Chihayafuru: your source for excellent life advice.
|Chihayafuru tag-team reporting for duty~ And we are happy to because this series is pure awesome. I’m so glad Kara picked this up and would be continuing with it. <3 Enjoy our excited fangirliness~|
|Ah, yes. Another awesome week of tagging with the boss lady! As for the episode itself we get into the High School Nationals! Exciting!|
This episode, Chihayafuru skips right to the National High School Karuta Championship. That being said, Kana forces everyone to wear traditional Japanese clothing. While Chihaya is amazed by the fact that everyone in the room plays Karuta, Taichi notes that she has been texting Arata a lot since her birthday. However, he never texts back. Taichi feels that he understands Arata and that the two of them believe that Chihaya belongs to both of them. Chihaya notices Taichi behaving oddly, but that train of thought is interrupted by Retro-kun (remember him from episode 3?), who boasts about his team having 2 A class members.
The tournament starts and Kana and Desktomu lose the first round. However, Taichi says that Desktomu was probably facing the other team’s strongest member and him and Nishida have a strategising session. The other members note that Chihaya is missing and apparently she’s off texting again. Nishida takes this time to explains to the Karuta newbies that Arata was the one who inspired Chihaya to play Karuta.
The next round, Kana wins her first game. However, Desktomu loses again. During lunch, the team talks about how they have a chance at winning the finals. However, this is interrupted by Desktomu saying that he wants to go home since the team doesn’t need him to win (plus he yells at Chihaya saying that all she cares about is winning and meeting someone). Taichi lets him skip the semi finals, but he orders Desktomu to participate in the finals.
During the next round, Chihaya is distracted by thoughts of Desktomu’s outburst and she has a slow start. In fact, she does so bad that she loses the Chihaya card. Meanwhile, people enter the room Desktomu is in and they talk about how Chihaya’s team is losing. He then tells them that she’s just getting started and runs off. Chihaya was still struggling at that point, so Taichi throws his cards across the room and gives the team a quick pep talk with a head rub. Chihaya learns the importance of breathing and suddenly everything is much clearer to her. She also notices Desktomu watching from the doorway. From there, Chihaya is back to her usual self and wins her match (thanks to Desktomu’s cheering), making the team win the round as well.
Afterwards, he runs away and Kana chases after him. She tells him that the other people have been playing for way longer than they have (as shown by the calluses on their feet), so it only makes sense that they wouldn’t be as good. Taichi and Nishida show up dragging Chihaya, when Desktomu apologizes. Everybody takes this rather well and they all get along again.
Card games on tatami mats!
Obligatory Arata overshadow
Chotto matte, only I can take Chihaya’s pictures!
My expression when I recognized Nakai Kazuya’s voice (Date Masamune from Sengoku Basara) and then went PFFFTTTT
PLAYIN’ KARUTA LIKE A BOSS.
Staring contest: They’re doing it wrong.
We just had to add this one for the lols
A good action episode on Karuta-terms because we are finally out of the club room and into the lion’s den of playing serious and competitive Karuta. Good thing is that Chihaya has trained the newbies well and even if they don’t rise up like a pair of miracles they have been taught to hold the fort. It’s literally like, ‘Son, into the wild.’ But like first time swimming, every sport is a gamble of wits and skill. If you lack any of these two, you are a goner and that is what clearly happened in this episode. People who didn’t have their cool either snapped like Desk-kun or were overwhelmed due to circumstances like Chihaya. Though, things worked out and I can rest easy.
I’m glad the wins didn’t seem easy and Chihaya or even Taichi didn’t just landslide or something. They sweated it out and even had issues like Desk-kun throwing a fit being jealous of Kana-chan’s first win. Like I said above, every game is like swimming and either you get the hang of it from the get go or practice to make it perfect. In Desk-kun’s case, he definitely needs more practice along with honing is wits because even if he’s amazing in studies he hasn’t really done anything other than that so I felt he was more of a bunny startled by headlights. He’ll get the hang of it with time, hopefully. No more quits, Desk-kun, or else you get to visit the Metanorn dungeons!
Now, as the episodes progress, I’m liking Taichi more because his character has gotten the most development. He was such a jealous runt but now, look at him; he’s still a jealous runt but he has refined the priorities in his life and is at least not running away from what he thinks right. He’s working on that 2% chance in his mind to take over Arata’s shadow. Be a better player than him and not face him like a coward but an honest man with honest feelings for a girl he has crushed for ages. This is not an easy stance to take and I have to applaud him for it. Not to mention, I now understand why the Empress made him the President rather than Chihaya because he can still keep his emotions in check, while Chihaya is a big ball of energy, rocketing about. That head patting was very mature and quick thinking on his part to motivate his team. They got the win to prove it and I rejoiced like most of you.
As for Kanade, she definitely became a trooper, who not only bagged her first win but was a team player for calming down Desk-kun. Nishida will keep up the pace, while Chihaya will lead through with her determination; she just has to throw away her nervousness. I know it was not all nerves but she’s very much influenced by her environment and as she has been looking forward to stepping up towards the Queen title, completing the club and finally participating in nationals was a big tick-mark on her proverbial goals list. The competing team’s shouts and Desk-kun caving in was a big blow for her. So, it’s good that she can’t be always perfect or calm; this is what makes her quite human even being a 2D character. So…
FIGHTO ON, CHIHAYA~
Ah, a classic example of why I generally don’t like anime involving sports. There’s always that one episode where characters on the team fight, a member walks away, and suddenly the team starts losing until the lost member returns in an extremely cheesy fashion. It’s true that it’s not shoujo without the DORAMA, but I was seriously yelling at the screen telling Chihaya to pull it together. …Which is a positive thing I guess, since that means that I actually care about the characters, but it’s painful to watch nonetheless. Thank god for Taichi (his character just keeps getting better and better) getting the team back on track. I totally thought it would have been Desktomu alone fixing things. Long story short, this episode was extremely frustrating.
However, it’s probably a good thing that Chihaya lost her card for once. It shows that she still has room to grow as a Karuta player. The show also has me interested in the current Queen since she’s kind of like the final boss for Chihaya. Though that opens the question, “what next?” if Chihaya does win against the Queen and get the title. That’s really the only goal Chihaya has at the moment, so I wonder if she would be satisfied with just that. Ah well, it’s not like we need to worry about this for a while. There’s still 10+ episode left to this and Chihaya might not even get that far in the anime. There’s tons of time for her to improve.
That being said, I can totally understand Desktomu’s frustration this episode. For the sounds of the rest of the team’s talk, they were putting him up against tough players on purpose. I imagine it would be pretty frustrating being the only one in the team without a single win. Though thanks to Kana (do I detect a pairing here?), he seems okay with having with losing sometimes now. Kana herself is a pretty positive force for the team, so she balances out Desktomu’s pessimism. Anyways, hopefully he plays a bigger role in the finals (I’m almost betting on it) to boost his confidence and such. Happy endings ftw. … And in other news, this guy has quickly made himself my favourite character:
Preview: Next episode is the finals!!!