Hyouka 05: Nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact

Obvious – if you happen to be proficient in both Japanese and English.

I don’t even think the original Sherlock Holmes could have seen through that one.

Ah, the inevitable, stereotypical sequence in which the self-professed social outcast widens his horizons, breaks his boundaries, releases his inhibitions, expands his limits, etcetera etcetera…

Sorry, what was that? I was too busy marvelling at the blatant symbolism of the scene. The rain happening to stop just as Houtarou made his declaration, moving his literal and metaphorical barriers aside, the dull grey clouds parting to let the rich sunshine spill forth upon his face.

That last sentence seems a little homoerotic. Must be the Houtarou-Satoshi vibes rubbing off on me.

A girl confessing a secret to you, alone in a clubroom after school, while the sun’s setting in the background?

Shee-it, that’s as colourful as you’re ever going to get. This is the colourful scene that every school-going kid dreams of.

(Apart from the delusions about girls in pantsu and rocketboots, of course. That scenario’s still a couple years away. Probably in the next parallel universe over or so.)

I don’t know about you, but I’d like to have a mysterious, globe-trotting, thief-bashing, authoritative woman as an older sister. Even if she could have saved 2 episodes of effort by just telling Houtarou what she definitely already knows.

Oreki Tomoe is going to be Hyouka’s final boss. You read it here first.

I should’ve focused more on Ibara Mayaka.

Damn that girl is adorable. All that work animating K-On really paid off.

The moment I saw this, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to follow along until Houtarou spelt things out for me.

Accursed Kanji, you murdered me back when I was studying Chinese, and you’re slaughtering me again in yet another language.

I call shenanigans. There was no way the viewers could have seen the identical Kanji names – at least, not in the anime.

Also, that reaction shot is so minor, how were we to know that it would have been significant 3 episodes later? Upon repeated reviewing I must admit that the sharp intake of breath in episode 2 was a little suspicious, BUT SRSLY.

I am getting so many wallpaper-worthy screencaps from this show. I love it.

JOSHIKOUSEI YOUKO-SENSEI IS A KUROKAMI KOTOBUKI TSUMUGI.

There I said it. That resemblance is uncanny. They even gave her those Mugi eyebrows.

Yeah, should’ve guessed this one. No way Japanese kids would have been so brave as to step up and get that target painted on them, at least not in that era. Now we’re seeing gothic lolitas and crossdressers everywhere. Social progress, biatches.

That secret ringleader is probably going to be a future plot point too. Although to expect that the dude is now one of the Hyouka crew’s immediate family might be a little too contrived.

GAWD ENOUGH WITH THE KANJI

That BBC Sherlock moment.

At least Houtarou isn’t being a total arrogant arse about it. Makes you not want to punch him in the face, too.

(Not that I’d want to punch Benedict Cumberbatch in the face, of course. Not after Tinker Tailor, anyway. That movie was gold dust.)

So the literal translation of 氷菓 is edible ice. I feel like a total idiot for never once running that term through a translator. It’s not like it’s a sentence that requires advanced grammatical translation functions.

But that message is still suitably disturbing. One of the oldest, lamest puns in the English language (at least, since ice scream was invented), and it’s suddenly all screwy again, thanks to a little context from a traumatic back story.

One of the most minimalist, yet dramatic anime tear drops I’ve ever seen. The last time I’d seen a tear drop like that was probably from some Chinese television period myth drama in which an immortal being sheds tears at the failings/sufferings of mankind.

Or something. Symbolic art direction is symbolic.

I’m starting to think that KyoAni lets SHAFT be SHAFT because they can thrash them anytime they want.

Kind of like how Luke Skywalker doesn’t use dual lightsabers like the younger, flashier Jedi, but every now and then goes to town with twin blades just to remind everyone that he has the skills, but doesn’t need them.

I’m sorry. That is a terrible analogy. But my brain is fried from work and I’d really like to finish this review and sleep.

I can just imagine Japanese viewers trying to pronounce the words and scratching their heads in confusion at the pun in a language that they only barely comprehend. Hyouka’s bilingualism definitely cuts both ways.

Hyouka mystery solved, 16 more episodes to go.

16 episodes of Ibara Mayaka in a variety of revealing outfits and doing kawaii things? One can only hope.

Episode Rating:

5 out of 5 apathetic Greg Lestrade’s

“PAS NOTRE DIVISION”

Also personal note: I’ll probably be dropping Acchi Kocchi. I don’t want to ruin my moe jikan with the pressure of writing reviews for it. Very much apologies no desu.

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15 Comments

  1. b0b0
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    “I call shenanigans. There was no way the viewers could have seen the identical Kanji names – at least, not in the anime”

    http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/9623/87483274.jpg

    • Posted May 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      You’d need to have seen her name on the 2nd anthology publication as well. I’ll admit that it’s there, but it’s barely legible from that angle, and made worse by how complicated the Kanji for “You” is.

  2. Bob from Accounting
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Plot over. Now for slice-of-life ’till the end. Maybe.

    So the show’s called ‘Ice Cream’? I’m just going to call it that from now on.

    • Posted May 23, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      One wonders if KyoAni latched onto Hyouka just because of the name. The spiritual successor to Afternoon Tea Time.

    • Posted May 23, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      “Shaved ice” would be the more accurate translation, I believe, but that wouldn’t create the pun.

      • petitorenji
        Posted May 25, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        Which is somewhat of a Fail on their part. There’s quite a huge difference between the two, not like ice-cream and gelato, but more like ice-cream and frozen yogurt. To have an incorrect pun be the driving plot device for a mystery story is unacceptable.

        But of course, this series’s fantastic animation and art direction saved its butt again.

      • sneezl
        Posted May 26, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

        The Japanese almost universally call shaved ice kaki-goori.

  3. Tzu
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    I was getting the feeling this show ended on this episode, somehow it felt almost everything was solved, this episode was more of an ending than what many shows out there get I tell you.

    • Posted May 23, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Admittedly there wasn’t much to resolve – just Eru’s question and the origin of Hyouka. But now that those are settled, there really isn’t anything else to go on. Houtarou’s sudden change in mindset may lead the charge, or Tomoe may be up to something elsewhere. Maybe there’s a reason why Houtarou keeps sending those letters.

    • Posted May 23, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

      Series is 5 light novels, with only the 1st titled Hyouka. I’m guessing that The Niece of Time arc was just the 1st novel.

  4. Posted May 23, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    KyoAni really is the top when it comes to animation. They’ve always looked good, but studios such as Shaft have innovated in the last 5 years to create shows that look even more beautiful in their unique ways. Now KyoAni is taking a page from their book and implementing it using their traditionally great visuals, resulting in something that looks truly breathtaking at times. It’s like they’re sending a message to the rest of the industry: “We know y’all have been doing some fancy stuff to look better, but when we try, we’re SO MUCH BETTER than you.”

    • Posted May 24, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Stay classy, KyoAni ;D

    • DarkFireBlade25
      Posted May 24, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      I think they already accomplished that with the clannad series. Even now looking back, nothing beats out the cinematography except hyouka.

  5. petitorenji
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    氷菓 is not ice-cream but shaved-ice / snow-cone / flavored icicle. So the pun Hourtaru figured out should definitely not have been I-scream but I-sickle or something else totally bizarre. アイスクリーム, or aisu-kuriimu, is ice-cream.

    I’m just glad the girls in this series show their front teeth that often, like the girls in K-ON did. And now I know for sure that Tsumugi-brows are indeed timeless.

  6. DarkFireBlade25
    Posted July 13, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    soooo uh, where’s the rest of the eps?

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