Posted by psgels on 15 May 2013 with categories: Chihayafuru

Don’t get me wrong, this finale is amazing. But I can only see an incredible cliff-hanger coming ahead at the end of this series. Chihayafuru was lucky to get a second season. But a THIRD? It will need it though. This entire second season was just one giant build-up for the what’s left to come.

I mean, don’t get me wrong: the second season so far has been fantastic. Every match has been awesome and the finale of the team matches is quite possibly the best yet. But none of the things that we were hoping for has happened yet! Arata and the Queen have pretty much been sitting around doing nothing, and that king guy is nowhere to be seen either. Oh, there were hints. The build-up for these guys is beautiful. But that only works if we’re ever going to get there!

Slow pacing… it is a double edged sword. You can see that with both Chihayafuru and Space Brothers here. I really don’t mind this series taking its time. Both series are absolutely brilliant at building atmosphere and keeping me at the edge of my seat for episode after episode. However, that is just the storytelling. The way they test my patience with recaps, on top of recaps at the start of each episode is counter-productive. This is the wrong use of flashbacks!

Oh, but really: these two episodes were glorious. Chihayafuru has completely nailed the tournament arc. It understands that you can’t just show stronger opponents and just expect things to work. The key is spicing things up. Making every match different and unique. This show managed to do that in so many different ways: every character is evolving, every opponent is different, every theme is different. But really, the finale. It didn’t have intimidating opponents that were different from every other opponent so far, it also used the Queen brilliantly. And Chihaya’s injury. Holy crap that made this match intense. Now that I think about it: the team matches really are the meat of the second season. They are what symbolizes Chihaya’s growth, since with this, she pretty much won’t be able to participate in the individual matches.

There is this big theme of loneliness hidden underneath these team matches, visible with the top players. I mean, I said that Arata and the King and the Queen have been sitting around doing nothing. The only reason why this bothers me is my impatience (in a good way!). This show likes to dance around the issue, but it does paint that threesome to be really lonesome. This point was the first time at which this really came to the surface. But while just about every other character in this series is chock-full of team spirit, they don’t. That contrast is stark, and I love it.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

5 Responses

  1. Random says:

    Yay, I’m so happy you haven’t forgotten this series after all. I’m really starting to worry about season 3 too! The thing with this one is that it will only be able to cover part of their second year in high school, while season one managed to fit all of first year in it. That, of course, is due to the fact that second year isn’t over in the manga yet, so logically the anime can’t get develop much faster. Still, I love how this series is animated, the little changes they make here and there on the original material. Only thing that really bothered me: recap episode – SO out of place. Last season’s one managed at least to entertain me with the omake, since it was placed in a TRANSITION. But, seriously, recap before the climax? What a terrible idea. ‘-‘

  2. TheUltimateReaper says:

    Man that recap pissed me off.

  3. Starss says:

    This current match is really amazing. I’m suddenly a lot more OK with this season’s pacing now that Chihaya won’t be entering the individual tournament. There’s probably enough time left for an Arata vs Queen match and Taichi advancing to A class. (fingers crossed!). And Tsukaba’s first win while I’m being wishful.

    It’s disappointing that this season probably won’t cover much more though! With these two seasons, all the setting up for Chihaya’s goal towards Queen is set. She’s played karuta against all the current Queen candidates and motivated them, setting herself some very determined rivals.

    Though if the manga hasn’t even finished the second year… :(

    Enjoyed the Kana’s eyelashes omake in the recap though.

  4. AzaKana says:

    The tournament is for high schoolers, Suou Meijin is in college so its normal he doesn’t show up in the tournament. Just FYI.

    We just need a third season !

  5. Sobakus says:

    It would be more interesting if Chihaya would continue playing with her injury. It’s not like she broke her finger or something.

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  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:38 PM)
    And also remember how Darker Than Black had a big jump between the main series and Gemini of the Meteor. They later made a 4 episode OVA that covered the gap, and although you knew the outcome it was still entertaining; or at least more than the Gemini one. There’s merit to non-linear chronology and storytelling, but it is usually very hard to pull. The audience is intrigued by secrets that can later be uncovered, although in anime the pay-off is not always substantial.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:32 PM)
    I don’t know, the audience usually only needs very limited information to figure out dynamics and histories between the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:27 PM)
    A 13 episode series would work for the second title unlimited. But Alternative is a pretty long visual novel. You need at least two cours to give it justice. Making extra an OVA could work but you do need it for alternative. But it’s not an optional part of the trilogy. It needs to be read first, so that event later have a greater impact. Personally I am not even sure Muv Luv can even work in another medium.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:12 PM)
    That might compress things, but I think a good screen-writer can fit pretty much any VN in 12-14 episodes (covering just the main route).
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:07 PM)
    @Aidan: then the best solution would’ve been to make a two cour season covering the 2nd and the 3rd book. Have the cours air two anime seasons apart, and in the middle have an offshoot short OVA that covers the 1st book, but has a more harem comedy feel to it. Think Full Metal Panic and Fumuffu.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 01:34 PM)
    @bam, Muv Luv has the problem that most of its brillence lies in the third title. But in order for the third title to have the same effect you need to read the first two. Successful or not, I doubt theres animation studio willing to go all in and adapt the full trilogy. There’s also the issue of the first title being a really mediocre harem.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 12:48 PM)
    just a glimpse at the tip of the iceberg of reasons why y’all need a PS4 for the upcoming year:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3Hz8eXWHNY
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 08:09 AM)
    Why they didn’t adapt the original Muv Luv novel or Alternative is a mystery to me. Wasn’t the VN really successful? Whats with these offshoot shows instead of doing the real deal? They are avoiding it for some reason.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 08:06 AM)
    @Aidan: I have a suspicion that they got it from that 80’s song Total Eclipse of the Heart. Japanese authors are strangely enamored with the corny pop songs from that era.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 05:46 AM)
    And even then, those two muv-luv alternative episodes, schwartzmarken is still better than those.

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