After the intensity of the previous episodes demonstrated Hyouka's ability to engage the audience on a deeper plane of understanding, a cool down period was necessary to chill the heated story.
Being a show that manages to incorporate several different aspects of visual and plot-wise ingenuity, one can only imagine the possibilities Hyouka as a show can bring to the table. Of course, keeping in mind that the majority of the mysteries which have been solved have been rather mundane, it's not surprising that more simple yet increasingly interesting mysteries are being brought forth. This episode's mystery was actually the simplest of all the mysteries we've seen, perhaps even a little too simple. While I can't exactly say I enjoyed this episode as much as the previous episodes, there were still some very good points which managed to keep this episode alive.
Kick-starting the episode is Mayaka, essentially raging at Satoshi, venting her stress for whatever reason. Having a girl hard rage at me in a lengthy rage has never actually happened to me, since I'm the one who usually ends up raging and venting. It's a totally realistic, down-to-earth scenario that could happen with anyone, something I greatly enjoyed seeing in this particular episode.
Following Mayaka's rage scene was Houtarou and Eru's conversation regarding anger, greed, and pride. While these aren't themes usually explored in shows like this, it was nice seeing such themes presented, and executed in such a carefree manner as friends simply having a discussion about nothing in particular. Once again, I can wholly relate to this situation, as I know how easy it is to start an entire philosophical debate of miscellaneous topics. Besides, I won't lie, seeing Houtarou's eyes spark and light up as Eru say "I'd waste too much energy" was absolutely priceless. It would've hit the spot if Houtarou had gone that extra step to say "I love you", only to have Eru say she's only joking.
Moving onto the actual mystery now. I was a little disappointed with the utter simplicity of this week's mystery. Trying to figure out why Eru was angry with her math teacher seems to belong in a different show, but nonetheless, it was somehow presented in a way that made it seem less boring. Having Eru seem absolutely clueless about why she was angry also made me scratch my head, since this event couldn't have happened more than a couple of hours ago.
All in all, a fairly mundane episode with a mundane mystery. Though the mystery aspect simply didn't hit the spot for me this time, I will admit that the mystery was in fact broken down rather well. As always, the art was simply top notch, the best of the season and the best that I've seen in some time.
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