Kyoto Animation continues to be impressive in making this school festival probably one of the liveliest of festivals ever created. The rich artwork, the music – nearly everything about this episode is ringing “spectacular.” I think is also helps that we get four different perspectives on the festival, each with their own little adventure on what is going on from their point of view. Major props to Kyoto on that part.
I think the main highlight of the episode had to be Satoshi and his ridiculous outfit while acting as a participant for the Quiz King game. With Satoshi as energetic as he could be, he makes the quiz itself feel more energetic than anything else. Making all the way to the final four, Satoshi uses the introduction opportunity as a chance to advertise and sell as many Hyouka books as possible, a rather clever way to do so. He made his speech alluring enough to get the audiences attention and then strike with an information that they might be curious of themselves. This is the correct way to get people to buy one’s product. Now, the only thing left to do is hope that people would come to their club to get a copy of Hyouka. However, there seems to be something going on within this game as well. A boy by the name of Tani seems to see Satoshi as his rival for whatever reason it could be. Even so, they seem to be acquainted in some way; that, for Tani just wants to up Satoshi for some reason. Anyway, Tani gives him some information that he might like. Apparently, some go stones from his club are missing with a note stating that it will be given back to them eventually. What could this mean?
Another important highlight in this episode had to be Mayaka and her manga club. It seems as though Kouchi Ayako is not really the kind person she was portrayed at first. Ayako would go as far as to bash at what they were trying to sell (manga review), claiming it all to be useless to read and stating that no one would read such a thing. Everyone appeared to be starting at Mayaka, who either thought of the idea in the first place or are following along at an even bigger scheme. Ayako herself even looked as though she wanted to have a verbal fight with Mayaka in particular, and she sure is not hiding anything about it. Taking the bait, Mayaka confronts to Ayaka about what makes certain manga interesting to read. Mayaka expresses her opinions about what makes certain manga special and what is considered a masterpiece. Mayaka refers to a manga that was sold at the culture festival and asks if she has read it yet. While everyone seems confused about what she was talking about, Ayako had a reaction as though she knows the work and states that she never heard of it. Mayaka then tells her that she will bring to to her for her to read tomorrow. However, when their argument was over, it seemed as though a surge of people were in line wanting to buy their works. This catches Mayaka off-guard and reserves to her business self. Yet, president Yuasa Shouko, who also appeared to be a nice person, placed a sign outside stating what was going on inside the club in order to have their works sold. It was almost as though Shouko and Ayako staged this from the start. The question then becomes whether or not there was any seriousness in Ayako’s argument or if it was meant to get Mayaka to open up and state her mind about certain things. It would be interesting if this was all a set-up.
It seems like the mystery element of this arc is starting to reveal itself as Eru temporarily returns to the clubroom to drop some stuff that she is carrying after having too much fun. Eru would try to go to the newspaper club to get them to advertise about Hyouka, but they are pretty busy in their own right. Masashi states that if she finds an interesting for them to write about, then maybe they can put something about them in their paper. While Eru can talk about the mystery of Hyouka, it does not look like she is that open to talk about it. In the meantime, she meets up with a Juumonji Kaho, who refers to her by her first name, which could mean that they are acquainted in some way, probably by another family influence scenario. Here, Kaho tells her that the Wheel of Fortune tarot card is missing in her tarot deck. She tells her that someone stole it from her, revealing a note stating that it would be returned to them eventually as well as a card that started that the card was lost with her name on in without her knowledge of it. The note was placed in an odd fashion, placed up on top of the festival guidebook near the end of the page. Whoever this thief was does not appear to have any mal intentions about taking people’s belongings. The question now becomes why would this thief need a drink, a tarot card, and some go stones? A scavenger hunt?
Now, Houtarou is already having fun in his own right. One, he was able to see Eru’s cosplay pictures. Two, he was able to trade a safety pin attached to a fashion card for a water gun. The question becomes what else is he going to get with this invisible trade. Of course, he gets caught red-handed when Eru finds out that the envelope was opened. Eru was about to ask if he looked at the pictures, but took it back. It is cute to see how these characters are slowly getting to each other romantically. However, she also toook back talking about the story she heard from Kaho. I wonder what her reason for that would be. Normally, Eru would jump to the mystery, but Eru chooses to restrain herself. Maybe this mystery has not interest her enough to get her up to her feet and have her eyes glittering.
Then again, Mayaka is having a bad day in her own right with her argument with her senior. Not only can she not ask for the selling of Hyouka at this point, but there is no stopping how after digging this far into the argument. However, she cannot find the manga at her house, of which she was looking desperately for. After all the manga she searched through, none of them were the one she was looking for. Did she improperly placed it somewhere, or is there a reason it is missing?