Wow indeed. So it’s into the Nationals with Chihayafuru and it’s time to see where all of the off camera practice has gone for the characters. Oh? But what’s this? Is that Shinobu and Arata at the end of the episode? Damn that cliff hanger, but I guess we should talk about the actual episode first. So, Kyo. What do you think about this episode full of Engrish, Karuta and fabulousness?
Wowferric is the word I came up with, Kara. How can a long-series still keep things fresh?! But they do! Every episode my expressions mirrors few of Chihaya’s while watching because the developments always exceed my expectation. Nationals are usually all excitement and adrenaline and this episode delivered quite a lot along with the now-usual twist of Arata and Shinobu for a surprise.
//Nationals for First-timers - Desktomu continues to be a huge bro with the fact that he put Tsukuba as a starter and Sumire continues to be helpful to the team with spying on the other matches. With that though, it seems there were newbies to the Nationals all over the place this episode with the two kouhai and even their opponent, Chiba. You’d think that they’d be at a disadvantage since Mizusawa is (kind of but not really), seasoned due to their appearance last year, but it soon became obvious that both teams were at the Nationals for a reason. I’m sure that Mizusawa’s experience will come in handy later, but they did show a bit of it off here. The beginning was a little shaky since they had to assess the team first (…not to mention that apparently foreigners are frightening), but once they got into it, Chihaya and team dominated. Sumire might not have been there, but at least Tsukuba learned something here for the future.
// 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 together. Desk-kun’s sacrifice of start-up place will pay off later with info on Fujisaki High, who are pretty experienced. Chiba team was just a starter and the following opponents will be tough to tougher. Still, there will be balking by Mizusawa as Chihaya’s greed of becoming the best in Japan has not only affected Taichi but the entire team, who are striving to do their best. They do it, not only because they have an overbearing captain but they genuinely do love the game. It was interesting to see them react differently to their opponents (Tsukuba’s scared screams, Taichi’s protect-all thinking, Chihaya’s overboard empathy, Kana-chan’s chagrin on not wearing hakama and Nikuman-kun’s admiration), but bottom line strategy was to win and they sure did. I don’t know how long the manga would run but if there’s another national in the cards, I hope to see the Chiba team again as even with their newbness, they put up great effort.
// WHAM, BAM, LET’S PLAY AGAIN - HNNNG. This match was so good. I can see why Chihaya was crying from happiness, since Chiba was a great opponent for Mizusawa (…even though she cried even before they started playing). Maybe it wasn’t the high tension fun that Retro-kun’s team provided, but you can still see that this match was fun for everyone involved anyways. You could tell that Chiba really liked Karuta for the sake of Karuta and that assessment that all of them played they way they liked as opposed to strategy was nice. It was like a team of less intense Chihayas. …Of course, Chihaya has more skill than them, but that level of enjoyment is still there. Mizusawa was impressive as well though after they got serious. Maybe they’ll get some attention since it was being filmed? Even if they don’t though, they’re definitely showing off how hard they’ve worked in the time gap between their last loss and now. Anyways, this match was a fun one. I’d love to see Chiba around in the future, just to see where they end up. I’m sure if they ever played against Mizusawa again, it would be another great match.
// Stair-hanger – Recently, there was an actual cliffhanger in Robotic;Notes (incidentally, Arata’s seiyuu Yoshimasa Hosoya also plays the megane-kun Subaru in it), so the title. But, I hardly believe Arata would fall to his death from falling down the stairs however hard Shinobu gropes his shoulder. I have to say, from the moment of their childhood flashback was shown, I’ve been fascinated to know their story and how he inspired Shinobu. Her entry was a la Yuno and sirens will go on till the next episode airs but as I’ve theorized before, I hope Arata has an upper hand over her; someone she’s actually scared of rather than looking down upon including Suo. This reminds me that I was alarmed by Taichi’s comment on not caring about individual matches, but it proves he has come a long way. With Arata present in the next few games, he would definitely be going on overdrive and I hope it’s for better than worse.
//Fun with ENGRISH (this time with more Mamoru Miyano service)~
So much REFRAIN! ╭(๑¯д¯๑)╮
What Taichi’s actually saying: “Karuta’s so cooooool. Sonuvabitch!” (⌐■_■)
Bittersweet Wonder Love with Karuta (ﾉ> ◇ <)ﾉ
Dudes are learning new Egoistical moves from Mamo~ (〜￣▽￣)〜
Female Arata, the Airhead~ (*´ο`*)
And boys will be boys~ ლ(´ڡ`ლ)
Ah, Mizusawa was impressive after the initial shock of “zomg! foreigners!” and after they started working in synch with one another. It seems they’ve all gotten better at working together and that the newbies have powered up a bit since we last saw them. If Desk-kun says that Tsukuba’s skill is now at his own level, I’m willing to believe him. This episode seemed like it was a warm up and I’m sure that Mizusawa has left to show off their true strength. Now as for that cliff hanger with Arata and Shinobu…
I’ll ship it. I’m still rather curious to what their deal is. He obviously made a big impression on her when they were children regarding Karuta, so I wonder how that will end up. Other than that though, I’m rather ecstatic to see Arata there anyways! I want to see what he thinks of Taichi and Chihaya playing. Plus I don’t think all three of them have had a reunion since they forcibly pulled Arata back into Karuta.
I agree, Kara! We definitely need a better trio reunion rather than Arata baby-sitting Chihaya while she’s zones off due to her faint-spell. Living in a hot country most of my adult life, I know how bad it can get but for a healthy girl like Chihaya that plot point really pissed me off. I’m over it though and can’t wait to see how they set back into their friendship. Even if Taichi doesn’t care, I’d like him to make Class-A pronto! This is the only way they can face each other squarely. It’s a wonder how I’ve become such a ChiChi shipper with time but as the conclusion is far from end, let’s get on with chaos and invade plan against Fujisaki High School, Mizusawa’s imminent opponent. With the first win in their pocket, they are on their way towards their goal but it’s going to be a bumpy ride and I’m looking forward to more exciting matches and challenging situations.
So, what did you think about this episode, readers? Any specific theories about our stair-hanger?