Posted by psgels on 7 February 2012 with categories: Chihayafuru

So, this was meant to be about the introduction episodes, in order to build up for the big matches as we reach the end of the series. And even there this show found a very good scenario: Chihaya’s loss against an opponent unimportant to the plot, and having the finale be amongst the rest of the main cast.

Also, this show really has the tendency to not show Taichi play. This episode really was apparent in that: for Chihaya it fully details how the match progresses. This episode also took a good look at how Tsutomu and Kanade played, but with Taichi we just got the description of “it’s fierce”. The episode ended with a cliff-hanger, so I wonder whether they’re going to keep this up.

One thing that is also apparent here is that the matches are kindof predictable. I’m not yet sure whether that’s an actual flaw here, because this show does not have any miracle comebacks or anything. While it’s of course natural for those to happen, I’ve seen so many sports series by now that those twists start to stand out as a bit convenient. To make up for it, this show plays around with its interesting match set-ups. Like, having the most important match right at the beginning at times.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

11 Responses

  1. Hogart says:

    I liked that older lady they pitted against Chihaya.. it was a nice touch to show a well-adjusted character playing Karuta passionately. I’m also quite happy they’re spending a little more time on the side characters, because I was fully expecting them to mostly dismiss them in favor of building up Chihaya and then Taichi.

  2. kurini says:

    I like the woman player too! She was interesting as a character that will appear only one time (I think)!

    Is it just me or this episode felt longer? Maybe because we kind of have 2 matches in one episode :O

  3. Rasphberry says:

    Kanai-san (Middle-aged woman) is like, the perfect example of how Kana-chan will become when she’s her age.

    So graceful and beautiful.

  4. lolcat says:

    strange.. at the first half of an episode i felt like there was a lot of rushed shots. Otherwise episode was awesome!

  5. gracenote says:

    Even though the Taichi/Nishida match wasn’t shown in this episode, it seems likely that next week’s episode will be a continuation of the tournament and will probably focus on their match. Since Chihaya was only focusing on the Kana/Desktomu match, we’ll probably hear Retro-kun’s commentary on the Taichi/Nishida match that he was following next time.

    • kero says:

      It’d be interesting to get Retro kun’s POV on the match, it might add something to it.

      The insight into Kana and Desktomu was great. Kana looked soo graceful in the way she carried herself at the game. It was brill.

      what I like is how they introduce the snippets of strategy and the ways of playing into the story.. it doesn’t feel forced.

      anyway. Great episode.

  6. ojisan says:

    Anyone else think that Chihaya’s ever-more-comic facial expressions were giving Hyouge Mono a run for its money?

  7. Kevin says:

    Psgels, i know what i did was wrong and i understand if you want to block me from talking with the rest of the community on your site… Im talking right now from a library computer and im just asking if you could at least allow me to look at the site from my own computer… Please this site means so much to me… Im begging you..

  8. imredjimmy says:

    Once again, a nice episode. I love the focus they put on the side-characters. Especially Kana/Desktomu.

  9. Machi says:

    I think for what its worth it may be better to forget that this series will be ending soon and one way or another it will necessarily be incomplete – we can always hope for a second season. However, given series like Natsume Yuujinchou, Oofuri, and yes even HXH prior to announcements of a subsequent season – ones that take especially long e.g. Oofuri and HXH – the animators did manage to generally find a great point to end a series. I feel that I’d rather give them the benefit of the doubt at the moment and think that they’ll be able to find a proper point to end the series rather than believing it will feel half finished like Eden of the East did given the track record of how they’ve handled Chihayafuru lately, I doubt they expected it to be a crowd drawer in the first place.

  10. RABUJOI says:

    Pitting Tsutomu and Kanade against each other in the final was a great way of keeping them relevant, as their play, combined with that of Chihaya’s adult opponent this week, all conspired to show Chihaya exactly how much she has to learn about this sport. No one else approaches a match as carelessly as she does. All of them have STRATEGIES and TACTICS and are constantly analyzing their opponents’ play.

    Chihaya points out that Kanade’s particular style of recognizing thematic similarities in the poems themselves isn’t easy to pull off in competitive karuta, just as her own speed-first strategy is a dead end she must overcome. The best way to do that is to play a lot, lose a lot, learn from the losing, and continue carefully observing her teammates.

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  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 01:13 AM)
    @Ninja: yeah spending a week at Black Rock City with 100k people with all the madness that transpires is pretty exhausting. The thing about Burning Man is that given the open atmosphere of acceptance makes it much easier to socialoze since you can keep the ego bullshit to a minimal.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 12:58 AM)
    @Bam I just mean I don’t have the energy for that type of event any more. It just wears me out. That amount of constant socialization.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 09:15 PM)
    @Ninja: yeah pyro contraptions are a big hit there, but that’s a lofty project indeed.
    And I’m pretty sure you’re not that old, there’s a lot of 50-60 year olds there and they’re having a good time. If you’re not a camping person then yeah … it’s not gonna be easy for you, but given the atmosphere, the music, and the art I firmly believe it’s worth checking out at least once.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 06:18 PM)
    @Bam Ahhhh Burning Man. I had some friends from Indiana who were trying to get me to help them build an organ that shoots fire with each key-press for Burning Man. It sounded fun but I already feel too old for something like Burning Man.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:32 AM)
    @Ninja: no I met most of them at Burning Man.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:23 AM)
    @Bam I see I just figured that if you had a lot of friends in KY you must have lived in the region.
    @Friend Yeah or involved desserts like Palmiers or Croissants. I actually am pretty decent at making croissants from scratch but it’s a pain in the ass.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:21 AM)
    And that’s … The More You Know ;)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:19 AM)
    “Iran” originally means “the land of the Aryans”. The European settlers of Aryan decent are correctly labeled Indo-European as they traveled from north of India across Iran and the Caucasus mountain range (hence the term Caucasian) and settled in pastural lands in Europe. Hence we are the original white people. Go figure.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:14 AM)
    @K-off: some good-looking corn there m8.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @Ninja: No I’m Persian since I was originally born and raised in Tehran/Iran. I am mostly of Parthian decent with a quarter of Kurd in me. I have moved around the globe since I was 16 and now live in Sacramento California.

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