You heard the girl. DO IT. You don’t understand Japanese? DO IT ANYWAYS.
|Well, i-it’s over… I know I always get sad when a show leaves, but I mean it when I say that I’ll be missing this one. Before that though, Chihayafuru was one of those things that I probably would have never watched if Kyo hadn’t told me of how fantastic it was, so thanks to my awesome boss lady tag team partner!|
|Aww man, I’m so gonna miss this! This was such a good two-cour ride. Things could be better but I’ll wait till the end thoughts for that. And DAWWW, Kara, I’m just glad you picked it up and we had a great time tagging this amazing series “Kara no Kyokai” style. Tee hee~|
The Master battle is finally underway (….or actually, it’s been underway the entire time, but this is the last round) and while everyone is amazed at how Suo has 28 cards that have one syllable to him, Chihaya does her best to listen for them too with her superhuman hearing. During all of this, Suo has an inner monologue about how the current reader really appreciates the poems and therefore has a different mental image when she reads each one out. In the end though, Suo wins, making him Master for the 4th year in a row.
Sorry Arata, you’re a bit early. Come back in a season or two.
The director in charge of Nishida’s society notes that neither the Queen nor the Master have teacher figures, but that fact remains unimportant for the time being as everyone from Chihaya’s group is depressed over how good everyone is. However, Desktomu lightens the mood by telling Chihaya that she has 20 cards that have one syllable to her. In Taichi’s case, he cheers up after a phone call to Arata since Arata telling him that visualizing the cards helps him understand the Master better. In Arata’s case, he cheers up after his mentor decides to play Karuta with him. Happy vibes all around!
You know what? Screw it all. We’ll ship that.
Desktomu gives Chihaya a list of her 20 cards and explains that everyone has cards that they can hear better than others for one reason or another. So Chihaya goes and recites those cards to herself while Kana stands by her and listens. Ater Chihaya realises that Kana is there, Kana tells her that she wants to become a reader and read for Chihaya at her Queen game. Chihaya gets excited for Kana and then Kana finds out that all readers have to make A Class… and then she gets depressed.
We’ll ship this too.
Taichi is all better now though and he practices his swing, something that he almost never does. You see, the conversation with Arata made him realise that there’s tons of ways to strategise, but the important thing is to take the cards faster. …So with that, he threatens to burn Chihaya’s bears if he wins in order to distract her xD. Kana practices her reading for the team and she thinks about how difficult it is to get everything right, but she keeps at it.
Meanwhile, the Empress argues with the rest of the school staff about moving the Karuta club into a less convenient location. She’s really passionate about the club though and in the end, the school settles that if the club gets 5 new members, they won’t have to move rooms. …And with that, it’s like we’re suddenly back at episode one again. Chihaya is trying to recruit members and everyone notes how her beauty is wasted (though this time, the Empress cheers her on). With that, Chihaya invites us all to play Karuta and a great series comes to a close.
Kaomoji makes everything better.
Extras finale love:
Suo watches too much Gintama but there are no cool points for him…
Because everyone feels a chill down their spine whenever he looks at them.
We hear ya, bros~
So, this is how it all ends?! Two self-trained prodigies?!
I’m pretty sure, everyone OTL’d at this point like our crew here, BUT
I don’t know if it’s just me lately after that Lagrange ending or what, but I saw bromance and sismance absolutely everywhere this episode. You know what else? I was perfectly okay with it. I’d much rather see Arata blushing and talking to Taichi over the phone than having Taichi realise for the 21134th time that he’s not good enough for Chihaya and making the episode awkward. On a non fujoshi level I liked watching them interact as well. I flashed back to that chilhood friend arc from the first half and realised once again how effective it was. As for the rest of the team, it’s great that Kana finally has a goal to work for now. I noticed that the readers have a certain way of doing things, but I never imagined that their job was THAT difficult. In those 10 minutes, I finally appreciated what all of the seiyuu in this series did when they guest starred as readers. The job as a reader is absolutely perfect for Kana. At the same time too, I can imagine Desktomu ending up as someone like Harada. His power of observation and being able to recognise the flaws and strengths of others is amazing. Nishida… well really, he was the only one who doesn’t seem to have a direction at this point, so I have no idea what he’s going to do with his life at this point. All in all, the side characters needed waaay more love in this series, but I quite enjoyed what they had to offer the small time they did appear.
….There are just too many things to talk about for Chihayafuru. The visuals in this series were amazing. The characters were amazing, the voicework was amazing. The DVDs aren’t selling well in Japan? ….Well I cam kind of see why since Karuta is a niche thing, but still. The hard work put into this series shouldn’t be overlooked. WHY CAN’T THIS SELL BETTER?! щ(゜ロ゜щ) The only thing that I didn’t like how they wrapped up was the whole childhood love triangle. By the end they just kind of… forgot about it. Which is good I guess since I probably would have raged if they let us with some open ended harem crap, but at the same time, I wish something more would have happened romance wise.
Well, that match was short. Due to the buildup at the end of the episode I was expecting something long and drawn out, but this is nice too. It was straight to the point and then we got the rest of the episode to work on the afterwards. Out of all of the season’s endings so far, this one has left me with the most positive impression. I always thought that the OP would make a great ending song on the final episode due to it being upbeat and so I’m glad they did that. Yes, I’m sad to see this go, but at the same time, I can’t hate Madhouse for ending it when they did such a spectacular job. The storyline goes on, but they’ve managed to make it go on in such a way that I do want to see what comes next, but at the same time, I can move on with my life. In other words, they ended at the perfect place. There’s going to be a whole other year before the next Master/Queen matches and it’s an absolutely terrific place for them to start a second season from if they ever do. …and if they don’t, we can be comforted by the fact that everyone is currently working hard towards their respective goals.
….I miss you already, Taichi.
I had just too much fun with this series. I remember predicting it one of the dark horses of Fall 2011 and look, it did turn out great even if the conclusion is missing. This is normal for a series, the original material of which is still in serialization. I’m just glad Madhouse didn’t pull up something half-assed and went with an original ending. Things are usually never picked up after that except for big franchises like FMA. The thing that really worked well with this series is the factor of recognizing yourself with a character. Tell me truthfully, who hasn’t fought with a rival kid just because you thought s/he was more talented than you? Wouldn’t you do some underhanded trick yourself just to win at something or get good marks? It’s human nature and everyone does it some time in their life. Also, the feeling of trying your hardest and even at times, try and try again is what hit home for me with Chihayafuru. I know it sounds pretty cheesy saying never give up but it’s true and you know it.
Characters came alive and breathed with their faults and fixes. If Taichi was a great student, he was a coward and almost afraid of Arata because of his passion. Chihaya always had a good heart but is a complete airhead. Arata had good intentions but lost his way when his grandfather passed away. No one is perfect and you will find very few stories that would actually magnify that part of life and be accurate. I think losing is what made the characters grow not only in their play but as a person as well because yes, Chihaya can be the biggest airhead but she now realizes importance of studies and even friends. Taichi got the most development throughout the series and from hating I ended up liking him by the end. Arata has been pretty mysterious but even this child prodigy needed rescuing by his friends and that is what made him feel real. I ended up shipping the friendship than the pairs because the story is that good.
It was interesting to note that Chihaya’s skill is very much like Suo and Komano has definitely zeroed down her best cards. Like Bob pointed out, this anime has grown on us so much that Suo recognizing 28 syllable cards was badass as hell. I want her to excel in this quality and hone her play against her opponent rather than just one opponent. I think Arata’s grandpa is spot on about taking the card before opponent; look at Suo, his speed is lightening fast and no wonder he is the King since last three years also not good in studies just like Chihaya. However, I think this is half peer-pressure and half skills of Suo for pegging cards like Chihaya that overwhelms his opponents. I think this quality is even more unique to what Shinobu does.
On the other hand, Taichi can be the best student but he needs to practice more like crazy if he wants to make Class-A. I loved it how he practiced his swing before the practice match just like Nishida told him to. Also, playing an S against Chihaya? That was so deliciously hilarious. It’s all fair in love and war, right?! I’m also reminded of Sugita’s role in InuxBoku SS where he pegs everything S and M, so I would definitely brand Taichi S, Arata M and Chihaya a mixture. Like Taichi and Chihaya, I wish we could see more of Arata because he’s that perfect guy you would like to go out with but internally he’s totally karuta-crazed and would ditch you for a date just because he has to practice more. Chihaya might end up doing the same but I think she would be too excited to think to do that unless Taichi comes to grab her away. Their relationship was bound to be not solved but hey, there’s manga and hopefully, we’ll get translations and progress soon even if season two is late.
I will echo Kara here, WHY CAN’T THIS SELL BETTER?! щ(゜ロ゜щ) Madhouse, I gotta say this to you, don’t disappoint US Chihayafuru-fans! Announce good news soon, ne?! Coming to my conclusion, that was news to me that the Karuta readers have to be Class-A…
There goes Kana-chan’s full life. But, hey, there’s Komano who’s a genius with stats and analysis. I’m pretty sure his individual report on everyone would help the club out. Also, props to Empress for sticking for the Karuta club! I’m sure finding five more members would be rather challenging but the current club is filled with passion and why not more awesomeness?! I’m glad you guys joined both of us during this ride and we would like to hear your thoughts on the finale. Liked it, hated it, it was okay?
See ya all next season, hopefully SOOOON! Ja ne~