Hyouka – Investigating The Mystery Behind Satoshi

In the recent episode of Hyouka, we had seen a more in-depth look in Mayaka and Satoshi’s relationship. Most would indeed be baffled by Satoshi’s odd behavior. Like Houtarou and the rest of you, I similarly can’t seem to understand what’s Satoshi’s thinking under that happy-go-lucky facade of his. However, after thinking more thoroughly, I think the main reason behind Satoshi’s vagueness is his struggles to choose between staying on as friends, or moving along as couples.

In the past, I used to be so obsessed with winning,
so I tried to win all the time.
It was boring.
Even if I did win, it was boring.
It was more than I could handle.
How can it be interesting unless you win in an interesting way?
One day I got tired of it.
I became obsessed with not being obsessed about anything.
And since then my life’s been really fun.
Ever day is a happy day.

We will first have a look at Satoshi’s mindset. As Houtarou mentioned, Satoshi had changed. He was obsessive before, wanting to win and gain everything despite how little nor petty it is. To be blunt, you could say he’s greedy. However, in his obsession, he requires determination and effort to get what he wants, and when things doesn’t go his way, he gets irritated and retaliate. What’s the fun in all that?

In the present, Satoshi had changed. He’s no longer the obsessive type he once was. By saying that he is just a “database”, he stopped drawing conclusions nor making accomplishments. He just relays information to the others (Houtarou notably) and depends on them to finish up on things. He also doesn’t get depressed over loses anymore and just take everything at face value. Doing that, everything becomes much more fun.

This changed mindset however, is the main cause behind him and Mayaka’s awkward relationship. It all comes down whether or not he wants to continue staying as “friends”, or to evolve their relationship into “lovers”. Even Satoshi has a generally positive view on Mayaka too so this choice may seem simple, but unsurprisingly not so.

Can I really let myself get obsessed with her?
I want to be with Mayaka, no question about it.
But I don’t want to obsess over her.
I guess I’m just being selfish.
I’m not even thinking about how she feels.
So egotistical, right?
It’s not like I want to make light of her feelings.
But if I leave my comfort bubble and accept her, I might go back to the way I used to be.
And that scares me.

Staying as “friends”, your relationship with them will never crumble, as long as time persists, you can have fun with them as long as you want. However, being “lovers” aren’t simple. The development of bonds might seem like a good thing, but there are of cause, cons as well. If the relationship doesn’t proceed smoothly, it will be a huge crash and burn journey all the way through, and once the said couple broke up, it’s even questionable if they would even stay as friends, and even if they do, it will just become even the more so awkward.

To that end, in my opinion, Satoshi wanted to have fun and continue staying as friends. He doesn’t want to revert back to his obsessive self, he doesn’t want to obsess over Mayaka. By being obsessed over her, he will once again have to go through a bumpy route. However, because he does has a generally good reception of her, perhaps he even has feelings for her; he wants to proceed, he wants to love her too, but his new mindset is holding him back.

At first, I find Satoshi’s altitude towards Mayaka cold, but now I can kind of relate to him. Of cause, we all love our decisive protagonist being able to make a choice straightaway, however, we are just humans. The choice to evolve one’s relationship is so crucial that this very choice would impact one’s life one way or the other. I didn’t really like Satoshi here, but after some thoughts, I think I would hate him even more if he halfheartedly makes his choice straightaway. What do you think of Satoshi?

This entry was posted by Kai.

13 thoughts on “Hyouka – Investigating The Mystery Behind Satoshi

  1. Indeed, it’s the old question of friends evolving into lovers. But with such fresh take on it, I didn’t understand it at first. I saw it as a lack of will to meet Mayaka’s expectations as a lover, especially if you think of her character.

    I was very upset at Satoshi at first, more for being a coward than being indecisive. His point of view isn’t incomprehensible but for not telling his thoughts straight to Mayaka there is only one other reason and that’s his angsty teen phase, I guess.

    • “and that’s his angsty teen phase,”

      Exactly. They’re not called “awkward teenage years” for nothing.

      The moment Oreki laid eyes on Chitanda, I started viewing this show as primarily about the relationships between four friends, and the “mysteries” simply as a vehicle for the main story to ride on. So far, it hasn’t disappointed me in the least. One of the things I was waiting for was the moment Mayaka forced Satoshi to decide. Looks like it has arrived.

      • Indeed. Teenage years are alreadys brimming with awkwardness.

        There’s definitely isn’t any “mystery”, just a “more-smart-then-your-average-student” solving any weird occurence happening.
        I see the mystery as a device for developing the characters and story so your point is definitely valid. And the choice will be made public in next episode indefinitely.

    • Yeah, I don’t quite understand it as well since the way it is conveyed is really abstract, but I think my take on it is still more or less correct.

      I don’t really think Satoshi’s lacking the will. It is indeed true he may seem like a coward, he’s trying not to be one. You can certainly see hints in earlier episodes that he was truly troubled that he couldn’t make a decision, and was only able to make it in this episode. He’s completely stuck in the middle, for one year at that too.

      Hmm indeed, you are right. I think telling her about all of it is a good idea, and it would actually makes Mayaka feels better instead of indirectly avoiding acceptance. Awkward teen years ftw.

  2. So many people giving Satoshi a hard time. Dealing with a girl like Mayaka could probably be too distressful a thought for it to be worth the bother. Satoshi’s a laid back type and Mayaka’s a fiery, temperamental type. Very nice blog by the way :-)

    • I do think contrast always makes the greatest couples. Satoshi’s laid-back altitude and Mayaka’s short-tempered personality complement with each other imo. Thanks :D

  3. This guy is annoying, I already got used to his cheerful awkwardness after a few episodes, but when he is in a bad mood, he appears like a lunatic.

    It looked like Mayaka forces her love onto him like that, but to let her struggle for a whole year isn’t nice. I’m kind of surprised they can still be friends like this. Satoshi’s behavior is partially understandable, but the topic won’t be solved with such childish things like stealing the chocolate and ignoring the feelings of Mayaka.

    In my opinion it takes some more courage to be so mean and destroying the selfmade chocolate of a person dear to him , than telling her how he feels and why Satoshi can’t accept her feelings that easily. Satoshi always talks smart, but in the he’s just a random yet weird teenager who feels uneasy about becoming a couple with his childhood friend and loosing parts of his easygoing freedom. I can’t really root for Satoshi x Mayaka under this premise.

    At least a Houtarou x Eru couple would be nice at the end of this anime.

    • I don’t find him annoying at first but I always think that he’s more then he seems. He certainly does lose a few brownie points now though D:

      In a sense, I think both of them are struggling. Mayaka couldn’t get a clear answer from him and Satoshi couldn’t (but is still trying) to make the decision for a year. Mayaka’s really awesome though, I’m sure it’s just a random blunter statement during the previous year when she said she’s going to make another chocolate next year. I think that means that she was already prepared to struggle for the whole year.

      Satoshi I admit, doesn’t really have the best altitude with his response. Self-crushing a beloved person’s homemade chocolate is totally out of this world, and adding to those points too, it makes him looks selfish, or egotistical (to put it in his words, at least he know how terrible of a person he is already). Well indeed, he’s going through his angsty teen phase, like some above had already said D:

      Houtarou x Eru for me anytime too, though it will be funny if it suddenly turns into Houtarou X Eru X Mayaka harem style.

  4. Hm I can kind of relate to Satoshi to a certain extent. I view it like this, if a person does not give their best, it is implying that this certain activity or their opponent is not worthy enough to recieve their best effort. A victory against somebody who is not trying is a hollow one in my eyes, i find it too patronising in a way. Ofcourse winning is not everything, how you win matters a great deal. Win with dignity and feel good not because your opponent lost but because you did well yourself. I also know the fear of trying your best and still loosing. In a way not trying your best is a safe guard to the fact that you would still have lost if you tried. I do not bother to do things that i know i will not put my all into. I am a strong believer of specialism and that everybody has their own merits and skills. E.g a designer or artist is not better or worse than say a lawyer. Both parties can’t do each others job and therefore they both have their skills and merits. Nothing wrong with obsessing if it is in the interest of the happiness of others or for public good :) Lots of great achievements were achieved as a result of great obsession and their great will to never give up. :)

    • In a way, I think Satoshi gave up his hopes of winning, in favor of enjoyments. It’s because you have hopes to win, that you feel disappointed and frustuated once you actually lose. There are a few cometitions where I was hoping to win but ended up losing. Without that self-expectations, things will certainly become more fun and enjoying instead.

      Indeed, I gave it my all for things I know I would actually do. For things that I know I won’t be so committed to, I just do them in a casual manner.

      And that’s indeed true too. Bottom line is, nothing wrong with having fun or being obsessed eh? For me, I would go witha hybrid of both. I won’t do the things I know I won’t give much effort to, but for ones I actually like, I went in with full obsession and greed.

  5. Pingback: Hyouka Review « deluscar

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  7. I got satoahi’s meaning straight away. That’s the same ideology I applied, but I am trying to keep a balance between loving someone and not obsessing over them and its tough man, but yeah otherwise I took the same decision some time ago

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