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)

10 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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  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Mar 7. 2015 02:00 AM)
    @Vxien, Not sure who that recommend is for but whoever it is has seen death note. It’s like recommending Cowboy bebop. Anyone calling themselves an anime fan has likely already seen it and anyone that hasn’t…should watch it immediately.
  • Vxien
    (Saturday, Mar 7. 2015 12:41 AM)
    Might I recommend Death Note if you haven’t already.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:47 AM)
    I remember that same guy, during end of eva, pausing it over and over during that scene where asuka dies with all of those fast moving clips too.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:39 AM)
    I remember catching it also when I was young with a friend and we looked back on a fanservice scene with shinji and rei and he mentioned “You know if you think about it that scene is damn disturbing when you think she’s a clone of/modelled after you know who…”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:36 AM)
    Before Eva, when I was 11 or so my image of a mech anime was Nadesico…then it was eva and then I was like…Whoah…whoah God halp! =O
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:34 AM)
    I suppose credit where I feel it due, the angel designs are excellent and I remember getting the shock of my life when shinji’s eva went nuts and then there was a bit with Bardiel infect Toji’s unit. I remember at least Masatos boyfriend being a likeable character.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:31 AM)
    I don’t think anyone was prepared for Eva, whether they liked the show or not, at 11 I can remember being horrified by end of eva and the series original ending as well as having my first moment of “Feck…theres a first…an anime that did something that scrambled my mind, I actually feel kind of thick now, this show is smarter than I am”.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:27 AM)
    It really wouldn’t have been that hard to put a satisfying ending to the original series, wrap up the threads nicely and put a pretty ribbon on the package to finish it off. But Anno and friends took a risk and went against the tide and end up becoming the trope-namer for the Gainax Endings. That took balls and made things unexpected and fresh, cuz god knows that ,good guys win the day ‘is tired and boring.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:26 AM)
    Requiem for a dream. I remember the guy who recommended that film saying to me “Even someone such as yourself who finds it hard to find/has high standards an emotionally investing film will get something out of requiem for a dream”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:17 AM)
    @Emma: leaving a bad taste is pretty much the point of Eva, just as getting bummed out by Requiem For a Dream is the naturally intended effect. I don’t mind that you don’t enjoy Eva all that much Emma, l actually appreciate it over dishonest admiration. Just keep in mind that Eva deserves it’s special place in anime.

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