Chihayafuru 2 – Catchup Sauce

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Kara no Kyokai is back with Chihayafuru sauce!

Chihayafuru is finally back on Metanorn and it’s been better than ever! ….Okay maybe not (plus Chihayafuru is usually pretty good), but HNNNNNNGGG these past three episodes have been great. The amazing thing about this show is that not much will happen, but every second of it will be fantastic. The end result of the team battle was kind of what I expected, but damn, it was fun while it lasted.

Where does time fly to, Kara?! Sure, we decided to bunch two episodes together but we sure have been busy to wait till the in between episode for a post. But anyways, we are back with vengeance and want everyone excited for the Nationals and of course more wondrous character development!

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// Hokuo against Mizusawa

Sudo came back!!!!! Who cares about the rest of the episodes, Sudo was there!!! …Er, I guess I should still probably care about the rest of the episodes. So yeah, the Hokou match turned out just as I expected since two teams go on to the nationals here and now Chihaya and team have something to aim for there. I can see it being a possibility too since the problem with this match seemed to be mostly based on the fact that Mizusawa is just not as used to team matches as Hokuo is. I mean, between the card splitting thing (which was Chihaya’s fault too for playing into their hands) and the pressure from the close match, if they just work on team strategies, I’m sure they can win when the two schools inevitably have a match again.

Which isn’t to say that Mizusawa lost only because they were unprepared. Hokuo was named the best contender for a reason and when it came down to it, Retro’s strategizing and matching Hokuo in order to beat Mizusawa at their best definitely made an impact. …Plus the pressure from having Sudo there probably helped them preform better too. Oh well, even with that, there was definitely something more satisfactory there (for them at least, I’m cheering for Mizusawa all the way) that they can say that they paired the team up with Mizusawa to be as equally matched as possible and still managed to come out on top. There was some skill there for sure. I look forward to seeing how things go if/when they have a rematch.

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// Mizusawa’s close-call

If anything, the match between Mizusawa and Hokuo proves that Karuta is a cutthroat game. And since the time it was revealed that the last two standing from regionals would reach finals, I knew the game would be a close-call. Though, nothing prepared me for how close it was. What would you do when the most dependable three (Nikuman, Taichi and Chihaya), would face so many difficulties from the get-go? Of course, those hairpins were distracting and damn his over enthusiastic sister! (Poor nikuman-kun!) The first loss was the heaviest and though the team played really well, it was all about the draw of cards and being attuned to a team match compared to individual match.

Highlights for me has to be the fiery play of Kana-chan and Desk-kun who improved so much from before. Boin-chan and megane-kun typecast be damned, I’m so proud of these two. But of course not more than for Chihaya’s precision, which was a sight for sore eyes. I know she has been working really hard but learning from the best (Suo and Shinobu), was not a bad idea at all. There will be people who would call this obsession but I dub it ambition. She does anything and everything that would make her win under moral grounds and I’m fine with that. It’s chibby-chan’s fault for being a lazy-bum and not taking Chihaya’s practice attacks seriously. I’m sure even at the end, she could have debated the fact that she touched the read card first but of course, she has more class than that. Also, it always impresses me that Taichi keeps track of what has been read throughout the game; if Desk-kun is a database, Taichi’s a goddamn library! Though, in the end, it was an awesome game and made me look forward to nationals even more.

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// Chihaya’s Fighto!

Even when seventh episode was just a breather between regionals and nationals, it set the pace for even more development with some inspiration thrown in. I personally have been spending more time with family past few months and as I was spoiled by my mother this weekend with shopping (You cannot have enough purses and shoes!). So, I utterly identified with how Chihaya felt. Of course, I’m not going gung-ho over a card game but like her sister Chitose, I can’t help but be inspired by Chihaya’s resilience. Sometimes the thing that you most need to clear your head is to spend time with the girls in your life, be it your mom, sister or even BFFs. Like Chihaya, I was shocked to find the food transaction between Mrs. Ooe and Ayase but it’s all good intentions and motherhood power.

I remember one of our previous commentors saying, how they hated Chihaya’s moping about but see, she has improved even on that. Sure, she looked dreadful as hell in the beginning but snapped out of it quickly with a stroll outside and playing her favourite game for the umpteenth time. It was also a sight to see her all considerate towards the concert band as the Empress so surprisingly pointed out. Sure, it’s going to get noisy but their musical send-off was long yet exhilarating. Not at par with Sakamichi no Apollon in any way but gesture is what matters, isn’t it? With the experience gained from their previous plays, I’m confident that this is the strongest Mizusawa Karuta-bu has gotten to-date and I hope they ace ‘em all! I can hope, now can’t I?!

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// Chihayafuru and love angle

Ah, so much support this episode~. The sendoff from the band class was a nice thank you. It looks like Chihaya did get something out of doing a favour for the band after all. Between the band and the conversation about the meaning behind ‘Chihayafuru’, hopefully these things will boost Chihaya in the future. ….Though I wouldn’t exactly translate the 千早 as ‘impassionate’ in the first place (at least I can tell that my Japanese level has gone up since a year ago), but whatever. The poem sounds better translated like that anyways. The bottom line is that we now have a better understanding of Chihaya’s name/ the name of the show and how she should direct her passion with control as opposed to being a frenzy.

Now for the relationship part of the episode… Sumire seems awfully tsundere towards Karuta. Can we add Sumire x Karuta next to Chihaya x Kurata on the list of ships? “I-it’s not like she’s interested in the actual game or anything! She claims that she’s only doing it to get closer to Taichi and yet, she’s obviously there for the cards too. She just doesn’t want to admit it. Though the Taichi obsession is obviously still there. She even asked Chihaya what if she liked anyone. I’m… not going to comment on her first choice, but it certainly sucks for Taichi that the second person she thought of immediately was Arata. TAICHI!!! FIGHT!!! щ(ºДº щ) Argh, just watching him watch Chihaya watch Arata is painful. Taichi is definitely in a tough position since he’s so damn self sacrificial and even though Arata isn’t even there, he’s still in a constant struggle with him. Plus even without that, Taichi still needs to get to A Class before he can challenge Arata. At least with the A Class thing though, he’s set his mind to completing it. Now he just needs to man up and get his feelings through to Chihaya (minus the fact that he and Arata mentioned last season that Chihaya doesn’t belong to either of them).

Fun with Chi

Chihaya

The many faces of Chihaya~ ヽ(*⌒∇⌒*)ノ

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S = Sudo-senpai… ఠ_ఠ

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Harada sensei, “Hello, little girl. I heard you wanted to play karuta~?” ᶘ ᵒᴥᵒᶅ

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The power of motherhood! ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ

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Proper send off by concert band~┌(・。・)┘♪└(・。・)┐

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FIGHTO ON! ESPECIALLY YOU, TAICHI! щ(ºДºщ)

…This show’s feel good vibe is going to kill me one of these days. Even when the characters lose, there’s always something better that comes from it. Like that part with Chihaya and her mother. That had an absolute overdose of feel good vibes, so that I was close to tears (despite nothing even remotely dramatic going on) since it showed that she actually cared for both daughters even though Chihaya seems to have been shafted all of those years. …Yep. Oh, but all of the episodes were amazing overall. The highlight for me of course, being the reappearance of Sudo, but overall, the first big Karuta match (…not including the other big one that happened in the episodes before this) was pretty great despite it being… not so great for Chihaya. Well, hopefully they learned something here that will aid them in a future match instead of having them make the mistake there and the important thing is that they had fun. …Or at least Chihaya had fun. I’m not so sure about Nishida. xD

Chihayafuru never has a dull moment and I thoroughly enjoyed the last few episodes. The match ones particularly had me over the edge with anticipation for who will win. Seeing Sudo as a reader was pretty surprising. I could never dub him to have a steady personality to read but here you go as he did a great job while reading and pressuring the Hokuo boys at the same time. There’s a long way for Kana-chan to reach A-class and her reading ambition but I’ll be cheering her on throughout.

Now coming to the love angle… It killed me. I love Arata’s character but the last episode literally made me go, “Damn you, man. Why are you teasing so bad?” Poor Taichi; he has it so bad! The moment we see some development between him and Chihaya, there’s a call/text/visit by Arata to burn up all development. Though the current scenario has given me a budding theory that Chihaya may not be in love with Arata, rather she sees him as a friend/rival/karuta-god combo. We have to remember that he was the one who started it all so whatever happens, that position can’t be taken by anyone. Their first frisson would be team play against individual play because Chihaya has mostly played in a group setting and even when she doesn’t excel at it, Karuta-bu to her is very important along with winning of course. Her admirable crushy staring of Tsuboguchi is a proof that karuta turns her on (for a lack of better wording), so rather than dreaming about someone she loves dearly, she dreams about Shinobu, Suo, Arata and play tactics. Our adorable megane-kun doesn’t care much about team play and he’s more akin to Shinobu, so maybe there’s a hint there? Anyways, I still feel Taichi has more than a chance, he just has to stick around and persevere.

Now, let’s get on with the nationals and I’m rooting for Mizusawa team. Readers, what are your thoughts?

Preview:

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The young guns of Mizusawa Karuta-bu are going up in blaze of glory!

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We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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6 Responses to “Chihayafuru 2 – Catchup Sauce”

  1. Chihaya was really great this week this past week, I especially enjoyed the interplay between Chihaya and her mom. We see where she takes after now personality wise. That quip about her mother’s short sighted thinking got a good chuckle out of me

    Taichi needs to be thrown a bone when it comes to his love life. Sure it’s not the best time to declare his feelings but he just keeps getting knocked down and down.

    4th wall breaking ftw

  2. Baka-Raptor says:

    Any show with girls playing the baritone horn has to be good.

  3. Joojoobees says:

    Taichi is doing all right. All true love is unrequited! The fact that he loves her, even though she doesn’t feel the same, proves that his love is true.

    Actually I agree with Kyo, that Chihaya probably thinks of Arata as a fellow Karuta player, and a rival, not as a love interest.

  4. Tofu says:

    I actually started getting teary with the Concert Band’s surprising appearance. The way they showed their gratitude was beautiful and it really shows just how well Chihayafuru can utilize their characters whenever they want, however they want and fill them with life or significance to the series. This also includes Chihaya’s mother who we know of her existence but don’t see that often. We only needed a few moments with her to connect with her character as a loving mother. It’s so good! Chihayafuru has the best characters ever! Makes this ‘character-driven series’ lover swoon over Chihayafuru every single episode~ <3

  5. HannoX says:

    I loved how Chihaya figured giving the concert band the upstairs would build up good karma that would help the karuta club. She’s always thinking of anything that might help the team, just like a good captain should. It also helps show just how obsessed she is with karuta, as if we didn’t already know–everything is about karuta with her.

    As for the love rivalry centered around her–I’m not sure she even realizes yet that the opposite sex is the opposite sex and what that means. All she thinks about is her club winning the nationals and her becoming queen. Maybe once that happens she’ll finally realize what boys are there for. But it is good to see a show where a teenage girl is focused on something other than her love life and is doing all she can in her power to reach her goal. I know there are other shows like that, but in few is the heroine as focused as Chihaya.

    I really enjoyed the scenes between Chihaya and her mother. Quality mother-daughter time was something both Chihaya and this show needed. And I loved bit about “You don’t have a secret stash?” “There’s no such thing!”

  6. […] Superlative Team play – I emphasized on team play in the last review so I’ll only touch upon how important it is to adapt to different situations and working […]

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