Whoa, definitely did not forget about Hyouka…
I swear, I say this every episode, but holy shit, Hyouka makes the obscure so god damn entertaining. It pulls the audience in; it’s not like every other romanticized mystery; mysteries in Hyouka tend to be everyday, menial occurrings. I especially liked the concept of this episode; it’s easy to make a theory; but it’s a bit more difficult to prove it. A “true” theory is probably only proven through an amalgamation of “skill” and “luck”. I’ll enunciate on the first part; most activities are relatively broad in possibility. When you’re given more data, or more “clues”, you close in on the choices; you’re more likely to have a “correct theory” than an “incorrect theory”. Luck is a major factor, since you have to assume to progress in the mystery. For example, Oreki assumed that a crime occurred; every choice he made from then on was a result of that assumption [there could have been an alternate event; I personally thought the possibility of a witness, rather than a criminal was more likely]. So, if he was incorrect in his assumption of the crime, then his final theory would have proved to be incorrect.
Once again, Oreki’s characterized, and Chitanda’s kawaii as fuck. Oreki initially began trying to “disprove” his own character, but along the way, he got so caught up in the heat of the mystery, his love for deduction, that he forgot about the “purpose” in the first place [which was to disprove that all his theories were correct]. I actually really enjoyed the private attention, and focus between him and Chitanda during this episode. I really like group interactions too, but it seems to be a basic concept that more characterization is given when the group’s typically smaller [you’re more willing to talk on a sentimental, personal level with one person, rather than with three others (in most cases)]. The next episode actually seems to be centered around Oreki and Chitanda too, that’s great; I really wouldn’t mind an episode centered around Mayaka and Satoshi. It’s not a matter of picking favorites, it’s a matter of wanting to maximize characterization, and in this subjective case, enjoyment.
There doesn’t seem to be another arc; we’re reaching the end of Hyouka with two episodes left. I really hope it concludes with a “romantic” ending, but that’s wishful thinking. I wouldn’t “dislike” it if it didn’t; Hyouka’s not labeled as a romance, it’s only wishful thinking to expect it. But Hyouka is ridiculously unique, and successful in the regard of it being centered on obscure, but intriguing mysteries.