Subs by Mazui
Downloading the The World Ends With You soundtrack now. I put that off for way too long, that game and the soundtrack is epic.
About this episode
What was I expecting in this episode? What was I looking for now? Honestly, I’m not sure now that I think about it. A stand-alone episode felt good though, after the long Kanya festival arc. Then again, there are only three episodes left. That’s actually surprisingly few and I’m curious if we’re getting an epic finale, a bunch of single episodes or another arc comparable to the other three. I thought that we had more time before but apparently not so I’m curious what the end will be.
There are few things that I can really call bad points about this show. The most painful one is the way that sometimes it takes too long for something to happen. It feels like they’re stalling for time every now and then. Maybe stalling for time isn’t exactly the right way to put it, but there’s some scenes and dialogue that don’t contribute much at all to the plot, even in retrospect (sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised because these are important elements later on, for example when they talked about the Kanya festival in episode 2). The most obvious one was in the library where Chitanda was looking happily at all the random books. There is a lot of interesting dialogue in this show and in this episode too, and that scene was not one of those. “Oh look at this and this!” isn’t exactly what I was looking for. But also in the beginning I got a bit bored when they were talking about that Ogi-sensei. Even though most of it was actually important, it dragged on too much for my taste.
Side issue, but I didn’t know that people could ever get struck by lightning so often. Even if you’re in the mountains a lot, I can’t imagine that you get hit three times normally. I’ll believe that this has happened, but I had the feeling that they treated this as something normal in this episode. Houtarou uses the following logic throughout the episode: 1. There is no link between an English teacher and getting hit by lightning a lot -> 2. There has to be a reason why he was hit by lightning so often -> 3. Ogi climbs mountains a lot -> 4. Ogi knows the dangers of mountain exploring -> 5. Ogi liked seeing the helicopters when thinking of his lost “colleges”. So the implication between link 2 and 3 is that mountain climbers are hit by lightning a lot, or else that link wouldn’t be valid. If he wouldn’t think this, he could not have linked 1 and 5 without the information from the library. I’m not sure if I can call this a real plot hole, because I believe that mountain climbers have a higher chance of being hit by lightning, but I don’t think that incidents like that are so frequent. Not that I know of, at least. Just me nitpicking at details though.
Please don’t ask me how I thought of this, but the weirdest thought entered my head when Satoshi started with his thunder stuff: a link between the number three (san) and the way Japanese pronounce thunder (sanda). I’m not sure where this should have led though, it’s a little silly. And Satoshi: thunder doesn’t kill, it’s just sound. Ogi got hit by lightning.
I think that this happened before when Houtarou wanted to do something (please don’t ask me when exactly, though), but I had a lot of fun with Satoshi’s and Mayaka’s reaction when Houtarou wanted to waste energy. I wonder if they were joking or not, Mayaka sure didn’t look like it.
Houtarou in happyland.
Based on what I wrote first, you’d think that I didn’t really like this episode. But somehow, actually I did. There something that Hyouka does very well: creating an atmosphere. I felt that part less in the Kanya festival arc, but especially these private scenes with that mysterious music going are amazing. I watched episode 2 with my parents (not kidding) a few days ago and I noticed again how good all of that is. The library, the club room. They are shaded, a bit dark, have a mysterious feel to them. And then the setting sun and dusk at the end. They were beautiful and really set an amazing mood. That’s what this episode was about, not exactly the plot. But I did get a bit of a melancholic feeling about Ogi-sensei and his helicopters after this. The conclusion was too obvious (when he asked for the word “stranded”, why didn’t Chitanda figure it out?) but I was really in his shoes when they showed the flashback again of him looking out of the window. It could have been him instead, was his thought.
The last few minutes were very good too. Chitanda turned Houtarou into a selfless freak (quoting Kokoro Connect) instead of the lazy bum he usually seems to be. More melancholy when Houtarou explained why he wanted to know about this. It just got across so well in this atmosphere. And I see Houtarou developing too. Maybe even falling in love with her?
Atmosphere and soundtrack worked perfectly in the latter half and I enjoyed the breather episode too. This is back to its roots after the longer Kanya arc and I hope that we’ll get more of this stuff soon.