So, who else wants to play Karuta?!
Am I glad to be done with the previous catch up! We did it on the right time too because we are finally in the thick of things with individual matches. I was pretty pumped last week and this episode definitely did not disappoint. The fast pace was perfect and there were many nostalgic to adrenaline rush moments. I’ll gush more a bit later but yeah, Kara, how was it for you?
I’ve finally caught up to a lot of the shows airing this season, but Chihayafuru has definitely been the best so far and well worth catching up for~ The next episode should be nothing short of amazing, but this episode was pretty great too with Chihaya’s newfound skill with her left hand and Arata actually playing more than one match in an episode!
// The Pro Arata – HNNNG I can’t even remember how long it’s been since we last saw Arata play, but it was worth the wait. …Even though we didn’t even see much of his perfect match. But hey, we saw Arata fight against Nishida and this time, you know his skills are up there since we know that Nishida is a seasoned player. …even if he’s had a hard time winning a game this season. But hey, Nishida even recognized that this episode and attempted to fix it, so it wasn’t like he didn’t have a complete loss against Arata. Judging from the cards left behind, I’d say they were somewhat close. …Which seems a bit odd since I’m sure Arata could have completely overtaken Nishida (since apparently he’s Shinobu-level, if not better). Maybe his slow start affected things? I guess Arata was just… seeing how a member of Chihaya’s team played? He was overwhelmed by Mizusawa’s passion and tenacity? I don’t know. I feel like the match should have been less close than it was. Nishida could have been having a good game though, despite his loss, and maybe with Arata not playing at his fullest at the beginning, that’s why the match was so close. …Or maybe Nishida is just a better player than the past losses would have led us to believe.
If only Arata’s parents were more supportive. I get them though, since school is EXPENSIVE. xD Ah, in the span of like, 3 lines, Arata’s parents went from boring background characters to people I want to see more of. They’re horrible, but funny. Plus it was nice to see someone cheering for Nishida for once… even if the reasoning behind their support wasn’t exactly the usual. I’d love to see Arata interact with everyone in Tokyo (sorry, Taichi), so I’m all for him winning every match here~.
// Misuzawa going strong – The regret I have from this episode though is that despite Chihaya being absolutely amazing out there, we hardly saw anyone else play. The episode can tell us that everyone did really well, but that’s not the same as actually watching the team play. …I wanted to see Sumire and Tsukuba get serious and win, damn it! Sigh, the kouhai seem to have been neglected more and more since the start of the season. Oh well, at least they’re doing okay overall. Nishida had some much needed time to shine (since he was absolutely right about the fact that he didn’t offer much at all during the team matches) despite him losing another match, and obviously, Chihaya has a great win under her belt now. …If only we saw how Taichi was doing. I do hope that we get to see more of his matches before the season ends, because he HAS to make A Class this year!!!! …Okay, well, there’s nothing stopping him from trying again next year if he fails here, but he’s had great momentum all season and Id really like to see him carry that through until the end. Please, Chihayafuru! I don’t care if we don’t have the kouhai accomplish anything, let Taichi win!!!
// Chihaya miracle! – I was pretty pessimistic previously, almost comparing this to shounen development; though, wishing in my heart that a miracle happens. IT DID HAPPEN, with Chihaya playing like an ambidextrous prodigy! Of course, it was not that easy and Chihaya took her time assessing the situation. But this tells you how good she has gotten and continuous training resulted in her playing the opponent with everything she has rather than just relying on some taught strategies and theoretical game-plan. Her mirroring of cards and concentration were truly marvelous and a sign of top-class player. Arata was not alone in staring in awe at her skill development. This is definitely not the sniveling girl we met in the last tournament, who was completely had by Shinobu. She has become a player who has not only fueled herself with enthusiasm injections but self-motivation to follow the footsteps of some of the best players that Karuta has ever seen. It was a real trip to watch this episode and see her shine. So, it was natural for Arata to fanboy for her, after all, this was the first time he witnessed her play and at a disadvantage, no less. The victory moment they shared was pretty heart-warming as well.
Like I wished, I loved how Chihaya destroyed Yuube but by the end (as in most of her opponents), I was empathizing with her. Though, she shouldn’t have underestimated her to begin with. As we never got to see the second match so bye-bye bun-chan, you provided some good exercise of concentration to Chihaya, your sacrifice will be remembered! (I somehow end up remembering the good ol’ days of Truck-chan and Tank-kun…) Anyways! The biggest hoopla of this season and episode was Chihaya getting matched up against Shinobu. It’s all dundundun and excited screaming because just like a shounen hero prepares for THE BIG BATTLE, Chihaya has her game-face on while unwrapping her bandage all badassedly. We know she had been keeping it for a match against Arata but when it’s about Shinobu, even Arata has to become second-fiddle because damn it, this is TRUE RIVALRY. I am sure, I am not the only one all fired up to see their match.
FUUUUUUCK YAAAAAAAAAAR! BRING IT ONNNNN NAO!
// Fun with Chi~
Horrible parents!（ ＴДＴ）
Mission Revenge: COMPLETED! ԅ(≖‿≖ԅ)
This is a good ship too! (´ε｀ )
Wait a moment please, Bun-chan. Reconnecting Chihaya’s network connection… ヾ(´･ ･｀｡)ノ”
…I can see why they haven’t given Arata much playing screen time. Not because he isn’t awesome, but more because he’s a powerhouse and would completely overshadow everyone else if he played more often. I imagine this is why Shinobu doesn’t do much either. So yeah, in an episode where I was expecting Taichi to be the main focus and Chihaya to take the backseat due to her injury, the complete opposite happened.
I’m okay with that though because HOLY SHIT Chihaya was amazing. She was losing at first (though I feel like I’ve said that about every single match this season), but once she got the hang of that left hand thing, Chihaya really took off. It’s rather convenient that her opponent didn’t mind all of the cards she moved, but at least Chihaya has a new trick up her sleeve. …And just in time too since it’s time for a match against Shinobu~. Now that Chihaya realizes that some of Shinobu’s skill comes from the fact that right handed players don’t do well against the left handed, I wonder how close the match will be this time. Though that’s not counting in Shinobu’s amazing speed and accuracy. Ah, I’m excited for this match! It’s a bit sad that Chihaya had to unwrap her right hand before facing Arata, but it also means that Chihaya puts Shinobu on Arata’s level~.
Overall, this was a great episode and I loved the fact that the characters we got to know from the previous tournament are in there too with a different side to them. …Or at least the girl who Nishida lost to was interesting to watch against Chihaya. It’s a fun way of recycling the old background character’s playing types and seeing how other people would do matched up with them. Maybe Taichi will play that Rion girl who faced Chihaya before since they both apparently had bad luck (or maybe I’m remembering her character wrong). Though she kind of plays like Chihaya (speed opposed to strategy), so that would still be an interesting match.
One of the best episodes of this season, in terms of pacing and everything. Of course, we didn’t see how the rest of the Mizusawa were playing except for Nishida but at least there was news alert from Empress that everyone was doing okay. This is where I get a bit concerned because Taichi wasn’t mentioned in the entire episode except for a flashback line by Nishida… I hope he’s doing fine (HE HAS TO!), because there is no other option! I’ll kick his ass if he does anything stupid like losing his first match or something similar…
Touching upon Arata, he’s a smooth criminal with his goals pegged one right after the other with the high school matches and upcoming Meijin matches. I am sure he’s going to get a LOT OF offers from different universities so his parents don’t have to think too much about his tuition. I know they mean no harm but at least let your kid do what he wants! Hasn’t he suffered enough with the whole grandpa debacle and leaving the most precious thing to him for years? Give him a break already.
ALSO, I SWEAR, this series is the hardest to decide on supporting a ship. I started with AraChi and then converted to ChiChi and now I feel like I’m going back to square one. WHAT IS THIS MONSTROSITY! *shakes fists* Why I am feeling for everyone and want everyone to not only get along but like each other from the bottom of their hearts… I know that’s pretty corny but the whole Taichi tension against Arata was very upsetting. In the end, I think whatever happens romantically (I don’t even know if there will be any resolution at all), I’ll accept, be it with Arata or Taichi. Both are loaded characters with very different personalities but you just can’t hate them. Not to mention, all members of Mizusawa Karutabu have grown so much since they appeared onscreen, and it has been a delight to see. Starting next episode, I’m just going to enjoy karuta and tactics rather than supporting ships. The beginning was a friendship trio who bonded over a strange game that fascinated them to no end. For us watchers, it has become somewhat the same, yes we like the characters but karuta in the end is the catalyst that brings them all together and keep us glued to our screen.
Now, readers, tell us who is excited about the next episode and what are you theories about the upcoming matches!