Hyouka – 08

Irisu Fuyumi of the A/V Club enlists the Classics Club to attend a screening of the club’s mystery film. The writer, Hongou, took ill and was unable to finish the script. It’s a crudely-made affair, but Irisu believes Oreki & Co. can devine the culprit from the small amount of footage seen. Oreki balks at the opportunity, not wanting so much responsibility, but instead agrees that he and the Classics Club will be “observers”, listening to the theories of the A/V club’s ‘amateur detectives’ and advising them when necessary.

Perhaps the biggest mystery since “Hyouka” falls into the reluctant lap of Oreki and the Classics Club, thanks to Chitanda offering to help a fellow rich empire heiress in need, Irisu. Unlike a hotel ghost mystery, a lot of people in the A/V Club are now depending on Oreki’s investigative skills, and even if he said he wouldn’t take responsibility for failure, we’re as confident as Chitanda, Fukube and Mayaka that he’ll be able to solve the unfinished film’s mystery. The cold open was similarly mysterious, with two people texting and chatting online – who turned out to be Chitanda and Irisu. Clearly Chitanda’s vision for the Classics Club goes far beyong enjoying literature.

With Detective Oreki at her side, the club has become a formidable detective force. We really liked how much detail went into the depiction of the indie film: shaky handheld camerawork, wind noise, intermittent focus, and bad acting were all on display, but despite its flaws, the underlying mood of the film commanded our attention and respect. We also liked how horribly hot and muggy it looked when Oreki poked his head outside. Were it not for Chitanda meeting up with him at his house, he’d have retreated indoors.

Rating: 7 (Very Good)