A passing helicopter reminds Oreki of Ogi-sensei, a middle school English teacher he had with Satoshi and Ibara. Oreki remembers he liked helicopters, but Satoshi doesn’t agree. Unsure of his own memory, Oreki’s curiousity is piqued – shocking everyone and greatly exciting Chitanda, who meets him at the public library to investigate. By sifting through newspapers around that date, they determine Ogi-sensei was also a mountaineer, and was looking out the window for a helicopter to rescue climbers who were stranded in the nearby Kamikakiuchi range.
After that huge, sprawling, epic school festival arc, this one-shot episode almost came as a shock. Even more shocking, Oreki becomes curious enough about something to get off his ass and check it out – without any prodding from outside parties. It’s definitely an unprecedented occurance, though Satoshi and Ibara’s reactions are a little overdone. It also occurs around a totally random helicopter flyby that sparks a random memory about a teacher. It also speaks to how easily our memories can be corrupted by plausible embellishment. In this case, Oreki made a statement about something – that Ogi-sensei liked helicopters so much he’d pause the class to look out the window at one flying by.
But when Satoshi recalls other cases of helicopters that Ogi didn’t react to – followed by him remembering Ogi was struck by lightning three times – leads Oreki to want to find out the truth. That truth – about the helicopter rescuing mountain climbers – was something we figured out pretty early in the investigation, making this one of the few episodes where we knew exactly where the case was leading long before the episode got there. In the process, Oreki and Chitanda have a kind of quasi-date at the library, though any romantic aspirations for these two remain irritatingly shelved for now, despite their chemistry. Even Kyon eventually kissed Haruhi.
Rating: 7 (Very Good)