Hyōka (ep. 7)

I pity the poor chap who needs a holiday to recover from a holiday.

As far as in-betweeners go, this one wasn’t half-bad.

(I’d advise caution in the case of younger viewers though. Nothing explicit or I’d dump the whole thing myself, but let’s just say the very brief moments of fanservice in the first half should have been ruthlessly excised.)

The Gang of Four are off to a hot springs town . . . but surprise surprise, energy-conserving Hōtarō finds the unnecessary excursion more of a chore than a proper holiday. The scenic bus ride, the outdoor bath – the sort of things that would rejuvenate you or me end up sucking the life out of him. To make matters worse, a ghost story and a mysterious sighting trigger Eru’s insatiable curiosity, and our reluctant Sherlock is dragged into service yet again.

Between episodes 6 and 7, methinks this latest case comes out ahead, partly because it involves more legwork than the previous week’s roundtable thought exercise. It might not seem like much, but the mere sight of them moving around to gather clues gives this episode a bit of dynamism that was sorely lacking the last time.

Speaking of legwork, I loved how Satoshi put in absolutely none during the central part of this episode. It’s a mark of how effectively our resident comic relief plays his part that all he need do to provide a lighthearted moment is fail to wake up in time for breakfast.

I suppose I’m expected to find the resolution touching, seeing as how it dovetails with Eru’s unfulfilled desire for a brother or sister. In the end, the result was rather flat and uninspiring, although it did make me reflect briefly on my own situation – an eldest child with two younger siblings – and for my part, I’d say her wishes are not entirely misplaced. Having a brother or a sister isn’t all fun and games, but I’ve found more in it to be thankful for than to perceive as a cause for regret.

The sketchy preview for next week’s episode doesn’t give much of an indication as to whether this string of fillers will continue, or whether we’re about to start off on a proper story arc. I’m seriously hoping the latter turns out to be true.

* * *

A brief note to the readership: I will be out of the country on holiday for a couple of weeks, so these regular Hyōka posts will be put on hold for a while. Cheerio.

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