“Asumi’s always looking up at the sky, right? Anyone who’s with her ends up looking up too. You will too, I bet.”
–Twin Spica, Volume 9, Chapter 54
Author Archives: ajthefourth
“The suspects number over a thousand. To deduce the culprit from amongst them all isn’t humanly possible. Thus the only way to catch them is to catch them in the act. This case isn’t up Houtarou’s alley, so I’ll solve it myself.”
Let’s play a little game, shall we?
“Ah… Yeah, we’re living monuments to culture.”
-Mediator/Watashi, Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita Episode Three
In the fourth episode of Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, the individual jabs at the manga industry are numerously applied with scalpel-like precision, neatly getting their cuts in before moving on to the next target. They come so furiously that one can hardly be blamed for missing the line above, which is more akin to being bludgeoned with a surprisingly sneaky baseball bat.
This post is meant to be read in tandem with A Day Without Me’s post over at her blog, GAR GAR Stegosaurus. If you haven’t given it a look I strongly suggest you do. Stemming from this post, an immediate reaction to Episode 12 of Hyouka, and the off-handed suggestion that Satoshi Fukube, the self-titled database of Hyouka‘s high school detective team, is in fact gay.
Thus, the two of us set out in search of just how much evidence existed to support our theory and returned with some surprisingly sound results culminating in these parallel posts. Hers was to focus on what she calls “signposts:” signifying common characteristics that are meant to be seen and recognized by the audience as homosexual, regardless of whether they are true to life or not. Mine, as you are about to discover, was to focus on the development and nuances within Satoshi’s interactions with others as framed by the series itself.
Hyouka is not concerned as much about solving its own mysteries, or presenting said mysteries to the audience, as much as it wants to explore the genres of mystery and detective fiction and what makes them so well-loved. As it grows and develops its characters, nurturing their love of mystery, it too pushes us, the viewers, along a similar path.
Acting as detectives for a moment, let’s delve a bit deeper into this theory.
“What’s wrong with that?
We all care about those girls.
But your dream is what matters above all.”
-Yuuko Ooshima the Ninth
Do you remember the pop songs you listened to when you were young?
More importantly, disregarding their ability to jog your misty-water colored memories, do you still listen to those songs now? For most, the answer to this question is “No.”
Tastes change as we grow older and experience different things, as does the music of our once-favorite performers. Often, the most choice earworms are doomed to be brought out only when one wants to remember hamming it up in the elementary school talent show dancing to Whoomp! (There It Is). These songs have a staying power all their own that has nothing to do with the song and everything to do with the sepia-tinged nostalgia that we assign to these songs ourselves.
“Tapioca, I don’t like such stifling relationships.”
-Akira Agarkar Yamada, Tsuritama Episode Three
“Everything starts from a dot.”
It’s amusing how many things are produced, or art styles invented, simply in the interest of saving money.
Benjamin Henry Day Jr. is a mere blip on history’s radar, and yet the printing process he pioneered now has a storied tradition well beyond a cost-cutting measure to save ink. The son of New York Sun founder Benjamin Henry Day, Day Jr. developed the “Ben-Day dot” technique of printing. Ben-Day dots, named after Day Jr. himself, are dots of the exact same size made up of different colors of ink. Instead of spending more money to print the color purple, for example, one can print magenta and cyan dots overlapping each other and our minds will gladly fill in the rest for us.
It’s an odd world, the one that most of us carry inside of our own minds. We may build things up and tear them down in the next instant. As viewers, we are often privy to the thoughts that flicker through our protagonists’ minds, with the idea behind this being one of furthering our understanding of the lead character’s motivations. Why, exactly, are they doing what they are doing? More often than not, we are given this information freely, and don’t think on it too much. It’s a style of direction that’s tried and true, expected, and natural to a viewing audience.
So what happens if the director of a series suddenly decides to point this out?