Hyouka 04: Can’t make bricks without clay

Oh Hyouka, why you so Sherlock.

I’m starting to think that the Satoshi-Houtarou bromance is waaay better than whatever’s going on in Sakamichi no Apollon. Seriously if the guys in Sakamichi no Apollon turned gay it would resolve all the relationship problems. The beauty of Yaoi breaks all borders and heals all wounds.

Except of course Houtarou needs to be tsundere. Every KyoAni production needs a tsundere.

Don’t fight it. You know that Satoshi-Houtarou is a much better pairing than Eru-Houtarou.


>no plot relevance
>excessive environmental detail
>excessive environmental detail despite 5 seconds of screentime per background
>deliberate focus on the bicycle chains in action

Sneaking suspicion that KyoAni threw in this scene just to show off how much money they have effort they put into quality animation

The Chitanda Estate, while large, is stupidly dull. I look at the pervasive blue and green and I actually feel frustrated. It’s simply not natural to have a human structure being this nature-esque. Humans always have to leave their mark on their territory, no matter what. Dammit, it’s a house, a residence; not an army encampment trying to remain unnoticed by reconnaissance satellites.

Maybe it’s some sort of conscious design decision that speaks about its owners – that they’d rather be inconspicuous than show off their wealth.

Although I imagine it might be difficult to be inconspicuous when your private estate has enough land space to grow your own rice.


KyoAni is really enjoying itself with all the art styles they’re throwing in. Their animation meetings probably revolve around whatever the artists felt like drawing that week.

Also, don’t you find it sad that Eru’s only valid contribution to the discussion was “My uncle confronted something and then left the school”? Everything else she said was disproved and shot down. I know she’s not supposed to be smart, but to be appointed Hyouka’s Captain Obvious is really tragic.

Otherwise, the analysis is getting deeper every week. Now we don’t even have direct witnesses – all the data is from indirect sources and they need to be cross referenced. I particularly liked the reasoning behind the theory that the Sekitani Incident and the Legendary Movement are one and the same.

Methinks Houtarou is less Sherlock than he is Mycroft. Average grades on his examinations, and he couldn’t get any data beyond the whitewashed propaganda from the official school history text. He’s a deductive genius but can’t gather or store information to save his life.

Of course, there’s always the chance that Houtarou expected the other three to have found all the information available, so he wouldn’t actually have to bother. Any extra effort would be redundant, yes?

Next level cognitive processes in action.

The disassembled clock machinery is just there to look cool. At the rate we’re going, we’d hit Suzumiya Haruhi OP levels of scientific equation abuse by episode 13, and by series’ end I’d be expecting Lovecraftian geometries and incomprehensible arcane scrawls.


Yeah, I didn’t really get anywhere with this week’s episode. I didn’t even know if they were already trying to figure out the actual Sekitani events, or to separate fact from fiction just to get a vague idea of what happened. Going by how the meeting ended, I guess everyone really had low expectations all around.

Half-expected Houtarou to flip tables and curse them out for expecting a plausible hypothesis with so little data to work with, but I guess it takes less effort to make an inference or two.

Still, credit to Houtarou for building a strong theory that the culture fair was the root of the incident. Mayaka’s starting to question why she likes Satoshi in the first place. Brainy is the new sexy, after all.

But you know what’s the best part about Houtarou’s flimsy conclusion? We still don’t know what exactly the students did to protest. That means that it is still entirely possible that they participated in a massive, non-violent public exhibition of immorality and licentiousness.

Because we’re now spending the next 18 episodes trying to figure out why your memory-retention abilities are sorely lacking, my dear.

Also I find that I write better when I criticize something. And there’s nothing more enjoyable than criticizing the things I like. So from now on I think I’m going to be ripping the heck out of Hyouka. Out of love, of course. Out of love.

Episode rating:

2 out of 5 disapproving Mycroft Holmes’

“He’s always been so resentful.”

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  1. Bob from Accounting
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Also I find that I write better when I criticize something.”

    Is that why you’ve stopped writing about Acchi Kocchi?

    • SQA
      Posted May 16, 2012 at 12:47 am | Permalink

      Io-san stole too many of Johnny’s Sanity points. He’s forgotten it exists.

  2. Tenryu
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    you do realize that such estates are a sign of a generals house. Or at least i think so since there was a scene with weapons mounted on walls and i’ve watched Summer Wars

  3. skylion
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Excellent work.

    I cannot wait for Something out of Something Mildly Put Offed Mrs. Hudson’s.

  4. Dein
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Ok, there is absolutely no way that the bromance here is better than in sakamichi no apollon. I noticed people are comparing Hyouka to haruhi a lot, but in reality it seems to me that the relationship between Oreki and his mate is a reconfigured version of the same thing shown in Clannad between Sunohara and Okazaki. Hell, even the voice actors are the same.Not to say that it’s bad, but it seems like it has a lot less to tell and is generally very superficial. Which is ok, I guess, considering that it’s not really the shows main focus.

    • petitorenji
      Posted May 17, 2012 at 2:25 am | Permalink

      KyoAni is trying to develope its own KyoAniUniverse, much like CLAMP universe, so it tries to recycle its characters’ personalities and purpose:

      Chitanda = Haruhi+Asahina/Mio mix
      Houtarou = Yuuchi/Kyon/Tomoya/Yukito mix
      Satoshi = Youhei Sunohara/Jun Kitagawa mix
      Mayaka = Kyou Fujibayashi,

      • DarkFireBlade25
        Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        They really can’t do a KyoAni-verse since they don’t do original stuff. Clamp on the other hand do their own original stuff.

  5. skyhack
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Oh, I disagree. Satoshi x Houtarou is great, if only because it leaves Chitanda (Eru, what a beautiful name!) for ME!!

    2D girls with 3D hair. Oh, yeah.

  6. petitorenji
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    I laughed when Houtarou reminded us that Chitanda’s family is basically a line of “wealthy farmers.” I keep thinking that the phrase is an oxymoron, but then I remembered that there are huge, monopolizing, multinational corporations for farming and foodstuffs, in which farming is no more than an extreme euphemism, aka coverup name. Maybe the Chitandas were secretly selling radioactive vegetables to all parts of the world and Eru’s grandfather, voice quivering at the time, wanted to let her know that he knew about this all along, and that the guilt was too much to bare; his family had failed all of those dead customers who had believed in the quality of their produce, and that he wanted her to make things right again. Or maybe not.

    Satoshi-Houtarou also works for me, because then they may drop out of the club in fear of seeing the frustrated girls, in which I may then get the chance to never see them again, and also a chance to see Chitanda throw a tantrum, and hopefully start doing some memory-retrieving herself. The cycling scene has more sexual tension and steam than a naked couple staring at each other on their marriage bed in real life.

    I know that parents don’t exist in KyoAni slice-of-lives, but can’t Chitanda at least pretend that she has asked her parents and older relatives and teachers about this?

    • petitorenji
      Posted May 17, 2012 at 2:27 am | Permalink

      Or if the parents do, they don’t age beyond the age of 30.

    • DarkFireBlade25
      Posted May 17, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      you know, they could just own the land to the farm and have someone else farm it. free money!

      • petitorenji
        Posted May 17, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

        So they’re feudal lords?

        • DarkFireBlade25
          Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

          Something like that. I think the weapons give a clue to what their ancestry is. If they manage that well, their liquid assets would still be a lot since farmers in Japan are given subsidies.

    • Bob from Accounting
      Posted May 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      You have a strange definition of an oxymoron. You don’t need to be part of a huge corrupt organisation to be rich farmer. Most farmer’s are pretty damn well off. The fact that they own enough land for it to be worth farming is a bit of a clue. Are you mixing up ‘farmer’ and ‘labourer’?

      • petitorenji
        Posted May 17, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

        Most family farms in the US earn about 35,000 a year (in 2010) for a family of four. I hardly call that thriving. Though you can earn a bit more if you do shady business with Monsanto.

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