Flashbacks. They happen.
|Anaaga is here for Chihayafuru! Karakuri asked me to tag with her, and since I’m such a nice girl I accepted her offer. After one week of break, we finally have our normal Chihayafuru schedule back. I’m so excited for Omi Jingu!|
|I-it’s not like I invited anaaga here because I was lonely without Kyo! Don’t get the wrong idea! It’s nothing like that, really!! …Anyways, after a break from Chihaya, we’re back to the red building (joy) and the nationals.|
After staring at the great red building that it Omi Jingu, Chihaya and friends go to pray at a shrine. Walking away from it, Chihaya passes another girl on the steps. Normally, this would be insignificant, but the animation suddenly went slow motion, so you know that the other female is important.
At the finals, Kana has the team all dress up in hakama again and even her mother (who looks a ton like Tsukimi from Kuragehime) is there. Chihaya looks gorgeous of course and Nishida notes that they’re in a good bracket because none of the major karuta schools are in there. Meanwhile, all of the other schools can’t believe that Sudo lost/Mizusawa’s team has only been around for 3 months (…has it seriously been that little time?). The team talks strategy (thanks to Retro-kun’s notes) and Desktomu even volunteers to be a sacrificial pawn and play the strongest team member so the others have a chance to win the round for the team.
While the two teams have prep time, Chihaya freezes in place and something is obviously wrong. (Meanwhile, Kana’s mother takes note on all of the cute boys in the room xD.) The team doesn’t have a very good start, but Taichi uses his power of awesome leadership to pull the team together. Everyone but Chihaya that is. She’s too busy feeling ill.
In other shoujo shows, this would be the point where Chihaya completely forgets Japanese.
During all of this, Arata is heading towards Omi Jingu, but he’s lost. He has flashbacks of when he was a shota and his grandfather was still alive. Despite having the right side of his body disabled, Arata’s grandfather still kept at karuta. Arata was still close to his grandfather when he wasn’t a shota. However, after his grandfather suffered a relapse, he couldn’t remember who Arata was. Even worse, he didn’t remember anything about karuta. After beating up a school mate due to an extremely insensitive comment, Arata received a letter from Chihaya about her making C Class. Arata didn’t want to fall behind, but he also didn’t want to leave his grandfather uncared for, so he planned on skipping the tournament that would make him A Class. However, on the day of the tournament, Arata’s grandfather was suddenly back to normal and told him not to miss it. Arata went to the tournament, but it would also be the day that his grandfather passed away.
Back to the present, Arata finally makes it to the tournament in time to see Chihaya pass out. Taichi tells the judges that she forfeits and passes her off to Arata telling him to take care of her. Chihaya wakes up with Arata right in front of her, but suddenly karuta and the match is more important and she starts crying because they all worked so hard for this. She falls asleep on Arata’s lap while he contemplates about all the thinking he’s done about karuta and his grandfather.
After Chihaya is sent off to the hospital (because in Japan, slight fever=hospital trip), some guy from the karuta federation comes and talks to Arata. The guy is convinced that Arata is playing in the tournament and before Arata can tell him otherwise, he’s told that his karuta playing is just like his grandfathers. Arata realises that he loves Karuta while crying manly tears.
When Chihaya wakes up, she finds Sudo outside her door and he yells at her for forfeiting. …Not that she had a choice. Chihaya apologises to the group, but Desktomu announces that he had his first win that day. In fact, he won twice in a row. The team lost overall though. However, Chihaya still has the individual tournament to compete in and she even received some package from Arata saying that the next time they meet will be in a match. Chihaya cries. Again.
So according to Chihaya’s hierarchy: Taichi<Arata<karuta. Nice.
It totally runs in the family
Oh how I love you Chihaya. You never fail to awe me with your beauty and to amuse me with your personality. You don’t have that much screen time in this episode, but you were able to expression your frustration well. The beauty of friendship is always shown brilliantly in this show. But this is not what this episode is all about, right? It’s all about Arata and how he was able to overcome his trauma.
I never saw my relatives who were on the verge of dying because of the distance, but I know how it feels when the image of the person you admire is shattered. We should applaud at how Arata handled his grandfather’s disease when he was just a little kid. I’ve never like kids, but based on my own childhood experience, it’s usually hard for children to cope with sudden change. And yet Arata was able to accept the change his grandfather had in less than a minute (although he struggled a lot mentally in that one minute). I didn’t know why Arata was so hung up over his grandfather’s death while blaming karuta at the same time, but now I know. Unfortunately, I have to disagree with Arata’s way of not playing karuta because of what happened at his grandfather’s last day. I somehow don’t see the need of him doing that because it won’t change anything. Call me heartless, but Arata made that choice and he shouldn’t have regretted it. Well, he can regret his choice (since he’s just a human), but he should’ve known what might happen if he went to the tournament or not. This episode is trying to make the audience feel sympathetic for Arata, and I honestly tried to feel that way. It was impossible though. With the hardships Arata suffered while he was growing up, I see him more and more as a grown up child that’s supposed to know which choice he would take. Yeah, I’m a mean bitch.
So imagine how happy I was when Arata decided to get over his problem. It was a big relieve for me because it’s ABOUT TIME for him to move on. I’m pretty excited to see Arata back in the spotlight because that’s where he’s supposed to be. What’s better it seems that Desktomu and the hakama girl (I keep forgetting her name!) are getting better at karuta. And that black hair girl with mole under her eye, I have a feeling that she’s a karuta expert. It’s halfway of the series and finally the all the players are there. I’m excited to see their development! But what I’m excited about the most is the time when Chihaya meets Arata in the tournament.
This was an episode of tears. Chihaya cried (multiple times), Arata cried (multiple times), hell, even I cried. Though they never directly say it, having Arata’s grandfather die like that was just horrible. RIGHT after he acted normally again. I UNDERSTAND NOW, ARATA. I kind of feel bad for complaining about his lack of doing things now. Taichi is still up there for me, but Arata looks like he’ll play a more active role now since he’s over the worst of his trauma. That being said, I’m a bit disappointed that he left right away and only left Chihaya a package. SHE WENT TO THE HOSPITAL, shouldn’t he have stuck around? Taichi would have stuck around. Well, whatever. Chihaya didn’t even acknowledge him after seeing him in a long time since it appears that karuta comes first with her. Who knows, maybe both guys will end up being cockblocked by a card game.
That being said, I’m surprised that they completely skipped over the team tournament like that. It seems like all of the teamwork and stuff from the past two episodes all went to nothing. Was that the point? To make Chihaya feel worse? Sure, there’s the individual part coming up (which I had no idea was even being held until the end of this episode), but I was most excited about the team one. Honestly, Chihaya even prayed for this not to happen. Irony is a bitch. On the plus side, go Desktomu! At least he’s progressed since 3 episodes ago. Also, lol to Kana’s mother. I can totally see myself acting exactly like her when I’m that age xD.
Hmm, what else is there really to talk about? Of course, there’s that other girl Chihaya passed at the beginning of the episode. I bet she’s either the current Queen or the final boss Chihaya has to face in this tournament. Either way, she’s definitely important. It still seems a bit early for all of this to be happening, but I doubt Chihaya will make it to Queen just yet. Give it another 10 episodes maybe. Plus with Arata somewhat officially back in the game, there’s a chance that we get to see the current king as well. Or at least a bit more romantic undertones. …Or if not, then at least we will always have karuta.
Preview: I bet you anything that Karuta is involved.