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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  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 05:41 PM)
    I’m a fantasy nut though so I’m going to come down on a disappointment in the genre like a ton of bricks.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 05:40 PM)
    I have also seen the tears to tiara dub, good on them for trying, it sounded pretty silly though, I was fairly amused by the dub accents.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 05:38 PM)
    Well truth be told anyone who makes a blanket statement like Japan’s shitty story writing is already a proven idiot.
    When someone makes a claim like that it only shows their ignorance of the thing in question.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 05:18 PM)
    *subjective
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 05:16 PM)
    The statement that a higher budget equels in the story taking less risks is one that counters your point of bigger budget, better story.
    The example of guilty crown is a proven example. You stated to using comedy anime as the bar of quailty and I stated the gerne of comedy is far too subject to be used as a measuring bar.
    Please do explain how these are outliers oh dear sir.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 05:12 PM)
    @Kurozuka, Undermining the intelgence of the other party by using non common definitions? Well I now know what an outlier is.
    The problem is that my points down there are not outliers. You want to prove, I quote “that the reason for Japan’s shitty story writing in anime is mainly due to budget” Those observations down there in fact, highly relevant.
  • KuRoZuka
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 03:51 PM)
    In statistics, an outlier is an observation point that is distant from other observations. An outlier may be due to variability in the measurement or it may indicate experimental error; the latter are sometimes excluded from the data set.
  • KuRoZuka
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 03:44 PM)
    Aidan: sigh. Those are outliers. Do you know what an outlier even is?
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 12:54 PM)
    I didn’t think Tears to tiara was that bad…though I watched it with the dub. Certainly made it more entertaining. Ah…those accents bring a smile to my face every time.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 12:51 PM)
    And finally c) The very existance of Guilty crown disproves your theory five times over. F*cktons of money thrown at it, was a goddamn trainwreck.

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