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Hyouka

The Doll That Took a Detour

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Eru asks Houtarou to be an umbrella carrier for her during this year's Doll Festival. Houtarou follows the directions given to him, but is stopped by impending construction on a small bridge, though the worker lets him go through. When he arrives, he is greeted rudely by the busy staff, but upon identifying him, they accept him and apologize for the trouble of being an outsider. When Houtarou confirms that the nearby bridge is under construction, the staff is distraught; The procession was to walk over that bridge. A young man with brown hair suggests that they pass through the next bridge. The ceremony begins. Outside, Fuyumi Irisu is revealed to be the Emperor, and Eru appears next to her. Houtarou is caught off-guard by her full garb and extensive make-up, and is distracted during the procession, thinking to himself that he's curious and wants to see her face again. At the end, he speaks to Satoshi and Mayaka, who thanks him for his exploits during Valentine's Day. At the end of the day, Eru greets him with a new mystery: Who allowed the bridge construction to take place? Both of them decide that it was the young man with brown hair, who Eru remembers was interested in photography, and he might have wanted to have a better shot from his new angle. Eru and Houtarou walk home, but Eru stops to tell him that she decided to take science classes in order to help discover ways to help grow crops more efficiently. She had given up on her social skills since the festival, unlike Houtarou, who decided to take humanities classes. Eru explains that she doesn't see much potential for growth in the town, but says that, no matter what, she would always return to it, and says that she had wanted Houtarou to see that part of her. Houtarou asks her if she would want him to be the social side of her that she had abandoned, and Eru is shocked by the proposal, knowing what he had meant by the question; However, it turns out that Houtarou had just been daydreaming, and fails to actually say anything to her. Eru happily exclaims that spring has arrived, and the wind blows through the nearby cherry blossom trees. The two smile at each other under the sunset and the falling petals as a new chapter of their lives begins.