Don’t steal a girl’s heart and her heart-shaped chocolate.
I’m not sure what kind of Kool-Aid I was drinking last week, but I did not mean to put a premature end on the Hyouka anime run by declaring a Valentine’s Day episode the finale. Obviously it can’t end like the way it did, although it had plenty of heavy stuff, like love, for instance. I apologize about that.
Moving on, a Valentine’s Day feature has some of everything, though I do have to say that the “mystery” itself is weak. Even as it happened, I found it fairly predictable who the culprit was despite missing out on some particular wording that gave it away. I guess it would be hard to stay away from his name the entire way through so I’ll just come out right here and say it. If you’ve watched the episode, then there is no point for me to spoil this spoiler. But if you didn’t watch it and planned to skim through this write-up, then you’ve been warned.
Satoshi is a clever, clever guy, and I don’t mean that in a sarcastic manner. Houtarou had him figured out at the arcade and knew that Mayaka would offer him chocolates, and only those who are so uptight about making things right would miss who the thief is. Eru, he’s right before your eyes — blind to the those you call friends, who can very well be foes at any time. I do like Eru more than I should, but her innocence tends to be her greatest weakness (as well as her strength, unsurprisingly).
It’s been hard to get myself to really like Satoshi up until this point, but now I can give him the respect he deserves. It still rubs me the wrong way how his reluctance to be obsessed with a particular thing, or someone, keeps him from experiencing the kind of happiness that only he can enjoy. But here I sound off about him when I myself can relate to his ways and thoughts. Even as I declared Houtarou the most likely-to-be anime character for me, it’s probably Satoshi with whom I can relate to the most after this episode.
I’m just glad Valentine’s Day isn’t the big deal. I mean, it still is, and one should never mess with a girl’s heart and her chocolate, but it’s not so overblown that Mayaka would stop obsessing over Satoshi even after years of trying to get him to open up. This subplot puts a nice end-like story to the two of them, the kind of romance that wouldn’t drive me to hate myself because of sappy and over-dramatized turnouts. Satoshi’s crime could have been worse if his breaking of the chocolate heart became a symbolic gesture of his own incompetence (for not being able to be the best at anything, as a databank) or his general frustration with his own feelings. I’m not trying to look too deeply into the matter but it’s a thought that crossed my mind as Houtarou illustrated it.
I am also glad that this EruxHoutarou thing didn’t happen (yet), minus that one awkward moment when they blush and decide not to look at one another in public. I say, save the best for last and whatever happens in the finale will not overshadow what has happened throughout the bulk of Hyouka. I could use one more mystery before this is all done and over.
GO Rating: 3.5/5
Last mystery guess: what makes up Houtarou’s brain? I want to say string cheese…