As apathetic as I was toward Hyouka, I must say that it improved as it went on. What started as a group of bored students with very specific investigative roles developed into a group of equally bored students eventually getting the hots for each other in scenes dripping with fantastic art direction. I grew to like most of the characters for all their faults, our energy-conserving lead most of all. But there’s one thing, or rather one person that remained consistently awful and useless for the majority of the show’s run— Chitanda fucking Eru, and her catchphrase “kininarimasu!”
In the initial rough episodes, whenever you’d think that the show would stop being dull, Chitanda would sense the moment of improvement and chime in with a well-timed “kininarimasu!” thereby leading everyone else down the perpetual spiraling staircase toward the hell of banality. It improved quite a bit later when the focus began to branch out toward the other members of the classics club, who eventually (to well executed comedic effect) learned to intercept the “kininarimasu!” with precision, but the specter of unbridled curiosity hung over the series like a moeblob-shaped balloon with gleaming purple eyes.
And okay, this isn’t so much a single moment as it is many moments. Many horrible, Chitanda-driven moments filled with shiny purple eyes that spurred the otherwise great cast in Hyouka to twist and turn at the whims of an honors student who’s apparently incapable of any sort of lateral thinking. Really, this year gave us the greatest evil in anime to date in the form of this enigmatic manipulator. Love her or hate her, Chitanda and her “kininarimasu!’ will be remembered long after this year has ended, unlike virtually everything else in Hyouka.