Episodes centering around Valentine’s Day usually tend to be all flowers and sunshine, maybe even comical. Surprisingly, Hyouka managed to make its Valentine’s Day episode a spiral of emotions. It was particularly jarring to see Chitanda act angry or depressed about anything, at least. Or seeing Satoshi going about something in an extremely dickish and alarming way, despite him being easygoing most of the time. Or seeing the apathetic Houtarou very openly give two shits about something right off the bat.
Looks like they’re trying to end Hyouka off with a character-focused bang before the end of the season and KyoAni’s doing a good job of it.
My reaction to Satoshi’s reason for playing “hard to get” with Mayaka can be summed up by Houtarou towards the end of the episode – “I just don’t get it.”
While I can understand that his rather unhealthy “treatment” for his winning complex and trying erase his desires in pursuing anything worth devoting himself to is related to his low self-confidence (which was shown a few episodes back), I honestly don’t understand how deeply-rooted it is for him to completely disregard the feelings of his close friends with the staged “stolen chocolate” mystery (completely saw it coming, by the way). I mean, it has to be deeply-rooted for a high school kid to refuse a cute relationship with a cute girl because of it. He still has his youth, there’s absolutely no reason for him to try and act like his life would be ruined by putting a little commitment into something. If anything, actively avoiding things that you might want to invest enjoyment in is a waste of that youth, more than anything.
He’s indirectly projecting his personal problems onto other people, personal problems that only he can comprehend. That’s pretty selfish. In contrast to Hotarou, I say Satoshi putting all of his energy into being JUST a “human database” is just as productive as Houtarou preferring to not use that energy for anything if necessary. I like how dimensional his character is, but I seriously think he may have some kind of mental disorder with the way he goes about things.
If there are any disappointments leftover for when the series finally concludes, I will say it will because of the whole Houtarou/Chitanda thing going nowhere. They show so many signs of both physical and emotional attraction that it would just be a cruel tease if nothing comes out of it.
Especially with Kyoto Animation’s habit of leaving behind really good series in favor of focusing on news things to drop. If Hyouka ends on note where it’s open for a second series… WELP.