Posted by psgels 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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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:32 AM)
    @Ninja: no I met most of them at Burning Man.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:23 AM)
    @Bam I see I just figured that if you had a lot of friends in KY you must have lived in the region.
    @Friend Yeah or involved desserts like Palmiers or Croissants. I actually am pretty decent at making croissants from scratch but it’s a pain in the ass.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:21 AM)
    And that’s … The More You Know ;)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:19 AM)
    “Iran” originally means “the land of the Aryans”. The European settlers of Aryan decent are correctly labeled Indo-European as they traveled from north of India across Iran and the Caucasus mountain range (hence the term Caucasian) and settled in pastural lands in Europe. Hence we are the original white people. Go figure.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:14 AM)
    @K-off: some good-looking corn there m8.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @Ninja: No I’m Persian since I was originally born and raised in Tehran/Iran. I am mostly of Parthian decent with a quarter of Kurd in me. I have moved around the globe since I was 16 and now live in Sacramento California.
  • Friend
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @ninja Some party foods like the brochette dijon flambe are too hard for me to prepare/mass produce at home, so it’s definitely worth eating out for things like that O.o
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:10 AM)
    I’m not sure what’s with me and demonyms tonight, but don’t be offended since, they’re more of a term of endearment for me. But if you really are offended then chances are that you deserved it in the 1st place.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:08 AM)
    @Bam lol, it never came up. Are you a Southerner/Midwesterner as well?
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:07 AM)
    @Friend Yeah cooking is definitely a better deal most of the time. Although for certain kinds of food, you can get a surprisingly good deal eating out. But it also just feels empowering to cook for yourself.

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