Hyōka (ep. 6)

Curiosity doesn’t just kill cats. High school students named Hōtarō are equally susceptible.

Our reluctant Sherlock sees more of his precious energy frittered away as Eru presses him into service yet again. This time, the mystery involves a maths professor who explodes in class because the pupils couldn’t provide an answer for his quadratic equation.

Yep, that’s right, I can hear you yawning back there.

Truth be told, this week’s puzzler is a little underwhelming. To be fair, coming hard on the heels of the last big mystery, this episode couldn’t really be much more than a transition piece – though one might have hoped for at least an interesting setup in preparation for the next major story arc.

Still, for an in-betweener, episode 6 wasn’t bad at all. There was an excellent build-up to the solution, with Hōtarō slowly unravelling the mystery until the moment of the big reveal (quite brilliantly done at the climax). Eru’s insatiable curiosity, Hōtarō’s bit of self-loathing at triggering it for the umpteenth time, and his futile attempt to extricate himself from a rut of his own making are all a good source of subtle humour. The main characters’ personalities are fleshed out a bit more, albeit incidentally. And needless to say, the animation is as splendid as ever.

But that’s about it. There’s nothing here to write home about, and judging from the (admittedly very little) material in the preview, the next episode might be something of a filler as well. I certainly hope the next major arc is right around the corner, because these mini-mysteries – while all well and good in small doses – probably won’t do much to retain my interest for very long.

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