「万人の死角」 (Banjin no Shikaku)
“What No One Noticed”

What started as a simple mediocre amateur movie project is slowly turning into a path of self-discovery — and I have no problems with that. What I do want to point out before we dive into this episode is that for anyone who’s on the fence about Hyouka should really tune in for this current arc because not only is the show breaking out of its box by completely changing the format of how its presenting the mystery at hand but doing something I briefly mentioned in the past — the story finally seems intent on building Houtaro’s character and really exploring what kind of person he is.

Putting the big cliffhanger on the side, I was completely caught off guard by just how critical of a role Irisu is playing in Houtaro’s development. Besides bewitching him a few episodes ago, it’s quite baffling to think how she may be the first (and only) person to really instill the idea that he is actually unique and special. Because as we’ve seen, Houtaro could be described as the person who strives to minimize the amount of energy he exerts throughout his everyday life — going as far as not leaving his house to conserve energy. But after his short conversation between Irisu, who would have thought that he’d begin to question the foundations of how he tries to live his life by? While I’m fairly sure that Kyoto Animation will save any major character development for a another episode, this week’s little tease is a great start to what will hopefully be some kind of magnificent transformation that Houtaro will go through. And while I do believe that certain people are better staying in their own bubble and shouldn’t be forced out of it, I also believe that when someone wants to venture outside of their comfort zone, they should have something that’ll push them just far enough to start venturing out into the open.

In terms of the mystery, I wasn’t expecting the double twist that was thrown at us. While I did think at times that there might be a real person behind the camera, I didn’t a nice story like Houtaro’s to back it up. Because not only did Houtaro’s train of thought and conclusion make perfect sense but I loved the way he justified the horrible camera work and explained how the killer made it to the “locked” room. Given the amount of facts he was given, it was short from amazing just how well he strung together each of the events without breaking any of the rules he was given. However, I am really curious to see just how serious Houtaro’s omission of the rope will end up being. Since thus far, there really hasn’t been a “case” where he’s made a mistake. And while I have no idea what complications may arise, I would be really disappointed if this sets him back on his path of “discovering” himself.

P.S. ANIME EXPO BEGINS TOMORROW! Hope to see you there and I’ll be updating my twitter if anyone would like to find me! (:




  1. I think this shows that Houtarou even has his faults in the mystery solving department. He might have a knack for connecting all the pieces of information at hand to find a plausible theory on how to end the mystery movie that Hongou envisioned, yet him forgetting about the rope shows that he’s just a human who makes mistakes. Irisu was incorrect to assume Houtarou was the only one she needed to solve this particular riddle. Instead, I think that Houtarou is at his best when he works together with all the other members of the Classics club.

    1. Right. I think Houtarou’s on the mark when he says he’s just “lucky” – he actually needs the other Classics Club members to winnow through the weaker theories so he can find the real deal. It’s like Isaac Asimov’s Black Widowers mysteries where several intelligent club members would set up and eliminate possible solutions, leaving the club waiter, Henry, to arrive at the real conclusion. And Houtarou’s lucky in that he’s surrounded by a top student, a database, and a librarian when the game’s afoot.

  2. Got to love how good mysteries can put evidence right on your face and the audience won’t notice it until the reveal. In this case, the flashlight would have indicated a seventh man but I just assumed it was lighting like the characters.

    I like how the plot of the entire arc plays like an actual mystery without an actual murder. We have an investigation of the crime scene(the movie viewing) and the witness testimonials(interview with the staff). Then the detective(Oreki) makes a conclusion that makes perfect sense and everyone is satisfied with it. THEN the twist comes where the detective forgot a key piece of evidence(the rope) that changes everything.

    1. it’ll be interesting to see how much it does change. if it follows previous mysteries, the likelihood that it will change EVERYTHING isn’t high.
      its not like Houtarou hasn’t made mistakes thus far, he has; but he’s always (so far) for the most part on the right track.

  3. Yeah… Many good things in this ep. It’s fun to have the char take a step forward in self-discovery only to get a real slam in the face quite soon afterwards. His conclusion was decent: it’s one of the solutions that I, and perhaps many other viewers, had pondered through and analyzed mid-episode. But it’s one of those things that just screams “something is not right, it’s too easy, we’ve missed something.” Like another commentor stated before, a good mystery always has to have that “Gotcha!” moment towards the end. Chitanda+co obviously have similar gut feelings. The main question is Irisu, and the macro question is her connection to the history of the Classics club and its people. Is Irisu really satisfied with Houtarou’s solution or is she pretending to be to get more out of him? What is her true intent? How does Chitanda play into this? I feel that I should go back a couple of eps to see that chat exchange again.

  4. I love how this episode reminds me of mystery stories that ended up with the killer still on the loose and the detective realized his mistake too late…

    And this is just an ordinary day on a certain school in the middle of the japanese nowhere. Whoever is the novel’s author must be a godly storyteller to make an everyday thing something special.

    The Moondoggie
  5. I can watch crime series and horror stories before going to bed, but for some reason I just can’t watch Hyouka. The chills it gives me, especially at the end when the topic of the rope was brought up (completely forgot about that! That’s how solid the case for the 7th person was!), just prevents me from going to sleep lol. It did it a few episodes back too.

    I’m scraping this as an anime I watch before I go to sleep to one that I watch first thing in the morning to wake me up XD I was initially critical of this series in the first few episodes when the mystery was quite week, but the past few mysteries has been absolutely brilliant. This is hands down one of the best mystery anime I have ever encountered.

  6. Honestly, it was pretty obvious that Houtaro’s theory was lacking. You merely had to think back to the previous episode, as key aspects were ignored by Houtaro. Specifically, the rope and blood inconsistencies. Also the fact that all the characters immediately knew who the killer was, i.e. the cameraman, felt like a massive cop-out. I very much doubt the mystery was written with such an underwhelming conclusion.

    Chitanda’s behaviour cemented the idea that Houtaro was wrong. She didn’t like it, and honestly neither did I.

    1. When you consider it from a practical perspective, Oreki’s solution was probably the best one, wrong or not. A “correct” solution would most likely require redoing scenes and lots of other preparations (for instance, reducing the quantity of blood), and that wouldn’t even guarantee a good ending. We don’t know how amazing the mystery really is, but Oreki’s was feasible and well received.

      The thing is that Oreki misses the greater mysteries surrounding the movie, so he is wrong from that perspective. How can you explain the missing rope, the seventh actor from nowhere, the use of too much blood etc.? Naturally, there are many other things outside the scope and are not obvious to someone who doesn’t know about the production details (the viewer, most notably).

  7. As soon as Houtaro announced the cameraman as the killer, it felt incredibly wrong to me. The lack of Chitanda in this episode was seriously missed, as I disliked Irisu’s character, from the way she continually speaks without letting Houtaro have a word to the air that she has about her. “Empress”, indeed. Houtaro sure has a thing for sophisticated, straightforward, and persistent girls, doesn’t he?

    I’m probably wrong, but I’ll throw this out here. When they first mentioned that Hongou studied Sherlock Holmes novels as a reference, I always thought that the 7th character Hongou was looking for would be a detective. There’s always a detective in those stories.

    I still think that the killer was the quiet girl (forgot her name). She was in the second floor above where the victim was. All she had to do was scale down the rope (which needed to be able to support the weight of a person), enter through the window of an unlocked room (we saw a room in that area with an opened window), and do the final blow with a shard of window glass (I’m still trying to figure out why there were so many glass shards on the floor). As for how she locked the door? I’ll say that she swapped keys with him (the master key is a red herring), locked the room with his key, and scaled back upstairs using the rope. I’m probably wrong, but I’m looking forward to the conclusion anyhow. These kinds of mysteries reminds me of my old love for Sherlock Holmes, and I really should go back to reading more mystery novels.

  8. Loved loved loved LOVED this episode.

    And that cliffhanger… I literally had my mouth open when I realized what was missing.

    This episode shows that every great detective, be they Holmes, or House needs their Watson and “13, Chase, Foreman, Taub & Wilson” in order for them to be able to look at a problem through different perspectives.

  9. His explanation seemed to make so much sense, even if I didn’t really find it intresting, that I totally forgot about the rope too. The easiest way might be to just tie the cameraman up up with the rope and have someone else film but if they decided that was what it was for I’d be very disappointed.

  10. I like Irisu and hope we see a lot more of her.

    As for the mistery I’m really bad at them. But if the camera man carried the knife/axe to cut off the arm/kill. The rope could be used to held the camera in “place” somewhere. Silly answer I know. Scooby Doo where are you!

  11. I think were going for same “almost there, then wham!” type of mystery as it was with the Chitanda’s uncle and the origins of Hyouka. Everything seemed solved back then, but there was second layer of underlying hidden story.
    Still I am convinced there was second master key, prepared beforehand by the perpetrator who visited the mansion earlier.
    I am also concerned that our screenwriter might be dead in the “in-show real life”…
    And that might be the REAL mystery awaiting us.

  12. Satoshi, don’t feel jealous about it. We may lack deductive skills but we can still play a good role in team activities and we are quite in demand in general info competitions 😀

    On the other hand, I kinda feel frustrated when in fact this problem could be solved easily if they’d just ask the author, Hongou-san. Even though she’s sick, you can just go to her house and ask her how she wants the story to progress. As simple as that. If I missed something that they cannot ask her, my bad.

    I think, Kyo-Ani just wants this arc as a character development for Houtarou.

    I gotta give props, though, to Houtarou for thinking that the 7th person is none other than the cameraman.

  13. I get the feeling this is gonna set Oreki back to feeling that he’s “just lucky”, and hopefully make him realize that he actually likes being around the Classic’s Club. Chitanda was annoying here with how she was too hung-over to help and then just ran away, but Irisu had me fuming with how much it feels like she’s just winding Oreki up so she can use him. She didn’t sound sincere at all during their little tea-party, and Oreki actually got worked-up to the point where when everyone bailed on him he thought he could figure everything out himself. Hoping for some Chitanda and Oreki redemption next episode!

  14. As soon as Irisu said Houtarou was special, it felt almost inevitable he would make a mistake. In my opinion, Houtarou messed up because he let that comment mess with his character which resulted in him going through with the theory he had instead of consulting and bouncing ideas from the other club members. He put forward his theory because he believed it was correct because he was almost convinced he was special until that last scene when he was brought back to reality, that perhaps he isn’t special or maybe he only is special because he believes it’s all ‘luck.’ Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but just food for thought.

  15. Metafiction-wise, there was still too many clues unused to call it there. The coded lists found in the Sherlock Holmes books, the minutes from the class meetings and, of course, the rope. Chekov would roll in his grave if they just left it at that.

  16. I wonder about the rope, though. There was the assertion that everything needed to solve the mystery was in the film already, so why does the rope matter? If there was a use of a rope, that opens up numerous avenues, and puts me back to glasses guy dropping a floor with the rope to get in the open office window, grabbing the key, offing Keitou, and returning to the equipment room via the rope. His room is the only one with a vantage point on all the other routes, and if a 7th person could enter the office from the lobby without being seen, then glasses guy could leave the office without being seen as well.

    As Passerby noted, there are a ton of clues in the movie, open windows, glass on the floor, the “Staff Only” sign on the stage left door (probably the same on stage right, and uses the same key) and the “Reception” (“Preparation” or “Dressing”, perhaps?) rooms on both sides. (2 on the right, 1 on the left) I still wonder if Keitou’s key was for the stage left door, or if that’s actually the killer’s key, left as a diversion. The severed arm would serve as a distraction from actually checking the key.

  17. Irisu sure knew how to push Houtarou’s buttons, just as much as Chitanda. Though the twist at the end seemed to suggest Irisu may have other motives for nudging Houtarou to solve the mystery.

    Kinny Riddle
  18. You heard it here first! I think the guy was so sad about being ignored that after he killed the guy he used the rope to commit suicide!

    Yeah hotarou connects the dots, but his three friends help place them for him.

  19. ho ho… i also forgot about the rope. very clever double twist. didn’t see the cameraman thing, and even then i forgot about the rope too… this def changes things ho ho…

  20. Late to the party… but did anyone else think the name of the tea shop they met at had anything to do with Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni? 123 = Hifumi? or am i just crazy? ^^;;


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