Posted by psgels 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

  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


Mail will not be published
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Oct 4. 2015 10:56 AM)
    That said I don’t trust whitefox when it comes to pacing.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Oct 4. 2015 10:51 AM)
    Not sure how I feel about the new Utawerumono, I have vague memories of the first season but enjoyed it alot. Though this second take on it does have some similar setup, it feels goofier than the first season (which I remember taking itself more seriously). Still I’d like for this season to make up for some of the faults of its predeccesor.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Oct 4. 2015 10:48 AM)
    @Rats: From What I heard its going to be a movie although one with a new story.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Sunday, Oct 4. 2015 10:36 AM)
    lol wut? a third season for SAO? I thought they already covered all the material from the light novel. Like only the first half of the 2 seasons were okay. The 2nd half of it was pretty meh
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Oct 4. 2015 10:13 AM)
    Oh what a (not) surprise, a third anime for sword art.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Oct 4. 2015 10:03 AM)
    I’m taking a look at the onepunch man manga here, the one with the updated art and I feel that the artists drawing ability almost makes it seem animated even though its just on paper.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Oct 4. 2015 04:27 AM)
    God I hate it when subbers hardcode the subs into the video. Makes getting screenshots all the harder.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Oct 3. 2015 09:00 AM)
    It did have some grit to it though.
    Aidan if you have not read akumetsu I would say to read it, however the main plot takes a bit to get going, the ending isn’t great. But I thought it was a pretty exciting/crazy read and I liked the whole stand against the government thing. Good art style as well.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Oct 3. 2015 08:54 AM)
    Some might take issue with the goofy bit with the female lead and think this episode a bit overdramatic. From watching those other takes on the character I was intrigued by him and wanted to know more so based on that I’m looking forward to more of this origin story.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Oct 3. 2015 08:54 AM)
    . I don’t think this’ll top the 90s Dezaki blackjack movie its got a chance of being better than black jack 21. Theres something tense/dramatic about a medical themed show that I like. I don’t know if it’ll get as office political as Team medical dragon.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Gangsta. – 58/100

Gangsta is an anime with a lot of things going for it. A mature cast, gritty themes, a interesting setting and a trio of main characters who can carry the show. However due to a number of factors it never quite reached its potential. The main trio of characters are unconventional and quite interesting with […]

Gangsta. – 12

Normally one expects a final episode to be well…final. Right from the start you could tell Gangsta wasn’t going to make an effort to form some kind of ending with it wasting far too much time on things that don’t really matter at this point. By episode’s end I was actually questioning whether this truly […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 80/100

Gakkou is one with a good facade as promotional material would have you believe it was some dime a dozen moe slice of life. I was one who wasn’t fooled by the cute cuddly exterior but I was truly surprised with just how good this anime ended up being. Gakkou is one of those rare […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 12

The ending to Gakkou leaves me with a feeling similar to that I felt after watching Madoka’s final two episodes. The ending isn’t inherently bad but I can’t help but feel like I have been cheated. When you tease darkness and provide instead light its hard to appreciate. Contract to popular belief, not everyone loves […]

Gangsta. – 11

Gangsta has a serious problem on its hands. So far the past 11 episodes have been building up something and it’s clear that this buildup will not be utilised in the remaining episode. We got a setting, characters(though aside from the main trio a number of them need development) and an antagonist but we don’t […]

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 12

  It’s a good thing a second season of Gate was announced as it ending on this episode would be a poor round up to the series indeed. The biggest hanging thread is the Dark elf and her dilemma of returning to the village to tell them that help is not coming or resorting to […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 11

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here. Things are looking grimmer and grimmer for our four heroines as Yuuri can’t bring herself to kill Kurumi, Miki is trapped on the lower floors and zombies have subsequently knocked out the power and overrun the school. Leaving a surprisingly stable Yuki to save everyone’s hides. The zombies […]

Gangsta. – 10

So our girl Erica turns out to be the twin of Delio and I wouldn’t be surprised if you can’t remember who Delio is. He’s the white haired guy who’s a weak twilight that works as a bodyguard for Monroe. It’s revealed that she was abducted when she was a kid and this is the […]

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 11

If it’s one thing this episode has taught us it’s that you should never cockblock a Goth-loita demi-gods plans for the night. Anime truly is the greatest teacher one could have, even more so than a yellow squid creature that moves at mach speed but not quite on the level of a gangster leader with […]

Latest Reviews

Gangsta. – 58/100

Gangsta is an anime with a lot of things going for it. A mature cast, gritty themes, a interesting setting and a trio of main characters who can carry the show. However due to a number of factors it never quite reached its potential. The main trio of characters are unconventional and quite interesting with […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 80/100

Gakkou is one with a good facade as promotional material would have you believe it was some dime a dozen moe slice of life. I was one who wasn’t fooled by the cute cuddly exterior but I was truly surprised with just how good this anime ended up being. Gakkou is one of those rare […]

Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade – 81/100

I wonder when it was that a film being childish became a flaw. As a medium grows it takes steps to aim to mature itself and seek a more intellectual level of presenting entertainment. Animation did it as Anime aimed to explore terrontry that cartoons refuse to explore and video games only recently broke away […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]