With the pinnacle, and perhaps only fully fantastic segment of the series now concluded, Hyouka is back with the irrelevant side-stories which battered the anime heavily, and quite negatively, earlier on.
Before jumping one way or the other, know that this episode is actually neutral overall – in itself, it is neither something impressive, nor is it disappointing, yet rather, the future which follows the foundation of what this episode has laid, if any, will determine if it held any value or not. The reason for such an uncertain fate is that this series introduces or expands upon quite an assortment of different aspects within this single episode – meaning it can indeed go either way depending on how potential is utilized.
The episode in itself delivers neither a wealth, nor hardly even a slither of development regarding the central story – however, it does offer enough that one could view it as a transition, a gradual yet substantial shift in a certain character’s state of mind whilst moving onward towards the next chapter. Yet assume that the next episode to follow is merely another side-story – if the prominent potential is not maximized, then failure is still certainly quite possible.
Likewise, the opposite holds true as well – as was excellently showcased within the festival arc, Hyouka can indeed manage something electrifying with the appropriate build up.
As for what it is which the episode delivers, it initiates quite reminiscent to another affair – the other gathering, prior to the movie mystery, in which they spent the entire time dawdling in the club room. Yet while it may seem this episode is simply a similar incident of nothing, it’s not – a helicopter flies just beyond their window, and then the shock is that of all possibilities, it’s Oreki who reacts to it.
Oreki recalls some memories of a past teacher – and subsequently, he manages to become curious making for some revolutionary moment in which the protagonist breaks away from his sluggish ways and is suddenly motivated to do something of his own accord. Now the route which follows is interesting to some extent, certainly – however, it has no readily understandable relation to the main story.
Indeed, the anime does make some more hints towards the obvious romantic pairing of moeblob and protagonist – as well as further highlights how the protagonist is seemingly stepping forward as aforementioned, although alone, this means nothing without any more definite steps.
Basically, that’s all there is to say on this episode – judgement awaits on whether or not it will manage to do anything productive or meaningful with the ground which it has carefully laid.