A week into the semester, Kaga still obsessively trying to make contact with Mitsuo, who continues to avoid her. This irks Tada, but he concedes that ignoring her it Mitsuo’s choice, just as feeling bad for her is his. Tada accompanies Mitsuo to a party the film club is having at “Golden Time” restaurant. Tada is ensnared by the aggressive tea club in the next room and parties all night. The next day he’s rescued from club recruiters once again by Linda. They part when he spots Kaga sitting alone again. She tells him no clubs have approached her, and he suggest she reach out to more people. A pushy club recruiter from another college wrangles them into a three-day, two-night retreat.
Having experienced it ourselves (at art school, no less), we have to applaud this series for so faithfully depicting the chaotic first week of college life. New, fascinating, and unexpected experiences abound for Tada, and at times it is downright overwhelming. We like how the series exaggerates these experiences for dramatic effect; the awesome ordeal with the hard-drinking, hard-partying tea club being the most prominent example. But he survives that trial, and comes out a more informed, wiser (and hung-over) man. But what really seeks to tarnish his golden time is the knowledge that Kaga may not be happy here. Again, no one can fault Mitsuo for acting the way he does towards her; it may seem cruel to us, but we simply don’t know the whole story.
Maybe she does deserve this treatment. But none of that matters to Tada; he wants to get to know Kaga better. She’s a tough nut to crack for sure, described by recruiters as overpowering or out-of-reach. Kaga herself says she feels invisible, even though Tada has been seeing and talking to her all along. Visibility is a common thread here. By abjuring Kaga, Mitsuo seeks to render her invisible. By the end of the episode, Kaga has finally remembered Tada’s name, meaning he’s that much more visible to her. Linda isn’t quite as visible to Tada as she’d like; the light from Kaga is obscuring Linda’s, who may actually be the better match.
Rating: 8 (Great)
- That Tea Club Party was nuts. Binge-drinking; stripping; “bowling” into each other crotches and sniffing; turning first-year guys into man-slaves with the force of their personality. All it lacked was kegstands and beer bongs!
- Cafe au Laits in bowls? That sounds like something you’d first encounter in college.
- We see Linda out-of-costume for the first time, and we really dig her androgynous character-design. She really couldn’t look any more different from Kaga – which is the point.
- Idiots usually make bad characters, but Tada’s no idiot, as a part of him is aware she could be putting on an act, even as he desires a relationship with her. Like us, he needs more info to make a solid judgment about her.
- The cold open: an bandaged Tada in hospital garb runs through a dark forest and falls down a steep hill chasing a light. A figure approaches and lends him her hand. In a flash of light and flurry of roses, it becomes Kaga. But before that flash? The silhouette looked an awful lot like Linda. This, and Linda’s body language when with Tada, got us thinking, did she and Tada meet before his accident, and did he lose his memory of her?
Oreki details his dismissal of the amateur detectives’ theories with Irisu over tea, and she tells him she knew they’d fail, which is why she sought him – not the classics club – out. She coaxes him to stay on the case, and he comes in to school to do just that, shocking Fukube and Mayaka. Re-watching the video with Mayaka’s suggestions and Fukube’s notes at hand, he figures it out: the culprit is none of the six actors, but a seventh actor – the one behind the camera. With this in mind, the film is completed and shown to a satisfied audience at the festival. But there is one thing Oreki forgot about: the rope Hongou requested.
A student who is always ignored by his/her classmates follows them to a seedy theatre. They know he’s there, but aside from a momentary glance they pretend he isn’t. Suddenly, the kid pops, and when everyone else is out of sight, he kills one of them and makes it look like a locked room mystery. It’s a home run of conclusion that seems to fit all the facts, and even more impressive is how quickly Oreki comes up with it, drawing from everything he’s seen and everything he’s heard. The rope question is a hole, but as the original intent was to make a successful film, it didn’t matter. Or does it?
This episode was a turning point for Oreki. Chitanda wasn’t here this week to flash those majo shojo doe eyes at him (she was hungover). It’s Irisu who exhibits confidence in him he never had himself; who tells him to take pride in his talent; who calls him extraordinary numerous times for dramatic effect. Oreki’s never done anything he didn’t have to, but now he finds that solving mysteries is not only something he has to do, but something he wants to. He may have given the film a culprit, an ending, and even a title (Out of Sight, Out of Mind; heh heh), but the thing he wants and needs most of all is to find out the truth.
Rating: 9 (Superior)
The three “amateur detectives” of the film club offer their theories to the classics club, one by one. Vice director Nakajou believes it to be a simple matter of the murderer escaping through the window, but the grass outside wasn’t disturbed. Prop master Haba believes the culprit is Kounosu, also of the mountaineering club, because Hongou asked for a rope. Haba hasn’t watched the film yet, so doesn’t know how hard and loud opening the window from the outside would be. The third gumshoe, Sawakguchi, suggests it was going to be a horror flick with a slasher killing everyone save one couple, but there wasn’t enough blood ordered. With all three film club theories refuted, it’s up to the classics club to crack the mystery. On his way home, Oreki bumps into Irisu, who asks him out for tea.
This turned out to be only Part Deux of the film club murder mystery, comprised solely of listening to the three film club detectives rattle off their personal theories about whom the culprit may be. None of their theories survive the scrutiny of Oreki, Chitanda, Mayaka, and/or Fukube. Of course, it would have been awfully anticlimatic for one of them to come up with the answer instead of a member of the Classics Club. Instead, the presentation of their theories served to eliminate certain possibilities, if only somewhat.
While a wholly different mystery than that involving Chitanda’s uncle, due to it involving a much smaller scope of history (months, not decades), the series still manages to brew quite a stirring mystery here. We have no idea how it will be solved, and even if we had a clue, it’s likely it would be refuted by Oreki & Co. Quite amusingly, Chitanda snacks on whiskey chocolates throughout the episode, developing hiccups and eventually passing out after an apparent epiphany that “it’s like a kaleidoscope,” whatever that means. We’re also curious why Irisu wants to meet Oreki one-on-one.
Rating: 8 (Great)