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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  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:19 PM)
    There’s plenty of in battle explaining. I don’t think there’s been a battle without in battle explaining. You got the first time villain that ends up a good guy. You got powerups and levels of quinques. There’s a ton of shounen elements.
    Just because something has gore does not make it seinien. Deadman wonderland is Shounen and it has just as much gore and torture.
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 02:52 PM)
    @Emma: ah, yes.
    @Aidan: How so? A variety of weapons and abilities does not turn something into a shounen battle manga.
    I’d need a lot more random in-battle explaining secret powers to your opponent, and a lot more mercy to not consider it seinen.
    Also, torture, balls and limbs being chopped off as a sick joke, slicing people in half without warning, breaking half their bones…
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 12:44 PM)
    I felt that the story became too shounen battle manga When at first it was portrayed as seinien. Especially with the quineqes and such.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 12:06 PM)
    @Raggers: His past with the old lady ghoul where he was castrated =<
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:48 AM)
    @Emma: which moment is that?
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:26 AM)
    @Raggers : And in one moment, a rather disturbing development.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:24 AM)
    @Raggers: Actually, thinking it over you’ve got a point there, As I had said I’ve been marathoning re and come to think of it, it is more enjoyable to do so that way.

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