Posts Tagged ‘Chihayafuru’

chihayafuru season 2 episode 6 pic 32

It is still weird seeing one side in traditional dress, and the other in t-shirts.

Who cries the most in this episode: Chihaya, after Arata sends her a text. Taichi is doomed.

Chihaya’s uses her neat trick of  hearing a sound before it is read, allowing her to steal cards at super speed. It takes Amakusa awhile to figure out what she is doing, but Sado knows exactly what is up. After Porky’s early loss, the other four matches come down to the luck-of-the-draw, but the only way for Misuzawa to win is to attack their opponent’s side. Chihaya decides to go on the attack, which cements Taichi’s determination to do the same, this shakes up Retro’s confidence. No matter who wins the tournament, both teams still get to go the nationals. Sumire, Akihiro and his little brothers all join the karuta society, and Arata texts Chihaya asking how she felt about her match.

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haha, porky.

In any case, if anyone else out there felt like some of the karuta rules Hukou put into play during this game were complex to understand, I have to agree there. While the show does a great job explaining things and catches us up to a game we don’t understand as much as it possibly can, there are always going to be things about how karuta works, and tactics that I miss. Not knowing Japanese is a big handicap in that regard. It doesn’t prevent me from generally understanding what is going on enough to follow (in a somewhat crude sense sometimes, albeit) and it doesn’t get in the way of my enjoyment of the series, and that is a relief.

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I don’t think the audience in these things ever wears any other expression, as much as the mouth-hanging-open-in-blank-eyed-shock look.

No, I can’t keep track of where every card is, and what every card that is taken means, and so on, and if that was a requirement I would have given up a long time ago! I am laid back about following Karuta when watching Chihayafuru, in the same way I was laid back when following the basketball when watching Kuroko’s Basketball. I have no idea if they stretch belief in Chihayafuru the way Kuroko did, but I wouldn’t really care if that was so.

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That isn’t the last time someone will equate Chihaya to non-human, I think.

I love how Chihaya’s extremely good ear causes Amakasa to wonder whether she is really human, I’ve often thought “Is she human?” When it comes to Chihaya, and I think this match only further resolves that she is an alien in many ways. Hell, just look at how she instantly falls asleep after a karuta match, yet can always seem to open her eyes the moment she needs to join the conversation again. It is only a small detail of her personality, but it illustrates why she is such a likeable, and fun character to watch in action.

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Nice, Desktomu.

Chihaya has grown as a karuta player so much in such a short time, and so has everyone else on the Misuzawa team, including Kana and Desktomu. So even though Hukou’s experience ends up paying off in the end, even the ace Amakusa has to admit that they are not the best team anymore, since he only moved when he felt Chihaya moving to take his card, and Chihaya has the better senses of the two by far, as well as a greater drive to be the best, I think. Hukou winning despite being lazy about karuta, is interesting, because it proves that Mizuzawa deserved to win just as much if not more than Hukou, and the next time they meet it will be a real challenge for Hukou to pull off a second victory.  I doubt that will even be possible for them, given just how far behind Misuzawa they seemed beyond knowing certain veteran strategies to secure a win, that Misuzawa did not know.

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The “are you thinking what I’m thinking?” face.

I’ll admit that Hukou’s and especially Amakusa’s willingness to fall back on “easy” plans in order to win are a more boring way to play, in my mind, than to challenge yourself as much as possible and make it harder on you, rather than your opponent. In a way, I feel that them employing these kind of strategies is inevitably only going to weaken them as a team, in the long run, since although you can fool a team at the level of Misuzawa once, you would be hard pressed to fool them with the same tricks twice. Hukou had better start relying on their skills a bit more in future. If playing Chihaya isn’t a wake up call for them, I don’t know what is.

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I also don’t think we’ve ever seen a reader who is so personally invested in what was going on before, since Hukou was his team and he was their previous ace. It is cool to see what is going on in the reader’s head while he watches Amakusa deal with the newest karuta monster, Chihaya. I do feel pretty bad for Porky in this episode, he is a little hard on himself after losing his match, I mean, it must happen to every karuta player at some point. He doesnt need to call himself “Pathetic,”  that is harsh.

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Not sure why he said that.

One minor issue for me is how Amakusa thinks, “I might be small, but I can still defend my cards against a girl.” What the hell? If any show should know better than to discriminate against someone because of gender, it should be this one. Yet we have that one guy thinking Kana was “boob girl,” and even Kana seemed to know what he was thinking and had a saucy reply regarding her boobs during the match in the previous episode. I doubt anyone would be thinking about their boobs that much when they have more important things to think about, and even if Kana does think about her larger than average chest, focusing on something else about her character would still be better, in my opinion since boobs get too much focus in other shows to begin with. This one doesn’t need to start doing it too.

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Taichi channeling Chihaya insanity.

To end on a good note: I am happy to see that Sumire is becoming more willing to put effort into helping the team, by joining the karuta society. It also looks like Kana and Desktomu are not just going to take a backseat to the A and B players, as this episode shows that they are learning some skills of their own and contributing to their team’s success as much as anyone else is! Also, Go Taichi! I think I like him best when he is on fire, and on the attack with that crazy look in his eyes!

Errant Princess Says,


Another awesome episode, it is striking that when I compare how well Chihayafuru season 2 is already doing this early on compared to shows like Psycho Pass and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure which are already seventeen or so episodes in, that Chihayafuru can hold its ground just fine even against the best that the fall 2012 season had to offer.  


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He has a good point.

Sumire’s scouting reveals that Hukou’s plan to beat Misuzawa is to pit strong players against weak ones and have an easy to win match. Retro decides to make he wants to win fairly instead of cheating, and matches equal players against each other instead. The child-like president Amakusa wonders why anyone would want to put in such effort to win. Sudo returns as reader, causing Hukou to have to keep up to not anger the s inside him. Misuzawa’s coach proves useful despite her lack of karuta knowledge. Chihaya tries to copy Shinobu’s style, while information overload gets the best of porky.

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Of course they put Retro with Porky’s sister.

I’m sorry it took so long to get this post up. I was glad to see the intensive competition taking center stage this time, and  the latest group tournament against retro’s group is the most suspenseful thing season 2 has had to offer us yet. It is hard to appreciate just how much skill it probably requires in order to do what Chihayafuru does all the time, like a machine. It might seem effortless, but it must, like a good karuta match, really sweat to make it happen.

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Which version does she aspire to be, skinny or chubby?

More than any others so far, this episode has reminded me of what I most respected about season 1, the depth this series goes into, and the way it handles explaining all the rules is unique. It doesn’t just explain the rules, either. No two people see anything alike. No two players understand the cards or their meaning in the same way. Each person learns at their own speed, in their own special way, with their own experiences defining just what becomes important to them, and what they struggle with. The fact that it can do all this and usually end on a cliffhanger that leaves me wanting more, is freaking impressive.

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There is also another talent Chihayafuru has that I didn’t really realize until now: Multi-tasking. Seriously. The ability this show has to look at karuta from every possible angle, through each player’s perceptions, filtered through each character’s personalities and playing styles while juggling everything else it has to do at the same time, is insane. All that, plus it always considers  whatever the obstacles the particular person has had to overcome, and it takes it upon itself to examine even things you would never imagine being integral to the play. That level of attention to character’s emotions and thought processes is incredible and rare in any show, let alone a card game show.

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One of the things that is more obvious when watching a group tournament than an individual match is that one of this series prominent strengths is multi-tasking point of view and showing us a bird’s-eye, omniscient view of everything that is going on. None of this could have been so amazing if we had only been in Chihaya’s perceptions, or it didn’t make such an elaborate effort to have each layer unfold like this, until all the myriad layers are unraveled and everyone’s strengths and weaknesses are thoroughly examined. It is such an expert at making even the smallest thing seem interesting, that I don’t even notice if a character I don’t particularly care for takes up the lime-light. This is because Chihayafuru could take a loathsome person and make them seem wonderful if it wanted to, merely because it is so skilled at creating sympathy in you for every single player in every single match no matter who they are.

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I think that is why it is so successful and so brilliant. For two reasons, really. The information flow is coming from so many different places, one moment you are in Retro’s head and the next in an audience member’s head. You never get bored or tired of hearing about anything because the view is kept fresh and shuffled enough that you can feel you are being given a broad enough knowledge. Yet it is also smart enough not to be too scattered and knows when to slow down and let you simmer with one character’s thoughts too. This moderation is working  in Chihayafuru’s favor.

Errant princess says,


Best episode of season 2 yet!

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chihayafuru ep 8 pic 24

It makes total sense to run away from Arata and Chihaya, for entirely different reasons though. You should run from Arata because he is better than you at karuta, and has no empathy if you lose. He will stare down at you through his glasses with his cold blue eyes and make you feel like an ant. You should run from Chihaya because she will stalk you to the ends of the earth, jump you and kidnap you, if you don’t want to be enlisted in her beloved club. You should treat Chihaya with caution because most of all she is kind of psychotic. Arata is just in a league of his own and couldn’t understand how ants must feel.

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Yusei “Porky” Nishida quit karuta after being defeated by Arata, and opted to join the tennis club instead. Chihaya ropes him into joining the club since they need a fifth member to become official. Meanwhile, Taichi is teaching Desktomu and Kana the basics, such as when you can “send” cards to an opponent’s side, but it will take a long awhile before Kana and Desktomu can even handle the sport enough to help the team win. I think Desktomu’s introduction was a little bit more interesting and unpredictable than Nishida’s, considering the attached to his desk angle, and the fact that he had never even played karuta and was a beginner when he joined, it was cool to see someone with no background in karuta find reasons to care.

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Nishida is an old hand at karuta but ran away from the sport when he was little because he was beaten by Arata. He is chased down and tackled by Chihaya when she recognizes him as a former karuta opponent, triggered by seeing him eating pork buns. Hence why she calls him “Porky.” as he ate them as a child as well. Here it actually makes more sense for Chihaya to adamantly want Nishida on their team, but not quite as much fun to watch happen as Desktomu’s intro. Taichi and Chihaya mutually manipulate (they can be quite evil when they want to be!) Nishida into playing  a match against Chihaya to prove to him that he still loves karuta, and is only using tennis as a replacement. So Nishida’s episode is more straightforward and logical in the sense that he is experienced and just needs to be reminded that he really wants to join the karuta team.

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Of course the reason he quit was he was just scared of Arata. It is really crazy how Arata tends to destroy other people’s confidence without even trying, but his level of talent is just that intimidating. The number one thing about this show I find most amusing is that Arata frightens everyone half to death with his god-like abilities, even though he rarely appears on-screen very long. The show has done an excellent job of making it feel like his “presence,” is there even when he is not onscreen, that he is the driving force behind Chihaya’s demonic ambitions.

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At this point it is no surprise that Chihaya is so oblivious to people’s feelings that she nicknames Nishida Porky, and doesn’t stop calling him that even when he objects to the moniker.  That is a running gag through-out the episode, although I am sure Chihaya doesn’t even understand that it might hurt his feelings since “Porky” is unflattering to an overweight  person. Luckily, Nishida seems like a fairly thick-skinned, strong-minded character with enough skills, brains and athleticism that Chihaya’s social idiocy won’t get in his way too much.

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Errant Princess Says,



An excellent episode, if yet more proof that Chihaya and Taichi are bad people. Nishida is the Salieri to Arata’s Mozart. In all honesty though, Arata probably has a lot of enemies he isn’t even aware of. 

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chihayafuru episode 29 pic 51

He needs faith! I don’t mean the religious kind either.

Who cries the most in this episode?:

Oh my god, do my eyes deceive me? Nobody actually cries this time?! Does sweating count as crying? Taichi sweated a ton.

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Taichi loses his confidence.

Arata and his family visit his grandfather’s grave, where Arata has a request for his parents. Meanwhile Chihaya’s team participate in the Tokyo high school regional against Homei. Homei’s advisor is Tsuboguchi, who is also the ace of the shiranami society, and the east representive from the previous year’s master match.  Taichi worries he won’t be a good leader for his team, and has trouble focusing on winning his own game at the same time, as Tsubogushi’s team puts into practice the tricks he taught them to try to beat Taichi.

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Ths guy is a trickster.

The Homei players seem just as eccentric and determined as anyone else Misuzawa has faced before. Sasa, the girl Taichi plays, considers “Tsubogushi her savior after he helped her karuta club work hard and have fun again, and she acts really strangely throughout the match, but it is because she has wanted to be queen since she was young. We don’t really see the other part of the team match besides Taichi and Sasa, as this was definitely a Taichi episode. The guy Chihaya plays hits on Chihaya in order to get under Taichi’s skin, but that only lasts until Chihaya completely zones out everything but Karuta. The match gets off to a rocky start as the reader is nervous and reads off rhythm, but the players adapt and move on without much issue, so that didn’t seem to be too bad of an obstacle.

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I kind of wish Sasa was the new member instead of Sumire.

Homei prefer mental warfare as a tactic, although they don’t really go the distance with it, and are really no match for Chihaya and Taichi once you get them in their comfort zones. Chihaya’s Karuta “sense” is simply better than most, and Taichi is a monster at memorization.  The problem with Taichi has always been that he doesn’t trust the others or himself enough, and he needs to be more like Chihaya in the sense that she knows when to shut out everything else and just go for it.

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Rage suits Taichi.

One theory some of the more superstitious characters propose for why Taichi can’t seem to win, is that Taichi has plenty of skill but terrible luck. So things always seem to go wrong during his matches, for instance in this episode the air conditioner right above his head breaks down and being hot and sweaty distracts Taichi from doing his best.  Dr. Harada doesn’t really seem to blame the bad luck theory, but he does pick up that Taichi doesn’t focus enough on himself during the team match. His advice to Taichi is, “An individual match is a team match, and a team match is an individual match.”  Taichi must not doubt himself! If he feels he doesn’t have talent, he starts to waver and get stressed out.

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In other words, be more selfish.

This piece of Harada wisdom completely goes over Taichi’s head until he calls for a towel to wipe away his sweat, and Chihaya falls on top of Desktomu to give him one. This oddly affectionate act from Chihaya seems to boost Taichi’s confidence, being noticed by the girl he loves, and he is able to see the match through with a better attitude. I saw it like that anyway, conceivably that wasn’t the only thing that changed his perceptions on the match. Yeah, I really didn’t really think bad luck was the issue here, that felt like more of a coincidence than anything else, and also a chance for comedic relief during a tense match. Even though his opponent was plenty comedic already. However, it was made a big issue of during the episode which was kind of annoying.

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Taichi is not unlucky! Everyone loves him.

I felt that this episode and the second season in general, are a little weaker in the story and visuals than the first season. Not much, but is noticeable at this point that they are pushing to add variety to the show and it is still awkward. It is trying a bit harder now in general, though it is not that big of a deal yet since it is still quite good anyway.

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If making cookies won’t make us like you, nothing will.

I also feel that Sumire is quickly wearing out her welcome in that she doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the main characters. Right now her chemistry with the others is weird and she is the odd one out of the group. Every time she appears, I kind of forget for a second I am watching Chihayafuru because she makes it seem like a different show to me.  I would think that by episode 4 I would be used to her presence enough that it wouldn’t be unsettling, but it still is.

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At any rate, Taichi has always been so overly analytical that he often fails to have any faith in himself and in his team, since he is so busy calculating how things can go wrong, and worrying about every possible angle, instead of just letting it go. His positive talent of being able to concentrate also turns into a negative one of fretting about the wrong things. Once he does let go, his Karuta improves as well. It is simple but hard to master:  if you are stressed out and can’t relax you’ll never do a great job. I know, because I can’t write when I’m stressed out. You can’t do anything well in a tense, overwhelmed state, you have to be calm and confident or you will trip yourself up every time no matter what task you are trying to accomplish. If Taichi can overcome his stress, he will be fine.

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Errant Princess Says,


A good episode, though there are more flaws this season. You know Taichi is way too stressed out since I get stressed just watching him! Be cool, Taichi!   

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Taichi finds his new resolve to win.

Chihaya needs two more people to join the karuta club to reach a total of five members. One potential candidate is study-bug Tsutomu (Desktomu) Komono. Chihaya scouts Desktomu to be the fourth member, so named by the other students because he never leaves his desk except to go to the bathroom, and he does nothing but study all the time.

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Sitting by yourself wrapped in blue clouds of gloom must suck.

Desktomu has trouble making friends because people are judgmental of his appearance and personality. “He looks like a jelly bean,” is probably not a very nice way to describe someone, and his classmates talk about how they would rather have a hot guy like Taichi in their class, since Desktomu is only the second smartest one anyway. This inferiorit-y complex causes him to think he needs to stay behind his desk forever.

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How sad.

Taichi still beats Desktomu in grades, something that bothers Desktomu but he feels pretty stuck the way he is, although it is not how he wants to be. Chihaya sees potential in him because he is smart, and she is looking for particular types of people to join the karuta club, and not just anyone.

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Oh Chihaya

Desktomu’s complex about becoming number one at studying, causes him to refuse Chihaya’s invitation to join the club when she comes to find him. He calls karuta a pointless game, but Chihaya won’t take no for an answer and drags Desktomu and his desk by force to the club-room. It helps that Chihaya is a giant compared to Desktomu. The imagery of Desktomu still attached to his desk, speaks volumes about the character, his desk has become impossible for him to separate himself from identity-wise, he doesn’t believe he matters much outside of studying, and even that isn’t something he can be number one in.

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Is kidnapping new club members really ok?!

The thing Chihaya, Taichi and Desktomu all have in common is that they really hate to lose, a very shonen trait. At first, Taichi thinks he doesn’t care, despite getting mad when he thinks about Arata being in his place instead. He thinks Arata would make Chihaya a better player, whereas he is struggling to keep up and not number one in her mind at all.

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I don’t know, Arata would be kind of distracting.

So Taichi loses against Chihaya at karuta  most of the time during practice, since she has the natural ability to react and take cards really fast. That is not a talent many people possess, and it is something she was “born” with. Unlike Chihaya.

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Taichi is good at concentration and memory skills, which are also an important facet of playing karuta, though Chihaya can normally just use her fast reflexes to bulldoze through a match without relying on memory or staying power. Chihaya can’t keep the position of all the cards in her mind for very long, whereas Taichi can.

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It takes Desktomu suggesting they play karuta with the cards flipped over, for Taichi to beat Chihaya. Concentration and memory are Chihaya’s weak points. This goes a  long way in showing Desktomu the game is serous at least, but it takes Taichi confronting Desktomu and revealing that he “loses all the time, but effort matters” to really convince him to join. I love the part where Taichi throws the desk away, forcing Desktomu to  realize he doesn’t need it as a crutch anymore.

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Errant Princess says, 


A very good episode, while not as visually stunning as the last. How about Taichi’s shirt? “Things make people happy.” So specific.

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Who cries the most in this episode?:

Akihiro gets his first, and what I presume won’t be his last cry, when he is touched by the coolness of Tsutomo’s kindness.

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Yes! Kana always seems to take the words right out of my mouth. This time, when she was helping Sumire put on her hakama, and Sumire compliments the beauty of the robe. Kana thinks , “I’m so happy! At first I thought this wasn’t going to work, but now it feels like we finally have our second female member!” It is no secret that Chihaya is more the athletic tomboy type than girly, but I didn’t think any of the characters would think this about Chihaya now, if they hadn’t already mentioned it before. Beauty in vain strikes again.

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We get another brief, teasing glimpse of Arata losing a tournament against someone from his own society, and of course he is angry to get second place. He reveals that he wants to play in the high school championships against Chihaya. I haven’t read the manga or anything so I have no idea, but I am starting to wonder if we’ll ever see more of Arata than some scant moments here and there, before he inevitably faces down Chihaya in the end. I don’t really have a problem if we don’t see very much, since he is clearly not the hero here, I just feel he remains too much of an enigma for it being the second season.

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Then it is on to Chihaya  handing back Mizusawa’s school’s trophy (it must suck to have to give it back!) and the club getting ready for a regional team championship. I got a kick out of it when Akihiro’s  three younger brothers run into Chihaya, and upon seeing that they are identical she shouts, “What?  Cloning?!” and again when Akihiro explains why they just rushed straight up to Chihaya like they loved her or something. “In our family, were taught to run into pretty people.” What the hell kind of family does Akihiro live in? I am scared to even ask. I was already freaked out by Akihiro, now I discover he has three little brothers are exactly like him, who adore him and want to be like him.

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Akihiro tries to get on the team in order to live up to his brother’s adoration, which makes Taichi and Yusei mad, but  Tsutomu suggests they switch Akihiro and Sumire in to allow them to play in the tournament. That leaves Chihaya, Yusei and Taichi to handle the rest. Tsutomu does this because he was given the opportunity too, and wants to give it to others. Akihiro makes it through the first round, only to get paired against a class A player in the second.

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The sneaky part of Tsutomu’s plan is the somewhat dubious information he has on the teams they will be playing. One team is a boy’s team and “weak against girls,” so putting Chihaya, Kana and Sumire against them is a good idea, while the other team is a female team who estimably “favor a focused style” so putting Akihiro in works, as long as Akihiro uses his loudness and aggression. speaking of loudness and aggression, Retro-kun appears and gives Taichi a hard time about being in class B.

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I don’t think something as silly as this tactic should be used often, since how many teams could really afford to be weak against an entire gender in reality, so much so that one of the players even helps Sumire take a card by pointing it out to her! You wouldn’t get very far in a competition that way. I suppose it isn’t cheating to know your opponents weaknesses and use it against them, but I certainly don’t want other teams being stupid to be the way Chihaya’s team wins all the time! That would be kind of dumb.

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Akihiro struggles from nerves in his match, but gets confidence thanks to a comment from Chihaya and his training from Yusei.  Sumire discovers her competitive side despite her lack of skill: “I can feel the blood flowing through the brain cells that I neglected to use!” There are so many great lines in this anime! Of course Chihaya blows everyone away by getting a perfect 25 card score. The question for Akihiro is whether he can keep Chihaya from stealing his little brothers’ love away, and if Chihaya will ever decide what she wants to do after Karuta. I love how Chihaya tries to nab the little brothers for Dr. Harada’s Karuta society.

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At the very end Shinobu learns that Arata will be in the individual tournament, and she is skinny again! I really liked Shinobu last time, I thought she was a cool character and I knd of wanted to see what her relationship to Arata was, since apparently she knows him. Arata and Shinobu’s hair and eye color also match, not to mention they have similar attitudes. I wouldn’t doubt if they were really siblings or something.

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Errant Princess Says,


As usual, Chihaya puts forward a very good episode. I’m not entirely accustomed to the new characters yet, and my questions about the core characters only seem to be growing, but I think it will be fine in the long run.

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Who cries the most in this episode?

Kana, because the world has left her behind!

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Episode 6 introduces us to Oe Kanade, a short, pig-tailed girl whose family runs a traditional Japanese clothing shop that isn’t doing so well. Kana loves all things traditional Japanese clothing, but the modern age does not agree with her. Kanade isn’t very popular, the girls at school talk behind her back about how she is in the wrong age because she reads history books and is fascinated by clothes no one wears anymore. The reason Kana is in the archery club is to wear the hakama, but she isn’t very good at archery so she is looking for a club where she can indulge her love of history and ancient fashion. Her image of how the Karuta club and the beauty Chihaya will act, (based on the poster Chihaya put up) is classic, considering we know how Chihaya really is!

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Well, Kana is almost the polar opposite of Chihaya: tiny, graceful and composed, and not a very fast runner. We know because there is a beautiful scene in which Chihaya literally runs Kana down and captures her, after she is caught peeping in on Karuta practice.  Kana is a brainy girl (the big forehead should clue you in) who knows everything there is to know about the history of Karuta, and she has memorized and fully understands the meaning behind the poems too.

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When Kana sees the fast, informal style of competitive Karuta that Chihaya and Taichi play, she is shocked and disappointed to learn that they don’t seem to care about the meaning  and emotion of the poetry, or wear traditional dress either. Taichi quickly dismisses her as “not cut out for it,” but Chihaya, bless her soul, instantly starts following the girl around to get her to join the club.

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While knowledge and class may not be Chihaya’s forte, she sure is good at convincing people to give in to her way simply by being earnest and persistent. Take Kana’s case, where most people would just give up, Chihaya takes it upon herself to go to Kana’s family’s shop and asks Kana to teach her about all one-hundred poem’s and their meaning. Granted, Chihaya is really not the shallow, idiotic character she is presented as at times, and she does play the part of the curious student and voracious learner, impressively. At first, Kana insists that their love of karuta is “fundamentally different,’ and it does start out that way, but it turns out that Chihaya actually wants to know about Karuta more in-depth, and isn’t just in it for some kind of passionless sportsmanship.

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As it turns out, a sport can be played for many reasons, among them tradition and history, and rivalry and competition.  I don’t think those things need to automatically be exclusive. In fact, I like Chihayafuru for having an understanding that different people will do the same thing for entirely different reasons, and that doesn’t make their love of the sport they play, inferior. Although having some knowledge about the origins and meaning behind what you are doing, can enrich the experience.

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I do think it is a little funny to play Karuta without any idea of the story of the poems’ backgrounds, but that could just coming from someone who likes and thinks of poetry as more worthwhile than the average person. Clearly, you could choose to ignore the poems entirely and view it as a pure memorization game. I don’t think Kana likes that style, and really neither do I personally.

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For Chihaya, learning the story behind the cards allows her to find cards not just by using her ears. The funny thing is, that even though she learns that Karuta can be more than just an auditory experience, she still has to incorporate what she learns into some kind of sensory form in order to remember it.  So the poems are more than just black words on white cards, they are unique colors that can be visualized once you know the stories behind them. So Chihaya goes from being an auditory learner, to a visual one.

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Chihaya is more open-minded and attuned about these things than Taichi, who just goes with the flow (Chihaya being the flow, he does have the agenda of winning her affections at some point,) and he just doesn’t seem to care much about learning the meaning of the poems. I guess as far as he is concerned the club can be just him and Chihaya.

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For me, that makes Chihaya a lot more sympathetic and interesting as a personality, since she can have deeper interactions with the clubs other members if she cares what they think and feel, and is concerned with more than just her own progress in Karuta. For instance, when Kana suggests cleaning out the room they are playing in, saying it is dusty and unfit according to the standards of the imperial court, Taichi is all like, “Um, can’t we just keep the tatami mats clean?” It is Chihaya who instantly jumps to her feet and helps Kana achieve her ideals without so much as a protest.

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I didn’t realize it watching through the first time, entirely, (or it didn’t penetrate entirely) but Chihaya is definitely the healthier between the two of them, as Taichi is only ever concerned with what is going on with him directly. Usually that involves Chihaya somehow, and he never really thinks much about anyone other than that, or so it appears to me. He’s so absorbed in worrying about how Chihaya feels, or what trouble she is going to cause, and how it will affect him, that nothing else matters very much and it makes him remarkably short-sighted.

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I mean, remember that girlfriend he had in the beginning? I doubt he ever once thought about her feelings, and let’s not even talk about him and Arata. That can’t end well. Speaking of which, it would probably be better for Taichi if he could make some other friends beside Chihaya, because it isn’t really a good situation for him to be setting himself up to be in Chihaya’s shadow like this, as her Karuta bitch. What can it possibly earn him? Yeah, even now I’m still kind of vague on Taichi’s “feelings” for Karuta, has it ever been established that he loves Karuta at all, except as a connection to Chihaya?

chihayafuru episode 6 pic 17

Errant Princess Says,


Great episode. I remember admiring it the first time around, the traditional clothes in the episode are gorgeous. I wonder if it trying to use the color scheme deliberately. I mean, red obviously stands for passion, but there is tons of green too. What is that? Green is mellow but intellectual, like Taichi’s t-shirt=taichi’s personality. 

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