Posted on 7 March 2012 with categories: Chihayafuru

Holy crap, Chihayafuru. Out of all of the minor characters that Chihaya had to face so far, this was by far the best match against it, and it totally went against my expectations. Yamamoto Yumi was wonderfully fleshed out in just one episode, and as a first I actually found myself rooting for both, rather than the match being a simple “protagonist versus non-protagonist”.

I really thought that at this point, Chihaya would get to the queen finals, but then again that may also be because the story is nowhere finished, I kept hoping for some sort of finale with Arata and the Queen. At this rate that ending is not going to be about an important match at all, but who cares? With this series’ writing talent they can still find a ton of great points to end on.

I loved how this episode was even more full of emotion than usual. The hot sun had a lot to do with that, but also Yamamoto and her coach really brought life to this episode, and did so in a way that I’m really not used to for characters who only appear in one episode. And as an added bonus, she wasn’t one of those “I’m really pretty”-girls like you see everywhere in anime, and yet she still looked great. The thing with anime is that it’s so focused on “hot” looking characters that more often than not, it’s the plain looking characters who stand out (and more often than not, the supposedly “hot” characters try way too hard to look good). In this case the animators gave her just as much attention as the rest of the cast, and it showed here.

Also, Chihaya: I really thought that she learned by now. And yet she was taken over by her instincts again. It just shows how hard it is to get rid of things that you’ve been doing for years. Just one tiny incentive is enough to get back to your old patterns. This episode was a great point for Chihaya to actually mess up on the show’s title card “Chihayafuru”.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

15 Responses

  1. jzar says:

    I was a bit disappointed…..I guess I really thought Chihaya would have pulled through. She didn’t even question those ‘I got the card first’ statements. I do wonder about that. I don’t know the rules about if the players don’t agree on who touched the card first. What happens? anybody know?

    I don’t know it didn’t seem like Yumi won by skill but by cheating…. i.e. it’s very easy to ‘claim’ first touch. Yet by my view Chihaya moved the card…she won the touch. When players are that fast it has to come down to an almost simultaneous touch, and if they both touch the card at the same time it has to be down to who moved the card. So sorry you couldn’t get more than your pinky on the card when I clearly moved it first…..So, as I am a fan of Chihaya I ended up with a wtf was that moment.

    So Yumi remembered how to win by playing very dirty. So I ended up feeling bad for Chihaya. It’s like all of her hard work and skills didn’t even exist.

    Chiyaha, my god girl, raise you hand and just say no.

    • Scruffy says:

      Agree with you there it was a very dirty way to play the game and I guess that is why Chihaya didn’t respond to her at the end. If she gets through I hope she gets her ass whipped by the current queen.

      However, saying that I’m sure that if Chihaya had managed to keep her cool instead of letting her cheating (seriously that’s what it was .. little pinky my ASS!) get to her then there is no way she would have lost. I think she’s pretty close to being up there and like Taichi mentions needs a bit more mental toughness.

    • joojoobees says:

      They said at some earlier point that, when there is a contested card, the players discuss it and decide amongst themselves. It probably is supposed to lead to amicable play, but it clearly is open to exploitation by conniving bitches.

      So next episode is about Chihaya shaving all her hair off?

  2. starry says:

    I didn’t mind Chihaya losing a match and not even coming close to becoming Queen. But I have to agree with the above that Yumin exploited the system in order to claim cards in her favor. In a real regulated sport, they would have had refs or cameras watching them to see who touched a card first and Yumin wouldn’t be able to contest so many close calls without getting penalized for it. But since it is an honor system, one just has to intimidate the other or hope on their opponent not raising a stink to win cards you may not have even gotten (she may touched the card first, but I have a hard time believing it was every single time).

    I think it shows that Yumin required that tactic since when she became Queen and stopped herself from using it, and then she lost the title just a year later to somebody with more skill.

    Sure, its great Chihaya who is still pretty new to class A can come close to beating somebody like the Ex-Queen. But not when she has to lose to borderline cheating exploits. I’ll just be hoping for an S2 or the manga scanlations to cover past the anime.

  3. Raggers says:

    After this ep, there better be an S2. There is so much more to the story.

    At least aren’t going to leave us hanging or pull a No.6 (I can think of ways it could, but it better not).

    And this ep showed the idea of sportsmanship well. As a player of tennis, I’ve often given my opponent points they thought the lost. That gives you maximum enjoyment. Victory is hollow if it isn’t earned 100%. And, as Chihaya learnt, accepting a loss is made more difficult as well.

  4. kero says:

    Absolutely the correct rating!

    Can’t add much more to what has been said, but that I love how it tells us something new each time, like about rankings for the readers, I wonder if Kana-chan will aim to be a reader! She’s so adorable.

    Re contesting close calls, I think here it is represented that Yumin only contests the ones that she feels she is right, since she is so respected, there’s no indication that she lies about the close calls? Because at the end of it, we are also half rooting for her.

    Sudo is so mean <3

  5. Kim says:

    Okay people before you accuse Yumin of cheating she wasn’t, she really did touch those cards first. She was only fighting for what was rightfully her cards.

    Someone created screencaps to demonstrate

    http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?p=4042472#post4042472

  6. Taara535 says:

    Eh. I am very surprised I am saying this, but isn’t this series creating the trope of losing?? We may have seen Chihaya lose more than win recently. Idk, can we actually see her win a game for once please?

  7. Jon says:

    If I recall Taara, didn’t Chihaya win a match just 2 episodes ago? Anyway while I agree that Yumin’s tactics were underhanded, it is merely a reflection of reality on how there are people in every sport and even in all walks of life who will play dirty and exploit the rules or find loopholes in them to make it to the top. Was Yumin’s playing style cheap? I definitely think so, but it’s within the rules of the game. What makes her different than the football player who fakes an injury (applies to both American football and “soccer”) or the basketball player who argues every single foul and delivers cheap shots once every few games? I really admired the fact that they actually threw a dirty karuta player into the mix here.

    • kero says:

      Kim posted up a link to a screencap which shows that she DID touch it first. It’s not underhanded to fight for what is rightfully yours.

    • Andrew says:

      It seems to me that every match lately has Chihaya losing her first card, and acting all surprised about her opponent’s speed. I want for once for her to overwhelm her opponent from the beginning.

  8. RABUJOI says:

    I predicted Chihaya would lose to this girl because, well, that’s just the feeling I got from this episode. The more I learned about Yumi, the more l liked her, and the more I believed it was rightfully her turn – not Chihaya’s – to challenge Shinobu.

    Chihaya has her whole life ahead of her, but Yumi’s life was structured around becoming Queen, and she can’t be satisfied with the new Queen brushing her aside so easily. She wants a rematch. I want to see them in a rematch.

    Yes, I felt bad for Chihaya, and I found Yumi’s arguing to be contrary to the spirit of the game, but Class A is all about killer instinct, and if you passively concede close cards as she did, you won’t get far.

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Sep 18. 2014 09:28 AM)
    going afk to watch GITS:Arise Ep03. Will be back in a bit.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Sep 18. 2014 09:24 AM)
    A compartment dream gives the sensation of dreaming in a dream, and sometimes even the act of waking up within that dream. They have something to do with Dopamine Reuptake Inhibition and are very rare, but the details of the mechanism escapes me.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Sep 18. 2014 09:22 AM)
    @Emma: oh man, regarding the drug experiences I have enough to write a series of Dan Brownesque books of mystery and intrigue, so we definitely need a chatline for that :)
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Sep 18. 2014 09:21 AM)
    @Bam: I’ll keep it in mind and get to it.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Sep 18. 2014 09:20 AM)
    @Bam: I have had a dream where I was asleep in the dream and having a dream.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Sep 18. 2014 09:20 AM)
    I can go incredibly in depth with these since I’ve done quite a bit of research on the subject, but that is definitely not for the confines of the shoutbox. Message me on DeviantArt if you want to chat about it.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Sep 18. 2014 09:19 AM)
    And about these drugs experiments of yours you’ve hinted at Bam, what sort of things were coming to mind/were you seeing under the influence?
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Sep 18. 2014 09:18 AM)
    @Emma: Deja vus and Jamais vus are in my opinion usually one of three cases:
    -We experienced it in a dream.
    -We have experienced it similarly before.
    -A mistake of the brain.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Sep 18. 2014 09:16 AM)
    @Emma: interesting angle, as if they see beyond the masquerade and into the realm of pure Platonic forms. Reality is, as it has always been, subjective so it begs the question that “whose reality is closer to the truth?”. Artists happen to be the outliers and the anomalies, so they are either closer to the actuality or incredibly far from it. Either case makes their perspective unique and interesting.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Sep 18. 2014 09:15 AM)
    Tell me Bam about your take on deja vu sometime if you can.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Clipboard03

Mushishi – 07

Now this was such a beautiful episode. We often see Mushi portrayed as parasites. In fact, they are pretty much based on the insects and viruses of their world. There probably are enough real viruses and insects living in the Mushishi world, but they just aren’t the focus of the series. Anyway, what they did […]

Clipboard04

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders – 06 & 07

This is where this arc gets weird. We’re still in adventure modus, however in these two episodes Jotaro not only meets some of the most bizarre Stand users, it’s also done in the most camp way possible. You can see a clear difference with the first two seasons of Jojo: there it was all about […]

Clipboard01

Ping Pong – 05 & 06

Episodes 05 and 06 are dedicated to character-development. It’s here where Ping Pong shows that it also knows its stuff in terms of storytelling; the develoment doesn’t start too early or too late, and these two episodes really added depth to all of the different characters, despite that there were no big matches. I’m currently […]

Clipboard01

Mushishi – 03 – 06

I have not forgotten about this show. Not at all. I just finished marathoning these four episodes, and holy cheeseballs on a stick! this is the best anime in years! This was everything I could have hoped for and blows just about everything else out of the water. Talk about raw, powerful storytelling. I now […]

Clipboard03

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – 03 – 05

Jojo really is not kind to its females. Every time a hint is even dropped to a girl kicking ass here, it comes with this weird plot-twist that undermines any fighting potential of them. In this arc, it’s the rule that says that your stand will kill you if youaren’t strong enough. And so, Joseph’s […]

Clipboard01

Ping Pong – 03 & 04

The opening of Ping Pong wasn’t done in time, so the first two episodes showed a sortof montage as a placeholder. Now we know why, with episode 03 and 04. The creators actually got the single best animator currently in the business to oversee it: Shinya Ohira. This guy understands animation like no other. The […]

Clipboard07

Ping Pong – 02

Yes, I know that more people here were involved in making this series beyond Masaaki Yuasa. It’s written by the creator of Tekkon Kinkreet, Taiyo Mashimoto. That guy is awesome. And the combination between those two makes this series even better. Because here’s the thing: anime is significantly different from manga or light novels. Beyond […]

Clipboard02

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders – 02

We can never quite get rid of magic fights at a school, now can we, Jojo. Ah well, I forgive it this time, just due to how hilarious it looks seeing these ridiculously bulky men walk around pretending to be high school students. It’s just so over the top, and yet Jojo sets itself apart […]

Clipboard01

Mushishi Season 2 – 02

Oh yes. This is it. This is what storytelling should be about: telling real stories about real people, all with their own problems that need to be overcome. And this show does that time and time again in just one episode. I still can’t believe how authentic this series is. The thing is, when I […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]