Posted on 15 February 2013 with categories: Chihayafuru

What the hell is up with this week? Just about every series surpasses itself. And here Chihayafuru comes, and effortlessly matches that level as if it’s nothing!

I mean, even for a sports series this was just really, really good. Only Giant Killing was better at developing such a large cast at the same time. This episode focused on a team-match between ten different characters, and in one episodes it somehow pulled it off to develop ten characters at the same time. Unlike Giant Killing though, which stood out by its great concept and outstanding execution, Chihayafuru makes everything look so incredibly easy. As if it’s the most normal thing in the world to have such tight character-development.

There is Chihaya who is trying to copy the styles of both the king and queen at the same time, Taichi’s rivalry and admiration for Retro-kun, Retro’s awesome development as he continues to try really hard to get ahead just like Taichi. There is Nishida with his sister who suddenly got a new boyfriend, Kanade and her pride for her kimonos after getting insulted, the small kid and his struggles amidst the A-Class in which he never can stand at the top, Sumire who actually does her job, Akihito who got a new job as a reader and holy crap how did all of that fit within 20 minutes?!

And the thing is that all of it was just really good. The matches themselves also were brilliant. One addition of the second season that I really like is how it uses those manga-styled notes all over the screen with nice little details that they can’t otherwise fit in. It’s a very clever idea to add even more detail to the characters. I’ve seen this done before, but never this consistent or well. Oh, perhaps Shaft-series had more text on the screen, but that never really related to the characters as well as it does here.

And good lord, Arata wasn’t even in this episode.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

3 Responses

  1. Random says:

    I have to credit the mangaka here. This amazing ability to develop the characters we see on the screen is also present in the manga. I always find it remarkable how MUCH she can fit in about 30 pages of a chapter. This is strongly reflected on the animated version.
    But also the direction here is incredible. There is no fear to change the original material as it fits the pacing best. There are many camera angles and transitions added entirely by the director’s choice. It’s that rare combination of factors when we have great orginal material along with great people producing the show, showing indepence only where it can make the material even better. Amazing.

  2. GJIG says:

    Chihayafuru 2 is definitely one of my favorites this season. Thanks for blogging this, you’re the only one I know who actually blogs obscure shows like Chihayafuru.

  3. Starss says:

    I think the amazing thing here is how Chihayafuru is starting to address why the cast is so crazy about karuta. There was Harada-sensei’s unreachable karuta, then Tsuboguchi (I thought he was referred to with a different name in season 1?) and now Sudo who discovered a different side of karuta of respect, there’s so much depth to an already incredibly detailed cast and story.

    I did enjoy the little spotlight Kana had with Sudo as a reader. Although Chihaya’s shots always look the most beautiful, I feel the heart that Kana’s character has put into karuta really makes the series shine.

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  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:47 AM)
    Saying there’s only one way to do good writing is absurd. Each author has their own style of writing, and if anyone has only enjoyed 1 author in their entire life then I pity them.
  • Friend
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:43 AM)
    @Ninja ah. I’ve always done the script, story, and directing by myself, which is probably why i think novels are easier XD
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:33 AM)
    That’s just my personal philosophy though. There’s nothing that irritates me more than people who insist that there’s only one way to do good writing. Everyone should develop their own philosophy.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:31 AM)
    @Friend But with a novel it’s all on you and your editor. For me, what makes novel writing so much harder is that you have to put so much more attention into the quality of your descriptive prose. In a screenplay you can just write the description and action in a concise way. In a novel you have to write, polished, top-tier prose for the entire length of the book.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:29 AM)
    @Friend But having said that, I come from the school of screenwriting that says a screenplay is just a starting point for the director, actor, editor, cinematographer, etc. to build a real shooting script off of.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:26 AM)
    @Friend I have actually written novels, screenplays, and stage-plays as well, so I feel like I have a decent understanding of the differences in terms of what goes into them. But from my perspective it’s harder to write a great novel.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:24 AM)
    @Emma I agree that movies tend to be more emotionally-involving, but I think that’s just because there are a lot more of them and so it’s easier to find good ones that are well-written enough to really make you feel emotionally-involved. That’s always been my interpretation.
  • Friend
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:20 AM)
    @ninja I dont know if you’ve ever written a script, but it’s pretty hard. There’s the story, script, screen composition, acting, music, lighting, and a WHOLE plethora of other factor when writing a film, as compared to a novel.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:15 AM)
    @Realist: I think that may be to do with that I can get more emotionally involved with a movie too and that they are quicker to watch and more consummable too. But your right though while I prefer certain things I will watch/read anything out there from anywhere.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:11 AM)
    @Emma I’m kind of surprised that you prefer one over the other. You strike me as the type of person who appreciates all forms of fiction.

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