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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  • Asuka111
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 07:37 AM)
    @Lacrid Surprising, yes, but it seems they’ve brushed over that so far. The story has gone back to normal romcom/slice of life.
  • LacridSayo
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 07:11 AM)
    Wow, Horimiya managed to surprise me twice. They teach me that in the face of adversity, conformity is the way. Also, Miyamura and Hori f&@ks.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 04:09 AM)
    The whole world structure and the framework of spirituality, eyes of death perception, counterforce and whatnots are kept intentionally vague so he can have some wiggle room to bullshit and handwave plot elements as they go on. KnK was a pretty good OVA series tho and Ufotable had a big party to play in that.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:56 AM)
    Here’s some classic Nasu at work.
    http://lparchive.org/Fatestay-night/Update%2003/30-P02-034.jpg
    A f*cking security system? No, it’s a person creating a small alternate world around them from their mind. Plain and f*cking simple.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:45 AM)
    I’ve heard people criticize Nasu as “writing terrible history fanfiction” and “Like my old bad fanfiction” “When the action scenes actually happen they suck”
  • Raggers
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:44 AM)
    @K-Off: didn’t we all.
  • Raggers
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:44 AM)
    @Aidan: I didn’t know what they were, but “withering eyes of death perception” doesn’t really leave a whole lot up to the imagination anyway…
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:42 AM)
    @Aidan Reminds me of my English papers where I bullshitted tons of explanations to fill up a ten page report.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:39 AM)
    And the eyes of death perception. Ho Boy. He talks about how it’s not cutting but severing and bonds and blah blah blah.
    Here’s the shorthand. You cut a tree with a knife you make a small cut, cut a tree with a knife while using the eyes of death perception and the tree withers and dies. There only took one sentence to explain something that Nasu uses 10 or so paragraphs for.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:33 AM)
    Take the explanation for mana. All the man had to explain was more mana = More powerful servant. Yet he makes this comparison to ammo, guns and cannons that is just needlessly confusing.

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