Posted by psgels on 28 February 2012 with categories: Chihayafuru

With this, Chihaya finally learned the lesson that she needed to learn: there’s more to Karuta than just timing. The thing is to also feel the flow of the cards. Humans are only human, and therefore they only have a fixed amount of time it takes them to react. The challenge for Chihaya was to 1) time her movements better and 2) use her trademark speed with that. After all the previous episodes, it was very interesting for her to run into a player who played the same way she did, with a focus on speed.

Also, these people here are harsh: talking down to this nine-year-old girl for not being as good as the second-best karuta-player in the country when she loses one match. It’s interesting how you usually see these child stars being pushed too much by their parents, but this is a nice subversion of that, in the way that her mother is putting so much effort into letting her daughter play Karuta to get her to cope with bullies.

Overall, I must praise this series for piquing my interest in Karuta. It’s not like when I watched Hikaru no Go and Shion no Ou, which made me immediately want to play the game, but that’s probably also because of how incredibly steep the learning curve is at the start: you can play Shougi and Go as a complete beginner and still do something with it; it’s as you start to think about it more you realize how incredibly complex these games are. It’s impossible for a beginner at Karuta to even play: for that you first need to spend a lot of time memorizing cards. After that, it’s not going to be a matter of depth, but rather combining strategy, speed, memorization and timing together. It’s much more a physical sport.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

8 Responses

  1. Kurini says:

    Psgels, I really like the screenshot of chihaya, she looks really beautiful with her hair like that!
    And I like the opponent this week, she was really adorable and It was really interesting to watch chihaya playing agaisnt someone who used to be like her :)

  2. Ncrdrg says:

    I really loved how this week’s episode showed the progression of Chihaya’s game. It was really nice seeing her face a child prodigy who plays the game exactly how she used to.

    Plus, she was so lovable with her pouting… “Tch, she took the card but she’s so slow!”

    Then of course, she unseals her speed and she schools her really hard. Hopefully, it’ll be a great learning experience for the girl the way it was for her after she was schooled by the annoying mom saying “Lucky!”.

  3. joojoobees says:

    I also liked the way Chihaya’s struggle has turned out to be Taichi’s struggle in reverse. Just like her, he is leaning on his strength, and polishing that instead of developing the areas in which he is weaker. For Chihaya, she was fast and needed to learn a more careful style of play, but for Taichi, he is very good at the mental game, but needs to build up his physical speed.

  4. ronbb says:

    “I want to get better with you” is what Nishida is wishing for…love the growing bond there. I like this episode–it’s heart-warming and a change of pace to the two emotionally intense episodes of the past couple of weeks. Chihaya’s maturing. Miyauchi sensei had warmed up a lot more to the team. I like the Chihaya-Taichi parallel that joojoobees draws, and I like the text message that Taichi sent to Arata–it’s an encouragement and the return of the close-bond that the three once had.

  5. ojisan says:

    I’m still waiting for the Hyouge Mono edition screencap gallery. Chihaya gives out at least one absolutely hilarious bloodshot pop-eyed Furuta Sasuke face per episode. It’s a nice counterpoint to her general physical beauty – which is played up, but never too much -

  6. RABUJOI says:

    I love this show, and this was a great episode for Chihaya. I love how her speed was again “unleashed” in this episode, as it was necessary to employ it against the prodigy.

    I’ll also say it piqued my interest in karuta, in that I’d never heard of it, find it to be a very beautiful and complex game, and know for a fact I’d be TERRIBLE at it. I’m pretty quick but my hearing is average and I have ZERO memorization skills.

  7. kero says:

    Another awesome episode! Soo many great things

    1. Sudo the Super Sadist.. he’s just a great character!
    2. That moment when they’re cheering and then they realize Nishida is next to them. Great comic timing.
    3. When Nishida talked about Taichi’s strength and weakness, and how he never practiced swings because he thought it looked uncool. That is 100% spot on for his character. And means he has areas for improvement.
    4. I liked the kid/mother relationship, and the kid was really sweet in the end.
    5. Empress shouting down to Chihayafuru.
    6. Lots of great use of music, I still love that move like water illusion, and also interesting metaphorical visuals, like chihaya at peace bit.
    7. ARATA and all that Fukui singsong accent. Love it.

    Is it me or does Arata and Taichi have MATCHING phones, one in blue and one in pink?

    <3

  8. Whyisic says:

    Arata has a pink phone lol

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 12:43 AM)
    I enjoyed Vivi’s storyline tho. I think even tho he was bland and quiet he still had the most emotional developments as a character, which tied in to identity and what it means to be alive. I also liked the “I want to be your Canary” play within the game, it was like a fleshed-out version of the Opera House scene from FF6.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 12:40 AM)
    Yeah I remember that my brother would watch me play FF9 here and there and I would fill him in on the details, and he came in when I was fighting Necron and said “who the hell is that?” to which I replied “I have no clue. I think it’s the final boss”. I don’t really know why they decided to do that, but probably to give Kuja a last minute redemption. Still, they should’ve just went with a superform Kuja battle instead imo.
  • Emma
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 10:33 PM)
    @Aidan: I can admit that, in regards to the final boss of FF9 at least.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 09:33 PM)
    FF9 was Final fantasy goes Dragon Quest. I didn’t like it for the designs and wasn’t into the story at all. Itwas sort of the reason why I didn’t like wind wakers style. The series is good because of it’s more mature feel. Speaking of embarrassing last boss fights FF9 was worse than FF10. With an endboss who literally came straight out of nowhere.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 09:26 PM)
    @Aidan: yeah, fusing turn-based (or ATB) battles with some real-time elements always intrigued me. That was the only redeeming quality in Legend of Dragoon’s battle system. That recent Child of Light game was a good, albeit basic, homage to those earlier games, and the simple battle system was both fun and nostalgic.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 09:21 PM)
    @Emma: 9 was a throwback to the earlier ones, and that’s why people ate it up. I did like it tho, even despite the Chibi style which I don’t enjoy. To be frank I liked the series from 7-10 the most. It’s a combination of the games and those specific years of my youth.
  • Emma
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 08:49 PM)
    Though those are opinions which are from my teenaged self back then…
  • Emma
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 08:34 PM)
    That last boss fight in FF10 was embarrassing, then they brought out that silly fanservicey sequel to it. I find FF9 at the time had a good blend of a then modern game but also retro feel, I liked the revelations surrounding garland, Kuja, Zidane and felt that FF9 was where I was the most emotionally involved.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 05:37 AM)
    True, assuming of course that the latter installment is indeed better. Resident evil 5 was no 4. That’s for sure.
    I liked that you could time R1 to give you more damage for attacking with Quall. And it was nice that summons leveled up. So that your earlier summons don’t become completely useless in the endgame.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 03:46 AM)
    I also enjoyed FF8 quite a lot. I appreciate cinematic presentations and 8 delivered that with a lot of style. The visuals were amazing and the the music was great, and if you learned the GF BOOST ability you used the much-maligned long summon animations to stack up on some damage.

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