Hyōka (ep. 12)

Behold the smile that sank a thousand ships.

It’s time for the school festival, and the Classics Club four are faced with a knotty problem: how to shift the massive stockpile of anthology copies they had unwittingly ordered. With no brand cachet to speak of and an unfavourable, out-of-the-way location for their clubroom, the odds are certainly stacked against them.

Enter the ever-enthusiastic Satoshi – arrayed in lunatic garb as usual – whose madcap scheme began long beforehand with the procurement of a prime spot for the club on the festival brochure. His proposals for the day include having the group join various events in the name of the Classics Club, thereby reaping some much-needed publicity. Ever vigilant for a chance to power down into standby mode, energy-conserving Hōtarō even manages to win one concession in his favour by volunteering to man the booth (thereby conveniently keeping out of the way of the rose-coloured torrents sweeping through the rest of the campus).

The rest of the episode chugs along merrily as each member tries, or fails, (or, in the case of one particular member, fails utterly whilst laughing like an idiot in the school gymnasium watching a comedy sketch) to do their part in Operation Sell-All-Copies-Of-Hyōka. Seeing Eru predictably end up distracted along the way (bit of calligraphy here, bit of a card game there…) is a delight to watch, and that bit with the Photography Club is absolutely priceless. A lighthearted counterpart, perhaps, to the rather tense undercurrent over at Mayaka’s Manga Club cosplay venue – we’ll probably learn more about that later on in the arc.

Speaking of priceless, how about Hōtarō trying to crack a fake smile as he serves the club’s first visitor? Creepy, but can’t fault the chap for trying.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. It’s high time we had a spot of easygoing fun and gentle humour after all the doom and gloom of the last two arcs. At the end of all this, of course, remains the big unanswered question: Will the Classics Club sell all of their anthologies?

Stay tuned to find out!

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