Karuta Rangers! Assemble!
|Oh we know this got late but hey, lots of stuff happening on Metanorn as you can see and everyone’s pulling in their weight around here. Kara will be going solo on this for a while as I’ll be off for a bit. I’m going to definitely miss Chihaya, my doppelganger but show must go on so is this review. xD|
|Banchouuuuu!!!! Well, it’s a little late, but here’s episode 11. ….This wasn’t late because I kept getting distracted by the falling snow on the pages. I swear! Compared to last episode, this one was FANTASTIC. ALL HAIL KARUTA.|
Dr. Harada and some other guy named Hiroshi go to cheer on Chihaya’s team during the finals. However, when he arrives, he finds the team confused as to which order the team will be in. Chihaya writes down names at random and Taichi scolds her, but it turns out that Chihaya actually thought things through. She placed them all in a position where the team would function best as opposed to trying to figure out what the other team is doing and the team goes with that. Taichi runs into Harada in the hallways and after the two talk, Harada notes that Taichi has already become a different person just from being in the club or a short time. He also notices Retro-kun (who is using his Retarot cards to figure out Chihaya’s team’s order).
Red Team: “No you don’t. Just not here!” Retro-kun: “But I love doing my pre-victory dance!!!”
It turns out that Retro-kun’s prediction was spot on somehow and Chihaya is against Sudo, Retro is against Taichi and Nishida is against the other A rank kid with the PSP. Chihaya hits Sudo accidentally and she apologizes. However, she doesn’t use ‘gomen nasai’, so Sudo doesn’t accept it. Sudo places the Chihaya card right in the middle of the arrangement to unnerve Chihaya and Harada asks the team’s supervisor, Mochida, about it. Mochida says that Sudo would have what it takes to be a master if he didn’t rub people the wrong way, and this sparks Harada’s competitive side. …Meanwhile, back where Arata is, it’s slow where he works, so he uses the store computer to check his email, where has a ton of messages all from Chihaya. From them, he learns that Chihaya’s team made it to the finals.
Obligatory Arata cameo
The match finally begins and it starts poorly, since everyone on Chihaya’s team loses the first card. Taichi picks their spirits up by yelling really loudly, but Chihaya keeps losing cards since the Chihaya card keeps distracting her, even when a card on her opponent’s side is read. …To this, Sudo says that she deserves this for not apologizing properly (lol).
However, Desktomu wins a card (and so do Nishida and Taichi) and Chihaya realizes that it’s not just an individual card that she wins, but instead a card for the team. This realization motivates Chihaya and she wins the next card. Harada asks Mochida if the same woman has been reading all day and when he finds out that she has, he notes that Chihaya can already pick up on how the reader announces the cards. Chihaya is on a roll, but then Sudo stands up to disrupt the flow of Chihaya’s team.
Yep. Still my favourite character.
After the game starts again, Sudo blocks the cards like Arata used to and Chihaya thinks about how fun playing is, thus she catches up with Sudo fairly quickly. On the other hand, Nishida starts to falter due to Nayuta (his opponent)’s growth since back in the karuta society, Nayuta used to be fairly weak. However, seeing Kana and Desktomu trying their best brings him back and keeps him from quitting like he did before. Kana and Desktomu still lose though.
Nobody thought Desk-kun’s theory of combining swimming and Kurata would work… until Nishida proved them wrong.
Meanwhile, Retro-kun notes how strong Taichi is while Taichi goes through which cards are left since he can’t match Chihaya’s instinct or read the flow like Nishida does. With that mindset, Taichi wins one for the team. Chihaya’s match goes on while Nishida wins. While Sudo is deep in thought about how he wants to win for Mochida and the team since they taught him how awesome Karuta is, Chihaya manages to take the Chihaya card without any flashy or unnecessary movements for once. With that, Chihaya’s team wins the finals. Later, Arata gets an email from Chihaya telling him to come watch her at the finals.
Old man moe. WHO KNEW IT WAS POSSIBLE?!
ORZ group huddle!
ARATA HEAD TILT… HNNNNNGG!!!!
And no, the Taichi hug did not go unnoticed.
For some reason, while writing the end thoughts I’m reminded of Linkin Park’s High Voltage song and though the lyrics don’t match the feel of this episode the Karuta match however was not only ‘High Voltage’ but electrifying as Sanetoshi would say. The Sadist dude was interesting to say the least with his fixation of looking down on people. He definitely played lots of mind games with Chihaya but he was unable to touch her innocence except for that hand grab. Dang it, man, that was uncalled for! But her remembering Arata at such a crucial time of in-game Karuta and the touch of a male proves the fact that her heart beats for Arata.
And yes, after all that development that actually makes me feel sad for Taichi because he has grown up so much. Not only as a guy but as Karuta player. Even when Chihaya was getting fazed by the Gin-eyes-guy, he was still playing at the speed rivaling his opponent. Retro-kun was very much his retro self but dude, when you underestimate someone, you get punched in the face just like losing such an important match. I was very happy to see him all pouty and lost. Don’t ever underestimate Team Chihaya! And the teamplay was really apparent in this game and a big sign of progress. Of course, they had to win and they did. I already look forward to more victories in the future.
And finally we got some Arata again~ Why is he such a bishie, huh?! I always fall for him every time I see his extended shots, not to mention his kansai accent… It is all Yoshimasa’s fault! I have been wondering why he hasn’t been replying to Chihaya and no, PC breaking down is not a good excuse in this day and age for not checking your email. I mean, get a cellphone man, email/text, join the techy boys and text Chihaya! What’s wrong with you! You’ve been out of commission for such a long time! Graahhh… *breathes* Looks like I need to remember breathing as well. From how things are going, I don’t think this is the last match we are seeing. There will be more and hopefully more competition. More Arata would be amazing and please let them meet peacefully this time. I don’t suppose there will be any relationship resolution this early but hey, I hope Taichi gets some of his unsure misery off of his shoulder.
Whoa, not only Karuta, but psychological warfare this episode! Nice! I quite liked the fact that the team was more supportive and organized this episode (making last episode totally worth the effort). They even added Chihaya remembering to breathe (albeit subtly). Also, I liked how some members of Retro-kun’s team read how Chihaya’s team was doing mentally and tried to disrupt that. It just goes to show that there are a ton of other factors in playing Karuta. It’s not always just about hearing the card being read and then acting faster than your opponent.
While Desktomu didn’t win his match (I guess Kana’s support last episode was motivation enough), he did manage to not quit when he lost and pulled the team together. Progress!! Despite being wrong about Desktomu’s part, I’m glad that the team’s victory needed actual effort to win. It was a bit predictable in the sense that all three of the team’s best players won, but the way they focused on the other members playing was interesting. The anime focuses on Chihaya so frequently that I kind of forget that there are other thought processes and methods to playing. I particularly enjoyed seeing Nishida overcome his urge to quit thanks to the newer players. Ahhhh, they’ve all grown so much!
Taichi this episode~! Compared to Chihaya, who doesn’t seem to think at all when it comes to Karuta (and can even play while thinking about somewhat unrelated things), Taichi is like her opposite. Man that guy can think. This is where the fact that Taichi is a genius comes in to play I guess. I was extremely impressed with him this episode and it seems like he’s improved since the beginning in both his Karuta playing and in his leadership skills. Even his confidence seems to have grown. …Since Arata hasn’t played in a few years, do you think Taichi would be an even opponent for him now? It would be interesting to see a match between the two.
Preview: So, Chihaya’s team moves on to the bigger league! Will there be more training? …Will Arata finally show up?