Oh wow, the tournament saga is over. I can’t help but feel a little sad by the result of the last match, but somehow completely fulfilled at the same time. It’s honestly amazing how this show ends on a positive note. I do think there was some missteps along the way like how the Queen match’s drama was handled off the karuta game floor instead of on it. I suppose that was ok considering that Haruka and Shinobu had nothing against each other and were dealing their own problems. Still, it does so much against a lot of the good will in this show for a karuta match to feel so tossed to the side and empty as those did. Especially since this is the highest level of competition in the karuta world.
Before talking about the Master’s battle and the ensuing drama between Harada and Suo, let’s talk about Shinobu’s interview. She’s grown so much. From that lonely girl self to that girl who found a friend. Something she discovered herself when unfolding the Tsuki that Chihaya gave her. The snowmaru bears are the symbol of their friendship. Instead of insulting Haruka this time like how she insulted Yumin last time, she compliments Haruka for her skill and daring. You know, alongside talking about how the people beside her that helped her play. The competition between Chihaya and Shinobu is set for the future now, because Chihaya is ready to go. (I hope it happens and we can see it happen in another season.)
Now for the matches or should I say, the fourth round match. I feel pretty sad because the fate of this match was already set in stone. That’s ok, because it’s not the match itself that matters. It’s the after effect. After the long tension felt moment like a shoot out, the final draw of the fourth match ended with Harada faulting due to Suo’s shonen energy attacks. Then the last match itself was sped through after it was shown that Suo shaved his beard off. Does that mean the evil in him left? Who knows because he’s hard to read, but he’s a master for life now. It’s all he wanted. Though, no one else is happy about the enemy of all of karuta still owning the master position. At least Harada tried hard to motivate the next generation AND SUCCEDED.
What happened before and after the match is what matters the most in this episode. For drama, I never thought I would see Chihaya disappointed by not being male. I kind of wish that she could defeat Suo herself in this match because of his insulting words, but that’s the draw of the show here. Chihaya has to go for it all in her own way. It still made me feel so sad because her grief is very real. On the good side, at least Arata made it to the competition while being sick just in time to see the fifth match. Hanano and Kana saw a much more Shoujoesque moment when Chihaya, Arata, and Taichi met together, but in reality they were all there for Harada. Arata took in a lot of Chihaya’s will without her realizing it. During Suo’s interview, Arata asks for Suo to not retire so he can defeat him. I feel like that moved Chihaya’s heart further. Arata gets Chihaya without even trying. It’s kind of scary but wonderful.
On the other hand, we get some great moments with the challengers. Harada didn’t get his win, but he played with all his heart and soul. Didn’t seem like he was disappointed to me. Made he was because he didn’t bring the victory home with him, but his wife seemed pretty happy with Harada just smiling by going after his dreams. Awwww. Same sort of thing with Haruka being told that she would come back to Karuta after having her third child. She can’t let go of the game either. Rion seemed happy about Haruka’s respone to this and all that. I’m honestly pretty happy with how this tournament ended for everyone. I love that sense of hope it had at the end.
Finally, our Misuzawa boys and girls can go home. They all head to the train station to finally head home. Porky is going to eat something for each stop they make and all that, but something is missing. Or should I say, someone. Taichi is staying there for the tournament that is going to happen tomorrow. He must have seen Arata’s interruption and seen how far behind he was too. Or something. It’s hard to tell, but Taichi needs to relax more. He’s too intense all the time. Poor guy needs to relax.
With that, I think this episode was a more then satisfactory conclusion to this tournament saga. Not the best episode because that title would go somewhere else, but one that motivates the younger players to play from the older player’s actions. That’s all that it needs to be. Let the young take up what the old left behind and carry it further. A lot of things happened in this episode and I am glad that they did. Solid episode.
Episode Rating: Interrupted Interview/10