It’s more storyline/mystery development this episode than it was character development. Fukube’s want to parallel/supersede Oreki is being accentuated. It really is strange to see him in a state like this. Ironically, the characterization of Fukube is probably done to further characterize Oreki; he’s essentially the central character of the series. He was initially noted as being the lethargic, and intelligent type; but rather than a vain proudness, he was quickly attributed as being kindhearted. Later on, he was introduced to Irusu, who then pointed out that he takes his intelligence for granted, making others around him feel “insignificant” even if he didn’t mean to do so.
I’m curious to see the route that Hyouka takes with his character. I doubt they’re trying to emulate the story of a genius who alienates everyone close to him because he’s oblivious to his intelligence. I’m sure they’re going to go for a more “positive” route, considering he is a bit more proactive now, while was previously lazy. Chitanda acted as the catalyst to make him “try” harder, Fukube will most likely act as a staple to reinforce Irusu’s conjecture, and Mayaka’s currently just a character [but I’m sure her adventures in Manga Club have a reason]. She may be developed in the last arc, or she may be kept as a “stable staple” so to speak.
On-going Thoughts: Concluding Thoughts
All in all, a good episode. Hyouka is a mystery show, but it’s more often than not, a character show [as shown during the episodes without a proactive effort to solve the mystery].