Posted by psgels on 14 February 2012 with categories: Chihayafuru

So, last week I said that the matches in this series were predictable. Immediately this show goes and proves me wrong. Okay, I take the predictability thing back.

The thing was, that everything here was being set up for Taichi to overcome his struggles and advance to join Chihaya in Class A. And yet, Nishida won. In a way, it makes sense: Taichi has the advantage of just being really, really smart and good at memorization, and he used that well, especially near the end of the match. Nishida however, has the experience. He did quit for a while, but he was the number two of Japan, something that Taichi can’t boast at all. The level at which you play when at that point, even as a kid, is completely different from usual.

That leaves me to wonder: how the heck will this show end? With what kinds of match-ups, I mean? At this point, my guess is that the only way for this to work is that Arata somehow doesn’t make his comeback at class A (Yes! Yes! Yes! He will return in time!), and therefore has to compete with Taichi for the finale of Class B, while Chihaya takes on the Queen, after said queen wins over Nishida. That would be the most predictable course of events. In about a month and a half, it’ll be interesting to see how these predictions held up. Usually it’d be the more it diverges from this predictable path, the better, but we’re talking about an incomplete adaptation here.

Oh, and what’s also really important in this episode: the character development. This was the first time where Chihaya actually became aware of the people around her. It finally occurred to her that Nishida didn’t like his nickname. And in fact, the entire class promotion of this episode was a big symbol of change: Komano and Kana really changed over the past few months as well, which really showed in the aftermath of their match.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

11 Responses

  1. Jambo says:

    I’m waiting for the Queen to come back before I watch this again.

  2. kurini says:

    TRUE! I was 100% sure Taichi will win! But not… it was unexpected!
    I find this episode’s tension really well done, I was so stressed watching the matches!

    And I totally love Taichi’s seiyuu, Miyano Mamoru, not only he has a sexy voice, he’s really good at expressing the emotions of the characters! <3

  3. Hogart says:

    This was my favorite episode of the series so far. The characterization was stellar from start to finish, there wasn’t a moment wasted, the drama wasn’t too heavy-handed, and several things I’ve been hoping for finally happened without going overboard. The unpredictability was just the icing on the cake to me.. they nailed this episode as far as I’m concerned, because it ran all of the characters through the gamut without it just and it wasn’t even purely about Karuta for the leads.

  4. kazid33 says:

    Only excellent?. This chapter was AWESOME. Personal Opinion. Best anime chapter so far in this year.

  5. Julian says:

    Quick question didnt Arata already make class A in the flashbacks? I may be wrong but that is how i understood it, if so did he loose his rank by going on a hiatus for a while or something…that made me a tad bit confused…

  6. Alterego 9 says:

    It’s an ongoing manga, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it would have no ending at all.

  7. joojoobees says:

    I don’t know how they will end this, but I agree that the characterization is soooo good that it makes these episodes a delight to watch. The drama is human-scaled but heart-felt. Seeing Tsutomu navigate the rocky waters following his loss to Kanade was wonderful.

  8. Sapphire says:

    One of the best episodes so far! My palms were sweaty while watching this, I think that says it all.

  9. ojisan says:

    “That leaves me to wonder: how the heck will this show end?”

    How about this. Chihaya goes on to smoke the Snow Queen. Arata fights his way to the top of the finals, and wins. Chihaya is so, so happy for him and he for her, but strangely it seems to end there. They’re both kind of obsessed, geeky presexual types anyway. Taichi wants to avoid Arata but they run into each other, and they end up having an entirely private karuta match in which Taichi beats Arata.

    Arata goes back to training, playing & obsessing, and Taichi and Chihaya are back on the long, slow onramp to romance.

    I can dream, can’t I?

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:34 PM)
    @Bam: They’d never allow bringing in toys/games/comics back when I was in school, they thought bringing in such things would make the kids of lower income families feel bad for not being able to afford things.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:31 PM)
    @Mario: He’s actually not a big fan of Iranian cinema, he told me before that he found most of it overly depressing.
    Now what you’re talking about there sounds like my kind of film.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:30 PM)
    @Bam: I’ll get back into the mainstream blockbusters thing as much as I used to be someday. someday….
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:28 PM)
    @Bam: Well, I guess I more brought up the being accused of hipsterism and contrarianism referring to the type of hypothetical person who would never be satisfied with how well you’d defend your opinion.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:25 PM)
    Thats the awkward thing though, when casting a superhero role, its difficult to find someone who can get both identities correct.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:23 PM)
    Bah implying toxic avenger and Italian spiderman aren’t the best superhero films OmO hahaha!
  • SuperMario
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 08:50 AM)
    Hey Bam, I remember attended a preview on one of an upcoming Iranian animated feature called The Last Fiction. it was inspired by the poem “Shahnameh” and from what I had seen so far, a very stylish, confident and “bloody” work. Expected to be complete in the end of 2017 thou.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 06:37 AM)
    Comic books were super rare and expensive in Iran, being banned and all. Rich kids in elementary would bring them to school to show them off, along with their Ninja Turtles action figures; they looked so cool and I was hella jealous. Me and my brother only had the bootleg Toxic Crusader figures lol
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 06:34 AM)
    @K-off: I didn’t read the comics either. I watched that weird 60s show, and Spiderman and the Amazing Friends, which had Firestar and the ice guy. I know his personality was quippy and kind of a wise-ass, and McGuire looks kinda like a rape victim of sorts. It was a lot better in costume, I admit.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 06:29 AM)
    I mean if we use the term fanboy for whenever someone feels strongly about something, then what’ll we have left for people who LARP and insist to be called by their WoW character names and dress up in gear and persistently speak in fake ‘Ol English?

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