Hyōka (ep. 16)

Jūmoji, my dear fellow – I’m afraid you’ve gone too far.

You dare raise your thieving hand against the Light Music Club, against the hallowed sanctum of my dearly beloved Ricchan? (And, oh, three or four other members not particularly worth mentioning?)

Mark my words, when I’ve finished with you there won’t be so much as a wrist left for the authorities to clap in irons.

Yeah, I know – bit of a stretch to picture the HTT gang inhabiting the same hallowed halls as the Classics Club. (This is Kamiyama High after all, not Sakuragaoka High.) But a fellow can dream, can’t he?

Returning to reality now – or, at least, the fictitious reality of our present series – we see disappointment writ large upon eager beaver Satoshi’s face when his stakeout proves fruitless. It’s clear that his unsuccessful quest to track down this elusive quarry has given rise to a fair bit of frustration, which seems to finally break the surface with the outburst in front of Hōtarō. That his energy-conserving friend could sniff out the thief with comparatively little effort when others (himself included) have expended so much time, thought, and trouble and come up empty handed . . . mm, I suppose even our cheerful court jester couldn’t hold down his pent-up anger.

Yet observe how quickly Satoshi lets the moment slide away and how calmly he slips back into his natural role: that of the reliable Watson to our reluctant Sherlock. The frustration is still there – attested to by the rather lifeless way in which he takes leave of Hōtarō – but after trying his best, this chap knows when to relinquish the baton and let another carry it forward. Now there’s a man of character.

Over at the Manga Club, Mayaka’s troubles are far from over as her clothes receive a splashing of paint-stained water. Although the end result is mainly accidental, the malicious origins of the incident are as clear as daylight. I’m really quite fed up with the incessant bullying and would be glad to see Mayaka quit the club altogether, though I’d be even happier to see her deal with the persecutors directly and decisively. (Perhaps her missing dōjinshi will play a part there, but all in good time.)

On a lighter note, Hōtarō receives an unexpected (and rather oddly-garbed) visitor: his wanderlust-stricken elder sister. She adds yet another link in our arc-long chain of trades by exchanging Mayaka’s mirror – born of her fountain pen that triggered the swaps in the first place – for a dōjinshi. The significance of the trade is soon made clear when that dōjinshi sparks the interest of the club members in very different ways, not least of which is how it actually manages to spur our reluctant Sherlock into action by providing a few telltale hints. As to the part this latest trade will play in the unravelling of the mystery, only time (and perhaps the next episode) will tell.

And of course, we can’t end things here without remarking upon dear sweet Eru’s foray into the world of radio broadcasting. Let us hope that the rest of her interview fares better than the, er, rather unfortunate introduction.


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