Posted 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)

9 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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  • Enka
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 02:49 AM)
    Played Fallout New Vegas again. After Metro Last Light, the game is horribly drab and lacking style, but I do always love me some surface world post apocalyptic exploration.
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 02:39 AM)
    @Emma: I haven’t, though I found out about after the first ep of the US version. Surprisingly the US remake is extremely good (very few US remakes are) so I’m watching this first.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 02:16 AM)
    @Wyatt: Had a go of Martyrs because someone said it was more traumatizing than Serbian film. Sat stone faced through the whole thing. Pretty depressing, gritty,bitter, bleak though, actually had a plot also.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 01:56 AM)
    Hmm, an American do-over, watching the British show the prisoner, I caught glances at and heard about a US remake that was done, I don’t think something like that should be remade.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 01:54 AM)
    And that reminds me, though I’ve only seen it in part I think the British version of tinker tailor soldier spy, while challenging/exhausting is alot better than the film remake, Alec Guiness really brought out that character in a more threatening/effective way than Gary Oldman and the story had more room to breath in the original.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 01:51 AM)
    @Raggers: Have you seen the original house of cards Raggers? The new ones a remake/reboot/adaptation of a British series.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 01:49 AM)
    @Random: In the Netherlands.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 01:45 AM)
    @Random, Why don’t you tell us?
  • Random
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 01:20 AM)
    Where the F is psgels?
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 12:09 AM)
    And Aldnoah just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it? If it can keep this up for the whole run it’s going to be a serious contender for AOTS.

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