|Warning: information below contains some spoilers!|
Houtarou is talking to himself. He is thinking if he were to grab a microphone one day and shouted into it that today will be a sunny day, he tries to understand how those who could hear him interpret what he is saying. In option one, they might think that he is testing the microphone; while in option two, they could just as easily believe that he is making a prediction about the weather. Both endings, he reasons, makes perfect sense, and whichever one you come to is just a matter of luck. He thinks this while looking at a bulletin board with the daily news all across Japan and he walks away after reading it. He comments that the world is quickly falling to hell lately. In a philosophical kind of way, Houtarou chooses his preferred method of beginning this week's episode of Hyouka.
Today it will just be Houtarou and Eru in the club room. For the most part, they are each in their own worlds, reading of all things they could be doing. It is a very laid back scene, they are comfortable with each other. The Classic Lit Club has decided to place on of their Hyouka within a glass case as a sort of accomplishment type deal. Houtarou decides to break the silence by asking Eru how her uncle's funeral went after he glimpses at the Hyouka for a few seconds. Eru replies that it went without a hitch. They then return to their reading, or at least Houtarou does. Eru decides to sneak a peek over the edge of her book right at Houtarou with shimmering eyes. Houtarou notices that Eru is looking at him and he asks her if anything is wrong. No, no, nothing like that, answers Eru. It's just, she fidgets and squirms in her seat, but strongly asks Houtarou if he would like to light some incense for her uncle. Houtarou was in no way expecting this to come out of Eru's mouth and he sits up in surprise, or perhaps to better hear her because of how quietly she speaks.
Eru explains that she is planning on visiting her uncle's grave someday soon, and, some more fidgeting and squirming in a really cute manner, she asks Houtarou if he would like to come with her. That sentence could make one or two dirty jokes. Houtarou thinks for a moment and then as if to ask if it is okay, he looks at the Hyouka in the glass case and then decides that he will visit the grave with Eru. Her face lights up with happiness. As Eru still doesn't know when she is going to visit the grave, they plan to have Eru call Houtarou to let him know the day that she is going to visit. Eru smiles and looks away with a soft and quietly excited expression that bespeaks someone who has just accepted a marriage proposal. Eru thinks that Houtarou is amazing for solving so many cases, her uncle's mystery included. Houtarou, in reply, tells Eru that she can just chalk it all up as mere luck, if she wants to, but he absolutely refuses to be called amazing. Eru says that Houtarou is really modest. At these words, Houtarou's whole demeanour just kind of falls as he thinks that she just doesn't get it.
Determined to set the record straight with Eru, Houtarou goes into his speech mode, which is quite uncommon for him, but I suppose that everyone has to get emotional about something every once in a while. He tells Eru that the ancients said some wise words, ‘Theory and hot patches will stick to anything.’ Eru giggles and corrects Houtarou with the right quotation, ‘Theory and ointment will stick to anything.’ Well, I have to say that there goes his chance to impress her and lecture her all at once. Anyways, says Houtarou rather quickly, the point is that you can come up with a theory for anything. Eru decides to play along and comments that if the cases weren't solved by Houtarou's talent, then it must have been his luck. But then wouldn't you call the ability to reason out theories based on clues a talent in itself, asks Eru. Houtarou does not seem amused and asks Eru if she thinks that he is a master at spinning theories. Aren’t you, asks Eru; Houtarou quickly replies no, because he doesn't know how he came up with all of those theories in the first place. That's because you've never taken a good look at yourself, replies Eru while blushing and looking down.
Well, she's right about that, but Houtarou would first eat boiled acid than to admit that Eru is right for once. You can see the metaphorical light bulb light up in his mind as he gets a wonderful idea. He challenges Eru to think up a situation, it can by any, and he will prove to her that you can think up a theory of anything. Houtarou smirks like an evil mastermind who is watching as the hero walks right into his trap when all he really wants to prove to Eru that she can't trust him to solve every mystery. Eru's eyes widen with that kind of eagerness that you just know she won't ever let go of, much like how they always look when she is getting curious. She finds Houtarou's challenge to be fun and leans back in her chair to think up a situation for him. While Eru is looking around the room to help her think up a situation, a voice comes across the intercom asking anyone who was at Koubundou shopping to comes to see Shibazaki in the staff room immediately. Eru decides to use this announcement as her situation. The game is now on.
Eru challenges Houtarou to come up with a theory regarding that announcement just now. Both parties lean across the table, one looks confident that he can prove that he is right, while the other party doesn't care whether he can come up with something or not, she knows that he will impress her in the minutes to come. Houtarou accepts the challenge. Upon hearing that he accepts, Eru bring out a notebook and pencil and writes all of the details of the announcement in a clear and crisp manner in the notebook and hands it to Houtarou to use as a reference. Houtarou looks at it and comments that her memory is scary as always. Eru giggles upon hearing this in a prideful sort of way. Her giggling irritates Houtarou enough to let her know that it wasn't meant as a compliment. Now then, time to get to work. Houtarou reopens the notebook and lays it out before him so that he can read it out loud, which he does.
For the first order of business, Houtarou wishes to see if he can glean what everything means from the announcement. He asks Eru if she knows what Koubundou is, and Eru replies that it is a small stationary store in front of the station. It is run be an elderly couple. She should know seeing as she visited the store once before. Eru further comments that it is a normal store that would sell everything that an elementary student would require, because North Elementary is right by it. So this means that a high school student wouldn't normally go there. You could say that, answers Eru. Moving along, Houtarou asks Eru if Shibazaki is a teacher here. Eru replies that Shibazaki-sensei is the head teacher at this school. She then giggles as Houtarou sighs and asks him if he has always been bad with names. Oh, shut up, replies Houtarou in a slightly stung tone.
‘If I don’t have to do it, then I won't. If I have to do it, make it quick,’ thinks Houtarou. That is his motto, and yet he is senselessly wasting energy here on this challenge, which he prompted Eru to give him. He regards this challenge as a very important contest between Eru and himself, it is very much worth the loss of energy. First, says Houtarou. Eru replies and leans across the table to better hear Houtarou's next words. First, they know that Shibazaki-sensei was trying to call a student down to the staff room. Yes, replies Eru, she can see that as well. Houtarou decides to call this student, Student X. Eru gets out of her chair and pushes it back under the table so that she can trot to the other side of the table to see Houtarou write everything down. On this side of the table, Eru rudely leans over Houtarou's shoulder and looks down at his note, commenting that this feels like a real investigation. Suddenly, the two turns their heads to face each other and at once both blush and look away for they were not expecting to be mere inches away from each other. If Mayaka or Satoshi walked in the club room at this moment, then it wouldn't have been surprising if they mistook the scene to be the two of them kissing.
Eru takes a seat in the chair right next to Houtarou, which he suggests, because another close shave like this and his heart might implode. Houtarou clears his throat and resumes the challenge. Here he mentions that Student X can refer to a single student or multiple students. He also mentions that Shibazaki-sensei might be calling them into the staff room to give Student X ‘educational guidance.’ In order words, Houtarou believes that Shibazaki-sensei is going to scold Student X for some reason. Why do you say that, asks Eru in her usual curious way. Because a student will only get called into the staff room if they have done something bad, replies Houtarou. He speaks this from experience. Eru's face falls with disappointment; she can't stop herself from asking Houtarou if he is taking this seriously. He replies that he hasn't been this serious ever since high school started. It is very possible that he is more serious now than he has ever been before. Eru doesn't seem to believe him.
Houtarou further explains his theory thus far by saying that Shibazaki-sensei would not be using vague terms like ‘anyone’ or ‘shopped at Koubundou in front of the station’ if he wanted to commend them. Basically, he is saying that anyone who did know would be too scared to go. Eru is forced to agree. Whatever Shibazaki-sensei wants, Houtarou comments that it must be urgent. Judging from the way that he said immediately in his announcement, says Eru happily. But no, that isn't what he meant and explains that the announcement was preformed in the normal manner, which tells them that it was rushed. Eru is lost on what he means by the normal manner. Houtarou tells Eru to imagine that she wants to call him to Classroom 1-A and then he asks her how she would phrase it. Something like this, replies Eru: ‘Oreki Houtarou-san from Class 1-B, please see Chitanda Eru in Class 1-A immediately’. That's it, asks Houtarou a little disappointed. He asks Eru to please remember how some other announcements go. Well, here's how Houtarou would word it: ‘Chitanda Eru from Class 1-A, please see Oreki Houtarou in Classroom 1-B immediately. I repeat, Chitanda Eru from Class 1-A, please see Oreki Houtarou in Classroom 1-B immediately.’ Houtarou ends his rendition of an announcement by telling Eru that regardless of the importance, most announcements are repeated twice in this format, but this announcement was only stated once.
And not just any old rush, says Houtarou, because the announcement was made after school. Eru looks at him with a slightly anger look and asks him not to shortcut his explanations. Shortcut, what a lovely word, thinks Houtarou as he slips away into paradise. Eru grabs him by the shoulder and gently rocks him back and forth while calling his name. This is enough to snap him back to reality. He coughs and comments how the announcement would be more effective if it were made during school tomorrow morning. This is because Kamiyama High School has a lot of clubs, but still many students go home after school. But they still made the announcement after school, because the reason behind it occurred after school. In addition to this, whatever the case may be, it is so important that they can't wait until tomorrow to give the announcement. Shibazaki-sensei is betting on Student X is still at school.
Eru looks Houtarou right in the eye and asks him if he thinks that this smells fishy to him, and he answers that it does. Next, Eru asks him why they use the phrase, smells fishy, in the first place. He quickly replies that he has no clue, but the way he said it sounds like he isn't going to tell her. Eru took his words to mean that and puffs out her cheeks like a blow fish. Houtarou's next deduction is that Shibazaki-sensei didn't want to make public whatever it was that Student X has done. However, they don't know if this is only temporary, or if they never want the situation to be made public. Is that because he didn't say why Student X was called out, asks Eru. That too, but it's pretty clear from the that announcement, replies Houtarou as he hands her notebook back over to her. Eru reads what she wrote down at the start of the challenge, but she then looks back at Houtarou and confesses that she doesn't see what he sees. He informs her that Shibazaki-sensei if the head teacher, and ‘educational guidance’ is left up to the school counsellor. You're right, comments Eru. It is normally some guy named Morishita-sensei who makes these announcements.
Houtarou next asks Eru where the counselling room is located, and she answers that it is on the second floor of the main school building. But, replies Houtarou, Shibazaki-sensei called Student X to the staff room. This means that the problem is major enough that they feel the need to contain the problem to the administrative level. At least, it could be, thinks Houtarou. Eru looks very worriedly from Houtarou to her notebook and back again several times before saying that if his theory is correct, then Student X is in a very bad situation. He supposes that she is right. Then that means, says Eru, and Houtarou finishes her sentence by adding to it that Student X is involved in a crime.
After a short break, Houtarou leans back in his chair and thinks that all of this is just a game that he is playing with Eru. He realises that what he says doesn't have to be true. And besides, Houtarou reminds himself, all of this started just to prove to Eru that his theories don't always have to be correct. Eru interrupts his thoughts and asks him what kind of crime was it. Houtarou holds up a hand and tells her to wait. First, he says, let's assume that this theory of his is correct. There are no police at this school, so there's a good chance that they have sent over a related official. Assuming that a crime took place, it must have happened on the 31st of October, as indicated in the announcement. And yet, the announcement was made today, and seemingly in a hurry. Houtarou takes this to mean that the investigators only just now have made the request. But they could also have made the request over the time, comments Eru. That's certainly true, concedes Houtarou, however he mentions that the police would probably want to apprehend Student X immediately. To do that, they would need to come here in person to make the arrest.
So Student X was called just now because he has some connection to the culprit, asks Eru. That is possible, answers Houtarou. During this whole process, Eru went from a very excited and happy individual to one who is seriously worried about Student X. So much so that Houtarou has to remind her that this is all just a game they are playing. Being reminded that this is just a game seems to have alleviated some of her worries and she relaxes somewhat back into her usual mood. Houtarou presses onward while Eru's mood is still better. He says that if it weren't for the culprit, then Shibazaki-sensei wouldn't have rushed the announcement. Now, Houtarou asks what crime did Student X commit. He asks for idea from Eru. She ponders the question for a moment and then says that shoplifting is the first thing to come to her mind. Or perhaps the crime was committed in a totally different place, and the investigators learned of someone matching the description at Koubundou, and so based on that testimony, they have come here to the school to follow up on that tip. Now if that's the case, comments Eru, then the crime could be anything.
Houtarou admits in his thoughts that this isn't a bad theory coming from Eru given the short amount of time that she had, but besides theft, none of the other crimes are possible. This he says out loud and Eru asks why. Houtarou responds with simple logic that seems to defy Eru at every turn. If the investigators were looking for someone with a particular characteristic, then they would have included that in the announcement and mentions that ‘anyone who shopped at Koubundou’ is much too vague if that were the case. The incident happened at Koubundou, so they can assume that Student X appeared to be shopping. At this point, Houtarou falls back into his mind and muses. He wonders if the announcement was meant for the culprit to come clean, but he feels that, that doesn't make any sense.
Houtarou suddenly announces his theory: The investigators know nothing about Student X, but they believe that Student X will show themselves after the announcement. Why, asks Eru. If it were Houtarou who committed the crime and he heard the announcement just now he will think that the investigators still don't know how he did it and he thinks that he can get away with the crime at this rate, while laughing like an insane witch. What he would do is not helping the problem. Back to square one, Houtarou wonders under which circumstances Student X will reveal themselves after hearing that announcement. He wonders if it is remorse about the crime, but that option is discarded almost as soon as he thinks it's because the human conscious would have done that already. While Houtarou muses out loud and in his mind, Eru again doesn't look to be in the best condition. Houtarou suddenly looks at his watch and says that for now they should ignore the question of the crime. For now, they will just assume that whatever crime was committed, Student X regretted the crime and apologised for doing it in a letter. That's just too cut and dry for my tastes, but in these mysteries, you can't bog yourself down with mindless ramblings over a theory that may or may not be correct.
Houtarou asks Eru what the date is today, and she answers that it is the 1st of November. This means that October 31 was yesterday. Now he asks Eru why did Shibazaki-sensei not say yesterday during the announcement and instead said the 31st of October. Eru strikes this as odd as well and ponders why he would do that. That is because he had something in front of him that said the 31st of October, says Houtarou while answering his own question. Now he asks why the police know that Student X was involved if they know next to nothing about them. Above all, why were they certain that Student X would reveal themselves if they made that announcement. And that is because, states Houtarou, Student X wrote a letter of apology to Koubundou. The owners would then take the letter to the police, and they in turn took the letter to Kamiyama High School. That explains their certainty that Student X will come forward after the announcement has been made.
Eru pleads for Houtarou to wait a moment, everything he is saying is going by too fast for her, she needs to slow down. She says that according to Houtarou's theory, Student X wanted to apologises to the owners of Koubundou, but they never wanted the police to be involved. Something like that, yeah, replies Houtarou. But if that were the case, says Eru presses her point, then Student X wouldn't have mentioned they were from Kamiyama High School in their letter. If that is the case, how did the police know to come here after seeing the letter. Houtarou thinks for a moment and then suggests that the police asked the owners who they think is the most likely suspect is and that's how they came to it being a Kamiyama High student. And it would make matters even easier because Student X would be wearing their uniform; in addition to all of this, if Student X had done anything suspicious, then that would stand out in the minds of the owners. Houtarou comments that this may be the key to figuring out what crime Student X committed.
Houtarou goes back over the information thus far. He says that Student X did something suspicious in front of the owners, but what they may have done was not the crime. Afterwards he paid for whatever it was that he bought and left the store, during that time committing the crime. Whatever the crime was, the owners would not have realised it immediately if not for the letter. And whatever the crime was, was important enough to immediately gain the attention of the investigators. That being said, the crime is now looking to be more than simple theft. Houtarou muses and muses, thinking over the information while going in circles in his mind. And at the end of his musings, Houtarou has come to the conclusion that Student X used counterfeit money (he is certain that it was a 10,000 yen bill). At this point Eru becomes speechless. In fact, she is so stunned by what Houtarou just said that she is forced to stand up. When she regains her voice, Eru says that this is impossible, it is realistically impossible. This theory is a failure, nay, it is a catastrophe. Eru yells this much at Houtarou.
Houtarou begs Eru to calm down, reminding her again that this is a mere game. Suddenly Eru realises that she is less than an inch away from kissing Houtarou, her face turns a very light shade of crimson and she backs away, apologising for overreacting. Once again, the awkward mood has descended upon these two. Houtarou tells Eru that she shouldn't get too serous about this, but that's not why Eru thought it was impossible. The reason being is because all of the counterfeit bills used in the news recently are 10,000 yen bills, and she knows that he got that from the news, but Eru tells him that there's no way that Student X could have gotten his hands on one. Or even if they did manage to get one, then they should have exchanged it. What do you mean, asks Houtarou. Instead, Eru replies with a question of her own; she wants to know from him how Student C got their hands on a counterfeit bill in the first place. From an ATM, he answers seriously.
Eru informs Houtarou that it is close to impossible to trick an ATM or bank with a fake bill so easily, and if the counterfeit was really so good, then there's no way that Student X would have realised it was a fake. Houtarou hasn't thought about this and goes back to his thoughts. Basically, Houtarou says, Student X got the fake bill through a personal connection, but they quickly rule out family connections or getting it from a part-time job. Maybe they picked it up, suggests Houtarou. He is now just grasping for straws. But that's just too unlikely, replies Eru. Houtarou admits that it wouldn't work anyways because Student X felt guilty from the start and if he picked it up off the ground and sued it, then he wouldn't have ever felt guilty. Eru informs Houtarou that unless they can come up with a reason for why he has the counterfeit bill, then his theory fall flat.
Houtarou next asks Eru if she likes money. Well, if she has to say then she likes it more than she hates it. He then asks her if she has any problem throwing away a 10,000 yen bill. Of course she would, as would any other reasonable person. Houtarou nods and says that Student X got the money from someone else as the rightful money that was owed to them and used it, but felt guilty that it was a fake. It can't be from a job or pocket money, so that really leaves just one other possibility. It is money that was returned to Student X after lending it out in the first place. If that were the case, Houtarou can't blame them for wanting to use it in an elderly person's shop. If that were the case, then they would have still been able to exchange it, says Eru. Houtarou disagrees and links the counterfeit bill as the joker from Old Maid, no one wants to have it. Houtarou then mimics what he believes to Y-senpai returning the borrowed money to Student X.
Eru looks confused, so Houtarou explains that Student X lent money to someone who is higher in the social standing, that's why Student X couldn't object when Y-senpai returned the money with a fake bill. Based on this information, they can assume that Student X was only one person, since it would be too absurd for two or three students to be buying stationary with a 10,000 yen bill. Houtarou ends his explanation by saying that the police probably got involved with Student X to trace the fake bill back to the source. Eru is suspiciously silent after all of the talking that Houtarou has done, and he is a little miffed about that. When she does speak, Eru mentions that they came a long way from their original topic. She then jokingly asks Houtarou for another game to figure why they started this in the first place. He, of course, rejects her offer for another game. The next morning comes and Houtarou is reading the newspaper at the dinner table. The headline reads that a 22-years old gangster was apprehended using counterfeit bills. The last moments of the episode shows another theory of Houtarou's being correct, and how much he isn't pleased about that. Next episode all of the friends make their appearance for a New Year's shrine visit.
Reason behind Head-Teacher Shibazaki's Announcement Format case
Student X's Crime case
The Counter-Feit 10,000 Yen Bill case
- This episode is adaptation of Story 4 "Those Who Know Something" from The Doll that Took a Detour. An author's note at the end of the book indicates he was inspired by "The Nine Mile Walk" by Harry Kemelman, first published in 1947, and will be pleased if reading "Those Who Know Something" makes people want to read "The Nine Mile Walk."
- This episode is the only one where only Houtarou and Eru appear.
- This episode contains several scenes where the conversation and interaction between Houtarou and Eru hinted that they now have a close relationship including the fact that Eru is embarrassed of being close to Houtarou, something she didn't care in the past episodes where she's used to invade his personal space hinting that she developed feelings for him.
- A few seconds before the preview of the next episode, Houtarou's father can be seen having breakfast next to him.
|Hyouka by Kyoto Animation|