Hyouka 13 comes up with a mystery, but no one seems very interested in solving it.
Instead we watch each lit club member do his or her own thing. That’s okay for one episode, and Ibara, at least, deserves some solo screen time and gets it, getting into a ridiculous argument with the club president about the value of one volume or another. I’m not sure I followed the prez’s line of thinking, and I think Ibara was just scrapping for a fight for whatever reason. Does she need one? Interesting that the prez’s reaction to “A Corpse by Evening.” It’s not part of the mystery but I’d still like to know the reason for that.
Satoshi’s disregard for his own dignity means he can possibly steal any scene he’s in, and with that outfit, the others have no chance. Though, like him, I got tired of the build-ups to the quiz answers, the first time this show has ever irritated me. And we get a bit of mystery: missing Go stones and a note. Eru tends to steal scenes herself just by being adorable, but she’s given less opportunity this time. Instead, we just get another stolen item and note. Again, it’s mentioned almost in passing, some odd prank someone is playing that isn’t worth serious thought. Meanwhile Houtarou is probably gratefully cut off from these events. All he does is trade up a safety pin for a Glock squirt gun. I’ve been trained to keep an eye on anything in this show, but the gun probably won’t amount to much. No one seems to care anyway. Satoshi needs help for the cooking competition. Ibara wants to hunt down that manga. At one point Eru even says her trademark line but quickly retracts it. It can wait. This episode is for other things, not solving mysteries.
Yuru Yuri‘s humor sometimes falls flat for me, but I’ll say this for it: it refuses to take its sentimental moments seriously. Sentimentality, sudden lapses into bathos, is a bad habit of “crazy comedy” shows. Most of the time they shouldn’t even try to get touching; it just doesn’t work. But in episode 3, Himawari starts spending lots of time with Chinatsu to help her make a scarf for Yui, leaving Sakurako alone. Most other shows would have extended scenes of the lonely female character pouting and sniffing while we see flashbacks of happier times, but Sakurako instead flies into a rage, and the flashbacks come as Himawari’s nagging. And the subsequent making-up scene is matter-of-fact, a quick “aaw!” moment between the gags. Everything else in the Valentine’s Day section works pretty well, too, since so many of the girls are motivated by greed and lust.
Finally, we get a thing called Ebiten: Kouritsu Ebisugawa Koukou Tenmonbu, which Random Curiosity accurately describes as similar to Seitokai no Ichozon, a series I actually liked. Itsuki Noya, A boy dressed as a girl (though they haven’t given that part away yet), as they tend to do, joins the astronomy club not realizing it’s a club for … well, I haven’t figured that out yet. For the hell of it, they make Istuki take a series of tests to prove his/her worthiness, like reassembling some cut-up yaoi manga. Since the club will be disbanded if they don’t get more members I don’t see why they bothered. The best part of episode one was the twelve battles, some of which they actually go through with. This one’s a matter of taste, and my tastes tend to lean this way.