「大罪を犯す」 (Daizai wo Okasu)
“Commiting a Grave Crime”

After last week’s amazing episode that thoroughly blew my mind away with not one but two huge revelations, this week’s step back left me wanting more. Not because the episode was bad, but the lack of substance behind the mystery and a lingering question that kept surfacing had me looking for something that wasn’t necessarily there.

That said, you have to once again give credit to the writers who managed to craft such an interesting episode out of nothing but interesting characters and a rather uninteresting premise. Normally, you could only stretch something as vague as “Why did someone do this?” so far. But when you throw Chitanda and Houtaro into the mix, they seem to take the ordinary and change it into something extraordinary. Using this week’s “mystery” as an example, can you imagine how boring it would be if anyone else tried to figure out why a teacher made a mistake, which led to a student getting angry? Plus, why was it so important to figure out why Chitanda got angry when someone in a position of power started acting even more of a jerk than they usually are?

But in this week’s case, I think there were two big differences from what we’ve previously seen — the differences being that everyone seemed to play a very large role in this week’s solution and even though there was a mystery, the focus wasn’t necessarily on trying to solve it. I suppose you could call it a character development episode without breaking from the mold! Seriously though, how often do we see Chitanda try to crack a joke at Houtaro’s expense or see Mayaka downright verbally attack Satoshi? But if you take a closer look at how everyone interacts with one another, it’s clear that the bonds of friendship have been forming. Because I’m pretty sure it takes a pretty high level of being comfortable with someone to look at them like this (or this).

Overall there wasn’t much in this episode that would make it stand out when you throw it against all the other gems that airing this season. Except for its amazing visuals, interesting character quirks, crazy purple eyes, and a group of main characters who don’t fall under the same stereotypes that a show like this would carry. Luckily, next week seems to have the group at a bathhouse — fan-service anyone?

P.S. Isn’t the music in the series amazing?




  1. Eh, could have been better episode. In truth, Hyouka hasn’t really had any bad episodes yet, just four fairly decent episodes, a very good one, and last week’s which was absolutely brilliant. I’m hoping it will pick up again. Hyouka is by no means bad, but if the visuals and music are going to be this stunning, I kind of want thought provoking mysteries to match them, whether smaller or grander in scope.

  2. This episode made it clear. Houtaro and I think alike.

    At several points I had a certain thought, that within a second was also thought by Houtaro. Especially the Angel part. XD

    It really makes this show fun to watch.

    1. Its still funny….. but its losing some “kick” to it…….

      Croos/Rei just keep making those…. or take a season break in the middle~ :P–>:3

      I think I may gv in to those Chitanda……

    2. I always see this “I want your baby” Chitanda gifs. Just curious on how did it start? Please enlighten me. Also, I thought there would be a gif about Ibara asking Satoshi to have babies because of jealousy.

      1. It started with Croos… I know that doesn’t enlighten anything. But nothing involving him does.
        He just made those gifs and Moondoggie started liking all of them… So he made more.

    3. Ara ara.. this pisses me off more than the info shitstorm about AMG this week… desu.

      /me banhammers MrRei into the v0id
      /me omnislash Croos into the v0id

      The Moondoggie
  3. After Lucky Star and Nichijou and now Hyouka, it seems to me that one of the themes Kyoani keeps coming back to is making really normal things interesting. I know Kyoani has more than one director, but slice of life (from different angles) seems to be one of Kyoani’s most played cards these days. In this week’s episode of Hyouka nothing really happened but that’s probably the point. If Nichijou was about the little absurdities in life then Hyouka would be about the little curiosities in life. I hesitate to even say “little mysteries in life”; in our great enlightened age of rationality there’s not much left that is truly mysterious, but there’s still plenty of things to get curious about. It’s like Chitanda’s life philosophy or something. Learn something useless every day.

    I won’t be surprised if episodes like this week’s was a standard homework assignment at Kyoani. Remember Someday in the Rain? Heck, remember Endless Eight? ‘Nothing happens. Make it interesting. Good luck’.

  4. Chitanda trolling everyone into believing she cant go angry because of laziness (or energy conservation if you prefer) was golden, as was the vision of horde of chibi-Chitandas attacking Oreki with… random curiosity?

  5. The evil googly-eye stare is back! And it makes hallucinations of mini-Chitandas appear.

    Really the whole series is apparently about a bunch of nerds (that’s the best way I can describe the protagonists) wasting their free time solving simple mysteries. I can relate to that, and I’m sure others can. Hasn’t anyone had a day with nothing to do and then suddenly have a conversation that sprung up from nowhere?

  6. I think one key aspect of this episode is that it really makes you think hard about just what Chitanda’s actually doing.

    They established that she’s smart, though she lacks Houtarou’s ability to pull conclusions from disparate evidence, but just how perceptive is she really? And how much of what she did this episode was specifically designed to get the reaction she did, from Houtarou?

    1. Whenever Chitanda’s gets into Houtaro’s personal space the word “influence” comes to mind, I mean she always gets her way supposedly “inadvertently” pushing his buttons making him realize that yes, she’s a attractive person of the opposite gender and probably be in his favor to “help” her and prevent anymore of his energy is wasted

      I agree that Houtaro should not be so lazy but that’s his choice! But Chitanda constantly using the “eyes” (up close and personal) on him in what appears to be harassment?! didn’t the guy said NO like at least TWICE already? this issue she wanted to solve wasn’t even that big of an issue, your no less of a person for being “angry” at something, its the “reason” that counts

      Seriously, how can a person not be aware of what makes them angry and not realize what caused it on a fundamental level? she wasn’t that ANGRY to begin with so its all Rational Anger not uncontrollable mouth foaming rage!

      The older scene (in episode two I think) of Chitanda and Houtaro in the tea shop I find particularly cruel if you were led to believe that Chitanda were interested in you as a person and not for your “analysis” ability because relying on that person for all problems that she may have that she deem “important enough” (to her) of solving

      How can she be angry without well, LOOKING like she’s angry? There is hardly any Emotional Range on her face compared to her peers, continuously using that wide doe eyed open mouth expression don’t carry across the feeling of barely contained rage or frustration to me and making her body movements hyper elaborate to compensate feels like a step in the Uncanny Valley for anime to me. Is this the Moe Phenomenon that I hear people are talking about for years but never fully looked into?

  7. I definitely felt let down by the mystery after the conclusion of the arc from last week’s episode, but the antics between Houtaro and Eru keep me entertained. Poor Houtaro, he is clearly interested in Eru, but she doesn’t seem to reciprocate in that sense. Eru needs to get on the whole “brainy is the new sexy” bandwagon already. Speaking of which, I really like the character design for Houtaro. Something about that bed hair….if only Houtaro smiled once in a while. :/ And, a fanservice episode already? Hoping that next week’s mystery isn’t why they’re in an onsen.

  8. On the contrary, I think this is the most engrossing episode yet. I tend to like stories better when nothing is really happening and you just let characters bounce off one another. Maybe I just like slice-of-life or ship-teasing.

  9. The most simple mysteries make the best episodes, last time reminded me that I’d rather have mindless stupid moeblob than mystery novels adaptation that should stay as mystery novels.

  10. Being a figure of miserable handwriting myself. I think I figured it out around the same time our protagonist did ^^;. Or maybe it’s only because n’s and h’s a’s and d’s were my most frequent mixups ^^;;;?

    Definitely a peculiar one-shot on the whole. I loved the use of masks in Chitanda’s retelling of the incident.

  11. Frankly this series puzzles me. Why? Because I can’t get enough of it. It is fairly slow paced, semi-ordinary characters, but ABSOLUTELY compelling. I watch this the minute I get it each week. Again, why? Beats me, but wish it were going to be longer!

  12. I think what Hyouka excels at is having mysteries that are simple enough for you to have a go at, while presenting them in such a way that they feel significant. If a mystery is grand in scale, spanning numerous episodes, or is the entirety of the story (Another), then something must be withheld from the viewer, lest he come to a conclusion that he knows is correct (as opposed to a guess that turns out to be correct) too easily and spoil it for himself. This is compounded further by the internet, where people can more easily combine their resources and come to a logical and reasonably provable conclusion if given the opportunity. Another avoided this by having no concrete way of proving any theory (without going to the novels for spoilers) meaning all guesses were just guesses. Another example would be Umineko (the visual novel, not the series), which Show Spoiler ▼

    Hyouka on the other hand presents us with generally small, self contained mysteries that you can actively participate in by yelling theories at your computer like a jackass. The benefit here is that because you aren’t given time to mull them over, as the conclusion usually comes in the same episode, you are forced to try to solve them on your own or just watch them. There’s no downtime for thinking, save for the time the characters spend thinking. This works because the mysteries are smaller and have logical conclusions.

    The downside is that because of this, the mysteries must remain smaller, with the larger one (so far) only taking two episodes, and even then making us think that it had already been resolved in the first half (as the characters also thought this). As such if you simply watch the mysteries be resolved, rather than participate in them, they will probably lack impact. Even Sekitani Jun probably only had as much impact as it did due to KyoAni’s awesome storytelling.

    As such, I can understand how some people may feel underwhelmed by the mysteries presented, and may feel that some of them are too easy. I’ve thought this myself for a few of them. Keep in mind that different people are going to find different conclusions easier to come to than others, a mystery that was simple for you may not be so simple for someone else and vice versa. But as someone who has grown rather bored with mysteries that I have no way of participating in, usually due to withholding of information from the viewer, I have been enjoying what is actually my first KyoAni series quite a lot.

    Oh man, I don’t know why I wrote all that.

  13. Conclusion doesn’t explain why the teacher was yelling at the top of his lungs and whipping the greenboard. Thinking that the students have already learned a lesson is no excuse to do such things.

    Still hoping for the episode where Hotarou is able to successfully ignore Chitanda’s shrilly KININARIMASU and big, purple, googly eyes.

  14. This takes place in the wake of the Sekitani Jun mystery. There are some significant parallels. This may be the ultimate answer to this “mystery.”

    A teacher (administration) gets overly riled up against the class as a result of his own mistake or misjudgement. This provokes unrest as the class (student body) grows agitated. By virtue of arbitrary luck and circumstance, a lone boy (Jun) gets the short straw in being singled out from his peers, and takes the teacher’s wrath all by himself. Nobody steps in or does a thing, until suddenly Chii-chan speaks up.

    Why was Chii upset? Well, regarding Jun’s analogous situation, Jun’s concerned peer (the librarian woman) wasn’t able to stand up for him. Chii, in the same situation, wanted to do Jun justice by proxy, but found the situation isn’t comparable — the sole blame fell on the teacher, so her action lost much of its symbolic intention.

    Well, I smell pie; namely, that produced by a male cow. In any case, onwards!

  15. Man this episode was funny in a low key way. I just can’t help but rewatch the scene where Oreki ignored Chitanda.

    Well this episode had little bits of development but overall nothing happened much. Still entertaining though.

    Now that Oreki’s lightening up a bit, I can’t wait to see what goes next when the next arc goes.

    BTW this is either a filler or came from some volume elsewhere. It’s named after volume 4 though.

  16. Personally, I thought the highlight of the episode lied in the opening portion of it, when they were all discussing the topic of each other getting angry. I couldn’t help but chuckle at Houtarou when he realized he could feel anger, and watching Eru get all flustered by the teasing was adorable. Plus, I never grow tired of Eru going so (awkwardly) out of her way to get Houtarou’s attention, while he goes out of his way to avoid her, ultimately caving in thanks to dem eyes. Not to mention Houtarou’s mental images of Eru.

    Basically, yeah, as you’ve said, even without a strong mystery resolution, the show’s characters alone bring plenty to the table to enjoy. As long as this kind of balance is maintained (along with the beautiful visuals and soundtrack), I’ll continue to watch Hyouka and eagerly await each new episode. (And, of course, read your blog entries for the series. =P )

  17. Japanese anime are probably the best TV program that you can have in your living room – let alone Japanese manga. This episode totally blew me way – hope the next one does too. Thank you for the great coverage – I was able to correct the parts of the story which is misunderstood.

  18. I liked this episode more for how our favorite quartet showed bits of their personalities rather than the classroom mystery itself. The moment when Houtaro thought Chitanda was his soulmate had to be one of my favorite parts, but Chidanda’s insatiable curosity was a lot funnier and less obnoxiously pushy this week, for which I’m eternally grateful. The surreal imagery continues to keep me on the edge of my proverbial seat – the swarm of tiny red Chitandas was equal parts hilarious, creepy, and mind-bending, but also served as a perfect metaphor for how Houtaro perceives Chitanda’s high-energy “intrusions” into his low-energy world.

    True, with the emotional one-two punch that was episode 5, I could have just as happily left Hyouka then and there as an extended OAV; I felt it was that strong, but given that that isn’t the case I’m intrigued as to how much further down the rabbit hole we’ll be taken with these loveable characters.

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