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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  • ninjarealist
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 04:15 AM)
    @Emma I would like to think that I can admit the flaws of fiction that I enjoy, but I’m sure there are times when I’ve failed to do that.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 04:13 AM)
    @Aidan: Ugh…the idea of being dominated rather than being the dominator..yuck , just my opinion though.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 04:08 AM)
    @Aidan: Seeing things humiliated too =)
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 04:06 AM)
    @Realist: Good to hear you are a sensible fan of the film. Just adding that I actually do like Julianne Moore and Clive Owen and Michael Caine usually.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 04:05 AM)
    @Aidan: Wow…that comment kind of startled me a bit actually with its directness and assumption/implication that I was a masochist..bit shocked =<
  • ninjarealist
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 04:04 AM)
    @Emma Interesting. I don’t hear a lot of people saying negative things about the movie so I haven’t heard much of that type of criticism. But I definitely think those are fair and valid points. I always appreciate your criticism.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 04:02 AM)
    @Aidan: I have no interest in being dominated by domineering characters, I’m not a masochist, I am a sadist, I want to see domineering characters doominate others not me, I want to see those domineering characters get dominated.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 03:59 AM)
    @Realist: I ended up rewatching children of men. As I said originally I just wasn’t feeling the film. Second time round I found myself appreciating the cinematography near the end, however it failed to grab me emotionally, while thematically interesting I found the film too heavyhanded and stilted, preventing me from enjoying it on most levels.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 03:57 AM)
    @Ninja, that’s putting it lightly. He may be one of the most hated animated creations that ever existed.
    And do check out that Shinigami manga. It’s a real pain that it’s monthly releases but it’s a good read.
    @Emma, I thought this for a while now but you seem to have a thing for abusive women. A Femdom man I take it?
  • ninjarealist
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 03:34 AM)
    Makoto is one of the least sympathetic characters in anime.

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