Okay. We’ve finally gotten near the point that has been looming over the entire series: the ending. At first I thought that the creators wanted the finale to focus on a really important match, but Chihaya’s loss last week made that impossible. This episode instead was really different from all of the previous episodes. And to be honest: this would have been a great point to close off this series, knowing that it had to.
Finally Chihaya is doing something other than Karuta. Finally her character is growing and experiencing new things. The romance subplot also would have worked even better if the creators didn’t shoehorn such an obvious loser into the picture. With this episode I also realized how rare these kinds of parties are in anime. Usually everyone focuses on festivals and all, but simple events where everyone goes to some bar or something hardly ever happen.
Also, I would have said that Taichi is getting on my nerves. But I really liked the part where Chihaya locked herself into the closet. My big fear is that with two episodes left, his angst won’t go anywhere. This guy still needs to develop and as corny as it is, I hope that the final two episodes will focus on this. I also do this because at this point, it will get really hard to use Karuta as the climax for this series. And don’t get me wrong: there have been plenty of series with one-episode or two-episode finales, and I loved many of them. But not with series who only adapt part of their manga and cut off right in the middle of their story.
Rating: ** (Excellent)