If the last episode of Hyouka was the weakest, than this week’s episode really delivered. Compared to other mystery series like Another and UN-GO, the conclusion of what took place 40 years at Kamiyama High delivered some surprising information and took a phrase used so innocently as children for something much darker. Hyouka, I underestimated you but can this keep up for 16 more weeks?
Some things I had predicted about the mystery turned out to be true: Jun Sekitani clearly was no hero – he didn’t do this of his own free will, he had been the scapegoat because none of the students were courageous enough to face consequences for skipping class and burning down the kendo center. It’s sad to see such a person get the blame for everything in the face of the cowardly student body. But what shocked me was that the one who knew it all was right under the Kotenbu’s noses – the librarian Itoigawa-sensei. What surprised me was how easy she revealed everything she knew about the incident with Jun Sekitani, so why didn’t she say anything back on episode 3 when the gang visited the library? Regardless, her involvement in the story was small – though she lead the Kotenbu Club, she took no real part in the protests and witnessed with shock the calm demeanor of Sekitani as he was expelled.
So, with that solved..what was the meaning of the name “Hyouka”? Itoigawa-sensei said she didn’t understand Sekitani’s reason for giving it such a name, but Houtarou was able to find out the meaning. Hyouka roughly means ice cream in Japanese, but he says it’s a “really bad pun” because what does ice cream have to do with the events that transpired forty years ago? I scream is what Sekitani really wrote as a message to future members of the Kotenbu Club, the last words of a young man who never got a chance to do anything else. It hit me (and Chitanda) immediately that a phrase we use so innocently “I scream for ice cream!” was used in such a dark context, and Sekitani’s message to Chitanda to be strong or you’ll die was what trigger her to cry. With everything solved, the next mystery may just be Houtarou’s sister, and her dialogue that conflicted with Houtarou’s thesis reminded me of the conversation with Kouichi and his father from Another that triggered some shocking developments for later, and I think we’ll be exploring Houtarou’s sister later than sooner.
Hyouka Awesome Animation Moments
This show has so much wonderful animation, that I’ll just note it below and it gets its own corner!
-The flashback with Itoigawa-sensei was really great as it showed her viewing the incident that took place in our own eyes – making it feel that to us the viewer, it is more personally affecting us.
-The depiction of the school administrators as wolves and the students as rabbits was chilling. The lone rabbit being chomped on by the wolf, while the other rabbits simply look away. It’s symbolic commentary on ignorance and indifference – such as countries like Mexico, because no one there bothers to rely on the police as they’re mostly corrupt or ineffective due to drug cartels.
-Houtarou’s tapping foot and the shaking of the tea cup was another nice touch.
-Ibara looked much more vibrant this episode, didn’t she?
Jun Sekitani didn’t scream for ice cream, he screamed because no one cared enough to understand how he felt about being a scapegoat.