「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.