Feb 2, 2012

Posted by in Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru episode 17

My god, were already at the seventeenth episode of Chihayafuru. I haven’t heard anything yet about a possible second season, so there’s no point in fretting over it, but the end is drawing near. It won’t be long now before the Karuta club faces Arata (and his team). I’m rather curious about Arata’s abilities, has he become better or has he lost his touch because of his inactivity?

The episode started out pretty rowdy when all of the school’s clubs competed in a track match. The Karuta club finally ended up winning one, I definitely think they deserve it, but they mustn’t lose focus. Hell, Taichi even ended up breaking up with his girlfriend in order to focus more on the club. Nuts! I could never have broken a hot girl over some card playing game. Mind you, I would’ve discarded her without any hesitation for a great videogame.

Things got a little bit more complicated when Taichi started showing a more interest in Chihaya. I always suspected that he had feelings for Chihaya, but it’s becoming more and more obvious, so he’ll have to watch out before he does something stupid. I doubt Chihaya will notice though, she’s really slow when it comes to things like that.

Meanwhile the club went on yet another camp-like trip in order to hone their skills. It became clear that they had improved, but they had many flaws to perfect. Tsutomu made that very clear when he showed that he kept a progress log. It seems that Karuta is deceived in four areas; A, B, C and D. Chihaya is good with taking cards from the B and C area, but she’s weaker when it comes to A and D. Also, she has trouble with 3 (or more) syllable cards. All of these flaws need to be perfected as soon as possible.

The club once again started one hell of a training schedule in order to prepare for their next tournament. I can’t blame them either, as they will probably be facing Arata and other difficult opponents. I have high hopes for them, I really do, but my biggest wish right now would be for Taichi and Chihaya to become a couple. I have no idea why, but those two seem perfect for each other.  Arata may be Chihaya’s childhood friend as well, but I still think that Taichi is the ‘compatible’ one.

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Jan 25, 2012

Posted by in Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru episode 16

Just one more post in order to finalize my day. I’m not going to lie, as it’s not been a good day. I’ve been waiting for Bakuman for almost three days now, seriously, what is taking them so long? Mind you, I’m not actually complaining about the groups behind the fan subs, as they are doing us a free service, but come on…

Oh well, it’s fine… I’ll quench my thirst with yet another Chihayafuru episode. It will be hard though, the episode started out really messed up. I knew Chihaya’s big sister was a spoiled brat, but what I saw was completely messed up. I would’ve driven the palm of my right hand straight to her cheek if she squandered my money on crap like that. Thank god that it was only the opener though, I don’t know what I would’ve done if the entire episode was about Chihaya’s spoiled big sister.

The episode may not have been about Chihaya’s big sister, that sure was a relief, but there were nothing but recaps. The question being; what would you rather have seen? An episode about chihaya’s spoiled sister, or an episode filled with recaps? My dog used to make tougher decisions than that! You’d pick the recaps, of course!

Like I said above; the episode contains nothing but recaps, so there’s not a lot I can say that I haven’t already said in my previous Chihayafuru posts. Still, it was nice to see a little bit more about Chihaya’s past, although it wasn’t all positive. But that’s actually pretty normal, you know, a younger sibling getting older sibling’s old stuff. You save money, the time it would have cost you to go out and buy new stuff and the younger sibling will have looked just as ridiculous as the older one did.

Anyway, I’d like to end this post by saying that Chihaya’s life hasn’t been all that fair when you compare her with her big sister, but I don’t think she could possibly ever complain. She has everything she needs, if not more. Fact is; life is unfair, but you just have to find a way to deal with that in order to progress in life. Chihaya’s sister has her beauty, but someday that will change as she gets older, perhaps someday soon. However, Chihaya’s own talents will last her a lifetime.

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Jan 18, 2012

Posted by in Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru episode 15

Wow, time really passed by, we’re already at Chihayafuru episode fifteen. I don’t know whether it’s the blog or everything else that’s kept me occupied, but time’s really been flying by. It feels like only yesterday that I posted my first impression of Chihafuru.

Anyway, the battle between Chihaya and “the queen” of Karuta continues. Chihaya finally regained her composure and started taking some cards. This did not sit well with her opponent, she may not have said anything, but she was clearly enraged. Chihaya, if she abused it properly, could make use of her opponent’s anger in order to take more cards.

Sure, Chihaya ended up losing, but she, unlike all those other challengers, managed to take a lot of cards. There were enough of other people that couldn’t do half as much as her; still, it just wasn’t enough. She lost by a rough twenty card difference. “The queen” beat the rest of her opponents as well, making her the winner.

But, it wasn’t all bad. Taichi wasn’t out of the game yet, he still had a match to finish. He started out badly after he had trouble concentrating, and it’s what eventually cost him the match. He too lost to his opponent. Okay, so he lost by just a few cards, but he would’ve won if he didn’t lose his concentration. They may have lost this time, but they will have new chances in the future.

The club decided to turn the training up a notch by adding some stamina training. They may have lost at the nationals, but they learned a valuable lesson, something that’s more important than any one of plastic trophies. They are going to train a lot harder from now on in order to become even better for their next tournament, which, if I’m right, will be the one where they will have to face Arata.

Yeah… it’s it won’t be long now before either one of them will have to face Arata. I have my money on him, but can he still play? I mean… he has been absent from the Karuta scene for quite some time now, so there’s a very good chance that he ‘lost his touch’.  Oh well, I’m sure we’re going to find out soon enough.

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Jan 13, 2012

Posted by in Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru episode 14

What a relief, I’m finally catching up on all my posts. I couldn’t resume my usual pace thanks to last week’s events and the Winter Anime. But, that’s pretty much over now, especially now that I’ve done pretty much all the Winter Anime and solved most site-related problems.

Anyway, life continues in Chihayafuru as the championship is still in progress. Last week’s episode was pretty hectic with all the misfortune that was bestowed upon Chihaya. Still, she was able to meet up with Arata, so that counts as something, I think?

Her future doesn’t seem to have improved that much. After all; she will have to face the “queen” of Karuta at some point. But, instead of being worried she was actually excited. She couldn’t even concentrate properly during her own match, as she was constantly looking at the “queen”. That’s when fear snuck in, she had mixed feelings about playing against her, but in the end she ended up facing her anyway.

The match begun and it looked very bad for Chihaya. Her opponent was ridiculously fast. Her hand was but a blur, even when showed in slow-motion. Chihaya couldn’t even touch a card, as her opponent was already ahead by no less than ten of them. Chihaya soon noticed her inferiority and started to doubt her abilities.

Chihaya focused and regained some confidence, so she started to make some progress. The question remains; can Chihaya win after being so far behind? I think we’re going to find out next week!

This week’s episode was pretty fun. A lot of progress has been made and I think that Chihaya will only get better from here on out. She must really want to play against Arata, she kept thinking about how it was to play against him when they were still twelve years old. Oh well, we’ll see what happens eventually.

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Jan 4, 2012

Posted by in Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru episode 13

Okay, the holidays are clearly over. Episode after episode starts to appear and I have reached the point where I will have to pick shows to write about. After all; I can’t write about all of them, not enough time in the world.

Anyway, life goes on in Chihayafuru as the group attends the Karuta Nationals together with their teacher. The old hag gave them a pretty hard time at first, but she came around when she saw how much those youngsters cared for this sport.

They seemed pretty tense at first. The heat made things a little harder, but they’ll be fine if they keep it together. They do have an edge, you see… All the other contestants know of their previous victory, and how they’ve only been a club for three months. This must be very intimidating, so, if they want to play it safe, they could use that to their advantage.

Things started out pretty bad for them. Everyone was nervous, exhausted from the heat and, if all of that wasn’t enough, Chihaya started to lose it as the heat was getting to her.

All was not yet lost. She had the others to support her and, not that she knew it, Arata was on his way to see her play. He has come a long way during these past few months. He used to be a wimpy kid that gave up on Karuta because of his grandfather’s death. We all have our ways when it comes to dealing with painful emotions, but he faced his demons and now he’s back!

Arata made it in time, only to find Chihaya unconscious due to the heat. She just couldn’t keep it together. Who can blame her though? She was wearing such thick clothing in that weather. Arata’s presence had never been as important as that day, he stayed by her side the whole time, even when she tried to run back to her match.

It’s not the end of the world. She just lost one match, but they are not yet out of the tournament. Chihaya was determined to recover in order to play in the next match. Arata, who had things to do, left in order to resume his own life. One thing is certain though; he’s once again going to enter the world of Karuta.

This week’s episode was very moving. It was nice to see that Arata finally made up his mind, he deserves to be happy. I will once again be waiting for next week’s episode with a smile on my face!

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Dec 21, 2011

Posted by in Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru episode 12

Here we go again with the card playing games. Did you know that Karuta already existed in the 13th century? Does make some sense though, it was roughly around that time when poems started getting popular, I believe. Karuta is a card game based on poems, so it does make sense.

The partying continues as the group celebrates their victory. Upon them now rests the responsibility to represent the whole of Tokyo in the upcoming nationals. But that happiness didn’t last long, at least not for Chihaya. She went home to share the good news with her family, only to find out that her parents made her big sister, who played in some sort of TV quiz, a much higher priority. I’m pretty sure that’s the story of Chihaya’s life. The only reason her sister is so popular, is because she’s pretty. Come back in ten years, because then she’ll be sleeping in Chihaya’s guestroom bed, because her beauty finally failed her.

Chihaya stood firm. She believed that things would only get better. Boy was she wrong, even the teachers didn’t believe in them. Most of them thought that Karuta was just a game. They have to keep this pace up, despite what others think of it. They’ll lose right away if they start doubting now.

It’s not all bad. Her parents may not believe in her, the teachers may not believe in her, but her mentor, Doctor Harada, believes that she is capable of anything. He gave her instructions on how to improve. But that did more bad than good, she started doubting her skills when she lost by no less than fifteen cards. She became insecure about her technique. It’s a good thing that she had Taichi, he managed to lift her spirit.

Things finally started to look good for Chihaya. She discovered that her father kept a close eye on her all this time, he saved all of her achievements in his scrapbook. Not only that, the rest of the club was getting pumped up because of the Nationals, they were really anxious to play. Even that old hag, who happened to be passing by, noticed how hard they were working. She was so impressed by them, believe it or not, that she actually took an interest in Karuta, which is why she decided to study up on it.

The episode started out difficult for poor Chihaya, but things turned out just fine in the end. She regained her spirit, her family and all the necessary support. Things will be getting even more interesting from now on!

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Dec 14, 2011

Posted by in Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru episode 11

What a day… I’m getting really impatient. I went by the shop earlier today, and my new laptop will arrive tomorrow at the earliest. All I’m saying is; someone’s going to have to pay if I don’t get my new laptop tomorrow. Whether it be the shop, my girl on hands and knees or the new car my in-laws bought.

As for Chihayafuru, it’s getting interesting as they were about to play in the finals. Chihaya’s mentor even came to watch her play. Taichi consulted with him about something he might have said during the last few matches. He thought that it might’ve had a negative impact on Chihaya.

The matchup was probably tempered with, all of Retro-kun’s matchup predictions was spot-on, that just doesn’t happen. Isn’t something like that against the rules? Chihaya’s opponent was downright rude, he has such a big ego that he could’ve been Kanye West’s bastard child. Sudo likes to manipulate people by weird remarks, using their favorite cards against them and by using the usual mind games.

Things slowly picked up when the rest of the time started getting used to it. The opponents were getting a bit nervous and started losing cards. Sudo was getting frustrated and took a very short brake to boost the team’s morale. He continued his rude playing style, constantly looking down on all the other players, but it’s starting to lose its effectiveness.

Everyone was finally starting to get the hang of it. The results started to reflect that, everyone was getting more cards as their confidence was increasing with each turn. Taichi was the quiet one, constantly planning on how to get his next card, giving his opponent very little time to take a card. Taichi finally defeated the one guy he could never beat, putting his team in front by one point. This should, in theory, put a stop to all those mind games.

It was a good match overall, Chihaya and her team ended up winning the finals. Their improvement rate is very impressive, and it’s only a matter of time before they will have to face Arata, especially now that they’re going to the nationals.

It was a very amusing episode, and of course very emotional, as always. I’m very curious about how Arata will respond to all of this. I guess we’ll have to wait another week to find out.

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Dec 7, 2011

Posted by in Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru episode 10

Here we go again with the card playing games. Who knew that something so unknown to the average man on the streets could become so popular? The ratings for this show are getting higher and higher with each passing week. Hell, this show has surpassed many other anime released this season.

It’s here. The tournament is finally here. The tournament can’t begin though, not with Chihaya messing about with some of the other contestants. Other people were surprised that, and I quote; “such a beauty came here to play Karuta.” I have no idea what looks have got to do with it though. I myself am not supermodel material, I’m a total geek. Still, I have one hell of a gorgeous girl, so it’s all good!

The Karuta tournament has started and Tsutomu, formerly known as desk-boy, is having trouble keeping up with his opponent. The little fella needs to realize that it’s not just about brainpower, it seems that several aspects of the human body are required to win, or so I’ve heard.

The Karuta club finally got a break to refuel and rethink their strategies. Tsutomu is really having a difficult time keeping it together when he starts doubting himself.

It’s not all bad though, Kanade, unlike Tsutomu, won her first match. Tsutomu did not take this news easily, he wanted to go home because he lost hope. Taichi let him off to indulge in some more self-pity, but he ‘ordered’ him to come back and play during the finals.

A new round starts and Chihaya finds herself against a difficult opponent, even though the rest of the team is doing fine. Chihaya even lost her favoriate card, the card she always manages to get. The rest of the team took notice of this and started to worry.

All the trouble they’ve been having with Tsutomu finally reached Chihaya, and it started affecting her performance in a very negative way. That’s why Taichi’s the captain, they all got back on the rails thanks to his guidance. Chihaya made a comeback and started an all-win spree, she didn’t allow the opponent to take even one card after that. They won the match thanks to Taichi’s guidance, the guidance that made everyone do their best.

It was a good episode. A lot of emotions got in the way of a perfect performance, but that’s fine, it turned out just fine for Chihaya’s Karuta club. I can understand why this show is skyrocketing in ratings, it has it all; action, comedy, real-life emotions and a whole lot more. Too bad my wish hasn’t been granted though. I was really hoping to see Arata at this tournament, oh well… I guess I’ll just have to keep watching!

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