Tremble before the might of the new world order.
Satoshi – spectacular in his utter uselessness last week – finally redeems himself by setting his part of Operation Sell-All-Copies-Of-Hyōka into action. Wielding his database of useless information, our disastrously garbed court jester fights his way into the finals of a trivia quiz event. Whilst on stage, he makes good use of the opportunity by shamelessly plugging the Classics Club’s anthology (with the outrageous costume making him just a wee bit difficult for the audience to ignore).
A welcome moment of relief from Satoshi’s oh-so-painful-to-watch antics comes in the form of our resident curiosity engine, who stumbles into the clubroom with the spoils of her many fairground distractions. After making a quick report to Hōtarō, Eru darts back out again to the Wall Newspaper Club (mm, brings back memories) to ask for their help in promoting the anthology. On the way back, she runs into her friend Jūmonji Kaho, who runs a small fortune-telling booth out of a teepee.
Kaho presents Eru with a case of campus crime (for which, I suspect, our reluctant Sherlock will suffer at some point down the road). It appears that someone has stolen one of her tarot cards, leaving a note and a copy of the festival programme in its place. As the quiz event winds down, a fellow contestant hands Satoshi a mystery of his own: another theft (also with a note left behind), this time of game stones from the Go Club. Nothing more is made of either case at this point, but these little hints will probably add up to something bigger as the arc marches onward.
Back at the clubroom, Hōtarō’s happy time with Eru’s pictures is interrupted when a customer walks in. Noticing that the visitor’s zipper is broken, Hōtarō offers him the safety pin from a stage pass (remember the last episode?) and receives a water pistol in return. A pattern begins to emerge here: his sister’s broken pen, traded for a safety pin, traded for a water pistol. As with Eru and Satoshi’s mini-mysteries, I’ve a feeling this whole string of trades will net the Classics Club a larger fish by the time we get to the concluding episode.
Over to Mayaka’s post at the Manga Club now, where the tense undercurrents from last week are beginning to break the surface. Well, perhaps not as tense as they might seem at first – but I’ll stop here lest I spoil the fun. (Suffice it to say that fights can make for pretty good advertising.)
At the end of the day, Hōtarō tots up the fruits of their labours: another fourteen copies sold. A slow start perhaps, but Satoshi’s already pumped up to enter tomorrow’s cooking contest with Mayaka and Eru (naturally to earn even more free publicity for the club). As their meeting breaks up, Eru notices the open envelope of photographs on the table and realises that Hōtarō had seen the, er, incriminating evidence therein. The guilty looks, the greasy background music . . .