Hyouka Episode 17

Recap: The Classics Club scrambles to solve the mystery and sell all of Hyouka’s remaining copies.

Iro’s Thoughts: We start things off this episode with Chitanda on the Brodcast Club’s radio show – she flat out explains the Classics Club’s plans and asks everyone to drop by and buy some anthologies. With a good two dozen people hanging around in the clubroom, surrounding the item Juumoji intends to take, there’s no way he can manage it, right?

Wrong.

Just as the bystanders are starting to think it was all a hoax, the completed manuscript set up by the Classics Club explodes, and Mayaka finds a copy of the anthology with the last note from Juumoji. The Classics Club has lost the battle. Or have they? Satoshi has a flashback as he talks to Mayaka – he stumbled across Houtarou confronting the true culprit in a secluded area of the school. Juumoji was Tanabe Jirou, the bespectacled student council member and automatically shady guy by virtue of wearing glasses and by being introduced this arc. Long story short, a lot of untranslatable wordplay and such is involved and it all points back to him.

Houtarou blackmails Tanabe with the knowledge that he was the true culprit, getting him to buy 30 copies of Hyouka to sell on the school’s website. In return, he helps set up the theatrical explosion inside the crowded clubroom, giving off the appearance that Juumoji has beaten them all and completed the perfect crime. But with this the Classics Club has sold nearly every copy of their anthology, and to Houtarou’s eyes this may as well be considered a victory.

As for a motive, the show decides to go for broke in exploring feelings of inadequacy, and it all ties back into “A Corpse by Evening”. Tanabe simply couldn’t stand the fact that such a talented artist like the student council president has no plans to pursue manga – with natural talent such as his, it’s a waste for him to stop at this level, and he orchestrated the whole Juumoji scheme to try and hammer that home. The Vice President of the Manga Society feels the same way as well, frustrated that her own manga that she’s working so hard for will never be as good as the single work written by her friend with no real effort. Mayaka’s own subsequent realization that her own efforts have produced work on a significantly lower level than even the Vice President’s manga drives her to tears.

Satoshi harbors similar feelings of inadequacy towards Houtarou, but manages to sneak in his revenge. As the club members each buy one of the last four copies of Hyouka, Satoshi tips off Chitanda that Houtarou knows how the whole incident resolves, cuing her sparkly eyes yet again – and so the curious adventures of the Classics Club continue.

Jel’s Thoughts: Satoshi is Captain Ressentiment… sorry, I’ve been playing too much Persona 4 Arena.

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