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
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:58 AM)
    Yes you heard it here, Kaiser admitted to this. Fully watching the films I thought they were alright. And I even liked the direction the third film went and consider it the best thing to happen to the franchise. The plot felt more accessible and easier to follow. It feels more tight and compressed and benefits from animation upgrade. I still think Mari is pretty worthless though and as much as I still hate Asuka and Shinji, their more tolerable here.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:54 AM)
    *Ahem*Ahem* I have a confession to make and now everyone can laugh at me for taking so long to come round to this. But I got past my stubborness regarding Eva and my old bitterness toward it that made me give up when I was trying to re-watch it/the movies. I sat down and watched the Eva film trilogy so far…and I admit…I admit I don’t harbour the same bitterness I had toward the franchise and Anno anymore.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:35 AM)
    *null 2nd[enough]
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:34 AM)
    And how come nobody tell me that it goes Lovecraftian with Necronomicom and a straight up Dagon summoning? I would’ve watched this a lot sooner if I knew it was daring enough for a mainstream anime enough to in any way address child sacrifices.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:31 AM)
    Also finished first cour of Fate/Zero. So far this is a lot better than UBW in my opinion. The removal of the highschool drama along with pubescent protagonists makes this a much more adult and sophisticated story. The level of creative freedom that the team had by not being a direct adaptation made this a much more wellcrafted piece.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:28 AM)
    @Aidan: I just YouTubed that game and it looks fun and cooky. Kinda reminds me of Futurama I gotta say, and that’s a plus. It’s not really a bullet hell as those are by nature a scrolling 2D shooter with very face ‘safe spots’ on screen.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:25 AM)
    @Aidan: it was really convenient, I played Fate like a console game on TV and it was great. I think that version specifically had it since it’s a weird PSP/PC hybrid that has all the pros.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:02 AM)
    @Bam, It blew my mind to find that VN’s have controller support. I didn’t even understand why you would need it.
    It’s a bullet hell first person shooter. The comedy isn’t really that great but the gameplay is solid. And the theme tune is catchy as hell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eR73chGfiXQ
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:00 AM)
    I always torrent a game I’m interested in first, install it and see if it runs fine, play a little see if it’s a good game, and THEN I go and get it on Steam. After getting stung by broken games I see no ethical quandary there at all. This is of course different for console releases which I only get if it’s:
    a) an exclusive.
    b) just more convenient, since all my friends multiplayer on the consoles.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 12:49 AM)
    @Aidan: yup like I said, save yourself the disappointment. Even Simon Templeman who did an amazing job voicing Kain said he won’t go back to acting for the series anymore.
    As for the latter game you mentioned- I have no clue and yet to Google it- but it sounds like a combination of three random words. Hopefully it has enough humor to back that up.

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