Hyouka – 02

One month after the Classics Club was assembled, Chitanda is frustrated by the lack of club activities. She leads him to the library, where Satoshi and another friend, Ibara Mayaka, present them with a small mystery involving a large book that’s been checked out for one day five weeks in a row by five different girls. When Chitanda notices it smells of paint thinner, he deduces it’s being used a painting subject in the art room, impressing both Chitanda and Ibara. Chitanda calls him that Sunday, and they meet at a cafe, where she nervously tells him she has a confession to make…

Instead of robberies and murders, what if Sherlock Holmes only dealt in small but tasty mysteries at his school? More to the point, what if Sherlock just couldn’t be bothered to exert any energy solving anything without firm prodding by Watson? What if Watson was a pretty girl with amethysts for eyes? That’s Oreki for you. He’d rather not do anything at all with his free time, but Watson Chitanda just won’t leave him alone, and he just can’t refuse those eyes. Near the end when everyone – even Ibara, whose opinion of him has never been high – is congratulating him for his discovery, he even wonders who this person is, exerting all his energy.

Like last week, the dialogue crackles and pops, the characters brim with energy, and the series excels both at natural, realistic animation and fantastical glimpses into Oreki’s mind’s eye, including a very striking scene where he’s seated at a grand dining table being bullied by Chitanda, or something momentary, like Chitanda with a tail. We’ve only seen two episodes of Hyouka, but we can say without hesitation that we’re positively hyouked. And we can probably expect that Chitanda’s impending “confession” probably won’t be what we’re expecting.

Rating: 8

Car Cameo: There’s a spankin’-new blue Toyota Ractis parked outside Oreki’s crib.

P.S. What’s with the ending sequence? Chitanda and Ibara in skimpy see-through nighties sprawled out on a big…wait, never mind, we get it.