Posted by psgels on 1 February 2012 with categories: Chihayafuru

Something very interesting happened here. Remember how the first volume of Chihayafuru completely bombed in terms of DVD sales? Well, when I checked back on the latest figures, it turns out that the second volume actually sold much better. While it’s still near the bottom of the season, the second volume sold in the order of five times as much here. That’s something you don’t see often. Still, these numbers are still far too low for a second season here. This show will end in two months.

It was up to this episode to promise that these final two months will be worth watching. And indeed, I made one really big miss-assumption with this series. The characters said that the past tournament was like the “koushien” of karuta, which lead me to believe that there is just one major tournament like this every year. Yes, I’ve probably seen too many baseball series. In any case, there still are plenty of smaller tournaments, including the tournament to decide the next queen. That’ll be a nice place to end things, and with a bit of luck this will also give a bigger role to Arata.

In the meantime, this was the expected intermezzo episode, and with that it really delivered. There was some very good banter, and we got some interesting insight into the way that Chihaya plays Karuta. The big danger for this show is to descend into a training arc at this point. I can very much identify with Chihaya’s dilemma here: having to stop focusing on what you’re best at, in order to become even better. This is something that is incredibly difficult to do, and not everyone actually manages to do it.

And yet again, this episode placed emphasis on every single character. Everyone is trying hard in his or her own way. Also bloody hell. Taichi still had contact with his girlfriend. Yes, “had”.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

9 Responses

  1. joojoobees says:

    Why oh why oh why do the best shows face such challenges in sales?

    • Starry says:

      Chalk it up to the fact that its a josei series, and it doesn’t have the appeal across multiple demographics as other series have. Thus it means less BD/DVD sales. Quite a shame, a lovely series it is. Although the manga did win a few awards.

  2. Wait, the second volume sold 2000 units and that’s five times as much? Did the first volume sell only 400 units or something? o.O

  3. Ransom says:

    “Taichi still had contact with his girlfriend”

    I can kind of imagine the conversation… Something along the lines of “Ever since you started… You never pick my calls (Or you never call me)!… We don’t go out anymore… All that is in your head is karuta! (And probably someone else…) It’s time for you to choose. Me or that stupid game!!!”

    And we all know the reply from Taichi :D

    Still, I feel like that was a little off… And kind of rude… If you don’t like someone, don’t go out with her/him.

    • Takatin says:

      You have to remember Taichi is still a teenager. Of course he won’t deal with relationship perfectly. He probably went out with her to kill time.

    • Scruffy says:

      Yeah I do agree that Taichi was very diskish but you can see how this would pan out. They don’t go to the same school and don’t seem to share interests and he only went out with her because she was cute and asked him.

      She gives me a bit of a Ryou from Clannad vibe.

  4. Puran says:

    Now that I saw that list, is UN-GO also bombing in that list? That’s sad.

  5. kay says:

    i know this is a little off topic, but since you were talking about sales and second seasons is this likely what happened to kuragehime as well ? Not enough sales to support 2nd seasons of anime? boooo

  6. rufe says:

    Aren’t there several Koushien a year? Natsu Koushien and Haru Koushien?

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  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 04:05 AM)
    “Firechick, answer: Hell no. And don’t impersonate Bam. You suck at it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 03:05 AM)
    Yeah guys! Why aren’t you reviewing Go! Princess Precure?
  • Firechick
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 02:51 AM)
    Is anyone gonna review Go! Princess Precure? I hear it just aired.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:14 PM)
    Synecdoche is incredibly rich in detail, and keen return viewers can find a lot of things they missed the first time thru. Kaufman didn’t have a single teacup in a shot that didn’t mean something. Pacing is a bit of an issue, but if you notice the passage of time you can see that was deliberate as well. The movie could’ve been livelier, but for a movie about death and decay that would’ve been a bit of a sell-out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:01 PM)
    @Emma: Birdman and Synecdoche have a lot of thematic elements in common, and given that Synecdoche was released in 08 makes me realize that Alejandro González borrowed quite a bit from it; although in the end they are different enough to justify Birdman’s existence. Where Synecdiche was a better written movie, I feel that Birdman was the better directed one.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:15 PM)
    And I’d go as far to say this beats out birdman for me by miles.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    The film is a solid mood piece thanks to the in tone cinematography, a great performance from Hoffman that along with his characters drama makes for an emotionally investing film. And before it gets TOO sad theres all those bits of dark humour fitted in there that work out pretty well. This is probably my favourite work by Kaufman currently.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    Well Bam, I had a go of synecdoche there. A bit of a slow burner, near the end slightly drawn out, however that last stretch was forgiven by that bonkers ending.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:23 PM)
    The voice of the main character got kind of annoying though, the dub wasn’t all that good either.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:22 PM)
    This was based on/was a homage to a series by the Gigantor creator and having grown up with gigantors 90s reboot this felt like a nice throwback, plot is fairly simple but used effectively. It’s a shame that it feels like there was more to tell but at seven episodes I suppose it avoids outstaying its welcome.

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