Hyouka Episode Sixteen

The festival and mystery continue. Also, more GAAAAAY from Satoshi.

I have to admit it – I kind of hate breaking this out from my weekly round-up, as episodic blogging is largely anathema to me. However, there’s just too much I want to say for me to want to roll it into the weekly round-up – also, honestly, I should’ve done the same with episode fifteen, as I devoted several hundred words to it this past weekend. If you didn’t read that post, I pointed out that the first person to report missing items was Tani (the kid with the bowl-cut who irritates Satoshi), and stated that I thought he was the culprit based in large part of his being set up in opposition to Satoshi.

I have to walk that back. I still find his continued presence to be suspicious, but it seems unlikely that he is involved, as we now have the connection with A Corpse by Evening (one of the subbers originally rendered this as ‘Dead by Dusk’, which, honestly, is a much catchier translation even if its not as “accurate”). Tani is a first-year student, so he wouldn’t have an easy connection with a doujinshi written the year prior. Its still possible that he is connected – maybe he’s a younger sibling of one of those who was involved, maybe he’s a younger friend – but he isn’t the strong candidate I considered him last episode.

Of course, at this point I think it is safe to say that we have more than one culprit on our hands. The student council president was involved, and a student who transferred was, as well. We know there are more – probably the unpleasant girl from the manga club and the manga club president, possibly others. Filching objects from disparate clubs would be much easier with multiple people to handle the task, and it throws potential suspicion after any one of those individuals. How could they have stolen that ladle? They were in the broadcast booth all day!

The reference to And Then There None (published in the UK originally as Ten Little Niggers, which was changed to Ten Little Indians in the U.S. for a fairly obvious reason) I think we can discard. The dog Kudryavka’s unnatural death, and the unnatural deaths in And Then There Were None don’t have any parallel in the Kanya Festival arc; no one has died unnaturally. We could perhaps pick as the use of the term ‘lost’ instead of ‘stolen’ as connecting with it, as the premise of that book was that ten people who were responsible for ten unnatural deaths were gathered together for punishment in an unofficial manner – the people they’d been responsible for killing directly or indirectly were seen as having died in accidental circumstances; they “lost” their lives, they weren’t murdered. But its a very tenuous connection, not at all what I’m willing to stake any further conjecture on.

By the way, Satoshi also mentions Murder on the Orient Express and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Quite frankly, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is the best thing Christie ever wrote, and absolutely one of the best murder mysteries you could read. I can’t tell you why, because that would spoil it, but I can’t recommend a read of it enough. The premise may sound unexciting (a widow dies suddenly, it turns out that it is suicide and that she had confessed to killing her husband to the titular Roger Ackroyd, who is then himself murdered), but that doesn’t matter. If you have any interest in the mystery genre whatsoever, read it read it read it. It also violates one of Knox’s Ten Commandments rather violently, and does so without degrading its quality at all.

If I may be a pain, I would like to point out that Satoshi errs greatly in not mentioning Christie’s Three Blind Mice/The Mousetrap, which is absolutely Christie’s most famous work. It was at first a radio play, then a short story, and then a theatrical play which began running in 1952 and which is still running to this day (24,500 performances at least to date). I would attempt to make some connection with it and the current mystery, but I have forgotten most of the details of The Mousetrap, and I don’t want to spoil myself before I can read it anew.

I enjoyed watching Satoshi’s cool slip toward the end of the episode, perhaps cruelly so. I couldn’t help but think of Revolutionary Girl Utena, actually, specifically the episode involving Nanami’s henchgirl Yuuko getting her day in the sun, although it was destined to be so short-lived. Here, too, the “sidekick” thinks its their turn, only to ultimately just be kicked down by reality. Although I’m not so sure that in this case it is necessarily inevitable that Satoshi can’t solve the mystery – I think Satoshi may’ve failed to temper himself in his excitement over finding a mystery he felt he had the correct skillset to solve. I honestly think he sells himself short; he’s clearly not a stupid person, but he’s gotten so locked into thinking he’s good at one particular thing (being a database) that he’s become unable to see himself as capable of anything else.

Of course, here we would have to figure out to which side Hyouka itself pivots, whether it takes Irisu’s view that some people are just “better” than others, or if its presentation of mysteries which are solved through the efforts of four people is meant to refute that. I would lean toward the latter interpretation, although I honestly would prefer to go back and re-watch Irisu and Houtarou’s conversation regarding ability and talent before committing. As for my own beliefs, while I agree that, yes, the successful athlete putting down her success to hard work is belittling to the unsuccessful athlete, I don’t agree with the underlying sentiment Irisu seems to carry, of some being inferior.

At the end of the episode, is Satoshi’s line sincere or bitter? Or is it a combination of the two – he’ll be disappointed if Houtarou fails, but if Houtarou succeeds, he’ll be resentful. Words, tone, and facial expression combined, I think we can safely bet on the third option, here.

Oh, and for those of you who loved my post Hyouka Episode 12:




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7 Responses to Hyouka Episode Sixteen

  1. Satoshi’s conflicted feelings about Houtarou are quite delicious. (there’s my ambiguously gay quote of the day) I do hope Satoshi is at least instrumental in solving the case, like Oreki he needs to learn to value himself more.

    • A Day Without Me says:

      Agreed; although I do think the core of the show is about Houtarou becoming confident in himself, Satoshi could use a dose of it as well. Mayaka and Chitanda, on the other hand, seem fairly secure about themselves.

      I will take that comment about Satoshi’s feeling vis-a-vis Houtarou as gayly as humanly possible.

  2. hcrafty95 says:

    Hahahahahaaa Tuuuuue 😀

  3. 90 says:

    sad to hear stupid comments about pink and men….. i wish they will end some day….

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