Hyouka Episode 18

Recap: Houtarou decides to investigate a few things relating to his middle school English teacher.

Iro’s Thoughts:
We have a slower and more personal fare this week, after the hustle and bustle of the Kanya Festival. When a helicopter passes over the school, Houtarou muses about how his English teacher in middle school used to like helicopters. Satoshi and Mayaka remember the same teacher, but while Mayaka remembers the incident, Satoshi swears that Mr. Ogi wasn’t into helicopters as much as Houtarou says – he instead cites stories about the teacher surviving multiple lightning strikes. And thus even Houtarou “I never do anything I don’t have to” Oreki’s curiosity is piqued, much to the surprise of the rest of the club. Struck with an idea, he heads to the public library to examine old newspaper articles, Chitanda tagging along.

They find that Mr. Ogi was an avid mountain climber (President of the city’s local Mountain Climbing Club, in fact), lending some credence to the story of him being hit by lightning three times over his life – being high up would increase the chances of such a thing happening. They pore over the newspaper articles more thoroughly, and find one matching the day Houtarou remembers Mr. Ogi being excited to see a helicopter. Two people were stranded in the mountains the day before, and the weather was bad enough to prohibit the use of helicopters. Considering the teacher’s mountain climbing experience, Houtarou comes to the conclusion that Mr. Ogi hoped to see a helicopter on that day, as it would be a clear sign of rescue efforts in the mountains.

As our heroes head home, Houtarou says that he didn’t want to just jump to conclusion of “Mr. Ogi just likes helicopters” given the circumstances – it would be too insensitive to the people involved. Finding this admirable and flashing him a smile, Chitanda goes on her way, as does Houtarou.

Judging just by the two seconds of footage from the preview, it seems that the next few episodes may just be a series of one-shot mysteries, giving Houtarou and Chitanda a chance to get closer to each other. I guess we’ll see.

Marlin’s Thoughts: GAAAAAAH Man, watching these two is really frustrating sometimes. I know one of anime’s big shticks is milking the will-they-won’t-they kinda moments, but man, this was too much. Houtarou, when a chick asks if you wanna ride with her YOU ACCEPT THE OFFER. LOCK THAT SHIT DOWN MAN, SHE’S TOO GOOD FOR YOU AS IT IS.

Jel’s Thoughts: This episode made me remember way back when I was watching the first episode and I was totally ready to hate Houtarou. I’m sure I yelled a bunch of things at the screen about how I’m so sick of lame, apathetic protagonists blah blah blah… and now here we are. I wouldn’t say Houtarou has broken the mold per se, but the fact that he continues to be aware of himself and make progress, however slight, really helps set Hyouka apart from your average slice of life fare. I thought the final moments of this episode as he awkwardly tried to explain his feelings were a good indication of how far along he has come, and with a touch of KyoAni directing magic it was a really nice scene.

Oh yeah and I’m with Marlin, DUDE LOCK THAT DOWN.

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