Hyouka 17, Lagrange 18

Hyouka 17 unravels the Juumoji mystery, but it shared the spotlight with a look at what the translation calls “expectations,” and the inability to reach them.

Is “expectations” a proper translation. It made Satoshi’s scene with Ibara difficult for me to understand, unless Satoshi is saying that one has expectations for someone when one has no power to do anything about it themselves. But Satoshi had (failed, as it turned out) expectations for himself in catching Juumoji and could only listen in while Houtarou laid out the solution clearly and succinctly to the culprit: Tanabe. In the end all he could contribute was help to fake the attack on the Classics Club. So that’s why he his reaction to the manuscript blowing up seemed off…

Otherwise the word, as in people failing to live up to them, worked just fine. Satoshi couldn’t meet his own. Meanwhile we have two, mirrored scenes. Ayako said that Haruna was a newbie to manga yet created a masterpiece on her first try. Tanabe has similar thoughts about Muneyoshi, tossing out a brilliant work and never bothering to pick up his pen again. Ayako and Tanabe (and Ibara) can only read the “A Corpse by Evening,” feel their own inadequacy, and anger that people much more talented than them don’t give a fuck. Proud characters like Ayako find it especially galling. As for Eru, you could say that she had expectations for herself when she tried to take Irisu’s advice, but when it didn’t work for her she was happy to drop it. We should all be so honest and unaffected.

It’s not fair to say that Houtarou doesn’t give a fuck, but he doesn’t get much pleasure from solving the mystery. Even if he hadn’t figured out a plan to sell the overstock, I figure he’d have done it the exact same way, a quiet talk with the culprit among the bicycle racks, or, at most, in front of the other club members, if only to get Eru off his back. This is galling for Satoshi, but the boy likes his peace and quiet. I’m sure Haruna and Muneyoshi have their own priorities in life, too. Such deep mysteries and profound emotions in a school festival! It’s been a long arc, but I’m sorry to see it go.

Rinne no Lagrange 18 feels like a cop-out, one of those unbelievable situations where the the opposing kings are brought together by circumstance and everyone is happy, but that all depends on next week and whether Madoka manages to actually beat the shit out of Dizel and Villa, like I hope she does. The switched bodies thing works pretty well, though having them switch back at Dizel’s touch was a tad unbelievable AND was a clumsy way to do have Dizel admit he loves a girl to that actual girl without him knowing about it. Otherwise, the show has fun with it. Madoka tries to use Yurikano’s body to her advantage but no one listens to her (nice touch), while Yurikano has to say embarrassing things in front of everybody to prove who she is (the repeated shock-reactions in that trippy art style–nice touch too). Madoka’s inadvertant switching on the escape pod’s communicator so that they overhear her ought to be another clumsy plot device, but we’re sort of used to Madoka doing things like that. Besides, she was playing that word game and munching on rations while she did it, chilling out in that pod while everyone outside is trying to kill each other. And we get a good space battle. Could have been a better episode, but it was still fun to watch, as most Lagrange episodes are.

2 thoughts on “Hyouka 17, Lagrange 18

  1. I just discovered your blog in this past week, and have been reading back to Hyouka ep 1. Um, I notice no comments, can I comment?

    I also am kinda older. If I find a blog that discusses anime in a creative way that I like, I’ve usually found that it’s run by a teenage girl and I feel too creepy trying to join in. So I have never commented before anywhere.

    I like your insights, and am impressed by the time you put into this.

    If I can add a thought on Hyouka. There have been a few times that something will be going on, and Chitanda makes eye contact with Oreki. She will make a gesture, conveying a message like “can you make those two stop bickering” or “can we move this meeting along”. I was impressed by these short, almost throw-away segments.

    The nonverbal communication nicely shows an intimacy between the characters. I think it’s a remarkable thing for two people who haven’t known each other for very long.

    Obviously, (IMO) it also illustrates how smitten poor Oreki is. A question I have, is what is really Chitanda’s motivation? Is she likewise smitten or just willing to manipulate Oreki since he is so willing to be used?

    I also am not sure about the conversation about “expectations”. I think the word they used is kitaikan, which means ( in my dictionary) feeling of expectation. Maybe the point is like the sense of that saying
    “There is no try, only do”

    There are those who dream of making great manga and those who make great manga?

  2. You certainly may comment here, and thank you for the kind words! And if you’re looking for a site where people besides teen fanboys and girls hang out there are plenty out there. Two of my favorite places to visit are http://www.bateszi.me/ and https://ogiuemaniax.wordpress.com/.

    Kyoto Animation has become famous for taking care of the little details, such as the nonverbal communication moments you mention. They throw in so much effort and money into actually animating those moments rather than just having a couple of still heads with moving mouths that it energizes the series as a whole and gives it a greater depth. It’s what made an otherwise silly show like K-ON!! actually watchable.

    Finally, I can’t imagine Eru deliberately trying to manipulate anybody. You saw how badly it went when she tried in the last couple episodes. Another blogger pointed out that she’s actually quite clever about reading people’s emotional motivations, but that’s empathy at work there, not cunning.

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