Chihayafuru – 22

Warning: This episode may make you want to kill children.

Kara no Kyokai here (AHAHAHAHA GET IT? ….I apologise to the world for my lame joke m(_ _)m) with Chihayafuru~. So judging from last episode, Chihaya is on a roll! I wonder how she’ll do this episode. …Your thoughts, Kyo?
Kara had been saving the joke for such a long time. This was supposed to be out almost 5 episodes ago but oh well, we tried to save the best for the ending stretch. With only three more episodes to go, Madhouse better deliver.

Well Chihaya isn’t facing Shinobu yet, but her next opponent is Yumi, the former Queen. Yumi’s first thoughts about Chihaya is that she’s pretty and that she’s tired of her already. Chihaya notices luck on her side thanks to the card placements and she flashbacks to when Yumi won the title of Queen thinking about how hard she worked to get there. Chihaya doesn’t remember much about the match though.

Hold up. Is that a tiger rug…?

Meanwhile, Nishida is still in shock from losing against Sudo (by 20 cards no less), but he comments on how Yumin (as he calls her) is more laid back, but she’s actually pretty… something. He never finishes that sentence and the match starts. If you’re wondering how he knows her, they’re in the same society (which is rivals with the society that Taichi and Arata are in). Chihaya loses some cards, but she doesn’t commit any faults. …Which means that she’s doing really well. Yumi has a flashback about how all she has is Karuta since her looks are average and the good looking Shinobu took that away from her. …By default, this means that since Chihaya is good looking and good at Karuta, Yumi doesn’t like her much.

Remember when Shinobu was actually in this show? Neither do we.

Chihaya notices that her opponent has lost her passion and the condensation from the room (…because it’s so warm in there with all of the people. …I’ll let that sink in.) makes it difficult to see. Chihaya decides to give it her all and Yumi notices this. After Kana gives us our weekly reminder that she really loves poetry, Chihaya makes a mistake on the Chihayafuru card and that messes her up. Then Kitano (the leader of the Karuta Society that Nishida and Yumi are part of) opens the window and shouts that Yumi just needs to play her own style of karuta. Or at least he meant it for her, but it helped a bunch of other players as well.

I just saw a pantsu-shot. I WANT TO SEE MORE. NOBODY CAN STOP ME!

The next thing you know, Yumi is arguing every close call and mistake that Chihaya makes. Thanks to this, Chihaya loses confidence and in turn, loses the match. Fabulous.

(╯°-°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Things to distract you from flipping tables:

“It’s like that scene from the Titanic. …You know the one.”

You won’t know Asian humidity and condensation till you live in Japan!

Return of the RUG-TIGER!

At least Kana-chan knows what she would be doing in future.

We wanted to be joyous like this while Chihaya had her game on

but ended up with so many tears in our eyes.

…Well that was spectacular. Not only did Chihaya lose to a last minute side character, but said side character was somehow even more annoying than that Obaa-san a couple of episodes ago. I didn’t even know that characters could go more annoying than that. Though I think the worst part of it was the fact that this loss seems to have served no purpose. Losing to Shinobu proved that despite being strong, Chihaya just wasn’t at Queen level and had a lot to improve. Fine. Losing to Sakura showed us that Chihaya needed to calm down and pay attention to her opponent and making faults. Fair enough. This loss, Chihaya learned that some people bitch about everything and that she shouldn’t let people argue with her. …What does this have to do with Karuta? Really all this served to do is postpone Chihaya’s dream for a year or so.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never played Karuta before, but Yumi’s tactics just seem a bit underhanded to me. Yes, let’s argue about everything and if my opponent is a pushover, I’ll win. Ugh, even losing to Ririka last episode would have been better than this. At least I cared about Ririka as a character. I hope Shinobu screws Yumi over good in the finals (assuming that Yumi gets that far). As for Chihaya, she looks like she’s in shock and I have no idea how they’re going to make things better again in 2 or however many episodes there are left. How could things possibly get better? I just can’t see this anime having a conclusive ending anymore. Hell, the 3 childhood friends haven’t really gotten back together again yet. …Maybe now that Chihaya has lost, they’ll ditch the Karuta aspect and focus on something different.

Where the hell is the storyline going from here? Chihaya is out of the tournament, Taichi isn’t able to have his match against Arata, Nishida is out and Kana and Desk-kun aren’t even in this. Sure we could focus on Shinobu or Sudo, but this show doesn’t seem to like spending time on side characters. Arata is the only one left, but it would be a really awkward shift in the story if it started following him all of a sudden since I’m sure that 99% of us were expecting Chihaya to do something. …I don’t even know. I guess we’ll find out next episode.

Le sigh. I wasn’t expecting her to win, truth be told because if you have really followed the show, you already should know Karuta is all about perseverance and how you train your body long and hard to be excellent at it. However, when the characters that you are rooting for don’t win, the rage has to ensue. I was at the same point while reviewing episode 20 because I was totally impatient with this series. However, due to slow development and the toughness of gameplay, I think this storyline is all about preparing the trio to be best at their game. There are times that miraculous winnings work (go read Eyeshield21 manga to know what I’m talking about), but even at such instances, LONG AND HARD training is required to achieve a certain goal. Being a Chihayafuru fan is suffering.

Though, all of that being said, don’t think I’m all calm and quite about what went down. Yumin pissed me off more than the obaba and I’ll be with Kara on the raging. I mean, win by being a loudmouth? Is that even legit? Karuta is supposed to be about being calm and collected (almost like a silent movie), so hearing her yammer on her arguments really made me want to shut her up for good. Grrr. Though, I have to give it to her for the calluses on her hand, meaning she really did train a lot. A common theme with this anime is to try again and again and again… From whatever is left, I don’t think we will be seeing any major match with the central characters except for Arata, because all of them have been taken out of the running. Being part of a long-running manga, I would really appreciate to see the glory of trio in a second season because this is just the first arc when everybody trained like hell. SHOW ME MORE, MADHOUSE!

Coming to speculation for next three episodes, we are still to see the rival for guys aka the current Meijin even when we have seen a lot of Shinobu (even when she’s not a regular character >.>). If he’s not a bishie, I’m going to kill someone. I need a good-looking guy to hate, right about now. Not to mention, lots of bucking up for Chihaya because she definitely looked more than devastated. From the previous history, I’m sure Taichi won’t be making any moves towards her but I hope he can become good support for her. If Arata visits, it would be a double-delight but I won’t count on it much.

One thing that I really liked of this episode is the cutsie relationship between the K2 (Kana and Komano). I love it how resourceful he is and I can bet, his information would help Kana become a reader in the future. The competitive Karuta tatami mat is not for her but the podium where the poems are read. I have to say, Chihayafuru does dish out some really good readers in the tournaments; the current obasan is definitely my favourite. So yeah…

Preview: we have no clue but to show our support, Chihaya FIGHT TRAIN ON?


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21 Responses to “Chihayafuru – 22”

  1. Bob from Accounting says:

    No rage for me. Know why? Because it’s pretty much confirmed that they have zero intention of wrapping things up. The plucky devils are gunning for their second season already. Of course, that doesn’t always work out (alas, poor Pumpkin Scissors. Then again, that probably has something to do with GONZO going under, and I really don’t see Madhouse following suit anytime soon), but I hold out for a hero hope.

    And I actually quite liked Yumin. She decided to do things her way, and not give a shit about what other people might think. I admire that, as well as her raw determination.

    • Bob from Accounting says:

      Oh yeah, forgot to add, totally agree Kyokai. Eyeshield 21 is totally the home of awesome victories. The match against Shinryuji is one the best bits of manga I’ve ever read.

      • anaaga says:

        EYESHIELD 21!!!!!!!!!!!

        I didn’t like the last match against that other country though. It was ugh, and it looks as if it was forced =/

      • tatsuya says:

        shinryuji …u got the point …i mean every second count ~~
        but i prefer the fight with bando spider cause that where musashi have the awesome kick over the storm

        • Kyokai says:

          I loved the comeback of Musashi as well and would always have a soft spot for all the plays against Oujo White Knights. xD

      • Kyokai says:

        I wish it were true!!! Hell, I’ve been wishing for season two since episode 19 and I hope our hopes will be answered by Madhouse! At least, it’s in pretty good position to give freedom to lots of creators; Satoshi Kon for instance. For Yumin, I liked her hardworking attitude, though not her contesting feature.

        And I loved most of the matches in Eyeshield21 and the Shinryuji one is definitely one of the highlights.

    • Karakuri says:

      And here I was hoping that they’d wrap this up in one season… But I guess that just won’t happen. Too many unresolved issues.

      I liked Yumi at first, but I just didn’t like her methods of winning. I like styles like Shinobu or Arata better where it’s devastating to the opponent, but somehow seamless and looks like it takes little effort. Obviously not everyone has that skill level, but yeah.

  2. anaaga says:

    Like Bob, I was actually rooting for Yumin. Her finger trick is a little bit cheap, but her persistence paid off.

    Plus, she’s plain. I like plain chicks

    • Karakuri says:

      I don’t mind that Yumi was plain, but I disliked her way of winning… Maybe if she had eased Chihaya into losing confidence more I would have been okay with it, but she was pretty loud and abrupt about it. I guess I just don;t like her overly stubborn personality.

  3. skylion says:

    It’s funny, we can cheer Yumin on for being such a stickler, and such a pain. But I think that sheds light on why she lost so early to Shinobu. Cause Shinobu is a loli vampire, and they never lose… The New Queen don’t take that sort of thing.

    • Karakuri says:

      Hell yes, Shinobu doesn’t take that crap. Now if Yumi was voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya, that might be a different story… Wait. No. That would just be disturbing on so many levels

      • Kyokai says:

        But you know, he could actually do it and brilliantly with his power for variation. xD

        Also, skylion, hang on to the loli vampire point. I’ll get on this on episode 24/25 review.

  4. Joojoobees says:

    I think what this loss did is make me want to see Shinobu deliver the Previous queen a soul-crushing defeat.

    Aside from that, it is pretty realistic that the newcomers (Taichi, Nishida, Chihaya) are all knocked out of the running for the top spot in all of Japan. Sure, I would have loved to see Chihaya take on Shinobu again, but I never expected her to win and become the queen.

    I guess I should mentally prepare myself for seeing Chihaya with her head shaved. 😛

    • Karakuri says:

      YES. THIS. Though seeing Shinobu delivering a soul crushing defeat to anyone would be nice right now.

      Ah, yes, realism. As much as I appreciate the author putting in effort to the storyline, I kind of want SOMETHING accomplished by the end of this season at least. …Yeah, I doubt Chihaya would win against Shinobu as she is now, but I do want to see them play again (since Shinobu recognizes Chihaya’s strength now and all). Their previous match is probably my favourite so far.

      …I had completely forgotten about that bet. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to see that.

    • Kyokai says:

      Looking at the scenario, I don’t think even Arata would make it because he hasn’t been playing for one and a half years. Also, I’m sure the Sadist would be beaten as well. This is josei still and you can’t have a shaved-headed heroine! (think of art complication and shadow effects… pfft.) xD

      • Joojoobees says:

        think of art complication and shadow effects… pfft.

        LOL That’s a very practical reason for believing it won’t happen.

        I still think Arata will make it through the Eastern qualifier, but will lose to the Meijin, so he still has a goal.

  5. Rakuen says:

    Alright, so Chihaya will be completely inconsolable and will lose her passion for Karuta, something she had just criticized her opponent for. This will go on until about the middle of episode 25, when something will happen to make her rediscover her dream. She’ll return to being her old plucky, determined self, and right after the credits will be a still shot announcing season 2.

    Prove me right, Madhouse.

    As for Yumi… ugh. I see a little of myself in her. I’m not that vindictive when I play games, but I do strive for correctness. I kind of want to punch her in the face… but saying that I imagine there’s people who want to do the same to me as well. ^_^;

    • Kyokai says:

      I agree with most of your predictions (season two, YES!) but for Chihaya, I hope not! If she mopes around for so long, what would be the fun in that?!

      And yeah, I guess, there are all kinds of players. Contesting is fine but if it’s the only thing you do… Well, Boo! xD

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