this show in the first few episodes. Pity them, they missed one of the brightest gem in this season.

    I’ve made a long post of praise about the story, so I’ll do comment about the animation instead…

    GOD, THAT ANIMATION! That kind of detail of animation into animation never leave me unimpressed for every episode. This is a kind of scenery pron that you saw in movie, but you get this weekly instead.

    zeroyuki92
    1. Sekitani Jun’s niece, investigating the past, left there by Jun himself, as he screams about a past he didn’t want to happen.

      Anyone here who suffered like Jun at least once in his life here? I raise a toast to us, someday… We will get even!

      <-Still butthurt…

      The Moondoggie
  8. Oh well, this was surprising yet entirely awesome turn of events. And we can’t say we were not forewarned as everything was out there like “Chekhov’s gun – erm armory”, starting from the title of the anthology and ending with Chitanda’s recollection of sadness. And I am amazed how last episode’s dialogues foreshadowed Houtaro getting less gray and more colorful in his life…

    ewok40k
  9. Though I’m not sure if the producers will take in romance as a good part of its genre, I’d really love to see Chitanda and Houtaro as a pair. So far there has only been slight hints of romance, mostly one sided on Houtaro’s part, but I do hope to see them together by the end of the series.

    The Story You Don't Know
  10. Still can’t believe that moe Chitanda is voiced by the seiyuu who voiced the tomboyish Ritsu, the perverted Aria and the childhood friend Manami. :S Amazing.

    0927123
    1. A-are you serious? No kidding, I had no idea. I don’t particularly watch a series for their Seiyuu’s but I’m really surprised that Chitanda, the very cute Chitanda, that moe blob Chitanda, is voiced by the tomboyish Ritsu!

      The Story You Don't Know
  11. Ever since their anal insistence of keeping the same format of OP and ED for Clannad, resulting in fan outrage at the cheerful ED ruining the mood of what should have been a tragic scene at the end of one episode, Show Spoiler ▼

    Kyo-Ani has since learned from their mistake and has been more flexible in their management of OPs and EDs, opting to omit them altogether when the drama requires for it.

    Kinny Riddle
  12. They used him and throw him away like trash just to get more days to the school festival!!?? That´s sick! Those bastards destroyed a person´s youth and future for such a chldlissh and selfish reason. No wonder Houtaru was about to scream himself when he figured it out the meaning of Hyouka, I wanted to scream and cry at the same time myself.

    haseo0408
  13. I did not know what hyouka means ice-cream, as I thought aisu-kuriimu did. I’m still waiting for Chitanda to do something significant, though I’m relieved that Houtaro is starting to realize and come in terms with his inability to “conserve energy” when Chitanda is around; I’m glad his “epiphany” came a lot sooner than Kyon’s in Haruhi. And when he said living a “rose-colored life,” I almost laughed. I did not know that people refer a colorful life as “rose-colored.”

    petitorenji
    1. In Germany we have a speech “Alles durch die rosa Brille sehen” (seeing all through rose/pink colored glasses) and the meaning is, that we see everything in a positive light, even if something isn’t really good. So I was surprised too, when I saw this “rose colored life” stuff. But makes sense for me for having a colorful and positive way of life. =)

      OT:

      Loved this episode. This show is my season surprise.

      Tobiko
  14. this whole damn show is low energy.. seriously this stuff is boring and only appealing to wannabee apathetic teens that think they know everything. each character is totally over done, to the point where they’re just ideal, not realistic or relate-able at all. a few seconds of snazzy animation are not enough to make up for the yawn inducing plot

    torleywowlol
  15. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
    I’m sorry (_ _) I wanted to let it out.

    On another note, the remaining episodes seem likely to deal with not only more mysteries, but character development. That’s too obvious though, so I’m keeping an open mind!

    okami
  16. Couldn’t agree with you more about this episode, Takii. While I wasn’t as blown away by episode 4 as others were, I can freely say I felt a chill and more than a slight urge to cry when I watched the end of the Sekitani Jun arc. As you so rightly put it, the finale on this mystery felt very much like the grand finale so many series build up to. I don’t think I’d even mind if Hyouka – That name is never going to feel the same to me again – wrapped up right here and now.

    As it stands, we’re in for a lot more. Of what exactly I have no clue, which in an odd twist makes me all the more excited. “If THIS is what they can pull out of their hat for a 5 episode arc, what earth-shattering reveal might they have for the real ending?!”

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