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)