I suppose you can call this episode a cool off kind of episode. The last arc was intense and full of all sorts of high level drama in the middle of a Karuta game. I bet we have another one of those arcs appearing soon again. The Master and Queen competition can’t be anything else but self examinations of characters under a microscope as they win or lose. Karuta is only a game in which examine these characters after all. It’s why Chihayafuru works so well for us on the western side of the world. We don’t understand karuta until it’s explained for us, but we care about all the characters playing it and how they change. This work is a pinnacle of greatness. Anyway, let’s talk about teenagers trying to study for tests.
Poor Chihaya. She’s been broken ever since Arata confessed to her and I don’t even know how she’s made it from place to place since then. She was still shocked at home when her mother and sister were talking about the latest role her sister acted. Somehow, she was still shocked when studying with her Karuta club for final exams. I’m not completely sure how Chihaya was able to get from place to place in that state because she has a single minded motivation. I don’t know about you, but it’s really funny stuff. Chihaya is a naturally hilarious character who has a decent sense of drama to herself too. I laugh when she’s lost in love and cry when she suffers. Chihaya is a great main character and I like rooting for her. I think she would be a good english teacher surprisingly.
With that, I think we can talk about how well the nuanced and not nuanced bits of romantic stuff going in the club room while everyone is studying. Chihaya is obviously still shocked and no one tries to tell Taichi about Arata’s confession or everyone tries to keep it all under wraps here. Hanano and Kana have a small spat over their ships with who Chihaya should be which they decide to just let this situation play out. Hanano for selfish and non selfish reasons of being with Taichi and Kana because she’s a legitimate Taichi and Chihaya shipper. All while Chihaya tries to put all her interest in love towards karuta because of course. She doesn’t think about anything else.
I also liked the guy’s subtle talks too. Taichi is suspicious about Chihaya saying that Arata is going to Tokyo U to be with them. Why? Because he already knew about Arata going there, so I think he was very suspicious about what Chihaya was hiding. At least, that’s what I think unless I’m reading too much into the situation here. Definitely possible either way. I do like Desktomu-kun questioning his use of confessing to Kana after maybe beating Taichi in grades and such. Desktomu is a good kid and I think that him and Kana would be a good couple. Nishida walking into the “none of us have girls and boyfriends” in the middle of all that was a very chaotic center here.
All of that relationship stuff was interesting for Chihayafuru, but the episode really took off to me when Chihaya and Taichi went to Tokyo U so Chihaya can play Suo. Him calling from Sudo’s phone (the two Sus :D) was fun and the game between the two was interesting. It really revealed how Suo plays that watching him on video couldn’t. How people against him get absorbed into his Karuta traps which is why all his scores against opponents are almost robotically the same. He really has no love for Karuta, which is interesting to think about honestly considering he is the current master. Makes me wonder how Suo got to this position. Chihaya lost, but got better as she understood his play style of evil.
The most interesting part for it all was his line to Chihaya about her having all this passion and love for Karuta, but how she’ll never be queen this way. This Suo in his pink scrunchy really isn’t what one would expect from a karuta master at all. I do think that someone who talks quietly to people and hates the activity that he’s been doing for a long time now and owning at it (despite practicing for two months a year), yet he hates it. What keeps him going at it? Showing he’s better at it to the world by showing how stupid that a person like him is the king of the world here? Actual love he has for it, but covered in cynicism everywhere? There is a story here that I want to know more about. Suo is so interesting.
So yeah, this was definitely a resting episode and a set up episode for future events. I wonder if Chihaya will tell Dr. Harada about Suo’s karuta combat style in the coming episodes or how Chihaya will react to Suo’s cynicism. Suo’s got a lot of issues that I want to see explored. Also, it was fun seeing Misuzawa in their club room, even if it was studying for finals and karuta. Digging into the adult realm is great stuff, but I want to see these other members of the main cast too. They are all very important people to me and I love all of them. With all that said, this was a good resting/set up episode. Definitely a great/10. I want to see everything that comes from this episode. I’m sure it will all be great.
(Gasp, a shorter post this time. Miracles do happen apparently.)
“This Suo in his pink scrunchy really isn’t what one would expect from a karuta master at all”
Yet… it kinda was. I mean, we’ve only ever seen him in his public persona before. He was bound to be different in his private persona. (If that makes sense.)
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I know, but I just can’t wrap my head around how the mangaka is trying to push these broken people as intimidating. A lonely girl who can’t dress herself and a college super senior whose cynical and talks in whispers aren’t exactly what counts as intimidating usually. Then again, I guess they were perfect for this show.
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