Posted by psgels on 14 March 2012 with categories: Chihayafuru

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)

14 Responses

  1. joojoobees says:

    Yeah, I don’t know how they are going to handle the ending either, but as a long-running story they really did handle this quite well. Seeing everybody taken down might seem excessive, but in a true competitive sport most people lose. Seeing the bitch who beat Chihaya win what FELT like it should have gone to Chihaya was gut wrenching, and seeing Arata suffering for his year and a half break from the sport was objectively right, but emotionally disturbing.

  2. Scruffy says:

    I think that a satisfying ending would be Arata moving back and the trio all together again. That has been Chihaya’s dream all along. Arata seems pretty driven to win and looks like he can’t improve where he his so it’s going to have to happen soon. I doubt Taichi will express his feelings to Chihaya even though really he should.

  3. headachebaby says:

    Great episode…I loved it. It was more fast paced but there was also more of Arata. This is the only anime that I waited week to week to see if they will show more of one of the main character…when they do, it’s hoorays!

    Another great feature to this was Sudo…he’s an excellent side character/rival. SPOILER: best quote from Sudo was “He’s not human. He’s an intelligent bear.” Haha…and you even have the clip of it above.

    I agreed that it looks like Arata needs another surrounding and other teammates to improve his skills. I don’t want this anime to end but hopefully there’s a 2nd season in the future. However it ends, it better end with a bang with laughter and heart warming scenes.

  4. I would agree to SCruffy that the ending should be Arata should be moving back and the trio all together again.

  5. Sapphire says:

    I’ve supported Taichi from the start. He has developed so much since he was a little brat, yet he didn’t become a different person, his personality traits are there. I absolutely loved his scene with Sensei on the train station, it showed such maturity and self-awareness. And I really like how he ended up “e-mail buddies” with Arata, despite his feelings.

    I would LOVE to see Taichi with Chihaya, but that’s not going to happen with only two more episodes, obviously. Does anyone know if Chihayafuru has a good chance of having a 2nd season?

    • Raggers says:

      As far as I’m aware, no. The sales haven’t been good enough.

      Ah well, fingers crossed. At least with the way the series appears to be ending picking it up again shouldn’t be too difficult.

    • Scruffy says:

      We’d have to rely on Manga sales increases to get another season. It’s possible but highly unlikely :( Luckily the popularity of the show has seen scantilators pick up the manga and they’re scantilating it at a reasonable pace.

  6. jzar says:

    Its a shame the manga is so far behind the anime. I don’t expect we will the manga catch up for some time. It’s seems like many times it’s the good anime…..they don’t seem to get the sales. I wonder why?

    • Scruffy says:

      The scantilators are being pretty quick IMHO. They did the whole of volume 4 in February and so far have done 2 chapters of volume 5 in March. I don’t think it will take them long to catch up to the end of the Anime. They are still a long way behind the Japanese which has 15 volumes out atm.

    • Scruffy says:

      Also Chihayafuru as a Manga is selling pretty well. It did place #1 in sales in one month.

  7. leokiko says:

    It might get an second season if the manga continues to sell well.

    • CKSqua says:

      It’s hard to say whether manga sales have any pull.

      For one, publishers look at audience growth, not mere totals. Chihayafuru was already popular before the anime aired, so sales numbers only indicate a modest boost. The show may have garnered critical acclaim, but this hasn’t resulted in a large influx of new customers (the midnight broadcast would’ve prevented casual viewers from even seeing the show).

      More importantly though, manga sales only matter if the publisher invests in the anime. Judging by production credits, Chihayafuru was mainly an NTV initiative (with some investment from DVD distributor VAP – also an NTV affiliated company to boot), so manga success generates zero revenue for financiers. The producers were depending on DVD sales.

      The only sure bet for a sequel is if the manga publisher recognizes the critical acclaim and agrees to finance a re-run. That way, the show would get a second shot at drawing in new customers, thus enticing the publisher to invest in a continuation. If NTV were to go at it alone (and without a prime time re-run), they’d certainly lose more money.

  8. RABUJOI says:

    By making Chihaya lose so close to the ending, there’s no way they can simply time-warp to the future when she’s crowned queen. That really wouldn’t sit right with me. So I’m glad there was an episode like this that stepped back and showed Chihaya there is indeed more to life than karuta, even as Arata simultaneously regrets giving up karuta for even a day, as he seems shocked at how rusty he’s gotten. Arata’s older society-mate has finally given up on karuta for good, it seems, as the fire just isn’t in his belly anymore. He had the potential to become Master, but it just never happened.

    I like Chihaya’s possibly foolhardy challenge to become queen (considering the all-too-exploitable flaws still in her game) running parallel to Taichi’s possibly foolhardy challenge to make Chihaya see him as more than just a good childhood friend, but he simply hasn’t gone far enough. The flaws in his “game” include his perrenial intimidation by Arata’s bond with Chihaya, and his inability to speak up and make his feelings plain to her. Chihaya can’t read Taichi’s mind, and it doesn’t occur to her to try. If Taichi really wants her, he has to step out of Arata’s shadow and win her. What does he have to lose? Only angst.

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:16 AM)
    Keep in mind mature plot elements are different from graphic violence. A lot of times you are shocked because of sympathy for the circumstances of the characters, not their actual vicarious pain which you feel. As things move away from live-action and become animated the less it looks human the less natural respond it elicits. That’s why a lot of anime have emotional deathbed monologues to help hammer home the point.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:03 AM)
    @Aidan: meh … I think Madoka could’ve also been better if it used a more rigid style. I heard a lot that the moe made it more shocking for some people, I guess I can see that even if I don’t personally feel that away at all. I think Madoka was a good series that brought a wider shonen type of audience to more adult themes, but some of the fan-praise to me is a little halfbaked and unfounded.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:49 AM)
    I’m fairly fond of the artstyle sunrise used back in the 90s also.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:46 AM)
    Actually with old artstyles in mind, I watched an old ova called california crisis recently, the character design stood out for me, the ova itself is fairly trashy however, more of a guilty pleasure.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:31 AM)
    I still don’t like the art in madoka regardless though.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:29 AM)
    “Even if a series which has detailed backgrounds and a sharp dark tone features moe characters the show would be considered lighthearted and Moe, and any violence will come off as forced or even comical.”
    Madoka says otherwise.

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