They can’t all be groundbreaking, I guess. Surprisingly, Hyouka becomes dreadfully boring if you figure out the solution to the mystery 20 minutes before Oreki explains exactly what you already thought of. I don’t know why it was so easy, but I had the answer pretty quickly, as it was noted the teacher looked at the class sign and he checks his notebook for where the class left off. Mistaking “a” and “d” is a rather minor offense, but it wasn’t that long before I had that too (again, before Oreki), and figured out he mistook Class A with Class D, one of which was further ahead than the other. Thus causing the teacher’s misdirected rage at the class for not understanding the presented material, and Chitanda’s impassioned rebuttal.
Perhaps this wasn’t about the mystery so much as it was about Houtarou and Chitanda moving slowly closer together. She almost had him with her line about conserving energy, but just at the verge of an emotional breakthrough, Chitanda retracts her statement, leaving Oreki disillusioned. While it didn’t seal the deal, so to speak, it certainly brought him one step closer to the his ultimate fate, loving Eru-chan (we all know it’s happening).
Perhaps this is the prologue to Houtarou’s next mystery, which is to delve into what makes Eru tick. Where is the anger she never shows and what drives the things she does, like being so “interested” in things and then asking Oreki to solve or figure them out. While slowly coming to his conclusions, will Oreki also slowly grow to love Chitanda, despite her (some would call) faults? Or will it be up to Chitanda to break him out of his conservative lifestyle so he can see what’s so wonderfully standing in front of him?