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View Poll Results: Hyouka - Episode 21 Rating
Perfect 10 42 46.15%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 38 41.76%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 7 7.69%
7 out of 10 : Good 2 2.20%
6 out of 10 : Average 2 2.20%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 0 0%
4 out of 10 : Poor 0 0%
3 out of 10 : Bad 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 0 0%
1 out of 10 : Painful 0 0%
Voters: 91. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2012-09-10, 03:04   Link #61
Guardian Enzo
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On Satoshi, I don't think his newfound non-competitive personality would manifest in his being hypersensitive to what people think about him - on the contrary, I think this is as much as anything about not giving a damn what people think about him. I believe he would argue that the reason he has a healthy social life is precisely because he's decided to pretend he's not going to try and be great at anything and just be happy.

I won't deny that Satoshi took the path of least resistance with Mayaka this week, and I'm not arguing he should get a Nobel for his actions. But I also think it's more complicated than simply hating on him for deceiving her (which in fact, she wasn't - and I would guess he knew she'd know what really happened). Fact is, Satoshi has some serious issues to deal with before he should even think about being in any kind of romantic relationship. He'd be a terrible boyfriend to anyone, and he knows it - he's basically living a lie and while his niceness is genuine, and perpetual happiness is often an act. Until he gets his head sorted out, Mayaka is much better off not getting tangled up with him.
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Old 2012-09-10, 03:18   Link #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaoru Chujo View Post
I was a big fan of Haruhi, but now I think this is the best show KyoAni has ever made. Such powerful delicacy.

Houtarou and Satoshi are quite similar. Both have been avoiding difficulties by not trying too hard. They have both doubted they had much to offer in life.
Eh. While this might apply, in part, to Houtarou (there's been speculation that his reclusiveness was a reaction to being constantly overshadowed by his sister Chuck NorrisTomoe,) it doesn't really apply to Satoshi. Nay, in his earlier days, Satoshi believed the whole point of life was to win. Now he wishes to offer nothing but that which would serve his personal amusement ... or, at least, that's what he tells himself.

Quote:
But maybe now their reactions to two girls are helping them to break free of their self-imposed limitations.
Seems to me that their reactions couldn't be more different. When Oreki is faced with the fact that Chitanda has no concept of the word "no," he rises to the challenge and beats people up with his brain, even though he'd really rather not admit that he is, in fact, the goddamned Batman (being Batman, after all, is hard work.) When Satoshi is faced with the thought of possibly having to take a stand, one way or the other, on his relationship with Mayaka by accepting or rejecting her chocolate gift ... he breaks it into little pieces, hides it in his bag, and lets everyone think it was stolen.

Quote:
Eru demonstrates that you can be naive, emotional, and brilliant at the same time. Her final thank-you to Houtarou was so heart-warming.
She didn't seem that naive to me. Her final "thank you" to Houtarou seems to show that she understands, perfectly, what it was that he was doing; and why he was doing it.
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Old 2012-09-10, 03:24   Link #63
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I view it differently. I think that what we are seeing here is an extension of what had happened at the end of the festival arc, where after what seemed like being outsmarted by his best friend in such a seemingly effortless manner, whatever little confidence Satoshi had in himself ended up being obliterated, and what he is saying now reeks of him thinking he is worthless.

Quote:
Fact is, Satoshi has some serious issues to deal with before he should even think about being in any kind of romantic relationship. He'd be a terrible boyfriend to anyone, and he knows it - he's basically living a lie and while his niceness is genuine, and perpetual happiness is often an act. Until he gets his head sorted out, Mayaka is much better off not getting tangled up with him.
No disagreement there, but it was the path of least resistance for him. And we can say that he might have known that she would've known about it, but it didn't exactly make it any less hurtful for Mayaka, but in the end he must have known about that as well ...
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Old 2012-09-10, 03:29   Link #64
~Yami~
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*putting Chitanda's curious face*
NOW I'M CURIOUS ABOUT WHAT FUKUBE TOLD MAYAKA IN THE END!!!

*huff* *huff*
I guess this is the first time I can guess who is the culprit...
well, the intention is far more complicated then I think before...

Satoshi should know that if it's about love, Mayaka will accept him together with his obsessive part...

and Oreki did a good job in handling Chitanda... great one!
I think Mayaka already know why Fukube stole her chocolate... it's because Fukube still can't give any answer yet.... that's all...

and there is still another episode next week... I'm happy
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Old 2012-09-10, 03:53   Link #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arabesque View Post
I view it differently. I think that what we are seeing here is an extension of what had happened at the end of the festival arc, where after what seemed like being outsmarted by his best friend in such a seemingly effortless manner, whatever little confidence Satoshi had in himself ended up being obliterated, and what he is saying now reeks of him thinking he is worthless.
He probably had self-esteem issues all throughout middle school. In terms of skill, he defines "average." He's good at trivia ... and that's about it. Take the cooking contest. He can tell you all the dishes being prepared, but Chitanda crushes him utterly and completely in terms of cooking output and quality. On top of that Mayaka has him beat when it comes to innovation and ingenuity. Being hyper-competitive, and doing anything to win; it's all about his self-esteem. Winning would've given it a lift, even though his definition of "win" was demonstrably flimsy. When he finally realized that crowing over wimpy victories wasn't doing him any favors, he overcompensated by going in the "pretend he doesn't give a <GITAH CHORD> about anything" direction. Only that too isn't sustainable, as it is inevitable that he'll end up in a situation where he absolutely has to take a stand one way, or the other. Where he's gonna roll the "hard six."

Though Oreki's blossoming probably isn't helping matters much. Being so competitive in his youth, and being so unable to actually put up much of a fight; he probably hung out with the ever-gray Oreki, because Oreki didn't care enough to be much of a contender, and took everything in stride with little more than snark. Only now, every time, Oreki solves something with the might of his throbbing brain, Satoshi's mediocrity stands out in increasingly stark contrast. While he, superficially, laughs it off; it really burns him up on the inside.
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Old 2012-09-10, 04:35   Link #66
Kaoru Chujo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMT View Post
Eh. While this might apply, in part, to Houtarou (there's been speculation that his reclusiveness was a reaction to being constantly overshadowed by his sister Chuck NorrisTomoe,) it doesn't really apply to Satoshi. Nay, in his earlier days, Satoshi believed the whole point of life was to win. Now he wishes to offer nothing but that which would serve his personal amusement ... or, at least, that's what he tells himself.
I'm thinking there are three Satoshis: competitive middle-schooler, insecure and self-deceiving uncompetitive high-schooler, and a third Satoshi who may just be coming to birth in that phone call.

Quote:
Seems to me that their reactions couldn't be more different. When Oreki is faced with the fact that Chitanda has no concept of the word "no," he rises to the challenge and beats people up with his brain, even though he'd really rather not admit that he is, in fact, the goddamned Batman (being Batman, after all, is hard work.) When Satoshi is faced with the thought of possibly having to take a stand, one way or the other, on his relationship with Mayaka by accepting or rejecting her chocolate gift ... he breaks it into little pieces, hides it in his bag, and lets everyone think it was stolen.
All true, but see above: I'm thinking/hoping that the new Satoshi is just coming into being at the end of the episode.

Quote:
She didn't seem that naive to me. Her final "thank you" to Houtarou seems to show that she understands, perfectly, what it was that he was doing; and why he was doing it.
To me, she has been naive throughout the show: innocent, straightforward, easy to fool. It's her brilliance that finally enables her to see through everything, however. Maybe I'm using the wrong words. I just wanted to get at her contradictory combination of being innocent and straightforward, but still smart and perceptive.

Interesting comments. Thanks.
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Old 2012-09-10, 05:03   Link #67
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That was the most intense Valentine day episode I've ever watched.

Satoshi finally explains himself. I think he doesn't really have a problem aside from the topic concerning Mayaka. It make me think back to one of the scene in Lucky Star when Kagami beated Misao in a game but Misao looked so happy that Kagami actually felt like she was a loser for caring too much about winning. Satoshi found out that by not trying to win, he actually is very happy with his life. So I don't see any problem with taking that attitude. It doesn't mean he doesn't try to do anything like (the old) Houtarou. He just does not try to be the best at it. Sure, he took it a little too far in my opinion. I would say everyone should try to master a thing or two so you can make a living and contribute to the society. But it's nothing that need "fixing." It is actually something that we all have to accept at some point in our life that there is always someone better than you at something.

On the other hand, as he pointed out, it is an issue with his relationship with Mayaka. He has to dedicate himself to the one person. But as Houtarou said, it is pretty stupid that he can't just separate the two issue. He can be in a relationship and still live his life the way he want.

On the Houtarou and Eru front, I have to repeat what have been said. It was nice to see Eru explains that she doesn't give him anything because she consider him "people who she is very closed to." I was rooted on the spot seeing her rage and happy seeing Houtarou clam her down by saying trust him on this. And she did. And oh boy, I'm certainly not the only one who got the husband/wife vibe from that last phone call. Right, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
This is a series that can make other anime look really amateurish by comparison when it goes all-out.
I kind of agree with you, but I'd use the word "childish" instead. Or even better, it makes other anime even more too "chuunibyou."

Last edited by Hyper; 2012-09-10 at 05:54.
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Old 2012-09-10, 05:26   Link #68
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A bit of trivia: this episode was done by the Animation Do team. They're basically Kyoani's Osaka branch, and are steadily growing in capability, as Hyouka 21's outstanding visual quality demonstrates. The tense atmosphere that was apparent at the moment Mayaka arrives at the club, as well as in Oreki and Satoshi's conversation, wouldn't make such a big impact if it wasn't for the clever storyboarding and nuanced acting animation work that went into such scenes. The level of animation consistency throughout the whole episode is also almost as good as Kyoani's A team.

Images
Some cuts
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?

Goes to show just how much above the norm Kyoani is when it comes to visual prowess. If you ask me, this episode was driven by its direction and animation, rather than its script (which is pretty good, in any case).
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Old 2012-09-10, 06:48   Link #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shergal View Post
A bit of trivia: this episode was done by the Animation Do team. They're basically Kyoani's Osaka branch, and are steadily growing in capability, as Hyouka 21's outstanding visual quality demonstrates. The tense atmosphere that was apparent at the moment Mayaka arrives at the club, as well as in Oreki and Satoshi's conversation, wouldn't make such a big impact if it wasn't for the clever storyboarding and nuanced acting animation work that went into such scenes.The level of animation consistency throughout the whole episode is also almost as good as Kyoani's A team.

Images
Some cuts
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?

Goes to show just how much above the norm Kyoani is when it comes to visual prowess. If you ask me, this episode was driven by its direction and animation, rather than its script (which is pretty good, in any case).
The storyboarding was really witty for this episode and it most likely was backed with a really good Key Animation. This was a really expressive episode with IMO Chitanda's moment of distraught being the highlight.

Personally one of my favorite scenes in this ep was the scene where Satoshi breaks the Chocolate then immediately switches to Oreki.
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Old 2012-09-10, 07:14   Link #70
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Originally Posted by Arabesque View Post
I had already figured that out (in fact, I think the general agreement at the start of the series was that by the end, thanks to Chitanda forcing him to move out of his comfort one, Houtarou would end being less anti-social and more like a healthier teenager ) but the thing that still surprise me is just how well paced and organic that transformation had been to this point. I didn't think that I would still see him develop new reactions this late into the show, and for it to be so natural.
He is asocial, not anti-social. While I know that some english-speaking countries mix those up quite a bit, there's still a very clear and important distinction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arabesque View Post
To be clear, I'm not angry at what Houtarou did in this episode. I honestly think he did what was for the best, even if it wasn't necessarily ''the right thing to do''. When I say that I thought he would end up punching Satoshi, it was due to how tense the mood was, even when he graped Eru's hand and I thought she would end up slapping him.
This is Japan, what he did was exactly the right thing to do. (Speaking from experience with Japanese society)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arabesque View Post
As for what Satoshi did, nope, sorry, still angry. I can tell that there is a story for why he did what he done, but going by what I've seen, Satoshi willingly placed his own self interest above both Mayaka and Chitanda's happiness. I can appreciate he had his reasons to do so (be it fear of commitment or lack of self esteem) but it's hard for me to see how he can do something like that to his friends and let it pass. What he did was wrong, and it caused a great deal of pain for the two, just so he could avoid dealing with something he didn't want to confront.

Maybe if I get to know the full story, I can be more understanding, but for this episode, I'm not really liking him much (though I still find him a very interesting character, more than ever).
That I can agree with wholeheartedly
And Mayaka is completely innocent in all of this?

She is the one that went to extreme lengths to make the chocolate, essentially forcing Satoshi into a position where he had to make a choice he wasn't prepared for. Mayaka knew very well that he didn't want to go there yet, still she pushed forward.

So when you say you're angry at Satoshi, very likely you're only looking at this from one side. Both are responsible for it ending up as a train-wreck.
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Old 2012-09-10, 07:55   Link #71
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Oreki is rather protective of Chitanda eh

Whatever you do, don't make her cry
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Old 2012-09-10, 08:29   Link #72
Arabesque
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Originally Posted by Rakshasa View Post
This is Japan, what he did was exactly the right thing to do. (Speaking from experience with Japanese society)
Fair enough, it's not like I'm saying he did wrong by taking this route.
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Originally Posted by Rakshasa View Post
And Mayaka is completely innocent in all of this?

She is the one that went to extreme lengths to make the chocolate, essentially forcing Satoshi into a position where he had to make a choice he wasn't prepared for. Mayaka knew very well that he didn't want to go there yet, still she pushed forward.

So when you say you're angry at Satoshi, very likely you're only looking at this from one side. Both are responsible for it ending up as a train-wreck.
Well, I don't think this is a that bad of a situation to the point where we can call it a train wreck. Something bad happened, and the train might have steered off into a mud puddle, but it is still salvageable.

Now to be clear, just because I'm angry at what Satoshi did doesn't mean I'm automatically excusing Mayaka. Yes, some of the blame falls on her for being too forceful to the point where Satoshi, who in due to how he views himself and his troubled mental state, ended up feeling pressured into doing something he couldn't do. That said, the reason why I'm harder on him than Mayaka is due to Satoshi being aware of the ramification of his actions, while Mayaka didn't have an exact understanding of the things Satoshi is going through right now. Satoshi could have taken the route of explaining himself clearly to Mayaka (not going into specifics into what he is feeling, but just saying he just can't be with anyone at the time being until he sorts out what is wrong with him) instead of taking a road that ended up hurting his friends. He's smarter and better than that.

And that what makes me so angry, because from what I've seen from Satoshi thus far tells me that he is better than this, and smart enough to know that this isn't the way to do it. I do not deny that he has a problem, but even then he is smart enough to realize that he screwed up at the end of the episode, and that he went about this the wrong way. I'm angry at him for being too caught up in his problem that he ended up hurting the people that care about him in the process, one of them being a girl who likes greatly.

And it's not like I'm not expecting things to be patched up in the finale next week. But for this episode, I can't help it if I'm disappointed at what Satoshi had done.
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Old 2012-09-10, 08:37   Link #73
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This episode blew me away. I figured out right away that Satoshi was the culprit, but I didn't want to believe it and I couldn't fathom why he would have done such a thing. The ending was powerful.

I'm not going to hate Satoshi for his actions in this ep, but there are definitely better ways he could have handled this situation. For example, by simply being honest with Mayaka. I suppose he wanted to avoid hurting her, but he ended up doing exactly the opposite by being so conspicuous. Being honest is always best, anyway.
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Old 2012-09-10, 08:46   Link #74
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Mayaka homemade chocolate mission.
That girl sure had some serious determination!
It's amazing, she must like Satoshi very much.
Chitanda sure needs to be more clear when she's kinda confessing to Oreki.
Oreki & stolen chocolate case...
It was a shame since Mayaka really made an effort.
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Old 2012-09-10, 09:18   Link #75
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Originally Posted by Mubyoshi View Post
This anime is oh so good. Wish it was longer, I'm gonna miss this one.
At least there seems to be an ep 22, I was sure this was the last one.
Awesome episode, I wish they would've given houtaro that kick ass trench coat earlier, seeing Eru upset was also a nice change of pace

Kyoani outdid themselves with Hyouka overall, looking forward to watch this in one session soon and to their next show of course
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Old 2012-09-10, 10:49   Link #76
Kaoru Chujo
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Someone earlier questioned whether these people are more self-aware than real high-school students. Maybe they are. Maybe this is a show about adults, dressed up in high school drag. At the very least, these are extraordinary high-school students. And there's nothing wrong with that.

The drawing and animation are certainly outstanding, but sometimes -- as in a couple of the gifs posted by Shergal (for which, thanks!) -- I got a whiff of animators showing off, maybe even to each other, in a way that was enjoyable but that slightly took away from the flow of the scene. Not that I'm complaining, since the animation gave a pleasure of its own, and the distraction was slight.

Rakshasa makes the interesting distinction between asocial and anti-social, but sometimes one can be a bit of both. In any case, I agree that English as commonly spoken in North America has become poorer by abandoning a lot of useful words and distinctions between words. Possibly that was partly because many of us are immigrants from non-English-speaking countries. Possibly partly because our media are aimed at a low reading level, to capture everyone. In any case, I've had a couple of Chinese-speaking people complain to me that English doesn't have the words for nuances they want to express. I reply that it does, but that we don't commonly use a lot of words that are available to us, because we think that a lot of people wouldn't know them -- or because we don't know them ourselves.

I can't blame Mayaka. She is following her feelings. Perhaps I have trouble understanding her feelings for Satoshi, or how she can maintain them in the face of his resistance, but maybe she is unconsciously aware of the fact that he feels something for her, too.

Nor can I really blame Satoshi. He has a difficult problem. He thinks he has overcome his dissatisfaction with himself and life by becoming uncompetitive. Like his friend Houtarou, he has reached a kind of equilibrium by backing out. But this is a false equilibrium in both cases. They are covering up their true feelings, rather than actually solving their problems.

Here is where the girls come in: it's hard to resist the call of the hormones. Their reactions to these girls destroy their false equilibria and force them out into the real world of feeling.

As Rakshasa and Arabesque say, Houtarou probably ended up doing the right thing by lying. Chitanda's final thanks shows that she thought so, anyway. Call it a "white lie" (we have the same concept in English-speaking countries).

I wonder what Kaoishin_sama thinks of this show. He often decries the reflex worship of KyoAni, and I sometimes agree (I'm not a fan of K-On, except for the animation). But I think this show, at least, actually deserves the worship.
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Old 2012-09-10, 10:52   Link #77
Warm Mist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rulfo View Post
The storyboarding was really witty for this episode and it most likely was backed with a really good Key Animation. This was a really expressive episode with IMO Chitanda's moment of distraught being the highlight.

Personally one of my favorite scenes in this ep was the scene where Satoshi breaks the Chocolate then immediately switches to Oreki.
I liked Chitanda's rage fit the most. The tension was almost palpable in there, kudos to the animation and direction for making the visuals carry the drama, something I find a lot of anime dramas lack.
That cut where she turns around crying has a lot of power, makes you feel like you're right there being Oreki.

Something very nice of this episode (and Hyouka in general, actually) is how you can directly see character development through the acting. Oreki has become more sociable and as such he's gained a whole new set of expressions and tones of voice that show him being much more comfortable around people than the monotone guy in the first arc (he even makes sarcastic jokes as of 20 and 21! such a rare sight on anime shows).
Same goes for Chitanda; as she accommodates herself to this 'new' world of normal mid-class high school, her sheltered upbringing and over-politeness start to fade away, to the point she can now also make "smug" faces and snappy remarks she wouldn't even dare to attempt at the first episodes.
These little details make the characters more real, their development pacing more organic and the show more immersive in general. It's things like this every animation studio should strive to achieve, for they unify animation with script and make them a symbiotic whole that's so much better than the sum of its parts.
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Old 2012-09-10, 11:22   Link #78
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What. An. Episode. Simply amazing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
I think Hyouka subverts the anime model in an interesting way by having the girls be mostly the ones who drive the plot, and the boys the ones with the more well-developed character arcs and complicated issues. It's always been most obvious to me with Satoshi, but Houtarou has had a tremendous amount of development, though it's quite gradual and subtle.

This is a series that can make other anime look really amateurish by comparison when it goes all-out. Fantastic episode. I think people should look beyond simply hating on Satoshi for hurting Mayaka's feelings and Houtarou for hiding the facts, and dig into the deeper psychological issues involved. Hyouka is a very unconventional anime, and it needs to be analyzed with the same nuance that goes into its writing.
I can't put my feelings about this episode, and by extension Hyouka, better than this. Well said.

At this point I find myself going back to the conversation held back in the festival arc, about what classifies something as a "masterpiece". Surely calling Hyouka one would be a stretch for some, but after this episode I can confirm that I find this show to be my favourite KyoAni work. Before, it was the Haruhi series. While I still enjoy a re-watch of that a lot, I find a lot of the initial admiration was due to how much of a "breath of fresh air" it felt when it first aired. Here the delicate and masterful weaving of nuance and subtlety is something that isn't "fresh" per-se, but is definitely a higher and longer-lasting form of quality, in my opinion.

That being said though, this was undeniably a breath of fresh air in terms of Valentine's Day episodes. Having my eyes glued to the screen doesn't even begin to describe how hooked I was. Can't wait to see how this ends.
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Old 2012-09-10, 11:25   Link #79
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Location: Kagurazaka, Tokyo
This issue of seeing character development through the characters' actions is an important one is describing why Hyouka is the show it is. Instead of long-winded speeches where the characters describe exactly how they're changing so the audience is sure to get it, for the most part the character development in Hyouka is manifested in behavior, so you'll only see it if you're paying attention. After all, people are generally not so self-aware that they can give a running play by play of their own behavioral changes - they just happen. And on the rare occasion where something is pointed out verbally, it all clicks in the mind of the viewer, because we can see it in looking back at how that character behaved.

Are these kids more self-aware and sophisticated than most teenagers? Yes, I would argue they are - but I don't find it as jarring as I do with, say, Kokoro Connect, because it doesn't manifest itself in those long soliloquies of angst. The way these four generally behave is pretty authentic to the way smart high schoolers with time on their hands act (and I know, because I hung out with a lot of them).
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Old 2012-09-10, 11:32   Link #80
Cyblaster
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Age: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shergal View Post
I liked Chitanda's rage fit the most. The tension was almost palpable in there, kudos to the animation and direction for making the visuals carry the drama, something I find a lot of anime dramas lack.
That cut where she turns around crying has a lot of power, makes you feel like you're right there being Oreki.
The thing that made it for me was the way her voice changed after her outburst. It depicted how dejected she was at that time very well.
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