A return to the norm.
Oreki’s characterization continues. I don’t want to say that he’s learning to become “sentimental”, since his character was always assumed as being “thoughtful” [initially helping Chitanda even though he was lethargic, and not condemning those who do not share his lethargic viewpoint]. But it’s becoming a bit more apparent now. As we saw in this mystery, he gave into his curiosity, he was the one that went after the mystery [rather than at the insistence of his friends]; he “justified” his going after this mystery with a rather sentimental value. He wants to understand people, he wanted to understand and in a way, emulate the feelings of his teacher when he said something as ominous as that.
There’s also a matter of how Hyouka’s going to conclude. There’s not a lot of episodes left, and although there is characterization, it tends to be a bit slow, and minimal at times. I wanted Hyouka to be a “romance”, but it doesn’t seem like it’ll end that way [even if there’s two “obvious couples”, there hasn’t been any blatant foreshadowing; there’s chemistry, but it would be brusque to transition from friends -> romantic couple within such a short amount of time]. Hyouka hasn’t been quite dark, and there hasn’t been a lot of drama; there’s always the chance that the final arc could have some elements privy to that, but there’s the greater chance of it just continuing and maintaining the lighthearted mood.
I can’t quite say that Hyouka was a disappointment. It’s simply different than what I anticipated it to be. Kyoto Animation is ridiculously great at animating a pretty series. But my experience with shows that they animated are somewhat limited, and inherently biased [essentially just Clannad]. Clannad’s my highest rated series, so it sets a ridiculous status quo. But Hyouka did manage to craft a series that’s both unique, and both entertaining to watch. It’s a bit strange wanting “more” from a series that’s not entitled to handle it [Hyouka’s not a romance, and it’s not a drama; but it’s difficult to not want it]. I just hope that Hyouka ends in a way that’s both memorable, and “good”; it’s a great show, but its audience seems to be a bit esoteric compared to others [a slow slice of life with obscure mysteries doesn’t quite sound exciting; I probably would not have watched it if it wasn’t done by KyoAni].
Nevertheless, this episode was a good watch; I just can’t help but hope for drama, or something flagrantly memorable, something that becomes synonymous with Hyouka. It’s constantly “good” and it does its job well, but it doesn’t offer a “shock” or something so massively “blatant” that makes it instantly memorable. Perhaps it’s not always good to have an element like this, but it’s an illogical want.