He’s back, bitches.
|Yay reading week! It’s so nice to get a week off of school. …Or it would be nice if I didn’t have a mountain of assignments to get through and midterms when I get back. Luckily though, I have Chihayafuru to distract me from all of that~.|
|You are lucky, Kara! I’ve been busy planning a cousin’s wedding and colour coding dresses. >.> Anyways, Last week, we were pretty gloomy about Taichi’s loss and a tournament was pretty apparent. But who would have thought, this episode would bring back a gust of cool, fresh air?|
Komano-sensei, ne yonde kuda sai~
There’s yet another tournament in Chihayafuru this week! …Only Chihaya won’t be participating since she has exams coming up and her grades are pretty low. Desktomu has been appointed as her tutor and Nishida also needs help in two subjects so Taichi has to attend the tournament on his own. It’s his last chance to make Class A.
Taichi does pretty well on his own and makes it to the second round on a roll. After he does, he meets Harada who asks if he’s met ‘him’ yet. Taichi stops and locks eyes with Arata lock across the room. Both Taichi and Arata’s Karuta Society heads know each other (you can call them rivals), so both the guys get a chance to talk while the other two reminisce. Arata says that he thought Taichi would be in Class A tournament, and then hands Taichi a piece of paper saying that he should give it to Chihaya if she needs it. It has his contact information on it.
By this time, Chihaya has ditched her study group to go cheer for Taichi, since she just can’t leave him alone. However, when she gets there, Taichi’s already sulking having lost in the third round. He also tells her that Arata is playing. Chihaya then ignores Taichi in his depression and goes to watch Arata. Chihaya is blown away by the fact that he’s playing again and she’s crying when Taichi comes to join her. He starts crying too and realizes that he has a bunch of complicated mixed feelings since he didn’t want to see Arata there, but he’s also extremely happy that his friend, Arata is back.
Arata loses his game against Harada’s best and while he’s walking back, he, Taichi and Chihaya have an official reunion. This is interrupted by Kana coming to scold Chihaya and Arata being called by his Society. Before he leaves, Taichi tells Arata to give Chihaya his cellphone number himself. It’s then Arata admits that he wasn’t sure since he thought Taichi and Chihaya might have been going out.
Chihaya, all FIRED up!
On her way back, while talking to Kana, Chihaya notices that a poem which reminds her about Arata, sounds more like a poem about lovers rather than childhood friends. After returning to school, she gets a small lecture from Komano-sensei with Taichi as example, whose whole focus is Karuta currently but still he’s the top student, keeping up his grades. This motivates Chihaya to focus more on studies. Harada also tells Taichi that by the official standards, Taichi should technically be promoted to Class A since he already placed second in two tournaments. However, Taichi doesn’t want to break the Society’s rules and says that he wants to become a person who won’t run away than anything else.
You got our vote, Taichi, just for growing up!
Why do we have to go for shipping?! What about TRIPPING!!!
Our reaction to the reunion
Don’t go overboard in shipping them. There’s still a chance for Taichi!
Text: “You have been given Koi-Nikki. Your mission is to survive this triangle.” Chihaya: “But I don’t want to be alone.jpg!!!”
Kana-chan’s feeling neglected with her yuri ship going downhill
As I wait for someone who will never come,
My body burns like the seaweed drying on the shores of Matsuho,
Long last we meet….
Only for me to leave hurriedly,
For I could not recognize you,
Like the moon hidden behind the clouds.
…Well that was depressing. Taichi just can’t catch a break and he was doing so well this episode too! As much as I like Arata, and I’m glad that he’s back, but my disappointment about Taichi losing just completely overshadowed his return. But was I ever impressed with how Taichi handled it. Sure he was depressed about losing and wasn’t sure if he was happy about Arata being back or not, but he wasn’t petty about the reunion at all and he even pushed Arata to give his cell number to Chihaya himself when he could have easily just crumpled the paper up, thrown it away and never mentioned it again. Not to mention how he refused to be promoted since he wanted to become someone who didn’t want to run away. Talk about maturity.
So, uh, is Taichi suffering so much BECAUSE the author (I assume that they’re still following the original storyline) wanted to show off how mature he is now compared to his old self? It’s painful to watch, but perhaps this was the best way to show how much Taichi has matured since the childhood friends arc. The old Taichi would have acted completely different and we know it. I just hope that there’s something amazing waiting for Taichi at the end of this low point in his life. Okay, so on to the other part of the trio. It’s great to see Arata back on his feet again! He’s still his adorable self too and he’s even play the game! Yay! I can’t say much more about his character since he always appears, does something significant, and then leaves at the end of the episode, but it’s nice to see him nonetheless.
So now for the whole awkward love triangle topic. …It doesn’t look like Taichi stands a chance to be honest. We all saw how blown away Chihaya was at Arata’s playing. (Though I wonder how Chihaya would do now in a match against Arata fufufufu…) Going off topic here (since the topic of Taichi right now is pretty depressing), but I’d love to see a match of Arata against Shinobu. Who would win? Er, well I guess Shinobu would win at the moment since Arata has to get back into things, but I mean after Arata gets back to being the Karuta playing god he was. Anyways, hopefully next episode is less of Taichi losing at everything and more of more happy things.
I have been on Team Arata, then Team Taichi but now I’m literally tripping than shipping. I support the Team Friendship and whoever Chihaya ends up with should be her decision alone. I would be happy with her decision because the two boys are equally qualified for her affection now. You know why? Because they have grown up to be good men and progressing Karuta players. I literally sighed in relief at Arata’s loss, which shows nothing is infallible. The image that has been continuously bombarded on our faces is the GREAT MEIJIN ARATA but a reality check is all I was asking for. He’s an insecure teenage boy, who’s been worried out of his mind for the reunion with his friends. Not to mention, he’s pretty pumped in rejoining his passion game, Karuta, which he left for almost one and a half year. Seeing the seriousness of the competing players, it’s pretty easy to understand that the way is tough for him and nothing is easy as cake. He’s not even near the skill of the current master so he needs to train like every other player.
Team Arata: There are many people, who are now Arata haters, which I don’t understand. Just because a character has progressed and gotten more runtime, can’t be compared to the one left in shadow. Now that Taichi’s all nice, everyone is shipping him hard with Chihaya but what about Arata’s kindness and even tactfulness of trusting Taichi? He didn’t make any move on Chihaya directly even when she kept on emailing him like crazy. He went through proper channel Taichi, just so he wouldn’t feel like stepping on his toes to get his girl due to proximity. His life has been hard and spending time with friends or even visiting the girl he likes is not his first priority because he has a family to support and become a legendary player like his grandfather. He’s the catalyst that motivated both Chihaya and Taichi to play competitive karuta to their heart’s content. He’s the star, the other two gaze in wonder and try to attain it. Don’t hate on him guyz!
Team Taichi: Don’t forget, Chihaya ditched her studies just so she could cheer for him. She felt that he would be all alone and need a friend with him however the result might turn out to be. Of course, seeing Arata play would daze her to fangirly tears because he has been her mentor and she always wanted to see him climb up the karuta stairs to become the master. It was even more emotional because the three of them were together, just like old time. Also note, she grabbed Taichi’s hand for support, while tearing up. She acknowledges Taichi’s seriousness of karuta and how he has taken care of his top grades to not give any chance to his mother to take him out of running like previously. He is a very important friend and karuta player for her. Personally, I’m amazed at his growth and saying no to Harada for a promotion to Class A. It would be a sweet moment when he would finally ascend to Class A in his own terms.
Chihaya’s choice: Now that poem, which sounded like a love poem but was rather written for a childhood friend. From Chihaya’s words, Arata’s still her childhood friend just like Taichi and she hasn’t made any choice of progress between the two of them. Like Nishida and Komano have predicted before, her life literally revolves around Karuta and the reason for her fail grades. She would play Karuta even on a date. She’s imbibing Karuta strategies from everything around her and supposedly learned a new technique to swing from Arata like a swimming stroke. Her current goal is quite clear: face the queen and beat her. I’ll be with her on this one, while enjoying this delicious triangle.
For the first time, I will not take sides as I like both the guys. With only five episodes to go, I don’t think we’ll have time to explore the shoujo part; though, a second season would be more than welcome. Also! Please raise awareness about supporting the anime you love by buying the official DVD/Blurays. Buy them and hopefully, we’ll get another season of this awesomeness as there’s loads of material still to be animated with manga hitting its fifteenth volume currently.
Preview: So the question is: Will there be more training or will they skip right to the Western Qualifiers?