We just called to say, we will miss this! ヽ(；▽；)ノ
Aaaaah! Another season of Chihayafuru gone so fast. I swear time sure flies when you are having fun. Like its predecessor, season two wraps things up well but leaves us wanting more with matured relationships and skills. Let me cheer and moefist Kara who tagged this series with me again. Let’s hope we have another chance at getting together to fangirl about the same next year (there’s enough manga chapters with it still being ongoing). Yeah, Madhouse, I hope you are listening.
Ahahaha moefist? Is that even a thing, Kyo? Well, Chihayafuru is over once again and once again, I feel like there’s going to be a giant hole in my viewing list, because this season was just SO GOOD. I’d even say it was better than last season (despite some of the pacing issues in the middle) since these last couple of episodes have just been so much fun to watch. I’m tempted to to go into the manga now since the anime is done… though I’m not so secretly hoping for a season 3 announcement soon.
// Arata & Shinobu’s Karuta – Hnnng this match. While I’m a bit sad that Chihaya wasn’t the first one to beat Shinobu, this rivalry is fine too~. It’s no question, Arata is an overpowered mofo. He’s definitely Chihaya’s ideal Karuta since his calmness and speed is just like the “swift gods” Kana was talking about waaay earlier in the season and really, now that we’ve seen him play, we know that he’s the real deal. Chihaya certainly chose a great ideal in Arata since he’s like, THE best player at the moment (maybe even better than Suou, though that’s what everyone is hoping). However, despite Arata being devastatingly overpowered, I really enjoyed the exposition in this episode about how Arata became such a power player due to years and years of practice. We’ve seen so many players (or at least, Chihaya and Shinobu) who seem to be pros at Karuta due to skill. They were pretty good from the beginning and have simply become better through honing the skills they had from the beginning. In Arata’s case, what I got out of the exposition was that hard work has surpassed talent. That’s nice to see. Shinobu isn’t bad herself though. Arata had her sweating, but at the very end, her accuracy is something to be feared. Maybe a part of her loss has to do with the fact that Shinobu had a fever, but she certainly put up a fight all the way to the end. Arata won, but Shinobu never let him take over dominance of the match completely. That Queen title isn’t just for show~.
// Chihaya’s Karuta – As predicted, I have to pump my fist for truly predicting the result of Arata and Shinobu’s match. Though, it must have hurt Chihaya being on the bench and just watching. If it wasn’t for Sakurazawa-sensei, she wouldn’t have been able to see the match at all. Call it her naivety or simply how weirdly her mind works but I’m glad we got to see some of the action and her reaction to it. If I was watching your typical shounen show, I would have thrown a hissy fit at her sitting on the sidelines but Chihayafuru makes it better with character growth and licking wounds rather than continuous power-ups. Sure, I wished it was her who made Shinobu sweat but ah well, we’ll definitely see the day when that happens. In season three… You hear that, Madhouse?!
Some of the audience might call her injury an excuse but it is a peculiar one after all. Even being daughter of a doctor, I haven’t heard of Enchondromatosis yet, but then again, it is a rare disease. Rather than blaming Rion, we should thank her that she made Chihaya get diagnosed properly and after healing she might even sprout some special ninja karuta power, enabling swift dominion over the cards. Good to know that our heroine isn’t anywhere near giving up rather the passion of karuta has blossomed within her even more. Learning to smile and keeping calm seems to be the next challenge for her but I’d really like to see her complete takeaways from Arata and Shinobu’s karuta and develop her own brand in due time.
// YAAR Team Mizusawa! – And then if Arata’s win wasn’t enough, Taichi (the undefeated!), Desk-kun and Tsukuba did Mizusawa proud with winning for their classes. It’s a shame Chihaya couldn’t join them, but she has her own issues in regards to her operation. Let’s focus on the less depressing things for now though and say YAAAAAY for Mizusawa dominating the rankings. Arata might have swept A Class, but having Mizusawa win the team tournament wasn’t just for show. I’ll say this for the 478932nd time this season, but I wish we could have seen Desk-kun and Tsukuba play. I’ll gladly take Taichi’s impressive showing this season over those two though~.
In any case though, it seems like Chihaya has found a last minute ally in Fujisaki’s coach. This alliance seems to have come out of nowhere, but it’s really interesting to see since when Sakurazawa described styles of playing to Chihaya, they seemed to be on the same wavelength. Plus Sakurazawa was just extremely impressive in how she broke down and analyzed Arata’s playing after only seeing him a few times this year. We’ve kind of seen analytical characters in Harada and Desktomu (not to mention a handful of lesser side characters), but Fujisaki’s coach seems to be levels above everyone else. I’d love to see her help Chihaya improve further in the future and -if- there is a season 3, it looks like it will pick up in an interesting place with Taichi and Chihaya participating in a Karuta camp. Overall though, this was an excellent wrap up episode with all of the characters having accomplished something this season. …I just hope Taichi manages to figure out how to deal with Chihaya like he did with Karuta this season.
// Chihaya x Arata x Taichi – Let’s come to the juicy part of the last episode: the shipping! Though, nothing much has changed in the story inclination, which has hinted from the beginning of the tale of Arata inspiring Chihaya. It’s true and the reason, she always has followed his shadow through time to get better and better at karuta. The sport that has touched her deeply enough to form an entity in itself. Conclusion being, karuta > everything else
(Chihaya x Karuta being OTP); Arata has a central focus in her life just because he is the cause behind her love of the game. You’d expect the first thing on a sick person’s mind to be quick and painless recovery; however, if you ask our heroine, she would only blubber about how it will affect her karuta playing skills. Yes, she’s one greedy bitch when it comes to the game but that is what’s so great about her. Still, however passionate she’s about the game, I’m not sure she has actually separated her love of karuta from Arata see they even rhyme. Yes, Arata will always be special to her but is that feeling love or respect and camaraderie disguised in love? I’m not too sure our Chihaya has the ability to distinguish that just yet.
Coming to the dark horse, it’s been a long journey from hating to loving Taichi. This dude is another greedy SOB and with time he has learned to not hold his punches. Still, you can say that he has a lot growing up to do, including the fact to actually make Chihaya realize how he feels. It’s not going to be an easy job but things have started to look up since Chihaya identified him as an actual rival. Before this point, he was always the boy who helped her setup the Mizusawa Karutabu and the third wheel in their initial stint of the game. However, slowly but surely, he has supported her through thick and thin. Not only in giving her suggestions about making her play better but a shoulder and arm whenever she needed it. I’m sure Chihaya has a lot of realization to do as the story progresses and the revelation of last episode are not the end for him.
In the end though, the only two undefeated players of the current tournament are a tough act to beat. Both of them have grown with practice rather than natural talent. Not to mention they are growing in front of our eyes as one of the best players their age has seen. Chihaya is one lucky girl to have two of the best going after her but I have already made up my mind, I’ll be happy with whoever she chooses because it’s her life and decisions; she’s not a thing to be won over after all. Boys, are you listening, loves?
// Fun with Chi
Queen approved finale o(◡‿◡✿)
This works… (゜▼゜＊）
(*゜▼゜*)ノ Even this works!
Still, rock on sistah~ (ღ˘⌣˘ღ) ♫･*:.｡. .｡.:*･
How can I even begin to describe the FEEEEEEEELS that this show gives me? I can’t. Chihayafuru just gives off this vibe of warm fuzzies that makes everything in it amazing. Well, I think plenty of people have said this before (and I feel like I’ve said this a million times): Chihayafuru started slow this season, but certainly picked up the pace up until the end. …Even though the kouhai were all but ignored this season once we got the Sumire stuff out of the way. (I’d like to think that Tsukuba is a dark horse as opposed to just being ignored the entire time for no reason.) As for the other members, Nishida manned up over the season (kind of), Desk-kun has definitely improved from the last season and Kana has seemed to have made herself team cheerleader. …I really want to see where these guys would end up in another season or so. Hell, I want to see Taichi and Chihaya after another year since those two seem to be on to something too in regards to how they play. It feels like the individual matches came and went all too soon! It’s a shame we had to sit through like, 4 episodes for each team match, but with Mizusawa winning that part of the tournament, the heartwarmingness there makes up for it. …And now that I think about it, the team matches last season were cut pretty short due to Chihaya getting ill, so of course this season’s was longer. Anyways, long story short, it’s been a great run and I WANT TO SEE MORE! ARGH KYO. I CALL A GROUPHUG.
AND I FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL. Aaah yeah, right said, Kara! Let’s go for a group hug with ALL our readers/lurkers who have stuck around with us this season as well. It wasn’t always speedy but new and old characters kept things up and at different critical moments dazzled us to no end with complex karuta-play. Highlights for me have to be the progress of team matches till the suspenseful end. I was all ready to sniff and flip the Fujisaki team for being too powerful but then Nishida and Taichi went and synced their cards for an awesome result. I was also elated with Megumu being bitch-slapped by Shinobu and Yuube by Chihaya with her left hand no less! And let’s not forget the clumsy match between Taichi and Rion, while the amazing one between Arata and Shinobu. From the get go of this season, we had enough feels and Mizusawa developments to keep us busy talking.
I was personally surprised with the romantic tone of the last episode with an actual around decent poem by Chihaya, reminiscing over the bliss of the past and her wish of hearing some unspoken words… Kana is right in guessing that she won’t be aloof forever but like everything in her life focuses on karuta, her love will be shaped by the game as well. Jury is still out if her love could be won by prowess in karuta but we all know that is from where her affection for Arata stems. It would be interesting to see when Taichi becomes the new challenger, shaking her calm world of karuta with his own tactics. Also, let’s not forget a possible ship between Shinobu and Arata with the flair of rivalry. In the end, I can’t wait to get into the story more and find out how everyone grows. Madhouse, announce season three already!
Anyways, folks, THANK YOU AGAIN FOR STICKING WITH the Kara no Kyokai tag! Now tell us how the season finale fared in your opinion and what you are expecting next?